My boys (ages 4 and 7) and I rented bikes from Spokes today to tour Stanley Park. The 7 year old got his own Jr. bike rental. The 4 year old recently learned how to ride without training wheels, but I wasn't about to let him take off on his own around the park, so I put him on a Trail-A-Bike attached to the mountain bike I rented. First, the variety of available rentals is great, especially for families. They even have tricycles and really small bikes for very young riders--as well as trailers, tandems, and a variety of bicycle types. There was a line when we got there, but it went super fast and we were on our bikes pronto, with helmets and bike locks included in the rental price.
The 7 year old's bike seemed fairly new and in decent condition. The plastic pedals were worn and needed replacement, but that was OK. My mountain bike, on the other hand, was in desperate need of maintenance. It squeaked horribly and was not pleasant to ride. The pedals were completely worn, slippery in fact. And the seat was just horrible. OK, it's a rental bike, I don't expect much. But a regular maintenance schedule on all of these bikes is necessary, especially because this shop is popular so these bikes get used A LOT. They should not have rented the bike I used out until it had a big overhaul. But by the time I was super annoyed with it, we were down the hill and on the trail and it seemed a big hassle to return with the kids. So I took my lumps, literally . . .
We rode for a total of 6 hours, with stops at all of the Stanley Park attractions, along with a longer stop to enjoy the aquarium. After all of that on-and-off riding on a really crappy bike seat, my booty is seriously sore! I've had saddle soreness from biking for long periods many times in my life, but this is the worst case ever! I could probably eek out another star for these guys because they were friendly and we had such a wonderful day, but my current agony is making another star impossible.
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