Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I need a reservation?
Unless you need a unique bike in limited supply (fat tire, plus, carbon fiber bike), or if you're going on a multi-day trip or participating in a special event like a triathlon and need to be assured a very specific bike will be here for that event when you arrive, a reservation is not needed. Even people who reserve bikes often switch to a different bike after they arrive. A Coastal Trail ride on a hybrid bike never requires a reservation. We have more than 200 bikes and we never run out. On rare occasions when the frame size in the price range of your choice is out, we will upgrade to a better bike but in a frame size that fits. Choosing the right bike is a collaboration. It's not uncommon to test two or three bikes before making a choice.
To see photos and specs of almost all of our bikes, hover on "Rental Bikes" in the menu then choose by bike type in the drop-down menu. If you see something you might like, instead of calling, please email your choice to [email protected] along with your height and weight and we will confirm availability and provide a written confirmation. There is no deposit to reserve a bike. However if you need to cancel please let us know. When you arrive if you prefer a different bike you can switch.
Also, big groups (ten or more people) should send an email so we can be prepared with additional staff and/or by pre-positioning bikes outside in front of the store.
2. Where can I park downtown?
Park in the giant parking garage that is kitty-corner from our store. The "Easy Park" orange-trimmed five-story garage takes up an entire city block between 4th and 5th Avenue and B and C Street. The first hour is free and it costs $1.25 per hour thereafter.
There is metered parking downtown including on our block Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. It costs $25 cents for every nine minutes. Expired meters risk a $20 citation. On Saturday on-street parking at a meter in the downtown core is free but there is a two-hour limit.
On weekdays If you want to park for free and don't mind walking between four or more blocks, on-street parking is free on 4th Avenue and its side streets east of Cordova Street. How far away is Cordova Street? Answer: The first letter of each name of the street east of A St corresponds with the sequence in the alphabet. So, east of A, Barrow, Cordova, Denali, Eagle, Fairbanks, Gambell, Hydra, Ingra etc.
3. Can I exchange the bike I rented for a different type later in the day/week?
Yes. Exchange one type of bike for another type at any time. If you want to go mountain biking in the morning and road biking in the afternoon, no problem. This policy sometimes tips the balance between renting for two weeks, buying a bike in Anchorage, or bringing your own bike from home.
4. Can I bring my own pedals and shoes?
For a rental of one day or less, if you bring your own pedals there is a $4 charge for the pedal swap. In other words, to take our pedals off, put your pedals on, take your pedals off, and then put our pedals back on again, we charge $1 per swap. To minimize pedal swaps most of our bikes are set up with a pedal most people like. Here it is: Primo Super Tenderizer.
The clip in pedal we use is Shimano SPD. We have a full range of shoe sizes that you can rent to clip in to our spd pedals. If renting for one day or less, we charge $4.
If you want to bring your own SPD shoe and clip into our SPD pedal, there is a $2 charge.
If you rent a bike for more than one day you use of our clip-in pedals and shoes is free.
5. Do you sell bikes?
Yes. We are Anchorage's only Authorized Fuji, SE, Breezer, and Kestrel bike dealer. Please click on their links and check-out their highly-nuanced selection. They are great bikes that sell for a great price. We sell for the lower 48 MSRP and there is no sales tax in Anchorage. If you want to buy one we may have one it in stock but if we don't have the precise model, size and color you want will gladly order it. It takes about two weeks for it to arrive.
6. Can we store luggage, a jacket or other items we don't need on our bike ride at your store?
Yes. Everyone who stores something at our store during their ride gets there own private tote. Storing things separately keeps them safe.
7. We arrive at the airport and would like to rent a bike during a long layover. How much does it cost to travel between the airport and your store?
Anchorage's bus service is called the People Mover. It costs $2 each time you ride the bus. You can also buy a one day pass for $5. Every 15 minutes Route 40 travels between the airport's south terminal and the downtown transit center located at 6th Avenue and G Street.
Cab fare between the airport and downtown is about $20.
8. How long does it take to ride the 11-mile long Coastal Trail?
On average it takes two and a half hours round-trip at a leisurely pace to cycle the Coastal Trail. It's 22 miles round-trip. About 1.5 hours to bike out and one hour to bike back. Riders return faster because outbound there are two hills to tackle. One is in the middle of the trail near Earthquake Park. It's not too steep but it's about one mile long. The second hill is short and steep and at the very end of the trail. People who turn around at the bottom of the second hill see almost the entire trail. f you decide to ride up the hill at the end, you have the option of returning on the Alternate Return Route. The Alternate Route adds 3 miles to the return trip.
10. Where is nearby mountain biking?
At the end of the Coastal Trail is 1,500 acre Kincaid Park. Kincaid has more than 30 miles of roller-coaster trails. Here's a map. Another place to mountain bike is by taking the Chester Creek Trail past UAA to 2,600 acre Far North Bicentennial Park.
Also, if you take our shuttle one way to Flattop, you can downhill on the Powerline Traill/Gasline Trail into Bicentennial Park. We call this the Hike/Bike Combo.
Check out the "Mountain Biking in Anchorage" video in the menu for a cool preview of the trails.
11. How far is the beginning of the Coastal Trail from your store?
5 blocks. Right on E, left on 2nd. The speed limit for cars downtown is 25 mph. If you're still concerned, simply walk the bike around the corner to the beginning of the trail.
12. What happens if I don't borrow a repair kit and I get a flat?
Call us. Depending on where you are on the trail, we will figure out what is the most reasonable way to solve this problem. While flats are rare, they sometimes occur.
- Wait to receive repair kit from an outgoing renter and fix flat
- If there are enough employees working at the store, wait for one of us to race out on a bike and fix it
- Ask for help from a good samaritan with a repair kit
- Walk bike to bus stop and take bus back downtown
- Call cab. (DBR not responsible for cab fare.)
13. What happens if I have a mechanical issue that I can't or don't know how to fix with the free repair kit?
Call the bike rental and we'll figure out the best way to help.
14. Who is responsible if bike gets stolen or damaged?
Renter is responsible if bike is stolen or damaged by impact or operator error. Locks are free. Choose a lock that is appropriate for where you want to go.
For the Coastal Trail you'll be nearby the bike and able to see it so a simple coil lock will suffice. If you have to run an errand or go shopping outside of downtown, take one of our thicker locks. It's been many years since one of our bikes got stolen. Why? Because renters take responsibility for them and we tell them not to be complacent about how and where they're parked.
15. Who is responsible if I get hurt or hurt someone else in an accident?
Renters assumes the same risk and responsibility they have when they ride their own bike back home. Renters must sign a Liability Release Agreement acknowledging that riding a bicycle is an inherently dangerous activity. Before paying, renters test bikes to verify they are working as they should. Click here for our Bike Rental Agreement/Liability Waiver/Contract.
16. What should I wear?
Layers with a wind breaker or rain jacket. In summer be sure to wear or bring shorts. Even if the day starts out cool, it often gets hot (really) and so do cyclists when they ride. Sweatpants are better than pants or jeans. If you do wear pants, we will offer you a rubber band to mitigate the risk of grease stains from the chain.
17. Is there any way to get the bikes back to you without having to make the return trip?
No. However, if you're concerned that you're unable to ride 20 miles round trip (skipping the last mile that is the Kincair Park hill), consider renting the bike and putting it on the front of the number 40 People Mover bus to the intersection of International Airport Road and Spenard Road. Then, ride the bike four miles into Kincaid Park where the Coastal Trail ends and return to downtown experiencing the the trail's entire 11 mile distance. On weekdays the Number 40 bus runs every 15 minutes and on weekends it runs every half hour. The bus station is at 6th and G only 5.5 blocks for the Downtown Bicycle Rental. Click Here for the Number 40 Bus Route. And Click Here for the Number 40 Outbound Schedule. It costs $2 to ride the People Mover bus.