Life from an outsider's perspective…

Do you provide any support for serious mechanical failures?

Do you provide any support for serious mechanical failures?

Good Question.

The bikes are really well maintained and therefore I haven’t had (m)any serious mechanical failures. Three spoke breakages over the last two and a half years. A couple of broken chains. And one broken seatpost. Keep in mind there are 20 bikes in the fleet so that’s not bad going for the total amount of kilometres travelled on all the bikes.

For the first failure, we did offer to pick someone up as we were about to head over in that direction anyway. Even though we left as soon as we could, the guy was waiting almost 2 hours on the side of the road in the South of Tenerife before we could get to him (90 minutes’ driving to get over to the South). Quite frankly, I think it would have been easier and faster for him to hail a passing taxi. Don’t forget that Tenerife is an unusual place – it’s quite possible to roll downhill for 30 or 40km for instance should something go wrong.

Even so, no I don’t have the resources to drop everything here and run all over the island at short notice to pick people up and take them back to their hotel. At least not until we get a dedicated vehicle for this purpose (our family currently shares the same vehicle so it isn’t always available). I’m sure some people would soon take advantage of such a service – when they get tired for example. I know I would be tempted to do so, what with all the climbing here! I am slowly working towards achieving this goal, but of course the driving license setback did not help.

So what I do do is offer a refund for the days you are left without a bike if a bike develops a serious problem and I can’t fix or replace it. So far no one has taken me up on that offer because I have always been able to fix things in time for the following day.

I also suggest taking a good multitool with an inbuilt spoke key, chain tool and preferably 8 and 10mm allen keys as well as the other common sizes (4, 5 and 6mm). That way you can be more self-sufficient if something unlikely does happen. It’s also a good idea to take enough cash to get home, especially if you’re travelling in a foreign country.

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