Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I need a reservation?
Unless you need a unique bike in limited supply (i.e Fat, E or carbon road 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 a walk-in's frame size in the price range of their choice are all rented, we simply upgrade them to a more expensive bike that fits for no extra charge. Choosing the right bike is a collaboration. It's not uncommon to test two or three bikes before choosing. Long story short, as Shakespeare might say, reservations are almost always much ado about nothing.
If you are a candidate for a reservation, hover on "Rental Bikes" in the menu then choose by bike type in the drop-down menu. Each page has photos and specs of the family of rental. bike. If you see one you'd like to reserve, instead of calling, please contact us and include your height and weight along with your bike choice 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. We are always adding to our inventory so if you need a bike two or three weeks out, there will likely be even more bikes to choose from.
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?
A cheap and easy place to park is in the giant parking garage 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 are great views in all directions from the top floor of the garage.)
If paying to park goes against your constitution, on weekdays, you can park for free but you'll have to walk between four and six blocks. Parking is free on 4th Avenue east of Cordova Street. East of A Street the first letter of each name of the street corresponds with the sequence in the alphabet: Barrow, Cordova, Denali, Eagle, Fairbanks . . . etc. . .
If you want to first check out our bikes before parking, or if you want to load bikes onto your vehicle and take them somewhere else, there are metered spaces in front of our store Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. It costs .25 cents for nine minutes. There is a two hour time limit even if the meter is paid; enforcement "chalks" the tires. A citation is $20. On weekdays there is usually an available empty space however not on Friday because that's when parking spaces are reserved for tour buses that block visibility to our store and create chaos on the sidewalk. The buses stop pulling up and spaces become available again on Friday just like on other weekdays round 3 p.m.
On Saturday, on-street downtown parking at a meter is free but there is a two-hour limit (chalking) and available spaces are rare because the outdoor Weekend Market is just one block away. Best to park in front of a street meter east of A Street where it is both free and there is no time limit. We suggest you park on the north side of 4th Avenue between A and Barrow across the street from the fire station because the fire chief's office looks down on the street and they would certainly do something if a thief tried to break into a car. The fire station is only two blocks from our store.
On Sunday park in front of any downtown street meter because it is free and there is no time limit (chalking).
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 that over time wear out and invariably strip the threads on our cranks, almost all of our bikes are set up with a spiky pedal that provides plenty of surface area and traction; even on the upstroke. Primo Super Tenderizer.
We have a full range of clip in shoe sizes for rent. We use Shimano SPD. If renting for one day or less the cost is $4. If you rent a bike for more than one day use of our clip-in pedals and shoes is free.
If renting for one day or less and you want to bring your own SPD shoe and clip into our SPD pedal, the cost is $2.
5. Do you sell bikes?
Yes. We are Anchorage's only Authorized Fuji, SE, Breezer, and Kestrel bike dealer. We also sell Surly. 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 in stock but if we don't have the precise model, size and color you want, we will can order it so it is here when you 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 outside of baggage claim to the downtown transit center which is located only six blocks from our store.
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. If 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.
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 damage, or if I get hurt or hurt someone else when riding a rental bike?
15. 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.
16. Is there any way to get the bikes back to you without having to make the return trip?
No. However, if you're concerned a 22 mile round trip bike ride on the Coastal Trail is too long, consider renting the bike and putting it on the front of the number 40 People Mover bus for $2. On weekdays it leaves downtown every 15 minutes/30 minutes apart on weekends. Get off The bus at the intersection of International Airport Road and Spenard Road. Then, ride the bike four miles into Kincaid Park where the Coastal Trail ends. Ride its entire 11 mile distance back downtown.
The bus station is at 6th and G; only 5 blocks from our store. Click Here for the Number 40 Bus Route.