Gear up for long rides with this new rental service for biking enthusiasts
It was after numerous falls from their motorbikes and on one of their long rides on the Hassan highway in November last year that Nishant Shankar, Manan Daga and Zakariya KM decided to start Gear n Ride — a rental service for biking safety gear. Operational since June this year, Gear n Ride is a one-of-its-kind startup that rents helmets, gloves, kneepads, jackets and bike bags. With over 300 customers having rented and recommended their service, the boys have had a smooth run with their business so far.
“We have been riding for three years now and have also fallen off a couple of times, so we’ve had first hand experience and know how important safety gear is on long bike rides,” says 21-year-old Shankar.
Despite their minor mishaps, the boys pursued their interest, seeking lesser-travelled roads. It was a Sunday in October last year when they decided to hit the Hassan highway once again. “Swati Delicacy Hotel on the highway is the unofficial meet-up spot for most bikers.
Bikers riding the fanciest of super bikes as well as regular riders meet here for breakfast. We wanted to check out some bikes and rode all the way there,” recollects Shankar. This was when they had a Eureka moment. “All three of us were talking about bikes and bikers who had gathered that day… that’s when Manan who was then working with Ernst & Young observed that many bikers didn’t really have enough riding gear that could help them stay safe… That was it!” Since December 2015, they started sourcing their gear from reputed brands like Spartan — for jackets and gloves, Rinox and Viaterra — for bags (saddle, tank and tail bags), DSG — for gloves, Mototech and Alpinestars — for kneepads and MT — for helmets. “Initially, we tried renting them from out of my house. But it was only in June, when the Leh-Ladakh biking season kicked off that we began operating officially,” says Shankar.
Since then, they have had customers who rent for a minimum of 24-hours to even days and weeks. Most of them are new bikers or pillion riders. “Seasoned bikers have all the safety gear, from head to toe, and they mostly rent our gear for those riding pillion,” says Shankar. Booking is done through their website. The costs for rentals are different for each gear.
Gear n Ride also offers delivery and pick up services within a distance of 3 kilometres. “People have come to know of our service through word-of-mouth because the biking community is close-knit.” With the Rider Mania gearing up for a thumping start in Goa between November 18-20, Gear n Ride has been on its toes of late.
— Ayesha Tabassum