Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Bikes, trikes, personal mobility and getting to/from the event - this is the place to discuss general transportation issues.
finnster
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Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by finnster » Tue May 28, 2013 8:16 am

Anyone rent a bike from Rat's Bikes?

He's renting out bikes from Gerlach. I paid for my bike rental by PayPal, now I'm not getting any kind of communication from him to confirm the bike rental after the payment, which he's initial email said he's do. Sent him 4 emails so far after my payment. Suspicious to say the least. His services were mentioned in the Jack Rabbit-newsletter and on the bm website ( http://www.burningman.com/preparation/t ... aTICeAhfn8 )

Would really like to not cancel my payment... but the guy seems to not be leaving me any options.

Any experiences appreciated!

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Re: Bike rental problems with Rats Bikes?

Post by trilobyte » Tue May 28, 2013 8:31 am

Rat's been a pretty solid provider for years and years and years. While it's possible that it's all been an elaborate scheme to steal your money, that seems like an incredibly elaborate plan. You don't mention the timeframe of your four followup emails - were they over the course of the last two months, or over the course of the last day or two? Unless it's been a few weeks I'd relax.

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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by finnster » Tue May 28, 2013 8:41 am

I don't have any suspections that he wouldn't be running an honest service. Thing is, if he's just busy and dismissing me because of that, it doesn't really make a difference from my point of view.

I did pay him my bike reservation (which is the whole payment) about two months later (beginning of May) after our initial email communication. Now I've emailed him four times with no answer during May. Wondering when I should contact PayPal. Wouldn't want to have it go to that. He could just email me and say they're all reserved and return my dinero if that's the case :?

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jessisandi
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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by jessisandi » Fri May 31, 2013 7:17 pm

I have rented from Rat for the last four years. I havent been able to get in touch with him this year yet as he hasnt answered his emails, but hes been a SOLID dude the last 4 years. I am hoping he is ok because he has never NOT responded to me.....

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geospyder
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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by geospyder » Fri May 31, 2013 7:50 pm

I've rented from him in the past with no problem.
You know it's going to be a bad day when you jump out of bed and miss the floor.

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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by deal » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:58 pm

I am also experiencing the same problem. i paid well in advance for bike and lighting hire. Rat was great with info about BM also. Answered heaps of my questions etc. So, its a surprise for me when months later i try contact him... nothing... nada.... zilch. So then i got my partner to email via her email address just in case he is avaoiding me... same result nothing. Ive tried searching his name [removed by moderator] and got a number in reno for what i think could be him. i tried a few times but went to message or something. I dont think he's ripping people i got a feeling somethings happened to him and i am concerned for this man. Is anyone living in Reno able to try find the guy and see if he is ok and maybe get back to us? thatd be awesome.
We also need to hear back at some stage or we go to wallmart.

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danibel
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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by danibel » Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:12 pm

Bump.

I don't have a bike rental or any experience with Rat's Bikes, but I am concerned about this member of our community. Surely there is a connection on ePlaya somewhere. Would love to hear back of a good outcome of a check in.
In dust we trust.

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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by trilobyte » Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:16 pm

Please understand that ePlaya is not customer support board for either this guy or any other burnerpreneurial business.

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geospyder
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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by geospyder » Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:45 pm

His house is within a couple miles of mine. I'll try to swing by sometime this next week to see if I can find out anything.
You know it's going to be a bad day when you jump out of bed and miss the floor.

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geospyder
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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by geospyder » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:16 am

Went by Rats house this morning. He is gone from his place in Sparks. All the bikes are also gone. Neighbors know nothing.
You know it's going to be a bad day when you jump out of bed and miss the floor.

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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by Dr. Pyro » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:32 am

That's rarely a good sign.

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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by mudpuppy000 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:49 pm

Bike rustlers...

finnster
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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by finnster » Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:31 am

Trilobyte I get your point and am sorry for starting this thread. Thing is I couldn't find any other help anywhere else, and saw this forum as sort of a last resort. I thought burners wouldn't mind my actions since I like to think we're people who wanna help each other out.

About Rat - I disputed my PayPal payment. I hope he is ok and if he show's up, I'll still use his service if he starts communicating later.

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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by AntiM » Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:33 am

I think the thread is okay, but that eplaya itself can't do anything. Does that make sense?

finnster
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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by finnster » Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:36 am

Yeah I wasn't asking for actions.. just asking if people had the same situation as me and maybe how it's worked out before. Well as said before, I hope the guy is ok...

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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by Dr. Pyro » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:40 am

All I know is that I'm going to mention this in the next Barbie Death Camp newsletter and recommend using anybody else but Rat's. Just to be on the safe side.

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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by trilobyte » Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:00 pm

What AntiM said. It's okay to post and ask the question, but we need to make sure that a) people don't confuse us with <insert company name> support department, or b) the site doesn't get used for public shaming/intimidation. I didn't read your post as either of those things, but as others started chiming in I felt it was worth reminding people about the support side of things.

Considering that even more time has passed without a response and some of the responses people have added, it sounds like disputing with PayPal may have been the right move. I hope he's okay too.

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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by tattoogoddess » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:24 pm

Does anyone know his real name? The person above any way to ask his neighbors? Talk to the landlord maybe? If you can get a name maybe you can use fb to find him, check the obits, jail. Just a thought.
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Holdz
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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by Holdz » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:07 am

@Geospyder - Rat has moved to Gerlach. This is a quote from the email I received from him when I booked my bikes.

"RATS BIKES IS MOVING TO GERLACH!! Only five (5) minutes from the playa! I will NO LONGER BE at the address in Sparks where you've all picked up bikes these many years"

I have his new address but don't think its right for me to publish it here but if anyone is able to check there, I'm happy to share the address with them as I have also been trying to contact him with no success re my bike hire.

I'm as sure as I can be that Rat is not scamming anyone but am concerned for him at the lack of response as he's always been pretty quick to reply to my mails.

I've also emailed BMorg to see if they know anything or whether they can get someone to call by his Gerlach address to see if he's ok. I'll post the response on here if & when I get one

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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by gyre » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:06 am

Address in gerlach?
I'm not sure anyone would need an address there.
Hope he's okay.

Have you tried the reno list?

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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by gyre » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:16 am

I've emailed with him before and it did seem like he was gone part of the time.
Hope it's the same thing.

I recently emailed someone in the bay area.
Heard back from the grand canyon.
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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by unjonharley » Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:28 am

gyre wrote:I've emailed with him before and it did seem like he was gone part of the time.
Hope it's the same thing.

I recently emailed someone in the bay area.
Heard back from the grand canyon.
_______________________________

Hanging off a cliff in the grand canyon.
Will be in touch when I get home.

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Acme phone? as in Road Runner?.

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gyre
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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by gyre » Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:34 am

What else?

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EarthFireWindWater
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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by EarthFireWindWater » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:20 pm

I'm also concerned for his whereabouts/well-being, sorted out bike hire from him in Feb, and he was prompt with replying back to email. Seemed like a genuine and helpful fellow, and I've heard of others using him for bike hire before, so don't have any thoughts that he is ripping people off by disappearing intentionally with everyone's money. I hope he is ok and it's just a case of 'he's been on holidays, or out of internet access' for a while, in which case I'm sure he will reply to people before Burning Man as soon as he can.

In any case, I'm coming from Australia and really do want to make sure bike hire is sorted for my partner and I, so for now we have lodged a paypal dispute so we can hopefully get our money back and hire from someone else. Can anyone recommend any other good places to hire bikes (that's easy to organise for an international burner) that also include bike rack for car, bike lock and lights on the bike?

If I hear back from the Rat's Bikes guy, I'm still happy to hire from him as he provided everything that we needed at a good price!

If anyone is able to find out what is happening with him, it would be hugely appreciated if you post here and let us all know!


Peace,

Adz
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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by gyre » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:58 pm

Re lighting, a good headlamp for you is enough to see.
You do need adequate 360 lighting that you show up.
This can be bike mounted or worn.
You need to be lit off the bike too, so battery glowsticks work, though some colors are too dark.
The cheap ones don't come with adequate lanyards, so you might want to sort that out.

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EarthFireWindWater
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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by EarthFireWindWater » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:19 am

El-wire is effective for both persons and bikes.
Love is the key philosophy. The love of great red wine from Bordeaux or Burgundy. The love of weird and wonderful sounds – high weirdness, weird highness, the cave man to the rave man, eternal celestial musicians hanging around whistling an old tune

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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by Nixxx » Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:36 am

Same problem. Hopefully he'll appear soon. Needs to answer his emails from nervous 1st timers. :D

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Holdz
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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by Holdz » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:01 am

I ordered & paid for 2 bikes from Rat & have been trying to track him down for a while. Its not looking good at all tho - I have a contact that I've been in contact with today who knows people in Gerlach & neither them or BMorg has yet been able to track him down I'm 99.99999% sure he wouldn't rip anyone off so I'm just hoping he's ok :?

My advice would be to make other arrangements (at least thats what I'm gonna do). There's lots of places here you can get bikes from - http://www.burningman.com/preparation/t ... elVDVObFX8

Alternatively you can buy a new one from Walmart on the way to BM as they've got some great deals & just donate to a camp or one of the rental places on your way out. I would advise you pre-order it via their click & collect service as the Walmarts near BM often sell out. You can also ask them to build it, so its good to go when you collect it.

Cruisers: http://www.walmart.com/browse/bikes-rid ... s1Cruisers

MTB: http://www.walmart.com/browse/bikes-rid ... s2Mountain

)'(

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Holdz
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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by Holdz » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:17 am

Make sure you get lights, a stand & combination lock (its easier than worrying about a key) for your bike.

Top tip for first timers is make sure you park it near something you're going to remember as trying to find a bike amongst several hundred isn't the easiest thing to do especially if you've had a drink or whatever...! :P :lol:

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Savannah
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Re: Bike rental problems with Rat's Bikes?

Post by Savannah » Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:24 pm

Holdz wrote:Make sure you get lights, a stand & combination lock (its easier than worrying about a key) for your bike.

Top tip for first timers is make sure you park it near something you're going to remember as trying to find a bike amongst several hundred isn't the easiest thing to do especially if you've had a drink or whatever...! :P :lol:
Agreed!

Distinctive lighting for your bike (such as pink LED spokes or a web of battery operated christmas lights) can also help you spot your bike in the dark.
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