Earn Airline Miles by Riding a Bike and Basically Free Bike Rental in San Francisco

Yes, that’s right. Now you don’t have to fly anymore to earn miles. You can earn valuable Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles by renting with Ford GoBike.

Alaska Airlines is founding partner of the San Francisco Bay Area-based Ford GoBike. All you have to do is to link your Alaska Mileage Plan Account in the Ford GoBike app.

How does Ford GoBike work?

  1. Pick up your bike at any station in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Emeryville or San Jose. Find a bike with the online map or the app.
    Ford GoBike
    Ford GoBike
    Developer: Motivate
    Price: Free
     
    Ford GoBike
    Ford GoBike
    Developer: Motivate
    Price: Free
  2. Ride the bike all over town and
  3. Return it back to any station. Just push it firmly into an empty dock and wait for the green light to come on

With every ride, you will earn 10 Mileage Plan miles.

For $9,95 you can buy a day pass for unlimited 30-minute rides. If you keep the bike longer than 30 minutes at a time, you will be charged $3 for every additional 15 minutes. So make sure you return your bike in time to a station. However, you should be able to pick up a bike right away again without being charged extra, because you returned your bike within the 30-minute period. You can buy single rides, day passes, 3-day passes and annual memberships. Check their website and see what works best for you.

I think that for some routes you will need more than 30 minutes. LIke if you want to cross the Golden Gate Bridge. You want to cross it and enjoy it and not race across the bridge just to return your bike within 30 minutes. I think this is a better option for commuters who have to go from point A to B rather than tourists. Of course, you can keep the bike longer but for a pretty nominal fee.

A better option would be the Basically Free Bike Rental

With this offer from Sports Basement, one of San Francisco’s largest sporting goods stores, you can ride a bike all day for free. This is perfect to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and ride the bike beyond that.

This option has lots of advantages. You can rent different kinds of bikes, like an electric bike, tandem bike or a bike trailer. They have everything from small to big and I am sure you will find something for you and your biker companions. Don’t worry about the price, as the name says this is a basically free bike rental. You will get the full price of your rental back as a voucher which you can use within 72 hours at the Sports Basement Store. I recommend visiting the one at Crissy Field right along the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Check the Sports Basement Website for more locations. Sports Basement has everything you need for outdoor activities, from accessories, clothing all the way to food and snacks and that’s what you can use your voucher for.

Find more options on their website.

Their pick up location is on the corner of Bay St and Columbus St, near Fisherman’s Wharf. From here you can ride your bike all over the city and the peninsula.

I recommend you to check out one of their self-guided tours. You can’t go wrong with them and they will bring you to great spots all over town.

Conclusion

As a tourist, I would recommend you Sports Basement basically free bike rentals. You get more time with the bike and don’t have to worry about bringing it back every 30 minutes and of course, you get store credit for the full amount of the rental. This makes renting a bike worthwhile. The Sports Basement bikes are also more stylish and you are not a rolling advertisement platform.

Ford GoBike is more for commuters and people who want to get around town and that quickly and easily. It really can be faster riding a bike in the city than driving a car or taking a cab. If you are out to collect miles with Ford GoBike you have to be a “frequent biker” to get enough miles for a free flight.

Has anyone experience with either one?

[Images are courtesy of Alaska Airlines, Ford GoBike, Sports Basement]

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