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Hi there,

My name is Marc, a 35yo dutch guy.

I was hoping anyone could give me some information/feedback on the following subject:-)

I plan to start up a (small) business around Chapala/Ajijic region and rent e-bikes. Recently i’ve visited Chapala a couple of times and apart from the fact that i personally love the place, believe that there are possibilities. I suppose here on the forum are quite a lot of members active who might be living in the region for whay much longer, and might have some knowhow or relevant information/tips?

Many thanks in advance,

Marc

 

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I agree with Justathought. Not only are the streets dilapidated, they are mostly made from cobblestone. Good vibrations...not. And to top it off, the cost of electricity is very high.

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And some of us live high up on hills, like I do at the top of the street, Juarez, in Ajijic. All of the roads leading down to town are very rough cobblestone streets, not great for bike riding.  I just don't see that many bikes out on the streets that I drive on. Maybe there are places in the  greater Chapala, Ajijic, Joco area where bikes might be a good alternative means of transportation. It's that I do not know where.

I wish you the best and hope you find a place that bikes might be a needed asset

 

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While not wishing  to knock the entrepreneural spirit, you are going to need a lot of luck, IMO, to make a go of a bike rental business in this location... even it it is an e-bike rental. Others have mentioned some of the reasons why. Another question is 'who is the intended target' of the rentals?  In the expat community here I don't think there is a handful of folks that would even want to, much less actually go out and bike.... and do it again and again. It's actually hard for most to even walk. 

If the target is 'younger' local Mexican Nationals I believe that population is either without the financial basis for such an expenditure or they are but have would have no interest after the first novel ride. Yes, there are plenty of Nationals who ride a bike (somehow) on these roads but it is a necessity to get to/from work. 

Another thing... I have an e-bike NOB and while they do make cycling easier for the older set on the straight-and-narrow, they are "tricky" to ride and adding 'trickiness' to navigating cobble stones and busy streets is not a formula for a pleasure ride. 

 

 

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Add to Rick's post, the new "bike lane" in Ajijic is filled with parked cars most of the day, making bike riders compete in the lane with cars and motorcycles. Pretty dangerous for older gringos to pleasure ride. 

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Marc,

In addition to the poor road conditions, bike riding is not as popular as it is in the Netherlands, and many other places.  It is also dangerous, due to narrow, rough streets, and many unlicensed and uninsured drivers, as well as the local concentration of geriatric drivers.  Some workers do ride bicycles because they cannot afford daily bus fares.  It is also risky to leave a bicycle unattended.

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20 hours ago, johanson said:

And some of us live high up on hills, like I do at the top of the street, Juarez, in Ajijic. All of the roads leading down to town are very rough cobblestone streets, not great for bike riding.  I just don't see that many bikes out on the streets that I drive on. Maybe there are places in the  greater Chapala, Ajijic, Joco area where bikes might be a good alternative means of transportation. It's that I do not know where.

I wish you the best and hope you find a place that bikes might be a needed asset

 

Hi mr Johanson, thanks for your feedback on this one, i will do some further investigation 

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