Anyone used Uber or Lyft?

Has anyone used a ride sharing service for an point A to B paddle? I’m not thinking they will take my boat back to the put-in but I was wondering about using them to get me there. I could lock up my boat and Uber back to my vehicle. Just thinking out loud and curious…

I used Uber once and it was a good experience.

I’ve often wondered about doing something similar but with a bike. Drop your boat and gear at the put in. Drive to the end (with your bike onboard), and park at the take out. Ride your bike back to the start and lock it up. Paddle downstream.

Of course, linear trips always work so much better with a group of people. Hence, I almost always do loop trips.

I use Uber fairly often. I find them competitively priced, cleaner than standard taxi cabs and the drivers are more apt to engage in meaningful conversation if you so desire.

Regarding the use of bikes……….In the ‘70’s, ‘80’s and ‘90’s I flew hang gliders at Chelan. We were always trying to get the longest cross-country flight so would typically fly easterly towards Idaho. We would often land in a wheat field near highway 172 or 17. Often, we didn’t have ground support so our plan for getting back to Chelan was to hitchhike. If you got to Highway 2 there was plenty of traffic and it was not too hard hitching a ride in the right general direction. You would usually intersect Highway 2 at Hartline, about 45 miles from launch. If you sunk out in the first 35 or 40 miles you were hitchhiking on highways that nobody drove on. Maybe one car per hour. Walking for hours was standard, spending the night in a wheat field was a reality that you prepared for.

One friend swore that he would never spend another night out on the flats so he went to Goodwill and bought several beater bicycles that he stashed out along 17 and 172. I bet most of them are still out there.


I have used Lyft alot. Also my adult sons use Lyft and uber a lot as they travel extensively and live in San Francisco and Portland where sometimes it’s just not real practical or economical to drive to events and park etc. I have had very good luck with Lyft and very bad experiences with Uber drivers, I suspect a good percentage of them have criminal records. My sons pointed out that you can get your battery jumped by a lyft driver, and lyft has a feature where you can order a special vehicle for large loads, kids with car seats, and as a friend pointed out you can get a lyft car with a surfboard rack. Not sure that feature works outside of SOCAL.

@SeaDart said:
I have had very good luck with Lyft and very bad experiences with Uber drivers, I suspect a good percentage of them have criminal records

Holy Cow! This is really good info to have as it conflicts with everything I have personally experienced. Can you expand on the bad experiences with Uber? Folks need to know in order to make informed choices.


I’ve used a taxi for a shuttle once. Was for a sea kayak day trip from La Jolla to Mission Bay in San Diego. Worked fine.

Living in the greater NYC metropolitan area I have used Uber quite a bit, although never to support my kayaking. The Uber drivers I have met have all been nice people, mostly immigrants just looking to support themselves or as a second, part-time job. I have never had anything but positive experiences.

I’ve used Uber about twenty times and it’s always been a good experience, even the one time in Cape Town when the Uber never came, but charged me for it anyways. I had to order a 2nd Uber, and Uber was very quick to credit my account for the one that didn’t show up. I have used Uber to shuttle me on hikes, but never while boating.

One thing you need to check is whether Uber operates in the area you want to be shuttled. They do not operate everywhere.

I have done bike shuttles a number of times. In June, I paddled Oil Creek. Conveniently, there’s a rail-to-trail right next to the Creek. Many rail-to-trails run right next to waterways, and these work beautifully for bike shuttles. Of course, highways work fine, too. Fifteen years ago I set a bike shuttle to go from East Outlet to West Outlet (Moosehead). My plan was to go down West Outlet and then pole and paddle up East Outlet. I bit off more than I could do. Out of time, I had to abandon the trip about half way up East Outlet. I was walking out a dirt road and stuck my thumb out to the first pick-up that came by. They drove me to where I stashed my bike. I’d dragged my boat up a bunch of rapids and was pretty whipped. The bike ride back to my truck was painful. So, if you are bike shuttling, save some energy for the ride.

I have hitchhiked for shuttles, too. Wear your PFD and carry your paddle, and you won’t have to wait long to get a ride.


Bike shuttle - we did that once also. But not a true shuttle, but because the area we launched from was day use and we wanted to do an overnighter. So we unloaded gear, drove cars out to an area we could leave them overnight (was abut 3 miles away) and biked back. Stashed bikes in the bushes. Next day wehn we returned, biked back to get cars and come back for boats and gear.

This as Big Sur, CA, so no cell phone or internet in most areas, so calling a taxi or ordering an Uber would not work (not that Ubers really existed 6-7 years ago when we did this).

Uber and Lyft don’t exist in Northern Michigan. Downstate, yes - but not up here.

I have only tried uber a bit, which seemed to work ok. They more recently have gotten coverage by lyft locally.
I was told by a guy who drives for both that lyft reimburses a little better. Purely anecdotal and heck only knows if it goes to how the drivers act. For the most part the drivers for these services will take any additional income.

I found it very difficult to get around in San Francisco w/o these services. Yeah they have a good public transport system, but there are directions where the diff between uber and mass transit is an,hour. And while driving is ok in the city, parking is absolutely impossible. No wonder they are doing so well in CA.

For my last job I traveled a lot and used uber and lyft a lot.

Both are a hell of a lot better than a taxi service (no wonder why they are going away).

Some drivers are better than others, but I never had a problem with either service. One thing to note, just because Uber or Lyft is operating in your area does not mean a driver will be available. I had to go to the airport sometimes at 3:30-4am monday morning and there wasnt always an uber driving in my area. That only happened once or twice, but if your proposed route is off the beaten path, you may have some trouble finding a car operating in your area at the time you need it. just something to consider.