Few apps have improved day to day life like Uber or Lyft. Hikes are no exception. Most trailruns & hikes are traditionally loops or out and back routes unless a drop off or car shuttle is arranged in advance. Uber / Lyft make more creative routes possible.
In recent trips in Seattle, Vancouver and San Francisco, I used services to drive me to interesting locations, so I could run back to my hotel. This helped me catch the sunrise and minimize running along busy streets. Closer to home, I recently ran a Bay Area Skyline to the Sea route at Sweeney Ridge & Mori Point GGNRA Parks. From my Pacific Ocean trailrun terminus, I took an uber back to my parked car in the Peninsula. I did not have the time or energy to backtrack to my car along the same route.
Although ride sharing services require less planning than car shuttles, consider these simple factors to make the most an Uber assisted trailrun.
1) Phone Battery Life – Listening to a podcast, taking pictures, and tracking a route on Strava can drain battery life. Start with a full battery charge or minimize use of apps on the run to ensure you have enough energy to hail a ride share for your return journey. Bring a battery charger for extra assurance.
2) Reliable Cell Coverage – Be confident that you have cell coverage at your destination. My recent Skyline to Sea route ended in Pacifica, CA which has good cell coverage. A similar, more remote Skyline to Sea route in Big Basin State Park ends at Waddell Beach near Santa Cruz which does not have cell phone coverage.
3) Ride Sharing Availability – Your destination may not have instant car availability. During a sunrise run in Seattle’s Discovery Park before work, I waited, waited, and waited for an uber to become available. While one eventually arrived, I fortunately budgeted enough time in schedule, so I was not late to my business meetings.
Enjoy the possibilities that an Uber / Lyft shuttle provide for your next hike and trailrun.