Stories from the Road: Using Zimride and RelayRides Together

Today’s Stories from the Road is from Zimrider Christa who shared her ZelayRide (Zimride + RelayRides) adventure on her blog. Please stay tuned to her blog and twitter for all her stories.

Father’s Day was coming up on my calendar and I knew that meant it was time to take a trip down to the Central Coast to visit my dad. I’ve been making trips like these every couple of months or so, and a while back I decided to try RelayRides as my mode of transportation.

During my first trip with RelayRides, I borrowed Caterina’s Prius, which had great gas mileage and drove very smoothly. Immediately I felt like I was doing something good for the environment by driving a Prius and borrowing a car from a neighbor rather than a rental company. But after attending a Collaborative Chats panel on car and ride-sharing, I knew I could take it a step further by using a ride-sharing service in conjunction with borrowing a car.

Enter my Zimride/RelayRides experiment. If you haven’t heard of Zimride, it’s a social network for matching individuals who have similar travel destinations and need a ride or are able to give a ride.

To list a ride, I signed up with my Facebook account, entered in where I was going, how much I would like to be paid, and a small description, and waited for the matches to pile in my inbox. I was surprised at how few matches I received in the first week, but by the time my ride came around, Zimride had matched someone to ride with me on the way down and two people to ride with me on my way back!

One might have expected the exchange to be awkward, but it was exactly the opposite! All three of the girls who rode with me were incredibly kind, sweet and easy going. All of the girls were on time when I picked them up, and by the end of the trip, I felt like I had made three new friends! The bonus was that all of the girls were really chatty, so the drive flew by!

Aside from making new friends and having company in the car, I was also able to offset a HUGE chunk of the cost of using RelayRides. I made $90 from driving 3 girls. I estimate that I could have covered the entire cost of RelayRides if I filled both of my cars for both trips!

I guess the lesson from all of this is that the sharing economy is not only good for our neighbors and our environment; it’s good for our wallets too. Getting creative with these services can help you save even more money and feel good about what you’re doing for the community too.

Thanks for sharing Christa! If you have a story that you want to share, please send your Zimride story from the road to!

Happy Travels,

Your Zimride Crew

Stories from the Road: Zimdad

We asked for Dads from the Zimride community to share stories of why they Zimride. Today we share Jose’s story from the road in honor of Father’s Day:

Every kid wants to spend time with their dad just as much as every dad
wants to spend time with their kid. Zimride made family time a regular
pastime for me despite a 400 mile gap. In order to be a better role
model and provide for my boys Diego and JJ, I decided to go back to
school. As a father, the Berkeley to Ventura County commute was
extremely important, yet the price of gas, time on the road, and the
excessive wear on my car made my trips difficult and less frequent as
I wanted.

Then one day I found a flyer on campus telling me that I could meet
new people and save on gas when driving down to LA. I was very excited to find out that not only could I commute more often because of
Zimride, but I was also proud that I was helping to reduce pollution
and traffic through an awesome rideshare program.

I’m a big fan of Zimride, because not only was I able to be closer to
my family, but also because I was also able to meet new people who I
still share a friendship with to this day. Zimride works to resolve so
many commuting challenges, gives you an opportunity to meet new
people, and helps to save the environment one Zimride at a time. Thank
you Zimride team!

Your fans,
Jose, JJ, and Diego

If you have a story that you want to share, please send your Zimride story from the road to!

Happy Father’s Day,

Your Zimride Crew

Driving with Dad — Stories from the Zimride Crew

After sharing our favorite pieces of advice from our Moms, we’re back to share great stories about Dad teaching us how to drive. Buckle up!

Paul, Account Manager: “While my Dad was a high school teacher, he taught driver’s education for a few summers. Anyone who’s ever been in a vehicle while my Dad’s been driving would be shocked to learn this fact. “How could this guy teach driver’s ed?!” Although he’s a perfectly skilled driver who’s averted disaster on more than one occasion, he’s still one of the most distracted drivers I’ve ever had the “pleasure” of riding with. And unfortunately for me (and my passengers), I’ve inherited all of it.”

Grayson, Data Scientist: “My Dad first taught me to drive when I was about 8 or 9 years old — he had this old dodge pickup that was stick shift. First, he’d have me sit right next to him while he drove but let me shift. After I got the hang of that I got to share the driver seat and steer — but only ever in parking lots and around the neighborhood.

When it finally came time to teach me to drive for real, my Dad would drive me down to the Idaho State Fairgrounds parking lot and we would practice.”

Zac, Director of Route Development :”My interest in driving began at a very young age.  From my carseat in the back, I would watch with fascination as my dad skillfully worked the clutch, gas, and brake of our family Datsun 210 (we only had a stick shift).  Back home, I would sit at the piano operating the three foot pedals, imagining the world flying by outside the living room window.  My Dad finally acquiesced  to my persistent requests to drive when I was 10 years old.  At first he let me reach my foot over from the front passenger seat to push on the gas pedal; but I wasn’t satisfied.  Soon he let me sit on his lap and steer; that was fun, but I wanted more.  Finally, when I was eleven years old, he pulled the car over when we were a mile or so from home.  He propped me up on some phone books (so I could reach the pedals and see over the wheel) and let me drive home.  My years of practicing at the piano paid off, and despite the rolling hills of Oakland, I was able to operate the clutch fairly smoothly.  Happy Father’s day to a Dad who has always helped me to realize my dreams, including the ones that aren’t officially licensed.”

Jane, Account Manager: “My sister and I normally favored my Mom as the go-to parent of choice for all requests, except driving. Dad was definitely the one to ask if you needed a ride to, or from, anywhere on the weekend and after hours: soccer, friend’s house, the movies.

When it came time to instruct his 15 year old daughter how to drive, Dad was definitely the preferred parent. My Mom would yell and hit the invisible air break secretly hidden in the passenger side foot well. Dad showed almost super-human patience. Dad, a civil engineer, had the ability to list off a series of instructions quickly, but in a very calm voice. His voice was never raised, and I remember him repeating his driving motto over in a monotone, “Okay, slow, slow, slow. Now stop.”

I recently asked him to teach me to drive again, but this time stick shift in a mint green retired Forest Service F-250. There’s nothing like cruising around the Oracle parking lot in Redwood City at 5 miles per hour to feel, I don’t know, humbled, like an awkward teen again.”

Erin, PR Manager: “I was a slow learner when it came to driving, much to the chagrin of my dear father. After passing the permit test with non-flying colors (meaning, I failed the first time), it was finally time to get behind the wheel with Dad. We lived in a residential neighborhood right near the corner of our street, so my first official move as a driver (short of pulling out of the driveway) was to make a left turn off of our street onto the next one. I slowly turned the wheel left…but apparently, it was way too slow, and I remember hearing my father say “turn, turn, turn!” and grabbing the wheel. The passenger side mirror gently crunched into our neighbor’s dumpster sitting out at the street, and detached from the car onto the ground. In that moment, I’m sure my father saw his life flash before his eyes, and we switched spots so he could drive the 50 yards back to our house. He did get out and pick up the mirror off the ground, and gave it to me later that day as a friendly fatherly reminder to drive safe. (He did eventually teach me how to drive, and I’m now a safe driver who can make left turns successfully. Thanks, Dad!)”

Harrison, Brand Jedi: “One of my earliest memories being in a car with my Father was witnessing his uncanny ability to drive without the use of his eyes! This wasn’t an everyday deal, only special occasions. We would be a few streets away from home when my sister and I would beg my Dad to close his eyes and drive. What we believed to be a superhero ability was really my Father squinting his right eye and keeping his left eye wide open. How was I supposed know?! I was five years old and rockin the back seat! When it came time for me to take the wheel, I remember him telling me I should always maintain a good vision of the road. Apparently some superhero traits aren’t hereditary.”

Happy Father’s Day Weekend to all you Zimriding Dads and MAJOR thank you to all those Zimdads (and Zimmoms) for being brave and teaching us the rules of the road.

Disclaimer: We’re all much better and safer drivers than when we were youngins except for Paul.

Your Zimride Crew