I posted a question a few months ago about whether to rent bikes or join an organized tour. Thanks to those that convinced me we should rent bikes instead of paying for a tour. I am happy to report that we rented bikes on our own and didn't die or get lost or crash! :)
We rented from Eric Popelier, which I think is in the RS book as a recomendation. I think though, that my husband looked up bike rentals on Yelp though and read reviews before we rented.
Anways, we rented the bikes after climbing the Belfry. We decided to ride out to Damme. Easy ride once we found our way to the canal. We rode out there and around the town before having lunch. On the way, we saw a shepherd and his dogs herding sheep by the windmill in Damme - it was a highlight of our ride that morning!
We rode back to Bruges and all around town hitting some sites via bike. The streets in Bruges were easy to navigate even with the cobbles, cars, buses, bikes and people. I was somewhat surprised at how easy it was.
As for the bikes themselves, I liked the bike a lot but my tall husband (6-5) hated the bike since it didn't fit him well. The guy renting was quick and efficient and dropping off was simple. One thing we loved about the bike was the locking mechanism to prevent theft. Literally, you turn a key and it locks the chain/pedals so it can't be used. It was nice to not have to tote around a cable and lock.
Thanks again to everyone that reassured me that it was simple and easy to rent bikes and navigate Bruges and the road to Damme!