That's what Josh Zawacki figured when his friend Alex Picca offered to sell him his stake in a seven-year-old Ridgewood shop while the two were working in another one of Picca’s shops, Bike Slug in Bed-Stuy.
So Zawacki bought the shop at 70-08 60th Street in March 2017 from Picca and joined co-owner Tianna Meilinger, the creator of Vaya messenger bags, and renamed it Joyride Bikes.
“I really like it over here,” he said. “My favorite part about owning this bike shop has to be the people and the local flavor. I really like the neighborhood.”
Meilinger was happy to welcome Zawacki as business partner. She knew that running a business by yourself is a lot of work, especially with a baby on the way.
“It has been great for both of us to share the store because we each bring in customers and share costs,’ she said about working with Josh. “It is sometimes hard for small businesses to shoulder all of the weight of running a retail shop, but sharing allows us to do what we love and keep our expenses lower.”
Joyride offers several different types of new and used bikes, many well-equipped for an urban setting, and accessories such as a pumps, lights and bells. They also repair bikes, and they still sell Meilinger's popular Vaya bags.
If you’re a first time urban cyclist, Zawacki recommends a single speed Jamis due to the low maintenance and resistance to the elements.
“I try to offer services to people that come in and do what we can,” Zawacki said. “If someone comes in for air and they need other things, I try to help out and do all that stuff without charging.”
Before buying Joyride, Zawacki considered starting a bike rental company. The bikes would be in a warehouse, and when someone requested on it would be delivered to them.
“It was a cool idea, but it just wasn’t right,” he said.
The Astoria resident cycles 20 miles roundtrip every day to Ridgewood, and thinks cycling has many benefits, including less pollution and traffic congestion.
“I find that people that cycle regularly to work seem to at least enjoy their commutes,” he said. “So if you're starting your day in a positive way you feel good about something you’ve done before you’ve even gotten to work and that’s a huge plus.”
Joyride Bikes is open weekdays from noon to 8 p.m., 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.