I don’t know about you… but my daily commute is by far the most tedious part of the day.
In today’s hectic, on-the-go routine, it seems like an awfully unproductive way to start and finish the day.
For one New York City commuter, though, just getting to and from work in one piece is an accomplishment! Especially since he dodges in and out of the city’s notorious traffic on a bike.
A heavy, cumbersome bike, too, which he says is akin to riding through syrup.
So like all good entrepreneurs, he innovated his way out of the problem…
The World’s Worst Bike?
As an avid cyclist, Jeff Guida was excited when New York City introduced its bike-share program.
But there was a rather major flaw: The bikes were terrible.
Guida explains, “After my very first ride, I felt like I was towing a trailer the whole way and the brakes were on. And it weighs 50 pounds, it’s got three speeds. To me, it feels like it’s twice as much work to go the same speed. And I didn’t want to arrive everywhere sweaty. I’m using this bike to commute places… what’s the point?”
But rather than give up and resort to riding the subway, Guida figured he’d juice up an otherwise arduous commute by adding some technology to the biking process.
And he made a major sacrifice to do it…
Add Some Electricity to Your Commute
In what can only be described as a “calling,” Guida quit his comfortable job as a Wall Street hedge fund analyst and spent a year developing ShareRoller.
It’s essentially a lightweight, portable engine in a box. But it packs an electrical punch that cranks up mere pedal power and turns a grueling slog through the city streets into faster, easier and more pleasurable experience.
With a background in electrical engineering, Guida designed ShareRoller in his apartment and created it on a 3-D printer.
The box attaches to the front of the bike, and the motor connects to the front wheel. A throttle locks around the handle, which allows the rider to control the speed. Guida says it’s set at an 18 mph maximum, with each battery pack containing enough juice to last 12 miles without pedaling.
Take a look at ShareRoller in action…
Out of the Comfort Zone… And into the Saddle
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Guida admits to being “terrified” at stepping out of his comfort zone and into the entrepreneurial world: “I left a lucrative field for one that may not be lucrative at all. But it’s something I really wanted to do.”
And the challenge now is to sell his invention.
He’s put ShareRoller on crowdfunding website, Kickstarter, in order to drum up interest and funding. And to sweeten the deal, he’s included LED lights and a USB power port in the ShareRoller kit.
But as an ex-hedge fund analyst, Guida is in a good position, since he’s able to tap his industry connections. He says that he already has a few investors interested in ShareRoller.
And the beauty of the system is that it’s also compatible with other bike-share programs in cities like London, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Montreal.
If he’s able to bring ShareRoller to market, Guida may just have taken the stress and sweat out of commuting by bike and – dare I say it – maybe injected some pleasure into an otherwise mundane routine.
Ahead of the tape,