BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Got an old Schwinn that needs rescuing from the back of your garage or from ending up in a landfill?
That's where Joe D'Urso steps in.
Last year, D'Urso quit his "miserable" job working in a restaurant and turned a side business of flipping bikes into a full-time occupation. That's when he started Shortbus Bicycles.
In essence what he does is breathe life back into miserable old bikes, often vintage ones like Schwinns and other steel-frame models.
The repair and rebuilding work is done at his home in Easton, or on location — the company will be a regular at the upcoming Black Rock Farmers Market season. In addition, D'Urso is looking to buy a school bus so he can rove through neighborhoods in Bridgeport and the surrounding communities.
Already his clientele are in New Haven, Milford and Bridgeport, all places he has lived over the past several years.
"Last summer it was in Milford by the beach and a lot of people bike around there," he said.
Before that he lived in a condo in Bridgeport where a loyal clientele base still brings in work.
"We want to be mobile so we can go around and provide the low-cost bike repair service to everyone who wants to get back on their bikes or who already ride," he said. 'We buy, sell, repair, restore and customize used bicycles. This is our way of reducing peoples' carbon footprint as well as their belt size and stress levels."
Among specialties are his ability to spruce up the old bikes. It prevents bicycles from entering the waste stream prematurely, which is the main reason D'Urso started the business.
He's been getting around on bikes his entire life and wants to impart that enthusiasm onto others, his second motivation for running the business. The idea to start Shortbus Bicycles came when he lived in Massachusetts and worked at a landfill.
"It was the town dump and someone came in with a nice, steel road bike frame. Everything was shot. The rims were bents. It wouldn't roll. I turned it into a bike for my girlfriend for her birthday. I had a friend who owned a bicycle shop in the town we lived in. I started using tools from him and started flipping bikes on my own," D'Urso said.
He moved back to Connecticut and continued adding customers.
"We have Blackrockers as customers and my bike was built in my old condo in Blackrock and has seen every inch of streets in the community," said D'Urso. "Rates and service are unparalleled in Fairfield County due to innovative overhead reduction strategies."
To contact D'Urso, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718-753-4569
Click here for the Facebook page.