Baby Boomer Entrepreneurs Creating Baby Boomer Entrepreneurs

pics7rajxke-isiioncnkqDon DiCostanzo and Terry Sherry never expected to end up transforming the bicycle industry when they bought their first electric bikes nine years ago.

“All I wanted was to be able to ride a bike again,” says DiCostanzo. “I lived at the top of a hill and had stopped riding because I dreaded having to ride back up that hill on the way home.”

He bought an electric bike online and, although it turned out to be “a terrible, terrible piece of junk,” it got him up the hill. It also got him thinking.

“I bought six more electric bikes and had them all in my garage,” he remembers. “People would come over and ride because they had such a good time on them, but couldn’t find a place to buy one. I realized there was something there.”

In 2007, DiCostanzo opened a bike shop in Newport Beach, California, and his old friend, Terry, was one of his first customers. He bought two electric bikes so he could ride with his wife, who had sworn she would never ride a bike up the hill to their house again. The electric bikes changed everything.

“As soon as you get on the electric bike, you get it,” says Sherry. So when DiCostanzo asked him if he wanted to get into the business with him, he jumped onboard and their company was born.

Although neither knew anything about the industry, they knew what they liked.

“We went to a professional designer and said, ‘Look, we want to make some really cool looking bikes,'” explains DiCostanzo. “‘We want to make 1950s and ’60s beach cruisers like the ones we grew up with. We want to make a bike for us. For the baby boomers.”

That would end up being a smart business decision, seeing as the baby boomers are now in their 50s and 60s themselves — DiCostanzo is 57 and Sherry is 58 — and they welcome the opportunity to be active with a little help from the throttle.