George Mazza is the owner of Sweet Rides, an electric bicycle rental service. For the past year, Sweet Rides has been offering visitors and residents a unique way to experience the Outer Banks. To take your own Sweet Ride, you can book a bike online and George will deliver a two-wheeler right to you (he’ll even pick it up after you’re done).
Have you always lived in Currituck or did you relocate here?
I grew up on the Outer Banks and am very grateful to call it my home.
If you moved here, what was it about Currituck County that most appealed to you?
The natural beauty present among the whole island is the most obvious appeal. I believe the Outer Banks offers a sense of peace that is rich in wildlife and extraordinarily great people who understand the value of having a space where they can fully relax and appreciate the beauty surrounding them.
Do you remember the moment you decided to start your own business?
I wanted to buy an electric bike to get around the Outer Banks for a few reasons. One was to make short trips without firing up the controlled explosion under the hood of my SUV. Another was to alter my relationship to transportation on the Outer Banks in a way that was more enjoyable and still just as efficient.
Enjoying the natural beauty the island has to offer instead of trudging along in heavy traffic was enough to shift my perspective. As a person who takes Route 12 and drives under the speed limit, I'm always trying to cultivate a "don't be in a hurry" lifestyle that the environment encourages you to adopt here.
The moment I was sold was when I took my first test ride and realized that a little help goes a long way. You can ride further, see more, save time and energy and just have a more comprehensive experience at your calling. It was a quietly exhilarating experience that blew my mind.
What's the best part about running a business in Currituck County?
People care about the area and look out for each other. It's a pleasure to work with people in the county. From the county administrators and law enforcement to the people in service industries working 60-80 hour weeks.
Everyone looks out for each other and wants to give visitors a great experience through selfless service and appreciation. The support from the community can be overwhelming and it deserves to be emphasized.
What's the hardest part about owning a business in Currituck County?
The hardest part is getting the word out. People don't know about electric bikes and it's easy for some people to dismiss them.
The response we get from people when they are finished riding is all we need to continue with the hard work. At the end of the day, relying on word of mouth is the hardest part but it's also the most meaningful in its ability to sustain us.
What advice would you give to someone interested in starting a business in Currituck County?
If you’re providing a service for people that they will enjoy and it makes people's lives better, than the best advice I could give is to just do it.
What do you most want people (in Currituck County and beyond) to know about you and your business?
After you're done riding our electric bikes and your intimate, exploration of the Outer Banks is complete, we know you will always remember the "Sweet Ride."
This Currituck Small Business Spotlight first appeared in COAST OBX.
You can learn more about Sweet Rides online at www.rideobx.com
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