Intro: Cameron

Intro: Cameron
Photo: Jared Harber

In August of 2022, I was fresh out of a relationship, sitting on a curb in Hawaii, nearly broke and very alone. I had two nights left on a friend's couch and $350 worth of airline miles on my Venture card. I called my cousin in Raleigh. He was probably having an otherwise pleasant Wednesday when his phone rang out of the blue and my voice crackled in from across the Pacific:

Hey man. Can I crash on your couch for a few weeks?

Um. Let me talk with my wife. I'll call you back in 5.

On the last Saturday in August, I flew into RDU with two suitcases and a bike - most of my worldly belongings. The following Monday, I started online grad school classes.

Raleigh is wonderful in the fall, was the first thing I realized. The second thing I realized was how the city really seems like fertile soil for ideas to grow. Maybe it's the trees lining the streets, maybe it's the university presence, maybe it was where I was at in life, probably a mix of those factors and more. I don't know how to explain it, other than the distinct feeling of possibility hanging in the crisp fall air as I coasted down a hill on my bike, which doubled as my car and only friend.

The following 16 months were chock-full of ups and downs, including a reuniting with the aforementioned lady friend (who at the time of writing is my fiance... you'll hear more about her very soon) and a whole lot of bike riding.

I initially wanted to host a criterium bike race in Raleigh, but quickly realized that the endeavor was a lot more complicated, difficult, and expensive than I thought it would be. The payoff wasn't there. I focused on training and racing, and managed to represent Raleigh well at the Intelligentsia Cup in Chicago. I got a few bags of Intelligentsia beans as podium prizes. Coffee and bikes are a great combination, I tell ya...

The grad school classes I mentioned earlier? Those were the first few courses of my online MBA from the University of Arizona. I am now a semester out from graduation, and itching to apply all that business knowledge to this project.

So it was almost convenient when I got laid off from the mind-numbing remote, corporate job that allowed me to spin the globe and move to Raleigh. Over were the days of me wiggling a mouse and making a couple thousand bucks per paycheck. I struggle with commitment issues, so I've always been scared of jumping into something I'm 1000% passionate about. Alas, here we are. My long term plan:

Phase I: Launch an online bicycle rental platform and collaborate with local businesses to begin offering bike rental experiences to both tourists and residents. This service will provide an affordable and enjoyable biking experience for anyone looking to have a fun day exploring on two wheels.

Phase II: Set up a physical bike rental store. This brick and mortar shop will double as a coffee shop through our partnership with The Left Hook Coffee. It is envisioned to be a pleasant spot to hang out and work, and act as a central meeting place for various community events and bike rides. Importantly, this store will function as the main interface and chief beneficiary of the online bike rental system from Phase I.

Phase III: Develop a tangible product: a GPS-equipped smart lock capable of transforming any bicycle into a rentable unit. This product, in combination with our existing rental software, will form a scalable solution that could enable nonprofit organizations throughout the country to provide high-quality bicycle rental services.

Current progress as of writing: I have ordered the first two bikes, State Bicycle Co Klunkers, which will be hosted out of The Store. I have partnered with The Left Hook Coffee and Oakwood Race Labs to give some cool perks to our paying subscribers. You can sign up at the bottom of this page, if you so desire.

The way forward: I am applying for the NC IDEA SEED grant, hosting an investor dinner on Leap Day (!) at The Store and continuing to meet with fellow business owners, mentors, designers of various disciplines, and trusted teammates, all of whom are helping me push this thing towards the goal.

It will take some time to realize the vision, but we are on the path now. Please fasten your seatbelts :)

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