Biking can be used as an escape from the world. That’s why Nick Reed, the co-owner of Bike Rite, often referred to as ‘Getupnride,’ started his business in 2015, simply as an escape from the crazy business aspect of his life. Reed shared his journey with students of his alma mater Xavier University of Louisiana on Feb. 13, to give insights to future rising business entrepreneurs. Reed encouraged students to build rapport with their peers, and urged them to make sure that they are networking and engaging with professors and the community.
“I built such a rapport with people because I do so much in the community to whereas they interact with me and already know what I have going on, business-wise,” Reed said.
The New Orleans native who graduated in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication said he built great relationships with people during his days in college. Reed said he was able to keep that energy going when he graduated and co-founded the start up in the midst of working a regular 9-to-5 job.
Nick co-founded the bike tours with Blake Owens, who was also a graduate of Xavier. He recalled that the two of them were very anxious and excited about this new activity that was going to bring people together to have a good time, whether that be with family or friends.
“I fought the business for the first 6 months because riding a bike was my outlet and therapy from the pressure I got from being a businessman,” Reed said.
The two co-owners started the tours with Walmart bikes but quickly learned and realized that they would need to invest in much better bikes, due to the demand surrounding this newly founded business.
Bike Rite hosts cycle tours weekly around downtown New Orleans. Every Tuesday night the business hosts a bike tour in the city, and uses social media to encourage social rides. They post where the bike tour will take place and at what time residents can gear up to take off.
The bike tours serve as a way for tourists and residents to explore downtown New Orleans from a different perspective that they don’t often get when riding in a car or walking down the streets. “We go to places like the Superdome steps, stuff that people see in the city on a normal but don’t realize it like they would on a bike. It gives people the experience of being a kid again riding through downtown New Orleans,” Reed said.
Reed’s bike tours helped him to segue to his second business venture that he co-owns called Bar Culture. His launched his second start up in October 2016, on 4033 Tulane Ave. The bar hosts a variety of events, from Taco Tuesdays to R&B Thursdays. Reed handles both of his businesses full time now, and although he has employees, he believes in making sure he is always present to guarantee a smoother run ship. A lot of his operations are handled in-house, he said, to ensure that things are done the way he and his co-owners expect them to be done.
His business tips resonated with students who currently manage their own startups or plan to do so after they graduate. “Reed mentioned how he learned to do everything his business requires in order to run smoothly, in case the people he hired aren’t able to perform that night,” said Mizani Ball, a Xavier mass communication major and entrepreneurship minor.
Reed’s talk was part of “Lunch with a ‘Trep,” a series of talks organized by Xavier’s Entrepreneurship Institute. It gives students the opportunity to receive real advice from a variety of businesspeople, from different entrepreneurial backgrounds.
“Xavier’s Entrepreneurship Institute strives to create a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among the Xavier community, and we accomplish this goal by inviting entrepreneurs to meet campus,” said Mark Quinn, an assistant professor who directs the Entrepreneurship program. “Lunch With a ‘Trep is an activity with the goal of reaching students who may have had no exposure to, or don’t have much understanding about entrepreneurship,” Quinn said.
Reed said he was glad to be able to come and give back to his alma mater, explaining how important it is for him to offer any guidance he can being that he was once in the same shoes as the students. “If we wouldn’t have gotten the knowledge we got from relationships, it would have been trial and error for next couple batches of bikes,” Reed said.