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December 19th, 2017
By Lisa Hallo
Greenville B-Cycle is a partnership between Upstate Forever and the Greenville Health System. With ten bike stations, the system provides community members and visitors an active and affordable way to get around downtown Greenville. Recently, I sat down with Eric Stein, a professional chef, entrepreneur, and avid Greenville B-Cycle user to find out how the bikeshare program fits into his daily life.
Lisa: Thanks for meeting with me, Eric! Can you tell me a little bit about your background?
Eric: I moved to the Upstate in July — I’m originally from Rhode Island. I have a culinary degree and being a chef, it’s easy to move around. I taught at Johnson and Wales for five years in Denver, as well as a culinary school in Chicago. Most recently I was in Washington D.C.
Lisa: Is Greenville B-Cycle the first bikeshare program you’ve used?
Eric: I was familiar with bikeshare programs but I hadn’t really used the ones in larger cities. For me it provides a low-cost, low-maintenance, easy way to have a bike and to get around.
Lisa: And how does Greenville B-Cycle fit into your daily life?
Eric: I use it primarily for short rides to work and as part of my gym routine. I live downtown in the West End and work part-time at Caviar + Bananas, so it’s just a quick trip to ONE Plaza. The longer rides I do are primarily for health; 20 minutes out to the Swamp Rabbit Café or the zoo and then back. The library station is also super convenient because I’ve been using the library to go do work. You just shoot down there on the bike and hook it into the station — it’s really easy. You can get really anywhere within the hour window!
Lisa: How would you promote Greenville B-Cycle to a friend?
Eric: I’d say if you travel around downtown it’s a great transportation option. I moved here without a bike and didn’t want to invest in one yet. With B-Cycle I don’t have to worry about parking a bike and locking up. If you need transportation and you live downtown, it’s just super easy. It’s simple, it’s convenient, and it’s affordable.
Lisa: So having lived here for five months, what do you think of the Upstate?
Eric: I love it! I lived in Chicago for five years but it just didn’t really catch my heart. After that I took a job in DC that wasn’t a good fit. I’d been looking for a good place to start my business, which is called Slush Buddies and features gourmet frozen desserts. A friend of mine said “Hey, would you move to Greenville?” So I googled Greenville and its food scene, and saw that HUSK was coming, and I thought, “Well if Sean Brock is coming, there must be something really going on!”
Anyway, I took a drive down for a visit and got an Air BnB for four days. Everyone was so friendly! The climate is great and everyone is super welcoming. The entrepreneur community is really thriving; they’re helpful people who really want you to succeed, there are lots of new businesses coming in, there’s money in tourism coming in. I’m excited to grow a business here and I’m very happy to have moved here.