Inside a small warehouse in South Miami’s industrial district, Andres Barreda lovingly tinkers away with castoff bicycles.
He plucks them from garages sales, discovers them at flea markets and saves them from dumpsters.
They look like twisted bits of metal and deflated rubber. But Barreda, who describes his passion for cycling as “crazy,” sees each as a restoration job waiting to happen.
“I want to make it where everyone can ride,” said Barreda, 47.
Barreda has ridden in Spain, Amsterdam and other places around the world. Recycled bike shops seem to be common everywhere else, but he couldn’t find anything similar in South Florida. So he opened the Miami Recycle Bike Shop opened earlier this month. Barreda’s wife, Cindy, said they chose South Miami because of its central location and “laid back” environment.
The shop is an open warehouse with rows of used, vintage and custom bikes. Random parts — chains, inner tubes and more — hang from the walls alongside tools.
Customers can choose their parts and create their own bike, right down to the paint color. The shop also offers repairs and loaners for those who can’t be without their bike while it gets fixed.
With prices from $25, Barreda said he hopes to create more cyclists by removing financial barriers. New bikes can run into the thousands of dollars. He also wants to cater commuters who use their bike everyday between home, work and the grocery store.
“By recycling things that have already been produced it helps bring the cost tremendously down, and I’m also helping the environment.”
Cindy Barreda said they hope the business will be more than a shop by also creating community bonds. The bay door is always open to people who need to borrow a tool or get tips on repairs.
“We want to build relationships,” she said. “We want kids to come and say, ‘This happened to my bike. Can you fix it?’ ”