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New bike shop planned for Greenport has an E-twist

A new bike shop is coming to the Village of Greenport — but its wares are a little different from what might be expected.

Shop owner Kathy Lofrese plans to sell and rent electric bicycles from her new business, NoFo Bikes at 310 Front St.. The shop will offer regular bicycles, too. Ms. Lofrese said e-bikes tend to sell well with older demographics, which Greenport has; according to census data, more than 31% of residents in the Town of Southold are over 65.

“Our family, whenever we would go on vacations, we would always go on bike tours. And the electric bikes were great, because we didn’t have to worry about hills and getting too tired and holding up everybody else, you know,” said Ms. Lofrese, a mother of six. “It was just so much fun. You were able to go places and see things that you wouldn’t be able to in a car. So I always said my next thing was going to be opening an electric bike shop.”

Ms. Lofrese, who has worked as a building inspector for Breezy Point Cooperative in the Rockaways, said she doesn’t want to work in an office anymore. “I want to get out and do things outdoors and stuff. So this is perfect for that,” she said.

She hopes to run bike tours as well. She said she’s already spoken to people at the historical society in Greenport about adding an educational factor. “I love getting a little exercise and learning something at the same time,” she said. “I’m going to try to figure out a nice little tour that would be historical and where you would learn things about Greenport.”

She clarified that tours would not run on Front Street, which has heavy pedestrian traffic. She plans to use back roads and is contemplating a route on Shelter Island.

“That’s still a work in progress. We’re still trying to figure that out. But I really, really want to do that. That’s one of the things that’s really important to me,” she said.

Ms. Lofrese only recently ordered bikes for her shop. She had been waiting for Planning Board approval of site development plans, which came last Thursday. All the e-bikes, which offer pedal-assistance, are custom-made, she said. “If you’re really interested in getting

in a workout, then you would not use the pedal assist. And if you have a bad knee, and you want the bike to do all the laborious work, then you can adjust with throttle how much the pedal assist is used and how much you use,” Ms. Lofrese said.

She’s aiming to open NoFo Bikes in June.

“It’s a really fun thing to try. Everybody should try it, and if you like it, then buy it. With the price of gas nowadays, if you have an electric bike, you could use it to do a lot of your errands. You could go to the bank, the drug store, and do all that stuff and not have to use gas, and just use your bike,” she added.

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