Stories Lived

Born to Build Bikes **Past Passion Winner**

Born to Build Bikes, a short documentary film, tells the story of bicycle designer Todd Shusterman. At the age of 7, Todd received a bicycle for Christmas and assembled it himself. This experience sparked a lifelong passion for bicycle mechanics and building. His Denver-based company, DaVinci Designs, is named for the innovative spirit and inventive work of Leonardo DaVinci. Todd embodies this spirit every day when creating bicycles from the ground up. He is involved in the entire process, from design to manufacturing, and each bicycle comes from a place of integrity and passion for the craft. DaVinci Designs is made of up a team of what Todd calls “bike nerds,” and each person brings a singular talent and dimension to the building process. They are welders, engineers, and artists, with the shared mission of creating the most well-crafted bicycles possible. DaVinci’s tandem bicycles are especially unique. In the early 1990’s, Todd patented a drive train for his tandem bicycles, which allows both riders to coast independently.

Born to Build Bikes is the first in a series of films entitled “People Who Love What They Do.”  The series focuses on people who devote time and energy into activities that they are passionate about. The goal of the series is to inspire viewers to identify what they love and make it a daily part of their lives. Todd’s innate love of bicycles led to a lifelong career and successful business, and his story aligns itself perfectly with the ideals of this film series.


About the Filmmaker
Submitted by Jessica Markowitz

Jessica Markowitz is an adventure photographer and filmmaker. She divides her time between guiding sea kayaking expeditions in Southeast Alaska and freelance film work in Denver, Colorado. Her previous work focuses on environmental awareness and lifestyle narratives. Her newest series, “People Who Love What They Do,” was inspired by her interest in storytelling and documentary filmmaking.

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