1×10: Marty Epstein, Marty’s Reliable Cycle, Gran Fondo NJ

Welcome to 1×10, where we ask 1 inspiring human 10 questions about how they are using cycling as a force for good. Read on to learn about Marty Epstein, founder of Marty’s Reliable Cycle in 1978 and Gran Fondo NJ (rated one of the top 3 Gran Fondos in the U.S.) in 2011. Rebecca Feldman, via Instagram, enthusiastically recommended Marty as someone I needed to interview for the blog. Marty is a legend in the East Coast cycling world and has been fighting metastatic prostate cancer for a number of years now. He’s a truly remarkable person (read this CBS article here). I spoke to him briefly on the phone while he was in the middle of receiving treatment and he was gracious enough to respond and do a 1×10 interview. It was short but I wanted to be true to his responses. Read on to learn more about a huge hearted legend in the cycling world.

1. How / why did you fall in love with cycling?

My store motto is “Saving the World with Bikes.” I believe that is all about the bike. It is a great way to exercise at your own level, it creates a sense of community and most important bikes are fun.

“My store motto is “Saving the World with Bikes.”

2. Favorite bike?

Trek Super Commuter 7 E bike is my next coveted ride.

3. What’s the most memorable ride you’ve done, and what happened?

I rode in RAGBRAI from 1997-2002. I also rode the Longest Day in NJ – 213 miles in one day two times. Did it around 4 years ago.

4. Who do you admire in the cycling world?

John Burke owner of Trek Bikes.

5. Top tip for a new rider, or a cyclist about to take on a new challenge?

Take your time to get properly trained and buy a fit to make sure you are properly set up. That is for the enthusiast. Everyone else embrace the ride and enjoy it.

“Everyone else embrace the ride and enjoy it.”

6. Favorite trend or innovation in cycling?

Technology of bikes and components. New categories of bikes: Fat Bikes, Gravel bikes, disc brake equipped road bikes.

7. What are you doing to use cycling as a force for good?

I am a Trek Legend dealer; John Burke says I do more advocacy work locally, state wide and nationally. I just won the Advocate of the Year award from the New Jersey Bike Walk Coalition. I advocate cycling accessibility both on road and off road. The more opportunities to ride, the more people will use their bikes.

“John Burke says I do more advocacy work locally, state wide and nationally.”

8. Thinking about the work you’re doing, what do you see as the potential change for people or the planet? If you are successful, what impact will you have?

The power of the bike helps reduce congestion and pollution. It keeps people happy and healthy. The bike creates peace and harmony in the world.

“The bike creates peace and harmony in the world.”

9. What’s your biggest challenge/obstacle to success?

None. Just keep up the work!

10. How can people help? Where can they learn more about your work?

Join People for Bikes; get involved on a local level.

Marty Epstein is the founder of Marty’s Reliable Cycle and the Gran Fondo NJ. He has been a huge figure in the East Coast cycling scene for the last 40 years and has been a force for good. More recently, he has been active in using cycling events (including the Gran Fondo NJ) to raise funds to help fight cancer for Sloan Kettering through @cycleforsurvival and #cycleforsurival. You can also follow Marty’s Reliable Bicycles on Instagram here.

Edited by John Kim. When he’s not out for a ride, John uses his expertise in Corporate Social Responsibility to help companies do well by doing good. Find him at virtcyc@gmail.com or VirtCyc on twitter or instagram.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Chris Park says:

    “It keeps people happy and healthy.” What could be better!?


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