Team Marty’s Wins the Highlands Gran Fondo

This past weekend Team Marty’s competed in the Giordana Gran Fondo
National Series in Butler NJ with hopes of a team win as well as putting
one of us on the top step of the podium for the overall.  The team
roster included Joe Petillo, Stefan Tessoun, Dan Montgomery and  Victor
Schepisi. Despite some nasty weather the plan was executed perfectly. Team Marty’s
was awarded first place in the Team Category, Dan Montgomery second place in the
Men’s Category and Victor Schepisi as the 2016 Highlands Gran Fondo
Champion

 

Next stop Gran Fondo NJ Sept 11 2016.

The Future is Here – Electric Bicycles!

e-bike

Electric bicycles (E-Bikes) offer the same awesome benefits as traditional pedal only bicycles. This includes cost savings if used for transportation, improved health and an ability to connect with your local community easily.

The extra benefit is improved efficiency in climbing hills or fighting the wind and a combined ability to increase the range of riding.

The cost of running an electric bicycle is significantly less in fuel costs than a car. E-bikes also do not increase localized pollution like cars and motorcycles. E-bikes can help solve environmental issues. They will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and traffic congestion.

E-Bikes will also enable more people to exercise which reduce the obesity issues in America. E-Bikes enable people who are unsure of their abilities to make the hills and the distance to have the confidence that they can finish their rides.

Bosh System

The electric bikes currently being offered by Trek Bicycles are a new, advanced generation of bikes. The motors, battery technology and design are industry leading. Trek e-bikes are equipped with either Shimano Steps or Bosch mid motor driven power sources. The bikes are all pedal assist. As you pedal, the assist comes into play depending upon the level that have chosen.  There are no throttles. Shifting and e-bike controls  are easily used and you never have to let go of the handlebars. There is a very easily read control gauge on the handlebars which tells you all the information needed to know about your speed and other riding functions as well as the e-bike specific functions.  Pedal assist enables the rider to have more fun on their bikes and gives the rider an assist when needed.

The wheels are light weight yet strong with durable tires. The braking is hydraulic disc brakes which are very powerful and reliable.

Battery technology has increased dramatically in the past few years. They batteries are lithion ion batteries with 400 watts of power. The range is dependent upon how much effort  is used but the range of one charge can be over 50 miles. The charging takes on 4 hours. Battery charging can be done by plugging into an ordinary household outlet. The speed of a Trek e-bike, because it is pedal assisted, various but it can reach speeds upward of 20 MPH. The total weight of the bikes has also greatly decreased and the bike looks, rides and feels like an regular bicycle.

FeatureAsset_315393_mid_motor_placement (1) FeatureAsset_315394_intuitive_controls

The use of bicycles and e-bikes is somewhat dependent upon existence of safer, more easily accessible and destination driven and friendly bicycles lanes and dedicated paths.

The US Congress just authorized the FAST Act (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) which will dedicate $4 Billion to be spent in the US on bicycle and pedestrian projects. The best part of this act is that is authorized for 5 years will funds being available each year. This will enable cities and municipalities to plan and execute projects. The net result will be that there will be many more safer and appealing opportunities for people to ride and commute on their e-bikes and bicycles.

In an urban and suburban  setting, the more dedicated bicycle lanes that exist, the more people will feel safer and compelled to use alternative means of transportation for short term commuting. This is the future for many of the upcoming generations of people in the US. Couple this new infrastructure with the desire for a higher level of fitness, the future of the E-bike is bright.

Marty Epstein – Owner of Marty’s Reliable Cycle

Vic Destroys the NJ State Championship MTB Race!

Team Marty’s Victor Schepisi had a great weekend of racing. He won the NJ State Championship Cat 1 title at  The Rumble in the Jungle H2H XC MTB race #3.   Here’s a quick recap.

Jungle Habitat is known for punchy climbs, rocks and roots and with the rain the night before I knew I had a chance to win if I could stay upright.  The start was a bit hectic but once the race settled down I knew I had to attack. I found an opportunity to pass, dropped the hammer and never looked back.  The race was nearly two hours of pure torture with my avg HR reading 175 bpm.   The last 15 minutes was the hardest mentally being so much can go wrong in a race with a flat or mechanical but my Trek Superfly FS didn’t miss a beat.  It took me 2 years of hard work to win one of these races. I was close many times, but this weekend it all came together.

vicracevicpodiumchampNice work Vic!

Jesse Fat Bikes the Shenandoah 100 MTB Race!

 

A few weeks ago an anonymous friend and I headed down to the Stokesville Campground in Stokesville VA for the Shenandoah Mountain 100. For those who are unfamiliar, the SM100 is a 100 mile MTN bike race with about 12,000 feet of climbing through the Shenandoah mountain range in VA.

The race took place on the Sunday over Labor Day. My companion and I arrived on Saturday evening in the college town of Harrisonburg VA dropped our stuff off at the hotel and hit the local Outback Steakhouse.  We want to bed early for our 4:30am wake up call and dreamed of climbing mountains all night.

In the darkness of the morning we were greeted with a surprisingly warm temperature which was encouraging for the day to come. On the 30 min drive to the campground we witnessed what legend has told. Jeremiah Bishop, an endurance MTN bike pro who is training for an event called “The Munga” in South Africa (look it up) was riding to the SM100 from Harrisonburg.  I yelled some encouraging words out the window to him, he was running front and rear lights as it was complete darkness out on the countryside. Jeremiah is a bad mofo.
Profile
Back to the race: My buddy and I were riding our matching Borealis Yampa fat bikes decked out with HED carbon wheels and weighing in at an incredible 23 lbs!  We didn’t see any other fat bikes out there, but I heard that there were at least 2 others. The others could not have been as cool as ours 🙂

We lined up according to where we believed we would finish which was at the 11 hour mark. This was a bit of a mistake as after about 25 minutes into the race we hit the first section of single track and BAMM, there was a huge traffic jam. With 600 racers out on the course and most of them in front of us we had a long walk ahead of us which caused a big delay in our overall time.  I wasn’t too concerned because for me this was just a long day of training, but it was very boring walking through stuff I knew I could ride. On the bright side I met some nice people.

After I was able to get back on the bike, I pedaled at a very steady pace and didn’t stop this practice all day long. I passed people all day long, kept my rest stops simple and quick (with the awesome volunteers this was made much easier), and had a really really awesome race!

The course is absolutely beautiful, the volunteers amazing, and the scene is just plain old fun. I wound up finishing in 11 hours and 3 seconds or something like that. I feel as though without the traffic jams I would have had about a 10:15 finish time. I was extremely excited to finish in my predicted time, and after I finished I got to take an old school bath in the creek by the campground.

My companion and I both have small children at home so we decided to drive straight home after the race despite being very tired. We got some food, at a disgusting all you can eat Buffett which really hit the spot as at this point the owners of the buffet lost some money on us for sure.

It was a bit crazy for us to attempt this drive, but we’re tough dudes so we went for it. We basically drove for an hour and slept for an hour all night long and arrived in NJ at 5 am the next morning. It was a long haul after another long haul on the bike but as afore mentioned, we are a couple of bad ass dudes so it was not a big deal.

New Jersey State Criterium

I don’t usually write race reports because who wants to hear about how I got 5th.  On Sunday I won the State Criterium Cat 3 race, so here comes a very brief race report.

Epic Aero Beard

Epic Aero Beard

On the start line there was about 80+ guys. All the cat 3 dudes came out of the wood work for this one. I was a little nervous when I heard someone say it was their first race of the season. I did my best to stay away from this one as he wobbled around the course.

So this race was a criterium or crit. Basically a crit is a bike race that consists of many short laps around a city block, or more often a business campus. One lap can be anywhere from a half mile to about a mile and a half.

This particular race was a mile circuit; set for an hour and I think it was 26-27 laps. As the race goes on people that fall off the back of the main group get pulled so they aren’t in the way of the group when it comes around. Getting dropped sucks.

Ok, back to the race. There were some early attacks and people were having some fun. I made a big move up the little hill and through the last left turn. I wanted to see how that turn handled at high speed. My plan was to execute this move if the race stayed together and came down to a sprint. Nobody came with me when I jumped, so I held it for a lap and went back into the fold.

There were countless moves, although no significant breaks developed. I had a feeling somone was going to make a big move in the second half of the race in an attempt to breakaway from the field. Most often people who know they can put in big 20min efforts will attempt to get away at this point. The field will sometimes let something go because they get tired and its kinda far from the end of the race.  Sometimes it sticks, but try it too close to the end of the race and the break is getting chased down.

Anyway, some guys went up the road and the race got strung out. I was happy because when the race goes fast it’s usaly safer. I was holding tight and not too sure if the race would stay together. Without a team working for me I just have to hope the other guys unknowingly help me out. Don’t get me wrong, I like going up the road, but when nobody goes with me and without a team I have to pick and choose my battles, and get lucky.

On the last lap, just in case the riders aren’t paying attention to the lap cards, the officials ring a bell. With one lap to go I was feeling good and riding in 20th position I think. We went around the back side of the course and got to the little hill. The right side of the road was open so I ripped past the field just before the wave of riders crashed to the right side. I ripped through the last hard left turn. I knew that I had gaped the field and the last little chicane was going to have them all searching for a line. I just went straight through with my legs burning and my heart going 200bps. My legs stopped wanting to turn over and they were hot on my tail.

I made to the line just in time. ericstatecritericstatecrit2

It was a good day.

Bikes. Bands. Beer

Bike Walk Town’s annual Bikes.Bands.Beer celebration is on Saturday, March 29 at Sona 13. Tickets are available through Friday at The Grapeful Palate, at the corner of South Street and Elm, Marty’s Reliable Cycle on Speedwell and online at Brown Paper Tickets. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, and include:

Four great local bands: Eyeswan,Disseriph, Hidden Cabins andLifeguard Nights
Local beer from Morris County brewery, Ramstein Beer
Some great giveaways
2014 Membership in Bike Walk Town
Great time with people who think bikes are good things

By becoming a member, you make Morristown a better place by supporting our advocacy efforts, our bike education program and upcoming bicycle parking campaign and get good deals at great local Morristown businesses in our new Bike.Walk.Here program.

Our Bikes.Bands.Beer party starts with a bike ride from the Morristown Green at 4pm, and the party will kickoff at 5pm at Sona 13.

Many thanks to The Grapeful Palate, for sponsoring our Bikes.Bands.Beer party and for having a great

selection of craft beers and wine, a happy and helpful attitude and for their support in making Morristown a great town for walking and biking.
BikesBandsBeer 2014 Flier

Helping out at Gran Fondo NJ

The Gran Fondo NJ is a great event that depends on everyone working in unison to pull it off. My job was to give mechanical service at the start line and then drive the SAG Van on the Breve and Medio routes. Although I would have liked to ride the Gran Fondo, I enjoyed driving around and helping people out. I ride my bike enough, so this is my day to give back and help others.

The day started at 4:00am when I hit snooze accidentally and my day then started at 4:30. This wasn’t so bad because I literately live a mile from the start line. I picked up my preassembled repair kit and cruised over to the registration area on the Surly Big Dummy.

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Early Morning Registration

I must have changed 10 flat tires and adjusted a bunch of derailleurs. Thankfully I didn’t have to deal with any trainwreck situations. The first year I had to assemble and tune a tandem bike. I got it done, but I wasn’t expecting that to come my way. Any time you get 2000 cyclists together there is going to be a bunch of random things that go wrong with their bikes.

As 7:00am rolled around I was churning out the flat tire fixes and got to meet George Hincapie. That was cool. He seemed like a nice guy.

I was able to get everyone on their way before the the start of the ride. 2000 riders rolled out of the center of Morristown. It was quite a sight to see. I quickly grabbed my repair kit and hopped in the support van and began my SAG driving work.

I started by transporting a woman back to the start. Her friend had a broken spoke and she let him take her wheel. I guess she wasn’t that interested in riding, because I offered to get her a wheel, but she said it wasn’t necessary. After getting her back to the start I picked up 3 people in one shot. Two had destroyed their derailleurs on the first steep climb. They were about 10 yards apart and it made it easy to pick them up. The third was a friend, and I gave them all a ride to the first rest stop. John Nicholson(marty’s mechanical wizard) was working there he was able to get them on the road again. I stopped by Marc’s rest stop next and made sure all the riders had cleared the first section of the Breve Fondo.

Marc's VW Rest Stop

Marc’s VW Rest Stop

I then starting patrolling the Medio Fondo route. It was my job to make sure the last medio riders had made it to Califon and tell our logistics guy Dan that the first half of the Medio course was clear of riders. This didn’t take too long. There were 2 ladies out there and I waited at the Califon stop until I thought they would be getting in. I drove out, and saw them come in and drove the van over to the Chester rest stop. I almost made it there when I was dispatched out to a chain issue. On my way there I passed by a woman who recently crashed. She didn’t look so good, being that she was face down in the grass and half over a curb. The local emt squad showed up and checked her out. I think she was a bit bruised up but ok. I took her bike back to the store for her to pick up later. On my way back I found my guy with the chain issue. He had a broken link so I slapped a quick link in his chain and sent him on his way.

I was getting hungry and all I had to eat was some cannoli from the first rest stop. I had some brownies too, but I needed some real food. It was now my mission to get to the Chester rest stop.

Dexter and Marc

Dexter and Marc figuring out how to put away this flag thing

I heard my coworkers were there grilling steak and wings with some cold beverages. I kept trying to get there and then I would be constantly dispatched to another bike pick up. Eventually I was able to make it there just in time for the wings and the clean up of the rest stop. The wings were especially good and I commend Dexter on his grilling abilities. I got a slice of steak too and it was also super tasty.

We gathered up the rest stop and put everything back in the COW(container on wheels). It was a great way to distribute and clean up each rest stop. The next day all of the COWs were back in the Marty’s of Randolph parking lot ready for us to unload them.

After we cleaned up the Chester rest stop, I headed back to the start to enjoy the cleaning up there as well. Cleaning up is probably the most fun thing after any event. Right when you might feel like going home and resting…. its time to keep going and put everything away. Thankfully it was a nice evening and most of the volunteers stuck around and helped load the van with an assortment of tents, pint glasses, chairs, banners, chocolates etc…

We finally finished up around 8:00pm and called it a day. I enjoy helping out at Gran Fondo NJ and maybe next year I will get to ride it.

Gran Fondo NJ!

Gran Fondo NJ on a stick!