MORRISTOWN, NJ - Over 2000 cyclists traveled to Morristown for the 7th annual Gran Fondo on September 10. The Gran Fondo, originally started by Marty Epstein, owner of Marty’s Reliable Cycle, is a bike race featuring five different route lengths ranging from 18 miles through 107 miles encompassing Morris County and even parts of Hunterdon County. Riders who chose the longest route rode through towns such as Far Hills, Tewksbury and Milford.
While individuals were allowed to participate solo in the marathon, most chose to organize teams in order to raise funds for multiple charities.
According to Epstein, teams traveled from all over the country and the world to take part in this event. Participants traveled to Morristown from thirty different countries on five different continents.
Because of the extensive number of participants, the race was broken down into four different groups, each starting a few minutes apart. Multiple rest stops were also set up at various points along each route with refreshments for the riders.
“We decided to break the race up into five waves in order to prevent the roads from becoming too clogged,” he said.
Also riding in the New Jersey Gran Fondo this year were Council members Stefan Armington and Michael Elms. Mayor Timothy Dougherty also stopped by the event to wish everyone good luck.
“We couldn’t have asked for better weather to have an event like this,” said Dougherty. “I want to thank Marty and his team for all the work he does for the cycling industry and for his hard work putting together this event.”
Among this year’s sponsors were Trek, Pactimo, New Belgium Brewing and Jamis Bikes. Over the past seven years, Gran Fondo NJ has grown significantly and has even been ranked #1 by the Gran Fondo Guide. This year's race benefits multiple charities including The Seeing Eye, Inc., Grow it Green Morristown, Homeless Solutions Inc. and The New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition.