MORRIS COUNTY — The Morris County Board of Freeholders has proclaimed the weekend of September 8-9 as “2018 Gran Fondo NJ Weekend” in Morris County, to call attention to the eighth annual statewide and regional cycling event to be held on September 9 in Morristown.
The event is expected to draw more than 2,400 cyclists and many hundreds more families, friends, cycling enthusiasts and news media to Morris County.
The freeholders last night presented a proclamation to Marty Epstein, the owner of Marty’s Reliable Cycle and host and founder of the event for his leadership in bringing this major cycling event to Morris County for an eighth consecutive year.
“The Gran Fondo NJ is now the biggest and most prestigious cycling event in New Jersey, and one of the best in the nation. It has become a fixture on the Morris County sports and fitness scene thanks to Marty Epstein, Executive Director Bill Ruddick and their team,’’ said Morris County Deputy Freeholder Director Christine Myers.
The Gran Fondo draws thousands of people to Morris County, providing a $500,000 boost to the county’s economy.
“It shows off the county as a tourism destination, and serves as a true advertisement for the quality of life in our county,” added Freeholder Myers.
In addition to the biking, Gran Fondo NJ includes a weekend of festivals, expos and other activities offering entertainment culminating in the ride and post-ride celebration.
There also is an optional fundraising component to the New Jersey event, which has been used by riders to support local and national charities, and which has raised more than $1.1 million for local and regional charities over the past seven years.
The Gran Fondo, which originated in Italy, is to cyclists what a marathon is to runners. In recent years, Gran Fondos have become popular mass-participation cycling events for cycling enthusiasts across North America.
Gran Fondo NJ offers a choice of route lengths – 18, 42, 62, 75, and 107 miles — and timed hill segments that wind their way through some of New Jersey’s best cycling roads.
Starting and ending in Morristown, this combination of bike touring and timed climbs attracts a wide range of cyclists from the casual weekend rider to the well-trained endurance athlete. Cyclists from 26 states outside of New Jersey and eight foreign countries (Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, Great Britain, Guatemala and Israel) have signed up for the 2018 race.
Epstein told the freeholders that the ride organizers have to prepare 123 miles of roads in Morris and North Jersey for this year’s ride, setting up police security, ride volunteers on the course, painting ride symbols on roads across the region, and many other details to be ready for Sunday’s early morning start on the Morristown Green.
For more information on Gran Fondo NJ, click here.