Occupation: Founder, Martone Cycling Co.
Social: Twitter and Instagram: @lorenzomartone
Lorenzo Martone, a native of Brazil who has a background in luxury lifestyle advertising and PR, recently transformed a lifelong passion for city cycling into a profession with the launch of Martone Cycling Co. The evangelist for carefree, stylish city cycling answers eight questions about his own life on two wheels in NYC:
How did you get started making bikes?
I use my bike every day to go to work, to the gym, to socialize. I looked at the bike I owned, standing in the living room, and I thought to myself: Besides “sport” bikes and the huge “vintage” trend, there are not a lot of options out there. My background is in fashion, and I decided to sketch what I felt would be a “contemporary” looking bike, designed for commuting, for city people with no time to change clothes before a bike ride.
I found a manufacturer who understood my vision and we created prototypes of the first Martone Cycling Co. bikes. When I brought them to the U.S. I realized I had a unique looking product. I decided to immerse myself in the bike industry and to make a living from something that was just a hobby before.
What bike(s) do you ride?
I ride a gold Martone Grand and a white Real. I also kept my green Linus. Good memories.
How do you handle bike storage in NYC?
Well, because of the concept of my brand, I actually strategically place the gold bicycle in my living room by my piano. Among the mid-century furniture I collect are a few brass tables and sculptures, so I definitely love seeing the bike among those objects. I really consider it part of the decor.
And the white one is hanging in my bedroom, like a painting. I need more walls and wish I had more room so I could have more options of colors and just match my bike to what I’m wearing that day! (Laughs.)
Your secret to rolling in comfort and style? <
To be yourself. To wear clothes that have a bit of stretch fabric. Skinny jeans are great for bike riding since you don’t have to worry about the chain. Also, always have a light jacket – summer nights sometimes get chilly. In addition, lately I decided to wear bright colors, especially red; I found that it helps drivers and taxis to see me more easily, so it helps with security and also celebrates summer.
What’s your favorite route or spot to visit by bicycle in NYC?
I can’t get enough of the Westside Greenway. I think it’s a genius idea. Riding the length of Manhattan by the water just makes any morning a pleasure.
I’m in love with the coffee shop inside the Rag & Bone store in the Meat Packing District. What a charming place!
What’s the one thing NYC needs to do to get more people on bikes?
More bike lanes, specially more protected bike lanes. People are scared of cars, scared of accidents (even though the rates are low for such a big city ). I think security is people’s number one concern.
I also would like to suggest to the NYPD that they create special teams to focus on gangs that steal bikes. Too many people fear having their bikes stolen. We need to act on this ASAP!
If you could take a ride with anybody, living or dead, who would it be and why?
If it was me riding, and having someone as a passenger on the back of the bike, it would be Elizabeth Taylor, And I would ask her to look as fabulous as she could, maybe wearing all of her jewelry at once. That would be a priceless picture! If it was on the back, then Mahatma Gandhi because I would love to see the world through his eyes.