Good Co Bike Club Spotlight: Andrew Bennett and Marv Marcel

Good CO. Bike Club

Meet Andrew and Marv, two of the four founders of our partner organization Good Company Bike Club in Brooklyn, NY. After our spotlight on Milly and Shari last month, we wanted to highlight the other members of the founding four of Good Co Bike Club. Andrew and Marv discuss where the name Good Company comes from, what their favorite memories are of Good Co so far, and why it is important for people to bike together in their communities.

Read on to hear from Andrew and Marv, and don’t forget to follow @goodcobikeclub on Instagram to keep up with their initiatives.

What are your specific roles as members of Good Co’s executive leadership board?

Andrew: I am the CEO & Founder of Good Co Bike Club.

Marv: I'm the Chief Creative Officer, responsible for maintaining the brand's look, feel, and integrity. 

Where did the name Good Company come from? 

Andrew: I never thought about starting a Bike Club, it organically formulated on its own. However, once we began riding regularly I needed to come up with a name for the brand. 

What I noticed about the rides and the people that showed up was that they showed up not necessarily for their love of biking, exercising, or accomplishing fitness goals, but rather for the company. The Good Company. 

What is one of your favorite memories of biking with Good Co so far? 

Andrew: My favorite memory of Good Co, which is also, in fact, the moment I decided to take it seriously, was during a ride when a stranger (a stranger at the time), approached me on the side and thanked me for organizing the rides. They continued to elaborate about how therapeutic Good Co had been and how it helped improve their mental health and social anxiety. I’ve heard many testimonies like that and I’m thankful I was able to create a space for people to heal. Especially during a pandemic. 

Marv: Our first Juneteenth ride will always hold a special place in my heart. We were barely even a legitimate company and we were looking for a way to celebrate Black culture through the liberating experience of being on a bike in the height of a global pandemic. It definitely exceeded our expectations. Considering we only had a week of preparation for the event and we were only slated for 150 riders and then the actual event was 10 times that (1500 riders) - that is something I'll never forget. 

How did you first get involved in biking (again) as an adult? 

Andrew: I honestly never stopped cycling. It’s one of my favorite activities, especially when traveling. It’s the best way to explore a city. Obviously, during the pandemic, there was a boom because it was the best way to safely socially distance and be around large groups of people.  

Marv: The pandemic made me realize the importance of mental health. It was always hustle and bustle for me. With everything being up in the air, it caused me to pause and reflect on all of the things I enjoyed during my childhood - biking being one of them. As a result, I tapped back in and purchased a second-hand hybrid bike. Within a couple of weeks, I was riding with the original members of Good Co. 

What has your experience been like as Black men in the cycling world? 

Andrew: What I’ve noticed is that there is not a lane for Black men in the cycling world. Pun intended. I’ve been pro-cycling my entire life and can always recall my passion for cycling often being complemented with ridicule. “You’re a grown man on a bike” or the assumption that because I cycle, I don’t know how to drive or can’t afford a car. It was a stereotype for many years…particularly in the black community. Social media, the push for sustainability, etc. has since changed that narrative. 

Furthermore, even based on a quick google search, Black men are underrepresented in the cycling world and I hope to help change that narrative to increase inclusion in cycling.

Marv: It's been positive and therapeutic for the most part. However, I quickly realized that representation of us in this arena is scarce. When you enter the inner city you'll definitely see black boys cycling, but men? Not so much. I believe that can be attributed to the cost of actually having and maintaining an adult bike compounded with finding the time to cycle and take care of your family, especially in underserved communities that lack biking infrastructure. 

Why do you think it is important for people to bike together within their communities? 

Andrew: I think cycling is one of the most fun and freeing experiences anyone can have. Everyone deserves to experience that…regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status (often the factors that dictate access to cycling).  

Marv: It forms a sense of camaraderie, family, and network. There's always strength in numbers and it can really help uplift people that may be in a dark place and just need a sense of belonging. 

Where do you see Good Company in 5 years? 

Andrew: In 5 years I would love to see Good Co as a household name. A clothing line, a community of people bonded by their love of cycling, and an overall lifestyle brand. I also have visions of a Good Co brick and mortar that is multifaceted. It can serve as a wellness center, work station for members, a juice bar, spin classes, and of course a meet-up for group rides.  Lastly, I would love for Good Co to expand beyond the 5 boroughs and reach cities across the country.

Marv: I see us being the face of black cycling. 

What did you name your Schwinn bike and why? 

Andrew: My Schwinn Fastback is named Arya. Once I saw the matte black I thought of the Starks in Game of Thrones. Arya is my favorite Stark and the hint of red reminded me of her gracefulness with her Dagger. 

Marv: I named my Schwinn Wolverine for a few reasons. Marv is short for Marvel which is my favorite Comic Book company. Wolverine is also one of my favorite characters for his ability to weather whatever comes at him and come back stronger. The design also gives me Wolverine (from the X-men movies starring Hugh Jackman) vibes.

Andrew and Marv

@goodcobikeclub on Instagram