Meet Our Staff
Katharine "Kathy" Penna
Owner/ Principal/ Founder of Brielle Cyclery - All Locations
"I think people would say that I'm a workaholic who loves what she does, plus I love problem solving. I have three wonderful sons who are all as passionate about this business as I am. How lucky am I? I was drawn to the bike industry way back in 1970, when I combined my love for biking and the outdoors with my business background. I had a passion to join my two interests, and in 1970, the result was Brielle Cyclery."
Favorite bike: Currently rides a Serotta Ottrott custom, Trek Domane 5.2, Cannondale MTB and Cervelo R3. Her favorite manufacturer is Trek because, in Kathy’s words, “we’ve been together for over 40 years. It’s fun and rewarding to see all of the changes and growth resulting from our partnership.”
Kathy’s passion for bikes pre-dates the summer of 1970, when she opened Brielle Cyclery at just 22 years old. Since then, Kathy says she has run every aspect of her business, including “sales, project management, bookkeeping, wheel-building, maid service, and even being the gofer,” says Kathy, a Katharine Gibbs School graduate. Her three sons, Wes, James, and Digger, have joined Kathy in the business after growing up in the bike shop, which pleases Kathy. Currently, there are four Brielle Cyclery locations in Monmouth County, including the original shop, Brielle Cyclery Kids, Asbury Park Cyclery, and Trek Bicycle Store of Middletown.
Over the years, Kathy has participated in many industry management, brand, technology, fitting, and mechanics seminars and earned a list of certifications, including her expert bike fitter designation from Serotta International Cycling Institute and F.I.S.T. bicycle fitting system accreditation. In the early 1980s, Kathy was one of the only expert bike fitters on the local scene.
Always active in the community, Kathy especially enjoys leading rides for beginners, teaching children how to ride a bike, and presenting bike safety at local schools. She is co-founder of the Jersey Shore Triathlon Club that started in 2006 and an advocate for Asbury Park’s revitalization; she also values her chamber of commerce and industry association memberships, as well as the lifelong relationships she has forged with many of her customers.
In 2016, Kathy was honored with the Trek Legend Award at the annual global Trek conference in recognition of her brand commitment, community advocacy, and four-decade relationship with the leading bike manufacturer.
To learn more about Kathy and her passion for biking and Brielle Cyclery, visit the "History of Brielle Cyclery" website page.
Head Mechanic - Brielle Cyclery
“I ride my bike every day, even if it is only to go down the street for a newspaper and cup of coffee. I own over 25 bikes that I’ve customized over the years with interesting parts I’ve collected from Brielle Cyclery.”
Favorite bike: Currently rides an older Klein mountain bike customized for local neighborhood use. His favorite manufacturer is Trek due to their exceptional technical factory advancements.
As a teenager, Clarence walked into Brielle Cyclery when it opened in 1970, making the bike shop his home away from home ever since. At Brielle Cyclery, Clarence has gained over 45 years of mechanical expertise and has been at Kathy’s side as head mechanic since the 70’s. “I’ve probably worked on every type of bicycle with two or even three wheels,” comments Clarence. “I love being a part of Brielle Cyclery’s family-owned business and working with our staff of passionate employees.”
Clarence enjoys consulting with customers about bike safety and proper fitting and has supported several local bike organizations over the years, including the Jersey Shore Triathlon Club, Tour de Cure, and Monmouth Wheelman. He is a certified Bosch Electric Systems technician and has received education from Trek University, completing an array of bike-industry training programs over the past four and a half decades.
Operations Manager – All Locations
“My passion for bikes was inherited from my mother, Kathy, who would work seven days a week to support our family and never complain because of her passion for her business. Hard work and discipline are the keys to success, no matter if it’s fitness, a career, or any other aspect of life.”
“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” -Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
Wes became officially involved in the family business as operations manager in May, 2016, although he has been a part of Brielle Cyclery his entire life. Prior to this position, he worked in financial services in London and New York since 2006 and holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Lafayette College.
“Aside from my family history in the business, I was drawn to the bike industry because while working at my previous career, I tried to maintain a healthy work-life balance by engaging in some type of daily endurance workout. As operations manager for the bike store, I get to combine my passion for finances, business, and fitness. Maintaining my fitness has always helped me get through difficult times in my life, and I wanted an opportunity to help people achieve their fitness goals, specifically through the sport of cycling,” shares Wes.
Wes has earned Trek Ninja Status, the highest level of education from Trek University, and attended 2016’s Trek World, Trek’s annual event at their headquarters in Waterloo, Wisconsin and nearby Madison. He has also completed Trek’s Management Academy. Wes is a member of the Jersey Shore Triathlon Club and was nominated as a board member for the organization in 2017.
“I love the opportunity I have to work on a daily basis with my family and extended family, the team at Brielle Cyclery. Helping customers meet their cycling needs is a pleasure, and I have gotten to know many of them very well over the years. While we do put in a lot of time to ensure that we run a first-class operation, it never feels like work because there is no other place I’d rather spend my time,” says Wes.
Wes enjoys traveling in his spare time and has visited over 30 countries. He has completed three destination marathons (Barcelona, Madrid, and Austria). Wes lives in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
Manager - Brielle Cyclery and Brielle Cyclery Kids
“I love every aspect that my job entails, and I remain focused on always providing the best customer service. Working with different people on a daily basis is very fulfilling, and I have developed countless relationships with our customers. This does not seem like a ‘job’ to me.”
“I hit it again because that shot was a defining moment, and when a defining moment comes along, you define the moment…or the moment defines you.” -Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy
Favorite bike: Currently rides a Trek Drift S, Trek Procaliber 9.6, and a Trek XM 700+ electric bike for summer fun. His favorite bike of all-time is a 2010 Trek District Carbon (Belt Drive), liking how Trek used a Madone frame to produce a light-weight single-speed weighing in at only 12 pounds.
Digger grew up in the family business, always gravitating to it before becoming an official employee at Brielle Cyclery in 2002. Before his management position, Digger assisted with the business’s sales, website and social media, property maintenance, and entertainment capacities to help grow his family’s business. He also worked at True Blue Golf Plantation in South Carolina from 2000 to 2004.
Digger comments that he “saw an opportunity to grow a great business that was established over 45 years ago” and decided to bring his prior business experience and business management education to Brielle Cyclery. Digger earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in business management from Monmouth University and membership in the Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honors Society.
In addition to his college education, Digger holds a Trek Level-One Fit School certification and has completed seminars through Trek World, Cervelo BrainBike, Cannondale, and Shimano.
Digger enjoys pursuing challenges in business and fitness and has volunteered for several charities, organizations, and clubs on the Jersey Shore. “I was born into the business, and bikes grew on me later in my youth. I have always had several athletic interests,” says Digger, who enjoys traveling with his wife, Jessica, and golfing on the best courses around the world. He also likes spending time petting his cat, Binx, and hanging out with his “cronies.”
James T. Erbe
Purchasing / Marketing Manager – All Locations
“As a child growing up in my mom’s bike shop, it was just always in me. I saw what the store did for people, and what those people did for us. The bicycle is a solution to many of the world’s most complicated issues. We put smiles on people’s faces, and what’s better than the feeling you get riding a great bike!”
“…let us understand that when we stand together, we will always win.” -Bernie Sanders
Favorite bike: Currently rides a Trek FX series and Electra LUX Beach Cruiser, with an excitedly-anticipated Trek Super Commuter on order. Trek is his favorite manufacturer of all time because of the exceptional care they provide for their dealers and customers.
James cannot remember a time that he hasn’t associated himself with Brielle Cyclery, growing up in his mother’s store. “My first stop from the hospital after being born was here, even before going home,” says James. “Seeing my mom’s passion for the industry and the respect she has in the industry made me appreciate this business.”
Before working as part of the family’s business, James worked at Shop Rite in Wall, moving up to a position in the scanning department, which he likens to what he does for Brielle Cyclery today as purchasing and marketing manager. In 2007 and 2008, James worked for Trek Bicycle Corporation as an inside sales representative for a few Midwest states; he returned to the Midwest in 2009 to help a customer in Illinois manage a new Trek Concept Store during its first year of business. “I am a numbers guy, and I like all of the analysis and forecasting that goes into deciding what we need in our stores to quickly service our customers,” comments James.
James has earned Trek Ninja Status, the highest level of education from Trek University, eager to take advantage of the intense learning opportunities the on-going training program provides on many aspects of Trek and Bontrager products, as well as operational aspects of running a successful bike store.
In addition to his position at Brielle Cyclery, as a bicycle enthusiast, James is a member of the New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition, International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), People for Bikes, and the League of American Bicyclists. He enjoys bike rides along the shore with friends and makes an effort to use his bike instead of his car for local trips within two miles from his home.
Women’s Ambassador, Brielle Cyclery / Owner, Riptide Cycling Women’s Racing Team
“Cycling has always been my passion. Since I was five, I used to ride around the town of Brielle, where my family owned a pizzeria. As I got older, it was my transportation to friends, the beach, and school. I became more passionate about cycling in my late 20s as a means to stay fit, healthy, and meet amazing riders through my journey on the bike.”
Favorite bike: Currently rides a Trek Emonda SLR 9 Dura Ace Di2, Trek Top Fuel 9.9, and Trek Boone 7 Disc. Her favorite manufacturer of all time is Trek / Bontrager for many reasons, mainly because they make amazing products and are not afraid to back their products when things go wrong.
Teresa’s love for cycling runs deep on many levels. She has been a Brielle Cyclery women’s ambassador since 2005 and also serves as a Trek women’s advocate. Teresa owns and manages Riptide Cycling women’s team (www.riptidecycling.com), now called Riptide-Cawes Cycling, and is a certified cycling coach and spin instructor. Her hobbies include road, cyclocross, and mountain bike racing, and Teresa leads clinics and bike events year-round.
In the area of education, Teresa holds Mad Dog Spin Instructor, USA Cycling level-3 coaching, and USAC level-C race director licenses. She has earned Trek Ninja Status, the highest level of education from Trek University. In addition to the world of cycling, Teresa formerly taught mathematics and special education from 2001 to 2015; she now works as a cost analyst.
Teresa is passionate about building the cycling community and bringing the love of two-wheels to new riders. She enjoys educating riders on the amazing races, rides, charity events, and more that New Jersey has to offer cyclists. “I love to broaden riders’ perspectives with safety and other cycling knowledge. I love to see riders’ smiles when they conquer new feats on two wheels,” shares Teresa.
Manager - Trek Bicycle Store of Middletown
“I consider myself a lifelong student and always try to keep an open mind and a humble heart. I am grateful to get to work with and be surrounded by the things I am passionate about and to enable others to fulfill their passion for bikes. I have always loved anything with wheels.”
Favorite bike: Currently rides a Trek Fuel EX 8, Cervelo S3, Lynskey Pro Cross, Trek Verve 2, custom Trek Rig single-speed 29er, and Cannondale Capo track bike. His favorite bike manufacturer of all time is Trek due to its cutting-edge technology and outstanding customer support.
Scott has worked for Brielle Cyclery since 2010 and currently serves as manager of the Trek Bicycle Store of Middletown. He remembers the first time he visited Brielle Cyclery in 2009 to purchase gloves: “I spoke to the manager and staff and was impressed by how friendly and helpful everyone was. The manager even asked me to join him on a ride in the woods. Sometime later, this positive experience led me to ask about employment, and the rest is history!”
Before his management position at the Trek concept store in Middletown, Scott worked part-time at Asbury Park Cyclery before being promoted to manager at that location. After Hurricane Sandy’s devastation to the Asbury Park Boardwalk, Scott worked at Brielle Cyclery until the spring of 2013, at which time he returned to the Asbury Park store. Since the fall of 2013, he has managed the Middletown location.
“I was drawn into the bike industry due to my true passion for bike riding, my love for tinkering and learning, and the camaraderie of riding in a group,” says Scott, who held a list of odd jobs while growing up, such as working in the motorcycle industry during college.
Scott, one of three brothers, graduated from Colts Neck High School and then earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the Pennsylvania School of Art and Design in 2008. He is Bosch Electric Bike Systems-certified, achieved Trek Ninja Status (the highest level of education from Trek University), and completed a level-one Trek Precision Fit bike fitting class. He attended the Quality Bicycle Products Frostbike 2015 and Trek World 2014 and 2015 (Trek World is Trek’s annual event at their headquarters in Waterloo, Wisconsin and nearby Madison).
Manager - Trek Bicycle Store of Middletown
“I enjoy the speed, freedom, and creativity one can express while riding. I wanted an opportunity to enable others to experience the same. Get a bike, it’ll change your life!”
Favorite bike: Currently rides a Trek Stache 9.8, Trek Farley 7, Trek Domane road bike, and a broken-down beach cruiser. His favorite manufacturer of all time is Trek, which Jeff says “might not be a surprise coming from a guy who works in a Trek store and wears a Trek shirt just about every day.” He loves the way Trek drives the industry with its commitment to design and creation of the most innovative products for the woods and road. He admires Trek’s focus on having customers ride the best products possible and how it shows in their products’ performances.
Jeff has been with Brielle Cyclery since 2014 and currently works as an assistant manager at the Trek Bicycle Store of Middletown. He first learned about Brielle Cyclery back in the early to mid-1990s, when he rediscovered cycling and had heard about the shop’s industry reputation. He has worked in sales and management in the bike industry since 2009.
Prior to employment in the bike industry, Jeff received a college education and had 20-year career in landscaping and property management, which still allowed him to appreciate the outdoors. “Before working in the bike industry, the problem was a lack of passion. Getting customers on the best possible product, one that will meet or exceed their goals—that’s exciting! That’s a career,” comments Jeff, who plans to attend Trek managerial and mechanical courses in the near future.
Jeff enjoys mountain and road biking throughout the state and country and has participated in trail restoration and maintenance projects. He also provides introductory mountain biking trail rides for beginners. “As much as I love being around all of the new, latest, and greatest bikes, my favorite part of what I do is assisting new riders, regardless of their age. It can be the ‘I haven’t ridden a bicycle in 20 years’ rider or the ‘I’m too old to ride’ rider. The end result is always the same, with the smiles of satisfaction that appear when riders realize or remember that they can ride a bike,” says Jeff.
Jeff remembers when he was four or five years old and would take out his older sister’s “way too big of a bike: “I didn’t care about the color or the basket, so long as I was up and riding.” Today, Jeff feels fortunate to spend his time with Kristie, who shares his passion for two wheels. He and Kristie can be frequently found loading some or all of their beach cruisers, mountain bikes, or road bikes into their RV to go sample the best riding the country has to offer.
Service Manager - Brielle Cyclery
“My favorite part of my job at Brielle Cyclery is the friendly environment and good relationships with my coworkers.”
“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible.’” -Audrey Hepburn
Favorite bike: Currently rides mountain and road bikes. His favorite bike manufacturer of all time is Cannondale.
William met Kathy, the founder and owner of Brielle Cyclery, while he was working at local bicycle shop in 1995. In 2012, he came to work for Brielle Cyclery, bringing along his expertise and industry knowledge.
“I have always been mechanically-inclined and good with my hands. I have worked on airplanes, homes, and now bicycles, for the past 15 years or so,” shares William. William holds a Bosch Electric Bike Systems certification and has completed Bosch E-Systems training.
William enjoys mountain biking and has been a bike enthusiast since his childhood in Honduras. He is married to his beautiful wife of 21 years and has three beautiful daughters. “Life cannot get any better,” comments William.
Lead Assembler / Mechanic - All Locations
“I have always lived in the area and remember Brielle Cyclery since they opened in 1970. I’ve been a cyclist my whole life and was looking for a career change 10 years ago. I have always been good with my hands, so it was a natural transition into bike mechanics. In 2016, I built over 1,000 bikes at Brielle Cyclery and Brielle Cyclery Kids.”
Favorite bike: Currently owns a 2000 Cannondale R300, 1990s Trek 970 mountain bike, 1973 Bottechia Campione del Mundo, and 1972 Mondia Paul Egli.
Pete, lead assembler for Brielle Cyclery, rides his bike to work every day, making the trip from Point Pleasant to Brielle regardless of the weather. Although he spends most of his time at the Brielle shop, he has assembled bikes at all of the Brielle Cyclery locations.
Pete has a bachelor’s degree in forestry from Rutgers University and was employed for 30 years in the residential tree care industry before his employment at Brielle Cyclery in 2006, when the urge for a career change struck. “My favorite part of my job is how Brielle Cyclery is determined to satisfy the customer and do the right job,” shares Pete.
When Pete purchased his Bottechia Campione del Mundo in 1973, his passion for biking ignited. “I started taking longer rides, even commuting home to Brielle from Rutgers University occasionally on weekends,” Pete remembers. Pete has been married for 40 years and has two children and three grandchildren. He has been a volunteer firefighter for over 30 years.