Community Spotlight: How the Central New York Cyclist Club Encourages Healthy Outdoor Activity - NYCM Insurance Blog

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May 21, 2021

Community Spotlight: How the Central New York Cyclist Club Encourages Healthy Outdoor Activity

Community building is at the core of everything we do at NYCM Insurance. For over five years, NYCM has proudly supported the Central New York Cyclist club (CNYC), a cycling organization who also gives back to our local community. The CNYC has gone above and beyond during the course of the pandemic while also encouraging safe, healthy outdoor exercise. Continue reading to learn more about the Central New York Cyclist club and their amazing efforts!


What is the Central New York Cyclist club?

The CNYC is a USA Cycling Club based in Otsego county and its surrounding area. The club consists of 75 members who come from, and race, all over New York .Although the team primarily races competitively, they have recently ventured into off-road riding and hosting community events. Founder Peter Martin shares that the club was formed in the year 2000 after noticing an ad in the Daily Star that two other gentlemen in the area were looking to start a cycling club as well.


Peter shares that  although there are a few original members remaining, the club often has a cast of rotating characters as people move in and out of the Otsego County area. With that being said, they like to stay in touch however possible. Peter encourages new members to join and says that the club is open to anyone who is interested in competitive cycling! It is important to Peter that anyone who wants to participate can, so he has managed to keep the club running without charging membership dues and shares that that is largely possible due to their sponsorships.


Safety is Their Top Priority

Staying visible and taking safety precautions seriously is a top priority for the CNYC, who sports NYCM-orange kits as they ride. “Safety is our number one priority,” Peter says. “I heavily encourage everyone who rides to wear a helmet, and bright colored clothing -- even better if you can add bright lights and reflective patches to your clothing or bike. You want to make sure that you are as visible as possible, especially for those who are riding on the road.” Peter also makes a point to say that there is safety in numbers and that riding with a group will make it more likely that drivers see you on the road. “If you can find a club, or a serious riding mentor, that’s going to make all the difference. It can really make or break your training in terms of health and safety.”


Community Building and Outreach

Although the team had primarily come together for competitive riding in the past, the circumstances around COVID-19 have led them to restructure. Before the pandemic, the team would often host bike safety events at local schools and community centers to help get the word out about their favorite sport! Now, the team likes to include community building events that encourage people to participate in fun and socially-distanced outdoor activities.


This year, the 2021 Ride Together As We Stay Apart initiative was an event in which CNYC partnered with the Butternut Valley Alliance to encourage people to engage in outdoor activity while also raising money for their communities. With over $2,500 raised, the team was able to support eight different local food banks and animal shelters! Riders were able to complete the trek on their own property or in small groups on a public trail and were encouraged to share photos along their journey. “We believe that this initiative was hugely successful and would like to thank NYCM for their contribution! We are excited to continue putting on community events with the help of our sponsors!” shares Peter. The teams have also hosted a Red Cross Blood Drive within the past year and have a second blood drive scheduled in Garrattsville, NY for October 26th of this year.


This was not the first time the CNYC team and the Butternut Valley Alliance had worked in harmony to bring their community together. In 2020, they set out to create a bicycle route that connected the Texas Schoolhouse State Forest in the town of New Lisbon and the Gilbert Lake State Park in Laurens, NY. The trail is now a 19 mile loop that covers some of Upstate New York’s more beautiful terrain. In collaboration with DEC, County and Town Highway Departments, and the Gilbert Lake State Park’s Park Ranger, they were able to complete this stunning trail for the community to enjoy. Fun fact: this trail is one of the first DOT (Department of Transportation) routes within Otsego County and is marked with official DOT signage!


In addition to continuing the trail work in Texas Schoolhouse State Forest, the team is looking into establishing hiking trails within General Jacob Morris State Forest. Peter tells us that the long term goal is to complete a trail network that will make New Lisbon, the Butternut Valley and Otsego County a cycling destination.  “We have every type of great riding terrain around here, it really is just a remarkable place to ride. Additional trail work for the Texas Schoolhouse State Forest is actually set to start within the next few weeks!” Peter shares excitedly.


We’d like to thank Peter and the entire CNYC for the hard work and effort they’ve put into supporting their local community! For those who are interested in learning more about the CNYC and their events, check out this link.