Local Youngsters Ride Bikes for a Healthy Community

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- They’re riding toward better health and a better community.

Young students in Roland Williams’ Champion Academy teamed up with Conkey Cruisers Tuesday. Organizers say it was largest group of 12-to-18 year olds on bicycles Rochester has ever seen.

“Some of our students don’t have their own bikes at home, so this is a great opportunity for them," said Williams, an NFL Super Bowl Champion and Rochester native. "And for those who don’t know how to ride bikes, we’ve got the trikes!”

“It’s just such an awesome opportunity to introduce cycling as a means of healthcare," Conkey Cruisers CEO and registered nurse Theresa Bowick said. "And that’s truly what it is. We want to be the healthiest city in the nation and we’re well on our way through cycling, and I’m so glad Conkey Cruisers has their stamp right on it.”

The event comes just weeks after an attempted theft of the Conkey Cruisers’ bikes and only last year the community stepped up to donate replacement bikes after Conkey Cruisers’ original bikes were stolen.

“We lost just about everything 16 days before the start of the season," Bowick said. "But Rochester is a city of resilience, Conkey Cruisers is a team of resilience and we’re not just an ordinary cycling club, we are a lifestyle.”

“One of the principles we teach our kids at the Champion Academy: perseverance," Williams said. "You’ve got to keep going even when you’re faced with adversity. And so here we are, going out to ride some bikes, and I’m so thankful that Conkey Cruisers overcame their adversity to be here with us today.”

And the youngsters are learning other values as well.

 “It will take you out of the house from being bored all day," David Miller of Rochester said. "Building a bond, and making friends with other people, and seeing what are your own attributes and skills to help each other.”

Skills that can last a lifetime, kind of like riding a bike.

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