Conkey Cruisers spreading health as their season kicks off

The Conkey Cruisers rode in honor of a major milestone Thursday night (WHAM photo)

Rochester, NY - The idea started off small five years ago. Theresa Bowick wanted to help people in the City of Rochester get back in shape and make the community a safer place. That's where the Conkey Cruisers was born. The group holds weekly bicycle rides throughout the spring and summer.

On Thursday, the Conkey Cruisers kicked off their season with the first Unity Ride of 2017. The ride brings together not just Conkey Cruisers, but riders from throughout the region. The unity rides started as a bet between Bowick and Rochester City Councilman Adam McFadden.

"After we did the first one, people kept saying we should do it every week. So we figured, why not? Let's do it every week," said McFadden.

Bowick estimates the group has had nearly 900 people ride with them over the last five years. That work is now starting to get noticed. This weekend, the Conkey Cruisers will be honored by the American Heart Association with an award for their contributions to promoting a healthy lifestyle in the area.

For Bowick, the recognition is nice, but she hopes it's just a small step towards what's ahead.

"I've always believed that a city that rides together, rises together," said Bowick. "And Rochester is truly on the rise."

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