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Yorktown Cyclists Break From Riding, Kick Back

YORKTOWN, N.Y.-- With their helmets still on, riding in perfect form you may believe the group of men riding their bikes through Westchester were in it just for the exercise, but as they relaxed outside of Yorktown Panera Thursday morning, it was obvious having a good time was a higher priority than exercise.

The 48-mile ride the men from all different parts of Westchester were making was one of several they make each week as part of the Westchester Cycles group.

“It’s not just exercise, it’s a social event,” said Ed Yatkowsky from White Plains. “We’re all a very diverse group who come from all over and do different things—but it’s fun to come together with people who are diverse, but still have the same interests.”

Jeff Moskowitz from Chappaqua was introduced to the club by a friend, and had never cycled before.

“The last bike I rode was a Schwinn when I was a kid—so unless that counts I didn’t ride before,” he said. “But I tried it, and the whole group is very welcoming of people who want to get involved.”

Robinson Ortiz from Cortlandt Manor explained that the group usually rides through parts of Greenwich, Conn., Putnam County and Westchester. Flanked by two friends, Richard Egnor from Lincolndale and Anil Malhotra from Rye Brook, the men each chimed in that they had formed a group of friends while riding together. They also said while exercise wasn’t the motivating factor, they loved to cycle, even in last week’s extreme heat.

“You have an incentive to go on, you don’t realize how far you’ve gotten,” Ortiz said.

The Westchester Cycles club costs $20 for members to join and has over 100 active members, Karel said.

Ave Karel, from Greenburgh, the leader of the pack, said the difference between riding alone and with a group is the friendship.

“These guys may go off and ride on their own, but I don’t,” he said. “It’s all about friendship, it’s about camaraderie. There’s no boredom when you do it with people you’re becoming friends with.”

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