Get a glass of your favorite drink, sit down, and put your feet up. This one will take a little while.

A recent article in a local newspaper, "Cortland named state’s ‘Bicycling Center’", grabbed my attention. Cortland County is not far from my home and I could not wait to read about what they’ve done to earn that distinction.

Boy was I disappointed.

It turns out the "honor" was bestowed on Cortland County by none other than the Cortland County Legislature itself.

I did a little digging online to see what else I could find out. I did find (no thanks to the ace reporters at the local newspaper) that the Cortland County Convention and Tourism Bureau has published a "Biking Cortland County" brochure that you can request from their website. They will mail you a copy of the brochure. The brochure has some safety tips, lists some things to do in the area, and includes six bicycling routes ranging 26-70 miles. My gripes on the brochure:

  • The road names on the route maps are pretty small and there are no cue sheets. I would think many bicyclists new to the Cortland County area would find cue sheets helpful, if not desirable.
  • There are no online resources corresponding to bicycling on either Cortland County’s or Cortland County Convention and Visitors Bureau’s web sites.
  • One of the things to do that is listed in the brochure is a visit to to Long Point Winery. According to the brochure, it is only 30 minutes from Cortland, but it is almost 32 miles. I don’t think even Lance Armstrong could make it from Cortland to the winery in 30 minutes!

I get the impression that the people who put the brochure together are not bicyclists nor did they consult with any bicyclists.

I will, however, applaud any favorable publicity for bicycling and hope next time they will do better.

On the other hand, I think Broome County’s efforts are somewhat better. The Binghamton Metropolitan Transportation Study (BMTS) has published a Bicycle Route Brochure and Bicycle Route Map, both of which are available online in PDF format. The map is a little hard to read online and the BMTS web site and bicycling information is hard to find from the Broome County home page. The BMTS maps integrate the bike routes with bus routes, attractions, and other destinations.

I would be really impressed if communities in Broome and Cortland counties received a Bicycle Friendly Community Award. Right now, New York State has a pathetic total of zero communities that have received an award.

If it helps, I’ll work on getting the BMTS and Cortland County bike routes online under my Bikely account.