Jim and Cynthia Page
Volunteers Jim and Cynthia Page clearly demonstrate you don’t have to live on or near Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail to appreciate it, use it and support efforts to complete it.
Long-time Lancaster residents, both are active cyclists. Jim retired from Calspan in 2018. During his last few years with the company (a time when all four daughters were grown and on their own), he took to riding to work and back every day from March through November “It was a 25 mile round trip. One year I estimated that I rode around 3,000 miles to work and other outings."
Cynthia, meanwhile, who grew up in Amherst, recalls biking to college in all kinds of weather, starting on a big, heavy bicycle and eventually graduating to a 10-speed. She biked frequently in her neighborhood, often with family members. “Jim and I met at Calspan. We had a lot in common. An important, enjoyable part of many of our days was spent outdoors, often on bikes.”
Their interest in biking even influenced their choice of neighborhoods. “We bought a home with access to bikeable roads,” said Cynthia. “There were no bike trails back then. And if you’re raising a family, it’s important for children to have a safe place to ride.”
Both Jim and Cynthia are members of GOBike, where Jim volunteers repairing and renovating bikes for kids, an activity he thoroughly enjoys. They also support the notion of a regional trail – one that will someday incorporate the ECRT, the Southern Tier, and the Genesee Valley Greenway.
Jim was one of several volunteers who helped improve and mulch the berm at the Orchard Park Depot. He has also participated in clearing portions of the West Falls section of the trail from Ellicott Road south on National Trails Day last June. Most recently, Jim helped clear debris adjacent to Jewett Holmwood Road in preparation for the opening of the new trail segment. “We are so impressed with this new section of trail. It was remarkable how quickly and professionally the stone dust surfacing of the trail was completed. It’s beautiful and a real asset for the community.”
“The people on the ECRT board and volunteers are great to work with,” Jim reflected. “There’s a positive, engaging exchange of ideas and information along with the hard work demonstrated by these people. It’s extraordinary.
“We look forward to future rides on the trail, especially as it continues to build to its full potential, linking communities for transportation, pleasure, and commerce. It will be an immeasurable asset to the south towns, not just for the people who live along the route. We are definitely looking forward to helping where we can.”