Catskill Challenge shines light on the region

Motorcycles featured prominently in the Challenge, including the one belonging to well-known rider Gov. Andrew Cuomo

BETHEL – The second Catskill Summer Challenge brought state and local officials from across New York to the region Thursday for a day of hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, t-shirt tie-dying, yoga and motorcycling, all to shine a light on the Catskills.

Following the day of activities, they all gathered at Bethel Woods to tout the region’s amenities with Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul cheerleading.

“This story needs to ripple like a river across the state. This can no longer be a well kept secret; spread the news about how incredible the Catskills are. Bring your friends, bring your family. If you came up from New York City, it’s not that far, just a few twisty roads,” she said.

Governor Andrew Cuomo noted that while the heyday of the old Catskills is long over, the future is extremely bright.

“The number of new attractions in the Catskills, new assets in the Catskills, is really mindboggling,” he said.

Awards were presented to participants who excelled in the day’s activities. Among them was Paul Teutel, head of the Orange County Choppers empire, who rode along with the governor in a motorcycle excursion.

“When people say ‘New York,’ for some reason they just think of the city – the city’s cool too, but they have no idea how beautiful New York is,” Teutel said. “And when you ride a motorcycle and you explore all the areas of New York, it’s just a phenomenal place, and I think more people need to know about it.”

The walrus-mustachioed Teutel was presented with the “Gnarly Davidson” award for his participation.

Teutel on one of his custom choppers

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