Whether he’s snapping gears in the Cadence Cycling shop or snapping photos on his bike’s GoPro, Sam Travis lives and breathes cycling. From the age of 8 he could be found biking down the streets of Cedarhurst, NY, and by the time he was in high school, he used a bicycle as a means of transportation around Denver. In 2013, Sam became involved in what he calls “heavy duty cycling” where he would ride longer routes, climb higher elevations, and really make cycling a core part of his life. In the Five Towns, Travis started rounding up riders, organized a group of passionate cyclists who coordinate daily rides and motivate each other to reach and beat their goals.
It’s no surprise that Travis became a point person for Bike NCSY, not because of his passion for cycling, rather because NCSY is very close to his heart; his parents, Avraham and Batya Travis, actually met through NCSY at a national convention in 1968.
Avraham Travis recalls growing up in “Lakewood before it was Lakewood,” where he became very close with Chazan Lieber, one of the founders of NCSY. He attributes a lot of his personal growth to NCSY, and his wife is proud to say that he wasa “rockstar in NCSY” who became the President of both his chapter and the NJ Region, and then became the National Social Actions Chair. Batya Travis grew up in the small town of Newport News, VA, where NCSY became her connection to the greater Jewishcommunity. As soon as the opportunity to attend NCSY National Convention arose, Batya seized the moment.
And it was at National Convention 1968, that Avraham and Batya met, which would light a spark that grew into a 46 year marriage and counting.
As Avraham and Batya’s oldest child, Sam grew up feeling NCSY’s presence in his life, as he recalls, “Whenever we would have a simcha—which was often with 10 kids— we would always have tons of NCSY people celebrating with us.” His parents were very connected to their Judaism through NCSY, and built their home around the values they learned in those formative years.
Now, as a father himself, Sam recognizes the importance NCSY played in his parents’ lives, and sees it as being so critical to teens today— even for those raised as part of the fold. Sam notes “I am emotionally very cognizant of the fact that NCSY created my parents to be who they were, which allowed them to raise us with a strong sense of Judaism and achdut.”
When Sam learned about Bike NCSY, it was obvious for him that he would be involved. This was his chance to combine his passion of cycling, with raising tzedakah to the organization that brought his parents together, and into the Jewish world. Beyond being one of the 100 mile cyclists, Sam amped up his business, Cadence Cycling Center, to be a corporate sponsor of the event, and dedicated his time and efforts to helping the event be a success. Sam could be seen behind the scenes mapping out GPS coordinates, discussing logistics, and being source of constant support for the Bike NCSY team.
When asked about Bike NCSY 2018, Sam responded: “My bike chain will be all lubed up and I’ll be out there ready to roll.”