The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

September 28, 2013

Motorcycle track's critics need to relax

By Steve Pushkar Guest Commentary
The Daily Star

---- — For the past year, all that I have been reading about in The Daily Star concerning the New York Safety Track has been from one point of view, and it has been negative.

Well, I think it’s my turn now.  I am an avid motorcyclist, a retired AMA/CCS road racer but most importantly, I am the Track Marshal at NYST.

After years of not riding a motorcycle on the street for fear of the four-wheeled motorists, I was thrilled at the prospect of this track being planned in my backyard. The project started little over a year ago, and to see what it has progressed into is nothing short of amazing.

My initial thought was that finally we will have a training facility for motorcyclists offering a controlled environment in upstate New York that can service the needs of sport riders everywhere.

Boy, was that an understatement. It turns out that our influence is multinational.  Our first season has been a tremendous success, and I don’t mean just financially. In my capacity as Track Marshal, safety equates to success, and our primary goals at the track are safety and education.

You can see that success in the riders’ faces when they complete a weekend of training. Their enthusiasm and confidence are high, but now tempered with a newfound respect they have for the machine they’re riding. They learned this in a controlled, safe environment through proper expert instruction. The students can’t thank us enough when they leave, and I can’t help but think that I have just saved someone’s life — if not now, in the future.

We do something different and very special at this track, something I haven’t experienced in all my years of road racing or at the tracks I have ridden. The owners, management and staff take these riders under their wing(s) and educate them as if they were family, not just patrons. This is due to the the family that owns and operates the facility, the Lubinitsky family. Their values and hospitality are second to none and they have instilled them in the management and staff. If a rider doesn’t feel that they’re part of something special when they leave here, then we’ve let them down.

My advice to all the naysayers out there is to visit the website (, read the Facebook comments, call the track, arrange for a tour and talk with the members. But most importantly, come up and just be part of the family. I am proud to say that this year, our family has grown to include over a thousand new members — and is still growing!

Steve Pushkar is an Oneonta resident and the New York Safety Track’s Track Marshal.