While the 2016 Empire State Ride has ended, the impact of our efforts has only just begun.

When we arrived in New York City, we were not quite sure what we got ourselves into. We had no idea what the next seven days would be like, but we quickly learned that there were only two boundaries we had to stay between: safety and BIG FUN!

When we crossed the finish line in Niagara Falls, we carried new friendships, new memories and greater hope for the cause that brought us all together just seven short days earlier.

We did it.

We overcame grueling weather, hills and exhaustion. But in the meantime, we laughed, we smiled, we encouraged one another.

We embraced the memories of the loved ones we’ve lost that led us to this adventure. We celebrated the courage of those who have faced and are still fighting their disease. We shared our stories. We shared tears.

We cycled 532 miles across New York State and crossed the finish line – not as 60 strangers fighting for a cause, but as a new family connected by hope. When we parted ways from Niagara Falls, we no longer had a common destination but a shared knowledge that we had made a difference in the fight against cancer.

Collectively, we raised nearly $200,000 to advance lifesaving research programs and launch promising new ideas at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Without our amazing riders and the loved ones who supported them in their efforts, this would not have been possible.

For this, I’m deeply grateful, and I’m proud to not only call you my fellow riders, but also my friends.

To the ESR Class of 2016, I salute you and look forward to when our paths cross again. Remember, if the hills are steep, take it easy to the crest and give it your all to the next descent.

Now go have some more BIG FUN!

Love you all!


About the Author

Terry Bourgeois is a passionate advocate in the war against cancer. He has been a dedicated participant and volunteer leader for the largest single day bicycle fundraising event in the United States for 17 years. Driven to help create an event that will provide additional research funding for cancer research he did a solo ride from Manhattan to Niagara Falls to prove the concept of the Empire State Ride in 2014. In 2015 he helped with the planning and leadership for the Empire State Ride Beta and made the 518 mile journey for the second time. Terry is originally from Baldwin, North Dakota he served for over 12 years in the US Navy Submarine force and currently works for Praxair Inc in Tonawanda NY. He is an avid cyclist, photographer and change agent. He currently lives in Lockport, NY.
Post Category: The ESR Experience