Frequently Asked Questions

The Event

The Empire State Ride is a fundraising event to support cancer research at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. There is a $3,500 fundraising minimum and a registration fee for weeklong participants. There is a $500 per day fundraising minimum and a registration fee for custom participants. 

Registration fees are:

  • October – December 31 – $100
  • January 1 – June 30 – $200

Yes, you can! If you can’t ride from NYC to Niagara Falls, consider registering for the custom option. In the registration process, you will select the starting city and number of days you will be riding. There is a $500 per day fundraising minimum and a registration fee for custom participants.

Registration fees are:

  • October – December 31 – $100
  • January 1 – June 30 – $200

We are able to roll over donations for medical and family emergencies only. If you are unable to ride, please contact the team as soon as possible so that your situation can be evaluated.

Yes, the Empire State Ride provides breakfast, lunch on the route, and dinner each day, along with snacks and hydration at water stops every 15 – 20 miles. When you register, you’ll be asked if you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions. We can accommodate most needs, but to be sure yours will be covered, give us a call at 716-845-3179.


Your minimum fundraising commitment is due no later than the Saturday before the ride begins (at Check-In). For any remaining portion due, funds will be collected in person by credit card or check (made out to Roswell Park Alliance Foundation). Riders who have not met their minimum fundraising commitment or have not completed a fundraising commitment form ahead of time are not eligible to ride. As a reminder, your fundraising commitment for the full 7-day ride is $3,500. If you are joining us for a custom ride, your fundraising commitment is $500 per day.

Cash and check donations may be mailed to:

Roswell Park Alliance Foundation
ATTN: Empire State Ride
PO Box 644
Buffalo, NY 14240-0644

For checks: make the check out to Roswell Park and write “Empire State Ride” and the rider’s name in the memo field.

Please allow 10 business days after receipt for mailed donations to be processed and posted to your fundraising page. Donations made online will be processed and posted immediately. Please note: Mailed donations must be received by the ESR office at least 10 days prior to ride day in order to be posted to your total in time.

Whether you or one of your donors works for a company that matches money raised, you can double your donations by doing the following:

  • See if your company participates in a matching gift program by contacting your human resources department.
  • Pick up a matching gift form from your human resources department (or ask your donor to request one at their place of work).
  • Fill out the form completely.
  • Send form to the following address:

    The Empire State Ride
    Roswell Park Alliance Foundation
    Elm & Carlton Streets
    Buffalo, NY 14263

If you still have a matching gift question after contacting your human resources department, contact us, and we will be happy to assist you.

Facebook Fundraisers

Unlike a basic link share, Facebook Fundraiser posts are rich and dynamic posts that motivate more friends to donate quickly. Posts through a Facebook Fundraiser include an image, story, thermometer, donate button and more. You can easily invite all of your friends, and they will see updates from the fundraiser, as well as from other friends who donate. Your friends are also encouraged to invite and share with their friends, which means you may receive gifts from people you don’t even know who were moved by your story! Facebook also provides you with a quick and easy way to check your progress – including donations that come in through your Empire State Ride page or your Facebook Fundraiser.

When you create a Facebook Fundraiser, your personal story and fundraising goal will be populated in Facebook. A cover photo and fundraiser name is also provided. Following creation of your Facebook Fundraiser, all donations will sync, meaning all donations received either on Facebook or through your personal page will be included in thermometers in both places.
When you connect your personal fundraising page to a Facebook Fundraiser, Facebook receives information on the campaign you are fundraising for and your personal story from your fundraising page at the time of the connection. On an ongoing basis, Facebook also receives updates on the amount of funds you have raised in order to keep the thermometer on your Facebook Fundraiser synced to the thermometer on your personal page. Facebook does not receive information about donors who donate through your personal page.
Yes. When you update your fundraising goal on your personal page, your goal will also be updated on your Facebook Fundraiser. However, if you update your goal in Facebook, it will not update the goal on your personal page. For consistency, we recommend that you not update your goal on Facebook.
No. Following the creation of your Facebook Fundraiser, updates to your story or photograph on your personal page will not be reflected on your Facebook Fundraiser. This allows you to tailor content appropriately in either location.
From your Facebook Fundraiser, click “…More” under the invite button, then click “Edit Fundraiser.” Changes that you make to your cover photo or description on Facebook will not be reflected on your personal page. This allows you to tailor content appropriately in either location.
This means Facebook Fundraising has completed. All Facebook Fundraisers are scheduled to end 30 days after the Empire State Ride.
Yes. Fundraisers are public, so anyone can see them. Only people with Facebook accounts can make a donation.
From your Facebook Fundraiser, click “…More” under the invite button, then “Delete Fundraiser.”
You must first be registered for the Empire State Ride. To connect with a Facebook Fundraiser, log in to your fundraising dashboard and click to connect with Facebook. Accept Facebook’s permissions, and your new Facebook Fundraiser is created!
Existing Facebook Fundraisers cannot be linked to an Empire State Ride page. You must visit your fundraising dashboard to create a new Facebook Fundraiser. Facebook Fundraisers not created through the fundraising dashboard will not sync to your thermometer and Roswell Park. We recommend you delete any existing Facebook Fundraisers that you were previously using to collect donations for the Empire State Ride and then visit your fundraising dashboard to create a new Facebook Fundraiser.
Because the personal page does not allow for public display rules the donor could set on Facebook (e.g, friends only or friends of friends), all donors display on the personal page as “Facebook Fundraiser.” Please have your donor contact us at 716-845-3179 or if they would like to update the public display name on the honor roll.
Yes. All donations will go toward to your personal Empire State Ride campaign and Roswell Park.
Donations are processed as if they were being made through your personal page.
When someone makes a donation through a Facebook Fundraiser, a payment receipt is sent to the primary email listed on the donor’s Facebook account. This payment receipt includes the organization’s tax ID number and confirms that the person has made a donation as a charitable contribution and that they’re not receiving any goods or services in return.

Donations on Facebook Fundraisers

All Facebook Fundraiser donors receive an email from Facebook on behalf of the organization. If you also elected to receive email from the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation at the time of your donation, you will receive an email receipt directly from the organization as well.

Because the personal page does not allow for public display rules the donor could set on Facebook (e.g., friends only, friends of friends, only me), all donors display on the personal page as “Facebook Fundraiser.” Please contact us at 716-845-3179 or if you would like to update the name on the honor roll to your name.

You may contact Roswell Park at 716-845-3179 or You may also find your donation under “Payment History” on Facebook. You may print a receipt here.

The Route

The 2020 Empire State Ride mileage will be finalized in February 2020.

The average daily mileage of this event is about 77 miles. The total mileage is usually around 540 miles. The shortest day is about 54 miles and the longest is more than 90. You can always ride a shorter daily distance by utilizing the SAG buses, or register for the custom route option if you want to participate but are not available for the entire week.

Don’t worry! This is a fully supported ride. SAG support and shuttles will always be available for riders who need some rest or encounter mechanical issues. SAG support will help arrange a ride into camp for you.
Everybody rides at their own speed — some fast, others slower. You should plan on a 13 – 15 mph pace with a 10 mph average including stops. This will get you to rest stops and into camp each day with plenty of time to rest, refuel and refresh.
You should plan to meet the group at 7 a.m. on the morning of your departure for check-in; breakfast will be served at 7 a.m. before departing from camp. Based on the day that you have signed up to ride, specific instructions will be emailed to you.


Riders on the Empire State Ride will be tent camping at each overnight location. The locations are a mix of private campgrounds and public high schools.
No! Just your sleeping bag and a pillow. Each rider receives a tent and air mattress that are set up and taken down by ESR support staff each day.
You sure can! If camping isn’t your thing, you can stay in a hotel at your own expense. The Empire State Ride will designate one hotel near each overnight as the official hotel. We’ll arrange for your gear to be dropped off at that hotel each night. You’ll be responsible for arranging transportation to and from the hotel each day. If you choose to stay in a hotel other than the officially designated one, you’ll also need to make arrangements to retrieve your gear each day.
Staff will transport your gear and tent in the gear truck each day and will have it ready for you when you arrive in camp.
As a registered ESR rider, we will provide a tent, air mattress and camp chair for you each evening at our designated camp (unless you have otherwise noted that you have made your own hotel accommodations). You can opt for towel service for an additional cost of $30 throughout the week by calling the Empire State Ride office at 716-845-3179.


There are a lot of ways to get to NYC. You can fly, drive or take the train. If you live in the Western New York area, we can help you shuttle you, your bike and your gear.
Newark Liberty International (EWR) is the closest, but LaGuardia (LGA) and JFK International (JFK) will work, too.

The Empire State Ride will provide bike shipping information closer to the tour. It will be emailed to registered participants and posted in our travel planner. The Empire State Ride will designate a bike shop in Buffalo and in New York City to help with the bike shipping process.

Your bike cases and other packing materials will be stored during the tour and will be available at the end point. You do not need to make any arrangements for this prior to arrival.
There is a large charging station that is set up each evening at camp. There are ports for 60 plugs and several USB plugs. We would suggest that you bring your own power strip if you will want to charge multiple electronics at once.
Of course! But only staff and participants have access to the food and services provided by the Empire State Ride. Guests can join us for a meal by paying $20 when they arrive.
First-aid-trained staff will be on hand to attend to any injuries or sickness that occurs. If your injury prohibits you from any more riding, you’re welcome to remain on the ride with us for the remainder of the week, or we can help you make arrangements to get home.