Is there an age limit?

Yes, all participants must be 18 years of age or older unless they are riding with a parent.

What is the cost?

The Empire State Ride is a fundraising event to support cancer research at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. There is a $3,500 fundraising minimum and a $100 registration fee. For Custom Route Riders, a 1 day ride is $750. Each day added is an additional $500 by ride day.

I can’t ride in the week-long event. Can I still participate?

Yes, you can! If you can’t ride from NYC to Niagara Falls, consider joining us as a Custom Route Rider by selecting the starting city and number of days you will be riding, in the registration process. You can also participate as a virtual rider.

What if I sign up and start fundraising, then something comes up and I can no longer participate in the ride?

We’ll miss you on this year’s ride, and hope you can join us next year. If that’s the case we’ll simply roll over your registration and donations. If you can’t, we’ll accept your registration fee and the money you raised as a donation toward our mission of winning the fight against cancer.

I can do 30 – 50 miles per day, but not 70+. Can I still participate?

Yes! We offer the option of a “short route” each day for those who want to participate but are worried about the mileage, and those who just need a break. Our short route option shuttles you and your bike to the daily lunch stop where you can then ride into camp.

Are meals provided? What if I have special dietary needs?

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 if you’re not sure give us a call at 716-845-8788.

Do we have to bring our own camping gear?

Just your sleeping bag and a pillow. Each rider receives a tent and air mattress that is set up and broken down by ESR support staff each day.

I can’t make it this year, but I really want to do this ride. Will it happen in 2018?

We do not have details on the 2018 ride just yet. Send your contact information to EmpireStateRide@roswellpark.org and we will keep you informed of next year’s plans.

Are you selling T-shirts or Jerseys?

We don’t sell our T-shirts or jerseys. The only way to get one is to be an Empire State Rider!

What’s the mileage like?

The average daily mileage is about 77 miles. The total mileage is about 540. Our shortest day is 54 miles and our longest is 89. There are also options to ride shorter daily distance (40 mi./day), or join a one-day ride if you want to participate but are not available for the entire week.

I’m nervous about the distance.

Well that’s not really a question, is it? We understand. The route can be challenging, but it’s very doable with a little training. SAG support is always available if you need it and you always have the option to ride half the daily distance and take a shuttle to the lunch stop and ride into camp or, if you’re tired, take the shuttle into camp from the lunch stop. One-day rides are also available.

I’m not a camper. Can I stay in a hotel?

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.

How fast do people ride?

Everybody rides at their own speed. Some fast, others slower. You should plan on a 13 – 15mph pace with a 10mph average including stops. This will get you to rest stops and into camp each day with plenty of time to rest, refuel and refresh.

Where do I ship my bike?

If you wish to ship your bike ahead of time to New York City, you can send it to:

NYC Bicycle Shop (Staten Island)
1178 Bay St, Staten Island, NY 10305
(718) 569-0333
Sun-Sat. 10am-6pm

Please contact the bicycle shop to make the necessary arrangements prior to shipping your bicycle and be sure to allow sufficient time (2 weeks) for your bicycle to arrive at its destination and be assembled by the shop. Any services arranged with the bicycle shop are your financial responsibility. If you would like us to pick up your bicycle and deliver it to the starting location then please email Greg Edwards, the Tour Director, at outigo@gmail.com by Monday, July 24th. Be sure to supply your name, the make, model, color and serial number of your bicycle. We will pick up participant’s bicycles from the shop on Saturday, July 29th. Please be sure to provide payment information to the shop if you plan on having us pick up your bicycle.

Please note: If you wish to ship your bike home after the tour, we will be delivering bikes to:

Beeton’s Cyclery
1219 Main St.
Niagara Falls, NY 14301
(716) 282-3220
Mon.-Fri. 8:30-5, Sat. 9-5, Sun. closed


Bike Shipping Options

Shipping using UPS or FedEx or other ground services will typically cost less than flying with your bike on board.  Bear in mind, though, that you’ll need to drop off your bike or arrange for a pickup, and allow enough time for your bike to get to its destination (usually a week or more).  And, if you use a service such as Mailboxes Etc., additional fees may apply. For another option offering a whole spectrum of bicycle shipping services, visit www.shipbikes.com or www.bikeflights.com.

Bike Cases

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.

Bicycle Rental

If you wish to rent a bike for the tour, you can do so at:
Campus Wheelworks
744 Elmwood Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14222
(716) 881-3613
Mon.-Sat. 10-6, Sun. 12-5

Rental bikes should be reserved for pick-up on Thursday, July 27th, and return on Saturday, August 5th. We will pick up rental bicycles from the shop on Thursday, July 27th, and transport them to City College in New York City. If you plan on renting from Campus Wheelworks, please be sure to provide payment information to the shop. You must also notify the Tour Director, Greg Edwards, via email at outigo@gmail.com by Monday, July 24th if you have rented a bike. Please include your name, the make, model, and size you have reserved in your message.

Where are we sleeping?

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. You can learn more about them here.

What should I bring with me?

We’ll have a full 2017 pack list up in the spring. In the meantime, here’s an overview of items you’ll need:

  • Your bike, in good working condition
  • A CPSC- or ASTM-certified helmet
  • Your water bottle, seat pack, tire repair kit and any other bike accessories you want with you for the ride
  • Bike shorts and jersey or other riding apparel
  • One bag with clothes and toiletries for the week
  • Medications
  • Electronics

For a more complete list of what to bring, check out our pack list from last year’s ride.

Who moves my stuff?

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.

What if there’s a day that I can’t finish the route?

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.

Can my friends and family visit me?

Of course! But only staff and participants have access to the food and services provided by the Empire State Ride. Anyone without a wristband identifying them as a part of the ride will, unfortunately, not be able to use ride services.

What happens if I get sick or hurt?

Trained medical 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.

How do I get myself and my equipment to NYC?

There are a lot of ways to get to NYC. You can fly, drive or take the train. If you’re worried about shipping your bike see our “Where do I ship my bike” FAQ above.

What airport should I fly into in NYC?

Newark Liberty International (EWR) is the closest, but LaGuardia (LGA) and JFK International (JFK) will work, too!

What happens if I don’t meet my fundraising minimum?

Your minimum fundraising commitment is due no later than Saturday, July 29 at Rider 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 route ride, your fundraising commitment is $750 for 1 day and an additional $500 for each day added.

Where do I send checks or cash?

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.

How long will it take for cash, checks or matching gifts to post to my fundraising page?

A. Please allow 10 business days after receipt for mailed donations to be processed and posted to your fundraising page. Donations made online will 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.

How can I find out if my company will match gifts for the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation?

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

  • Review our Matching Gifts page to see if your company participates in a matching gift program
  • 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 after contacting your Human Resources Department you still have a matching gift question, contact us and we will be happy to assist you.