Safety & Training

Route Safety

Most of the 500+ miles of the route will be open road in cities, towns and in the country. You will be expected to share the road with vehicular traffic, and follow traffic laws and proper cycling etiquette.

Make sure you familiarize yourself with basic bike safety and etiquette provided by the League of American Cyclists:


You’ve made the commitment. Now it’s time to start your training.

Dena Eaton is a former competitive ironman triathlete and professional track cyclist. Residing in San Diego, CA, she is a professional SCUBA instructor, faculty at Palomar College, and a freelance writer in the outdoor industry. Her writing focuses on cycling gear and training articles as well as product copy and reviews for other outdoor sectors. In her free time she can be found hiking, winter camping, or ice climbing in the Sierras. The occasional mountain bike ride still makes its way into her schedule. Here are a few of our favorite tips from Dena:

Charlie Livermore is a professional cycling coach at Carmichael Training Systems. He has put together a comprehensive training plan for riders of all levels to follow. The training plan here is meant to be a basic and effective program that can be used by a relative beginner up to an intermediate cyclist. Find his plan on our blog.

The key concepts of this 22-week training plan are:

  • Stay consistent – try to ride 3-5 times a week
  • Keep moving forward – don’t stress if you miss a training day, just keep going with the overall training plan
  • Listen to your body – adjust your training to make it work for you

Personal Coaching

Looking for more comprehensive support during your ESR preparation? We have you covered. Charlie Livermore is a professional cycling coach with Carmichael Training Systems who assists the Empire State Riders with pre-ride training and on tour cycling tips.

To get a hand-built training plan, analysis of your training data, frequent communication and schedule adjustments, consider reaching out to Charlie for personal coaching. Call 866-355-0645 or email to find out more about the personal coaching options with CTS Coach Charlie Livermore, specifically designed for ESR.

Making Sure You Have the Right Gear to Train

Since it’s your most important piece of gear on this adventure, you need to feel comfortable with your choice of bicycle. Empire State Riders have competed 500+ miles on all types of bicycles – hybrids, fitness, mountain, and road. Your best choice will tend toward road-style bicycles, with narrow tires and lighter weight frames.

Regardless of your cycling experience, bring your bicycle to your favorite local bike shop and get their advice on riding it 500+ miles. They will discuss fit, gear, accessories, or your next bicycle if you’re so inclined! A bike shop safety check and tune up before training will reveal any safety concerns well before your ride.

It’s important to ride your bicycle on several training rides prior to the Empire State Ride, so it will be equally important to have your bicycle re-checked before the adventure begins.

Rider Safety

Safety is a top priority on the Empire State Ride. Make you sure you familiarize yourself with our safety rules and regulations so that you and your fellow riders can enjoy a healthy and happy ride week!

Check your gear

Make sure you check that your bike and riding gear is in good working condition at least one month before the Empire State Ride, and that any necessary repairs have been made before leaving for New York City.


No headphones, earbuds or cell phone use

While riding, you need to be able to hear directions and safety warning from staff and volunteers as well as the dialogue of riders around you. Your cell phone is an important safety tool, so be sure to bring it with you.

Wear your helmet and your safety triangle

Your helmet should be worn at all times while riding, including while riding in camp and at water stops. ESR provides a reflective safety triangle that is worn around your waist or attached to your bicycle seat. Both are required daily attire.



Make sure you have one or more water bottle cages and refillable cycling water bottles and that they are secure on your bike. Unsecured bottles can fall out of their cage and be a hazard to other riders. ESR provides water stops along the way to refill.



The Empire State Ride will go on rain or shine. Prepare accordingly for August in New York State. In the event of extreme weather, follow the directions of staff and volunteers and make your way to the nearest severe weather shelter.

No drafting

Riders do ride in groups at their own pace, but drafting is forbidden, to avoid sudden crashes and distractions in cross country traffic.


Accidents and emergency situations

In the event of an accident or emergency on the route or in camp, use your cell phone to call 911 and do not move the rider(s). Once your call to 911 is complete, notify Empire State Ride staff of the incident.

For non-emergency incidents such as bike repair or SAG support, Empire State Ride staff contacts will be provided to you.