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Why you need to come to New York State for this cycling adventure

When you think of New York State, what comes to mind? 

Most likely New York City and the Statue of Liberty. Probably crowded subway stations and endless crowds. Maybe even snowstorms in Buffalo. Or a certain football team that still hasn’t won a particular championship game that takes place every February. You know the one…with the funny commercials and a big concert halfway through, but that we can’t write in this blog post because it’s trademarked. Yeah, that one. 

The truth is New York State is so much more than all those things and it’s a total dreamland for cycling. 

No, seriously.

Rolling hills, challenging elevation gains and superb summer weather make it the perfect setting for an adventure.

Particularly a 500+ mile adventure across the entire state that advances cancer research. Do we have your attention now?

Good. 

Enter the Empire State Ride. One state. Seven days. 500+ miles.

Here’s what you need to know. 

It's a challenge

Cycling across an entire state isn’t easy and the Empire State Ride is no exception.  We begin in New York City, travel up the Hudson River to the capital of Albany, then climb our way over through Syracuse and Rochester, and end at one of the natural wonders of the world – Niagara Falls. 

The good news? We’re cycling in the summer – this year, from July 25 through 31. So you don’t have to worry about snow. 

The bad news? You’ve got the hills, heat and humidity working against you. 

But, who doesn’t love a good challenge? Not only will you get the chance to push yourself to your limits, but you’ll also get the chance to see New York like never before.

And who knows – you may even end up loving it. 

It's Impactful

Taking on a challenge is always fun, but it’s even better when coupled with the opportunity to make a difference. 

At its core, the Empire State Ride is a fundraiser. Every year, our road warriors help to advance cancer research from the seats of their bikes by each committing to raise the required $3,500 minimum. And they have real impact. 

Funds raised support America’s first cancer center, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York, which provides treatment and care for more than 44,000 patients from 41 states and four foreign countries every single year.

Our road warriors have helped fuel groundbreaking research, like clinical trials for CIMAvax, a cutting-edge lung cancer vaccine, and phase II trials for SurVaxM, a brain cancer vaccine. 

When you choose to take on this adventure, not only are you tackling something only the most elite cyclists have accomplished, but you’re also fueling national and international cancer research. 

It's Fully Supported

This photo was taken in 2019 pre-pandemic.

You’re never alone on the Empire State Ride. Not only will you be a part of the official class of #ESR21, but our staff is here to fully support you, before, during and after the adventure. 

We know raising $3,500 can be intimidating, but our fundraising team is here to help you meet – and exceed – your goal. You’ll get access to many tools, including but not limited to email templates, a mobile app, business cards with a QR code that links to your fundraising dashboard and is unique to you, worthwhile rewards to aim for, and more. You’ll also be invited to our private Facebook group where you can meet us and your fellow riders pre-adventure to get to know one another and exchange advice.

When it comes down to the in-person experience, all you have to worry about is cycling those 500+ miles. We’ll take care of everything else, including rest stops every 15 – 20 miles, tenting accommodations, luggage trucks, showers and restrooms, catered breakfasts and dinners, onsite bike repairs and more. 

We know that COVID-19 is still a threat, but we are working with state officials to keep everyone safe by following CDC and New York State guidelines. Check out our FAQ page for more information on these details. 

#ESR21 is a whirlwind – it’s challenging, it’s intense, it’s impactful. It’s lifechanging and it changes lives. If you’re ready for an adventure in 2021, look no further than the Empire State Ride.  

Fundraising made easy: connect your dashboard with Facebook

Fundraising $3,500 is a challenge, but when armed with the right tools and attitude, it’s easier than you think. 

One of the best tools to help with your #ESR21 fundraising is integrating your online fundraising dashboard with your personal Facebook page. This utilization allows you to easily spread the word about your fundraiser and track your progress right on Facebook. You can also quickly send updates on your progress, making it that much easier to reach your goal. Additionally, your friends and family can donate when scrolling through their newsfeeds. The best part? Your progress will be reflected in your fundraising thermometer, both on Facebook and on your Empire State Ride fundraising page, so people can stay up to date on your journey. 

Here's How to Connect Your Fundraiser to Facebook

1. Log in to your fundraising dashboard

2. Scroll down and click "Connect Fundraiser on Facebook"

3. You'll be redirected to Facebook and a pop-up window appears. Click 'Continue' or 'Ok.'​

4. Either you'll be brought to your Facebook Fundraiser or you will be prompted to go to your Facebook Fundraiser from your dashboard.​

5. Edit your fundraising information, including title, description, goal amount, end goal and more.​

6. Promote your Facebook Fundraiser by sharing or inviting people to your fundraiser to start getting donations!

This tool will allow you to spread the word about your fundraiser, engage directly with donors and reach more people than you ever thought possible.

Everything you need to know about the 2021 Empire State Ride

The Empire State Ride is back for 2021 and we’re ready to advance cancer research from the seat of our bike. We missed being on the road with all of our incredible road warriors and we can’t wait to get back to changing lives, either together riding across New York State or virtually during the 500+ Mile Challenge.

So, ready to tackle this bucket list item? Here’s what you need to know. 

The OPtions

There are two registration options available for all riders: weeklong and virtual. Weeklong riders commit to riding all seven days (from July 25 until July 31, 2021), from NYC to Niagara Falls and fundraising the required $3,500 minimum. The route, which will include exact mileage and elevation gains, will be finalized in early 2021. Our team is working with state officials and will be following CDC and New York State guidelines to keep everyone safe. 

If you’re not feeling comfortable coming out to an in-person experience but still want to participate, the 500+ Mile Challenge is perfect for you. There’s no registration fee or fundraising requirement, and you can train to ride 500+ miles in your hometown. This is a great way to get a feel for what the Empire State Ride is like without the commitment. 

The Fundraising

If you’re a little intimidated about having to fundraise, we have a ton of tips and tools to make it easier on you.

First, kick off your efforts by making a self donation. Then, let all your family, friends and colleagues know that you’re fundraising for cancer research. Promote it on social media and email everyone in your address book. Don’t forget to personalize your fundraising dashboard, download our mobile app (available on the App Store and Google Play) and integrate your fundraiser with Facebook.

The Experience

When you join team #ESR21, you’ll be supported on and off the road – by both fellow riders and our staff. The Empire State Ride is fully supported. What does that mean exactly? As a rider, you’ll get access to:

  • Bike mechanics and repair support
  • Rest stops every 15-20 miles
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner options for all dietary restrictions
  • First-aid trained staff
  • Support & gear buses to pick you up if you need some help
  • Luggage truck
  • Camping accommodations
  • Showers and restrooms
  • Access to a private Facebook group to meet fellow riders
  • Training tips
If you’re taking on the virtual challenge, you’ll get access to all the same online tools. We are here to support you – no matter where you are located. 

No matter which option you choose, the Empire State Ride is the perfect chance to challenge yourself while advancing cancer research. Our road warriors are unstoppable on their mission to help end cancer – become a road warrior and join us on our adventure. 

Please note – the in-person 2021 experience is our dream. But we understand that the effects of COVID-19 are constantly changing. We will continue to monitor the situation, following CDC and state guidelines, and communicate any and all updates. Check out our FAQ page for more information. 

6 ways to use the#ESR21 fundraising app

Fundraising $3,500 can be a challenge. But with the right passion, hard work and tools, anyone can do it. Download the Empire State Ride fundraising app, which makes reaching the fundraising commitment easier.

Now, everything you need to be a successful fundraiser will be located in one place on your mobile device. Features of the app include:

  • Monitoring your fundraising progress
  • Sharing your page using social media (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) and SMS
  • Viewing and managing donations
  • Updating your page with a personalized story and photo
  • Integrating with Facebook to start a fundraiser
  • Easily importing email contacts and sending emails

The app is available for both Apple and Android devices. Head to either the App Store or Google Play, search Empire State Ride Fundraising and select download – it’s that easy.

Take a Tour of the App

With this new tool, there’s so much you can do. Here are 6 ways to make the most out of it.

Monitor Your Fundraising Progress

Once you log in using your credentials from registration, you will see your fundraising progress. Here, you can:

  1. Track your goal
  2. Adjust your goal
  3. See your team’s progress (if on a team)

Share Your Page

Now that you’ve made the commitment to fundraise for cancer research, it’s time to spread the word. The Empire State Ride app makes it easy to share your personalized page across many platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and SMS. You can share your page from three different locations on the app:

  1. Home (right under your fundraising progress)
  2. Donors
  3. Page

View and Manage Donations

Keep track of your donations all under the Donors tab. You can see who’s donated to your efforts and how much they gave. You’ll be able to thank them right through the app, too. Additionally, you can opt to be notified via email when you receive a donation. This is a great option to make sure you never miss a chance to say thank you to a donor.

Update Your Page and Picture

Updating your page and photo just got easier. Instead of needing a desktop or laptop, now all you need is your phone and the app.
Make sure to update the story of why you’re participating in the Empire State Ride. This will help donors understand your drive and passion, which can ultimately lead to donations.

Integrate with Facebook

Facebook fundraising is an incredible tool to reach more donors than ever. Integrating your personalized page with the social media giant is one of the best things you can do. Now, you can do it through the app with one simple click. Simply scroll down on the home screen and click “Connect to Facebook.”

Send Emails to Contacts

If you have your email contacts stored on your phone, you can easily import them into this app. It automatically syncs with your address book, making it that much easier to reach out to your contacts to spread the word about your #ESR21 fundraiser.

The Empire State Ride Fundraising app will help you reach and exceed your fundraising goals. Download it today to get started.

proceeds directly benefit