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Training for Empire State Ride 2024

Before jumping on your bike and cycling 500+ miles, it’s important that you train your body for the challenge and get your bike ready for the adventure. No matter your level of cycling experience, proper training will help you avoid injury and stay safe.

To be prepared for an average of 79 miles each day, riders should train to ride 30 miles outdoors at a brisk pace without stopping while getting plenty of “seat time.” This will help your body adjust to long-distance cycling.

In addition:

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Ride outdoors

Ride outdoors as much as possible.
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Practice signaling, riding in traffic and navigating road hazards.

Ride in groups

Get used to riding in groups. Your local bike shop and ESR riders and alumni have group rides you can join. 

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Bike tuning

Get your bike tuned, fitted and serviced at your local bike shop.

Training Expert
Charlie Livermore

Back by popular demand, Charlie Livermore of Carmichael Training provides training tips to our riders before and during our weeklong adventure. For the past eight years, Charlie has put together an incredible 22-week training guide. His plan is being finalized and will be available in the coming months.


Proper nutrition while training is vital to your success on the road.

Charlie Livermore holds a microphone against a green background
ESR rider on the road

Biking accessories

We do not require specific brands or models to complete the Empire State Ride. Here is what our team recommends to maximize your experience.

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Road bike

Given the number of days and miles you’ll be cycling, we highly recommend a road bike, as opposed to a mountain or hybrid bike.

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CPSC helmet

CPSC helmet (required). We recommend WaveCel or MIPS technology.
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Cycling shorts

Preferably with padding.

A woman holds up her red and orange Empire State Ride jersey

Cycling jersey

Or similar sweat wicking shirt.

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Cycling gloves

These will help pad and protect your hands.

A closeup of a man's cycling sneakers as he rides his bike

Cycling shoes & pedals

Or general comfortable shoes for platform pedals.

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Bike lights

ESR requires a front white light and a rear red light for each bike. 

A purple and yellow tube of Chamois Butter original anti-chafe cream

Personal care products.

Such as Chamois Butter and Desitin to treat chaffing and related comfort issues.

Bike Fitting & Maintenance

As you train, it’s important that you are comfortable on your bike. Due to the repetitive nature of cycling, a slight misalignment can create inefficiency or pain. A bike fitting can help correct technique, improve biomechanics and prevent injuries. Most bike shops offer bike fitting services, where they will set you up on a stationary trainer, perform measurements and analyze your pedaling and body motion. We recommend that all riders take their bikes to a local bike shop before the adventure.

Need to rent a bike?

Though we encourage riders to train on and ride the same bike for Empire State Ride, we recognize that this may not always be an option. If you can’t get your bike to Staten Island, you can rent a bike for the week through Unlimited Biking at event pricing. Your rental will be dropped off at Wagner College on July 20 and picked up at Niagara Falls on July 27. Helmets are provided.

Interested in eBikes?

Read our blog for more information on eBikes.

Still worried about completing Empire State Ride?

If you train and prepare for #ESR24, you will be ready to tackle 500+ miles. A booster bus will take you from camp at 8 a.m. each morning and drop you off at the second rest stop if you wish to shorten your daily mileage. Shuttles are available for riders who are unable to finish the distance.

In 2024, Empire State Ride will start at Wagner College with overnight stays in Somers, Rhinebeck, Albany, Utica, Weedsport and Spencerport.

While this year’s route is still being finalized, get a sense of what the 2023 road warriors took on. The Empire State Ride uses both roadways and bike trails.

Camp venues will be announced soon!

So, how will it work?

Traditional Route:

The traditional Empire State Ride route covers between 60 and 100 miles each day from Staten Island to Niagara Falls.

Bonus Miles:

Want to go the distance? Riders have the options to add 20 additional miles to the end of either the standard or hilly route on days one and two. Day three has the option to add 23 additional miles by branching off from the standard route at the Albany rest stop.

Hilly Route:

Are hills more your speed? Riders can opt in to a hilly alternative route on days two and four that deviates from the standard route.

We have the tools you need to train for this bucket list adventure.

Orientation Day:
Saturday, July 20

Wagner College,
Staten Island

Day One:
Sunday, July 21

Terry, Maria and friends at the finish line at ESR.

New York City to Somers Traditional Route: 63.3 miles

Bonus Miles: +19.6 mile loop from/back to camp

Day Two:
Monday, July 22

Somers to Rhinebeck
Traditional Route: 80.5 miles

Bonus Miles: +20.4 mile loop from/back to camp

Hilly Route: 72.7 Miles

Day Three:
Tuesday, July 23

Rhinebeck to Albany
Traditional Route: 79.8 miles

Bonus Miles: +22.8 miles from the Albany rest stop

All routes return to the same camp.

Camp life

Empire State Ride takes you across the beautiful landscape of New York State in seven days.

Riders arrive at Wagner College on Staten Island, New York, on Saturday, July 20, 2024, for orientation and check-in. The next morning, hundreds of road warriors start the ESR adventure together. Each day, the average riding distance is about miles with support, like first-aid, mechanics and scheduled shuttles, along the way.

At the finish line, you’ll be welcomed by a mile of cheering, smiling faces as you ride down in Niagara Falls. From there, all that’s left to do is enjoy music, food, drinks, vendors and the eighth wonder of the world — Niagara Falls.