Empire State Ride has a real impact on the future of cancer. Road warriors pave the way for life changing new treatments, groundbreaking clinical trials and innovative research and discoveries. From the seat of your bike, you can change the world and save lives.
Take it from two road warriors who have experienced the journey firsthand.
While all Empire State Ride road warriors travel the same route, the journey looks different for every person. For Rick Monzon, of New Rochelle, New York, the ride’s mission to end cancer resonates on a personal level. He has been battling cancer since 2013.
“Growing frustrated with being constantly sick and not feeling well, I started looking for things that are a little more inspiring. Somehow or another, I came across Empire State Ride,” Rick explained. “Around November, my doctors finally cleared me. In January, I committed and started training.”
Rick rode alongside two of his closest friends — and with the support of about 20 other loved ones who met them at the finish line. With that finish line in the back of his mind, even during the toughest points of the trek, he kept going.
“Even on my sickest days, in pain, I never thought about quitting. Never. You’ve got to keep going. That’s what knocks you out: losing hope,” Rick explained.
Rick said it’s amazing to see people ride across all of New York State to raise money for cancer research.
For anyone considering joining the ride, Rick offered this advice: “Don’t find an excuse why you can’t do something. Find a reason why you should do something. Everybody can come up with an excuse, but you need to give yourself a good reason why you want to go. Getting to the finish line is that reason for me.”
Don’t find an excuse why you can’t do something. Find a reason why you should do something … Getting to the finish line is that reason for me.
It doesn’t matter how you grew up. All life obstacles are just fuel. You need to really take in life and go for it.
If you ask Hulda why she chose to ride more than 500+ miles in a week, she’ll tell you that it started with a single reason: experiencing loss from cancer. From there, her reasons grew. She wanted to prove she could finish, set a strong example for her daughter and inspire her students. That last reason was a powerful motivator.
And that’s exactly what she did. She refused to sag. Even when her body was exhausted and it was hard to keep pedaling, she knew nothing in her life was harder than the obstacles she’d already overcome. She wanted her students to learn that same thing through her example.
“Courage is not the absence of fear. It’s that you’re afraid out of your mind, but you’re going to do it anyway,” she says. “Empire State Ride is truly transformational. I’ll never be the same person after experiencing this.”
As a bilingual teacher in urban education, Hulda works with students from different Spanish-speaking countries, many of whom faced adversity early in life.
“I want to teach my students about courage. I want to teach them about doing things for others and being in service of other people. It doesn’t matter how you grew up. All life obstacles are just fuel. You need to really take in life and go for it,” Hulda says.