Empire State Ride Raises Over $1 Million for Cancer Research at Roswell Park

Riders from 20 states, Canada and Panama finished the weeklong, 500+ mile adventure in Niagara Falls, USA
Saturday, August 3, 2019
178 cyclists participated in the 2019 event
Riders traveled 543 miles from NYC to Niagara Falls
Record-breaking $1 million+ raised for cancer research at Roswell Park

BUFFALO, N.Y. — 178 riders. 500+ miles across the Empire State. More than $1 million raised for cancer research.

This afternoon, the participants of the 2019 Empire State Ride (ESR) crossed their finish line in Niagara Falls, USA, completing their seven-day cycling journey from New York City to one of the natural wonders of the world.

Their trip began in Staten Island on Sunday, July 28, with a ferry ride to Manhattan before setting off on a 57-mile ride to Stony Point. From there, the ESR journey took them through some of New York State’s most beautiful landscapes, with daily rides ranging from 74 to 92 miles, daily elevation climbs as high as 4,300 feet and overnight stops in the Hudson Valley, Schenectady, Utica, Syracuse and Rochester.

Roswell Park President and CEO Candace Johnson, PhD, and Niagara Falls Councilman Ezra Scott led an enthusiastic crowd of families, friends and Falls tourists in welcoming the riders to the finish line on Old Falls Street.

“Pursuing new discoveries that will help people with cancer requires a tremendous amount of research, resources and funding. The team that makes it happen goes far beyond scientists to critical supporters like the Empire State Riders and their donors,” says Dr. Johnson. “Every year I am amazed and inspired by these riders and their passion. Because of them, we can continue to develop new treatments, help more patients and save more lives. I’m so grateful to the riders and everyone who made a donation to support them, and for the record-breaking $1 million they raised for Roswell Park.”

The ESR began in 2014 with a one-man journey made by event founder and Roswell Park supporter Terry Bourgeois. Bourgeois wanted to create a signature annual event that would draw people from all over, both to ride and to raise funds for cancer research.

“We’ve all been affected by cancer somehow, and this is an important way for us to make a difference. Any difficulty we go through on this journey pales in comparison with what it takes to get through cancer treatment, or how terrible it is to lose someone to the disease. Our personal stories, the sense of adventure and our personal challenges are what bring us together, and along the way we become this amazing family,” says Bourgeois. “Then, when we see the mist from the Falls in the last moments of our ride — the power of nature, of New York State itself, combined with the power of the human spirit — it all just shines through and shows us that we absolutely can make a difference. We will find an end to cancer. And we’ll do it together.”

Each full-week rider raised a minimum of $3,500 to participate. Twenty became Excelsior riders by raising more than $10,000. The ESR is fully supported, with riding marshals, a professional cycling trainer and staff to ensure that riders have everything they need — from meals and rest stops to a support vehicle and camping accommodations — for a safe and successful journey across the Empire State.

Registration for the 2020 Empire State Ride will open in the fall. Be the first to know when you can register by filling out a form on empirestateride.com.


Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is a community united by the drive to eliminate cancer’s grip on humanity by unlocking its secrets through personalized approaches and unleashing the healing power of hope. Founded by Dr. Roswell Park in 1898, it is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in Upstate New York. Learn more at www.roswellpark.org, or contact us at 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or ASKRoswell@roswellpark.org.

Media Contact: 

Bethany Murray, Senior Communications Coordinator
716-845-1027; bethany.murray@roswellpark.org