Cyclists from 20 states and U.S. Virgin Islands finished the seven-day, 500+ mile adventure in Niagara Falls, USA
- 137 cyclists participated in the 5th annual event
- Riders traveled 546 miles from NYC to Niagara Falls
- Funds raised benefit cancer research at Roswell Park
Today, a group of passionate cyclists marked the end of their 500+ mile journey across New York State by crossing the Empire State Ride (ESR) finish line in Niagara Falls, USA. A total of 137 cyclists participated in the event – most riding all seven days and others taking part in one-day riders or custom routes – and collectively raised $660,000 for cancer research at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York.
The ESR began with a trip on the Staten Island Ferry on Sunday, July 29, before riders embarked on the first leg of their journey from Manhattan to Stoney Point, New York. Over the following days, cyclists of all experience levels pedaled 60 to 85 miles per day through some of the most scenic parts of New York State, making overnight stops in the Hudson Valley, Albany, Utica, Syracuse and Rochester.
On Old Falls Street before a cheering crowd of riders, their families and Niagara Falls tourists, Roswell Park President and CEO Candace Johnson, PhD, was joined by Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster to welcome the group.
“I’m impressed, grateful and inspired by what this group of riders has accomplished this week, and thankful to all who supported their fundraising efforts,” said Dr. Johnson. “Roswell Park’s mission is to unleash the healing power of hope for our patients, and these dollars are critical to our ability to pursue promising research and make new discoveries that can improve the way we prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.”
The ESR started as a personal challenge completed by event founder and Roswell Park supporter Terry Bourgeois in 2014. He joined the 2018 riders this year for his fifth trek across the state and said he continues to be inspired by the stories of the new riders he meets each year.
“While the ESR provides an incredible experience for everyone who participates, it’s the personal stories of the riders that truly make this a special event and add to our motivation to keep riding. We’ve all been affected by cancer in some way – whether it’s our own diagnosis or by the battles our friends and loved ones have faced – and we ride together with the belief that we can make a difference in the fight to end cancer,” said Bourgeois.
Each full-week rider raised a minimum of $3,500 to participate in the ESR, which is fully supported with riding marshals, a professional cycling trainer and staff to ensure that riders have everything they need for a safe and successful journey, including rest stops, meals, a support vehicle and camping accommodations.
Pre-registration is open for the 2019 ESR at EmpireStateRide.com.
Amy Biber Collson, Director, Development Marketing & Communications