200 Cyclists To Stop In Utica On 500 Mile Ride To End Cancer
Riders are just starting to arrive in Utica from their starting point in Staten Island, halfway on their 559-mile-long journey to Niagara Falls, New York as part of the Empire State Ride to End Cancer.
At 2:00pm only a handful of the 205 cyclists have arrived but Director of Special Events, Andrea Gregory, says she expects the majority of riders to arrive within the next hour or so. They will spend the evening camping in the field adjacent to Donovan Middle School in Utica. "Donovan," she says, "is graciously hosting us and the riders will camp out here today."
Each rider is provided with a tent by the organization as part of the ride experience.
Riders from 25 states in different parts of the country are participating in the event, including some from as far away as California. Utica was picked as one of the stopover destinations, Gregory says, because of its location - nearly 100 miles from Albany - and the welcome offered by the city.
All of the funds raised benefit critical cancer research and clinical trials at Roswell Comprehensive Park Cancer Center in Buffalo.
This is the ride's eighth year. The COVID pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 ride however, Gregory says, there were able to regroup for 2021. The ride in 2014 by Terry Bourgeois who rode 540 miles for seven days in 2014 with help from his mother and sister. That ride became the Empire State Ride which has raised over $1.4 million so far, and more than $5.5 million for cancer research since Bourgeois' inaugural ride in 2014.
Gregory says, "Terry Bourgeois wanted to make a difference in the fight against cancer and felt that this was a way to gather support and make a difference, while challenging participants."
The public is invited to stop by at Donovan tonight prior to sunset to offer support or make a donation. The riders hope to get a good night's rest prior to take off tomorrow at 7:00am when they will head to Weedsport.
On Saturday, July 30, 2022 the Empire State Ride will complete its 558th mile at the top of Niagara Falls.
About Empire State Ride and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center:
The Empire State Ride is a fundraising cycling event that supports Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, a community united by the drive to eliminate cancer’s grip on humanity by unlocking its secrets through personalized approaches and by 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.