Looking to get in shape for Ride Day?
Ride officials will be hosting several training rides at University at Buffalo North Campus between now and Ride Day.
Truly Beginner Training Rides take place every Thursday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and will depart from the Lake LaSalle Parking Lot (behind Alumni Arena) on the University at Buffalo’s North Campus. For more experienced riders, 30-mile to 45-mile training rides will be held Saturday, May 27, and June 10, from 9 a.m. to approximately 11:30 a.m. These rides will depart from UB North’s Furnas Parking Lot.
Pre-Ride For Roswell
Can’t make it for Ride Day, looking to get a long ride in before Ride Weekend or need to qualify for the 102-mile Century Route? Join us for the 65-mile Pre-Ride on Saturday, June 17, at 7 a.m., departing from UB North’s LaSalle Parking Lot. Riders will cycle at an average speed of 15 miles per hour and will be followed by a Bert’s Bikes support-and-gear vehicle. Morning snacks and a post-ride lunch will also be provided. Riding marshals may choose to ride the river routes starting at 8:00 a.m.
Visit the Events section of our website for dates and more information on all the training rides.
Week Three of Bike Month is here — we hope you’ll join WNYers cycling to work this Friday, May 19 as we celebrate National Bike to Work Day!
First time commuting by bicycle? Sign up for one of the Bike To Work Day bike trains and make new friends while learning the rules of the road.
Riders can bring their own bikes or take advantage of the Reddy Bikes that will be available at each meet up location. The bike trains are intended to encourage less experienced riders to try commuting by bike with others and to create a sense of camaraderie on Bike to Work Day. Designated locations include:
· MLK Park at 7:45 am with Henry Raess, GObike Buffalo Event Manager
· LaSalle Station at 8:00 am with Bill Smith, Director of Access for Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
· City Hall at 8:15 am with Justin Booth, Director of GObike Buffalo
· Ferry and Richmond Avenue at 8:15 am with Jen White, Executive of Reddy Bikeshare
The Bike to Work Day celebration will include an informal breakfast and short celebration at the park located at Ellicott Street and North Oak Street on the Medical Campus beginning at 7:00 AM. The event will include remarks by GObike Buffalo Executive Director, Justin Booth and BNMC President and CEO, Matthew Enstice and Mayor Byron Brown has been invited to attend. GObike Buffalo will provide free minor bike repairs and adjustments for riders on site. Bike storage is available across the street at North Oak and Ellicott or at the many bike racks throughout Campus.
Snap a pic of you and your friends biking to work and send it to us via Twitter (@RideForRoswell) or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org! Be sure to tag your social media posts for the day: #biketoworkBFLO.
Once again, there’s so much to do by bike this month, so Buffalo Rising has compiled a schedule of events to help you take advantage of the many opportunities and events around town. Whether you live in the area or are visiting, biking is the best way to explore the City of Buffalo and Western New York. Use your own wheels or hop on a Reddy bike to:
· Explore the region’s beautiful sights and trails
· Meet fellow Buffalonians and bike riders at one of the many bike events this month
· Get around town and commute to work with ease
· Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the spring weather!
Bike Month is the perfect way to get started. Visit the GOBike Buffalo calendar to find upcoming events. Remember to bike safely. Now, get riding!
Mark Pietz is a US Army Veteran who has competed in multiple Olympic-distance and Long-Course Triathlons (Half and Full Ironman), as well as other stand-alone swimming, biking, and running endurance events. He is a Ride For Roswell rider, volunteer, and committee member who is proud to be a 11-year (and still counting) member of the Extra Mile Club.
As I’m writing this, the signs that spring has sprung are all around; the snow has melted, kids are playing outside, my lawn and landscape both need a lot of work, and most important, The Ride For Roswell is fast approaching! If you have already signed up for The Ride, you know which route you’ll be riding. If you haven’t signed up yet, you might be wondering which route is right for you. Either way, by now you should be thinking about how you’re going to train for that route. We want everyone to have fun and be safe on Ride Day. Part of that includes you, the rider, making it to the finish line feeling great. The question is, what should you do between now and Ride Day to get ready?
Whether this is your first or twenty-second Ride For Roswell, you’ll definitely want to train for The Ride. How much training you need to do depends on the route you plan to ride and your level of fitness right now. Equipment (i.e. your bike) also plays a big part in the equation. The most important piece of equipment is the engine used to power that bike – you! It’s time to get moving and get that engine ready to go.
At a high level, the answer to “How do I get ready to ride X number of miles by Ride Day?” is to gradually work up to it. Your options for riding in spring weather conditions are to buy weather-appropriate gear and ride outside or to ride indoors on a stationary bike (or with your own bike on a trainer). In addition to riding, its always a good idea to include some form of cross-training. Activities such as strength training, walking, running, hiking, swimming, rowing or using an elliptical machine are all great cross-training exercises. A weekly training plan should include ride days, cross-training days, and rest days.
For the purpose of this article I’m going to break the fourteen Ride For Roswell routes into three general categories; Short (3-20 miles), Medium (30-45 miles), and Long (65 and 102 miles). I’m also going to assume that you have twelve weeks to train (starting on or around April 1). If you’re starting later than that and have less time you should adjust as best as possible. This is only a guide. Any training plan that you start should be based on your level of fitness and possibly an approval from your doctor. Every plan and route distance will have one thing in common — you only need to train for 75% of your distance by Week 11. You should be able to build up enough fitness by training for that 75% over eleven weeks to complete the entire distance on Ride Day without a problem. For the distances up to 45 miles you can ride the entire distance prior to Ride Day if your fitness and training allow for it. For the 65 and 102 mile routes anything over 75-80% could build up excess fatigue prior to Ride Day.
Short Distance Plan
The Short Distance Plan includes the 3, 10, 12 (Peloton), and 20-mile routes. This is the easiest plan to train for and gives you a lot of flexibility. There isn’t a lot of structure to this plan. The key is to try to get out and ride 2-3 times a week and gradually build up to your goal time. Knowing your pace helps. If you generally ride at 10 mph and you plan on riding the 20-mile route you should build up your weekend ride to 90-120 minutes. Start off easy and ride for 30 minutes a day 2-3 times a week. Gradually build up your weekend ride (or rides) to 45 minutes, then 60 minutes, and then 90-120 minutes. Use these numbers as a baseline and adjust for your pace and distance accordingly. If you need help determining your pace and distance (most people tend to underestimate both) you can buy an inexpensive cycling computer for your bike to track speed and distance or you can download GPS-enabled apps to your phone that track both.
Medium Distance Plan
The Medium Distance Plan includes the 30, 34, 44, and 45-mile routes. These routes require more planning than the Short Distance routes but you have plenty of time to get ready for them. When planning and training for these routes, you should be able to track your speed and distance with a cycling computer or smart-phone app. If you average 10 mph and plan on riding 45 miles you need to train for 4.5 hours in the saddle. On the other hand, if you ride at a 15 mph pace, that same 45-mile ride should only take 3 hours. This is a big factor in determining how much time you need to spend training, not how many miles.
For the 30-45 mile routes I recommend 3-4 days of riding. One day (usually on the weekend) is going to be your “Long” ride. This ride might start at 45-60 minutes and will gradually build to be 75% of your goal miles by Week 11. Your other 2-3 rides during the week will probably start in the 30-45 minute range and gradually build to 45-60 or 60-90 minutes each, depending on the amount of time you have and the distance that you are riding on Ride Day. Use one of these mid-week rides each week to challenge yourself to some intervals by breaking up the ride with some short sprints. Warm up for 10-15 minutes with some easy riding and then sprint for 15 second sprints with a full 1-2 minutes of easy “recovery” riding in between. Start off with 3-4 reps of this and gradually build up to 5-6 reps at 30 seconds. These intervals will increase your speed and overall fitness.
Long Distance Plan
Are you ready to jump up and tackle one of the two “milestone” cycling distances? The Metric Century (100 kilometers) and the Century Ride (100 miles) are two rides that require planning and commitment. Finishing The Ride For Roswell 65-mile or 102-mile routes will allow you to cross one of these off your bucket list, but you absolutely need to train for both.
Due to the fact that both of these routes require a full article’s worth of planning my first recommendation is to search on Google for a training plan. Bicycling Magazine has plans for both of these distances on their website, but they are not the only ones. Spend some time looking at 8, 10, or 12-week plans and pick the one that is best for you based on your current level of fitness. Most of these plans will have similar characteristics; 1 “speed” day, 1 “endurance” day, 1 “long” day, as well as 1 “active recovery” ride, and the option for another ride or cross-training day. A “rest” day is key for this plan. If you can plan an easy “active recovery” ride (i.e. short ride, 30-45 minutes, light, easy “spinning” gears) the day after your long ride and then a full day of recovery after that, your body will be better prepared for the following week’s training.
Based on experience, my personal recommendation for either of these long routes is to make sure you practice your nutrition strategy ahead of time. You will need to figure out what you can eat in the morning and then along the route in the weeks leading up to Ride Day. Practice this each week as part of your Long ride. Avoid heavy foods that don’t digest well. Whatever breakfast you eat won’t fuel your whole ride. You’ll need to eat and drink along the way in order to avoid the dreaded “bonk”. Try different energy bars, gels, and drinks to determine what fuels and hydrates you without causing GI issues. Trust me, you do not want to wait until Ride Day to find out that the gel you’re using for the first time doesn’t agree with you. Try different options ahead of time and stick with what works. Fortunately, there are rest stops along the route where you can fill up on water and other snacks. Carrying your own personal choice of nutrition is a safe bet on the long routes though.
If you follow one of these plans, I’m confident that you will cross the finish line with a smile on your face. Good luck with your training and thank you for supporting The Ride For Roswell!
Celebrate National Bike Month and get ready to choose your route to a cure at The Ride For Roswell on June 24.
Despite the wet weather, May will blossom for bicyclists.
National Bike Month is a nationwide celebration of getting out on your bike as the season warms. You can participate in national bike challenges, and many local Western New York Bike Month events.
Your local bike shops are ready to provide an ABC safety check and tune up, and many are offering regular group bicycle rides for all experience levels. The Ride For Roswell riding marshals are hosting weekly training rides on Saturdays, and a special Truly Beginner Training Ride on Thursdays, both from UB, both May – June. Slow Roll Buffalo offers community bike rides for every Monday from May through October.
GOBike Buffalo is our local advocate for cycling , community bike shop, and events central for National Bike Month activities and celebrations in Western New York, including Bike to Work Day on May 19.
The idea is to get ready in May – get your bike out and checked, get out riding, work out the kinks, ride with friends to build your Ride team spirit – and be Ready to Ride by June 24.
After you recover from The Ride For Roswell, don’t stop there. Keep riding all season long for the health and wellness benefits, and for the pure fun.
Check the many local cycling resources often, and make plans to see your cycling friends out there!
Why do I volunteer for the Ride for Roswell? There are several reasons why: the comradery of working side by side with others for a common goal, regardless of the reasons why. For those I have lost and hoping that this makes the next fight a winning fight. For the children, who should not have to be part of this battle and those whose battle begins at such a young age, left behind with an ache a child should never know. The awesome feeling of helping and being a part of something so huge and impactful that is helping to stop the suffering of all whom it touches.
On Friday, standing on Carlton Street holding up that index card and feeling the love, the sadness and strength as we honor those in the hospital fighting their fight, remembering those who lost theirs and grateful for those who won. Then on Saturday, being at UB, being a part of a community not based on geographical proximity but a community with a passion for mankind and life, who all share one common thing, hope.
I will always be indebted to my sister who asked me to volunteer that first time several years ago. The feeling of amazement, energy and accomplishment, it’s addictive. I see all those emotions and feelings in the eyes of every new volunteer. As I reflect, I smile to myself thinking of when the riders have left on their routes and clean up is done and that first time, new volunteer says “Count me in for next year” and you know they are all in. They are hooked just like I was and still am.
Since my first year as a volunteer, I look forward to being part of this aw-inspiring event and I secretly hope that this is one of the last years, because that means that cancer will be no more. However, until then I will do what I can, where I can because every little bit helps make a difference.
If you don’t have a bike but still want to become a rider, we’re pleased to share that many of The Ride’s local bike shop partners offer rentals!
Click here for a full listing of our bike shop partners, and give them a ring or stop in to check on their rental availability.
If you can’t ride because you’re volunteering, out of town, working or have another commitment, you can still fundraise for The Ride by becoming a virtual rider!
Virtual riders receive all the benefits of ridership, including an event T-shirt, and breakfast and lunch on Ride Day. Virtual riders even receive a special acknowledgement on the Jumbotron at The Ride, and recognition from the main stage on Ride Day!
To become a virtual rider, choose “Virtual Rider” as your route when you register to ride.
The Ride For Roswell will be here before you know it and there are still hundreds of volunteer positions to be filled. We hope you will consider signing up, and asking your family, friends and colleagues to join you.
Click here to sign up to volunteer today!
There are many assignments for volunteers and there is sure to be one that fits your skills and schedule. Here are just a few of the openings:
Volunteers are needed at the start line at Roswell Park from 5 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 24 to check riders in and cheer them on. We’re also looking for parking and route guide assistance, especially volunteers who are familiar with downtown and can help direct riders from the Trico lot to check-in at RPCI.
Guest Services Volunteers
With 10,000 people on campus at any given time throughout Ride Weekend, the guest & customer service personnel are responsible for greeting and directing guests, and answering any questions they may have.
Celebration of Hope Volunteers
The Celebration of Hope kicks off Ride Weekend on Friday, June 23, and volunteers are needed both to keep the event organized, safe and successful. Come be a part of the inspirational and moving event!
Route guides are needed Saturday in three to five hour shifts, from early morning until early afternoon. You’ll direct riders at turns and intersections, watch out for rider safety, and cheer on participants. You can volunteer with a friend, and you may be able to be a route guide near your home.
The best ride is a safe ride, where riders stay together, communicate hazards, follow rules of the road, and arrive at the finish line with everyone intact! The Ride For Roswell is conducted on open roads where riders share the way with cars and vehicles. Only a very few brief lane closures are in place to aid traffic control, but all roads are open. It is easy to get the feeling that the cyclist is in a protected zone, because the start lines and lanes at UB are closed and traffic is tightly controlled by Amherst Police.
It is easy to feel like the right lane on JJ Audubon Parkway is for bikes only – but it’s not! This section of road, before you make your first big turn on Dodge Road, is the perfect place to start following safe cycling. Before Ride Day, review these safety tips with your family and team, and practice them on your Pre Ride training rides.
The Ride is a ride — not a timed or sanctioned race. High-traffic intersections along The Ride’s routes are managed by local fire police or by town, county or state police. In addition, volunteer Route Guides are located at many turns, intersections and gates. Their job is to cheer you on and give directions — they are NOT authorized to control vehicular traffic. For your safety, please maintain a comfortable rate of speed while complying with standard traffic laws and with the instructions that are given.
A “gate” is an intersection chosen to serve as a short cut for riders who do not “make the gate” by a certain time. If you are “late to the gate”, you must take the short cut in order to finish The Ride by a safe time.
Areas where routes converge are neutral zones, where it’s important to adjust speed to traffic congestion. Each route has gates that close at specific times, after which riders will be diverted to a shorter route for safety reasons. All routes starting at the University at Buffalo are round-trip loops, and the shortcuts are marked in large blue and white signs. Feel free to divert and take the shorter route if you become too tired to continue. You do not need special permission to divert to a shorter route.
Ride to the right unless passing a slower cyclist. Always pass on the left, never on the right. Call out “on your left!” and use your bell as you approach and pass.
Don’t ride more than two abreast. Traveling in groups of more than two riders side by side makes it difficult for both cars and other riders to pass safely.
Obey all traffic signals, devices and signs. Follow directions given by law enforcement and fire safety personnel, Route Guides, Riding Marshals and other Ride volunteers. Slow down in neutral zones where routes merge.
Use verbal commands and hand signals. Most bike accidents occur when two or more bikes collide, usually caused when one rider isn’t paying attention. Use loud and clear communication! Declare your intentions by using hand signals to alert drivers and riders when you turn, slow or stop. Common verbal alerts to conditions and hazards include:
- “Car Back” or “Car Up” (there is a car coming from behind or approaching)
- “On Your Left / Right” (I am passing on your left or your right)
- “Turning” “Stopping” “Slowing”
- “Glass” “Rough Road” “Hole, etc. (There is debris or a rough spot in the road)
Practice your safety before The Ride, and before you know it, you’ll be calling out “On Your Left” at home and even in the supermarket!
We’re excited to announce the new RosRoll route for the 2017 Ride For Roswell. Our Operations & Logistics manager, Tom, gives you an inside look into this new route:
The 14 Mile RosRoll will start and finish at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, creating a new Finish Line for the first time ever in Ride history. RosRoll is a partnership with Slow Roll Buffalo, the cycling phenomenon that takes to Buffalo streets every Monday night, May through October. Slow Roll Buffalo is a series of community bike rides sponsored by Independent Health and Go Bike Buffalo.
The RosRoll will blend the fun and community aspects of Slow Roll with the cause and mission of The Ride For Roswell. Five hundred riders will ride together, escorted by Buffalo Police parade detail and a contingent of Slow Roll Buffalo volunteer riders. The RosRoll will ride past iconic Buffalo landmarks in the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Olmsted Parks System, the Central Terminal, and Larkinville.
The RosRoll is perfect for all levels of cycling experience, and for families with children. The riding pace is 8 – 10 miles per hour, and the whole group stays together to see the community, not to ride fast. Buffalo Police officers control traffic at all intersections, and Slow Roll Buffalo #squad volunteers ride along as riding marshals and bike mechanics to provide a fully supported bike riding experience without the worry of city traffic. Slow Roll Buffalo routinely conducts rides of 1000+ riders, so keeping the RosRoll at a cap of 500 registered fundraising riders will ensure maximum riding fun for all.
The RosRoll starts at 8:30 am, after the Canada routes have started, at Roswell Park’s Kaminski Park. The riders will experience a moving send-off with a tribute to Roswell patients, staff, and volunteers.
Newly Announced: We will roll back to Roswell Park around 11:30 a.m. for a 60’s – themed after party with lunch, music, and celebration, hosted by Team Roswell’s Love Fest group. Convenient free downtown parking on Ellicott Street is included.
In 2016, 657 teams took part in The Ride For Roswell, raising $3.7 million. WOW! Being a part of a team might seem like a lot of work, but the truth is, it’s not! Here’s what it takes:
You + one other person = a team.
It’s that simple! Your team can have as many people as you would like, as long as one person is designated as the Team Captain. If you have never been a team captain for The Ride For Roswell before, check out the Team Captains page for tips, tools and the Team Captain Action Plan to building a successful team. You can also join our Team Captains Facebook Group to connect with other Team Captains and stay up-to-date with the latest Team Captain information.
Once your team is registered, returning for the next year will be a piece of cake. During registration, Team Captains are presented with the option to reactive their team, which automatically transfers over a team’s page content, contacts, and emails from the year past!
There are several perks to having a team at The Ride. Teams have the option to reserve a team tent in Ride City to serve as a central gathering place on Ride Day, and can also participate in the Best Team T-shirt and Best Team Tent contests! Team Captains (and Extra Mile Club members) will also receive an invitation to the annual Above & Beyond Celebration held in the fall, where the Top 100 teams are presented with a personalized plaque.
For team-related questions, please contact Allison Polakiewicz at Allison.Polakiewicz@RoswellPark.org or (716) 845-8846. We look forward to seeing you and your team at The Ride!