By Terry Bourgeois – Contributing Writer
While the 2016 Empire State Ride has ended, the impact of the riders’ efforts has only just begun.
When we arrived in New York City, we were not quite sure what we got ourselves into. We had no idea what the next seven days would be like, but we quickly learned that there were only two boundaries we had to stay between: safety and BIG FUN!
When we crossed the finish line in Niagara Falls on Saturday, we carried new friendships, new memories and greater hope for the cause that brought us all together.
We did it!
Other blogs from the road:
Read other blog posts from the ride:
- Admiring the Hudson, remembering a friend
- Ride hits its stride in the Catskills and beyond
- Yet another epic journey
- Ride builds bond between father and son
We overcame grueling weather, hills and exhaustion. But in the meantime, we laughed, we smiled, we encouraged one another.
We embraced the memories of the loved ones we’ve lost that brought us together. We celebrated the courage of those who have faced and are still fighting their disease. We shared our stories. We shared tears.
We cycled 532 miles across New York State and crossed the finish line not as 60 strangers fighting for a cause, but as a new family connected by hope.
When we parted ways on Saturday, we no longer had a common destination but a shared knowledge that we had made a difference in the fight against cancer.
Collectively, we raised more than $190,000 to advance lifesaving research programs and launch promising new ideas at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
Without our amazing riders and the loved ones who supported them in their efforts, this would not have been possible.
For this, I’m deeply grateful, and I’m proud to call the Empire State Ride Class of 2016 my friends and my family.