Here’s all the info you need to know to make your CTF Ride experience a great one.  Still have questions after reading this trove of valuable stuff?  Email us at rideclosertofree@ynhh.org or tweet us @CTFRide.

If you missed online registration and still want to ride, you can register at our Pre-Ride event on Friday, September 8 at the location listed below.

Because of the growth of our Ride population, all riders who did not qualify for Home Check-In must check in at Pre-Ride on Friday, September 8.  Check-in will be digital, quick and easy and is available at Pre-Ride from 2:00pm – 7:00pm

PRE-RIDE: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 8th

  • 2pm-7pm

  • Floyd Little Athletic Center

  • 480 Sherman Parkway

  • New Haven, CT 06511

  • See directions in the directions section below to  Floyd Little Athletic Center

  • If you intend on riding your bike, please use the attached link to find an appropriate bike route from your location to the Floyd Little Athletic Center. http://www.cityofnewhaven.com/TrafficParking/BikeMap.asp

  • At Rider Check-In you’ll receive your jersey, water bottle, rider seat pole tag, bike frame label and wristband.

  • Please don’t lose your wristband and make sure you put it on before you come to the Yale Bowl on Saturday morning.  Your wristband allows you access to participant services on the Ride.

  • Please note that team captains cannot check in for their team members. Every rider must check in at Pre-Ride (or via Home Check-In).

  • After attending Pre-Ride, you can drop your bike off at the Yale Bowl Friday anytime between 3pm and 8pm and make your Saturday morning that much easier. Directions to the Yale Bowl will be available at Pre-Ride and follow signs to Bike Drop Off when you get to the complex.

Road Crew Training and Check-In

  • Road Crew Training is MANDATORY and must be attended by all registered Road Crew teams.  Two sessions will be offered at the Floyd Little Athletic Center.  RSVP HERE  for either Thursday, September 7th or Friday, September 8th.

  • As a Road Crew Member, you MUST attend the 5:30 – 6:30pm session on either 9/7 or 9/8.

  • You may collect your event wristband and t-shirt either prior to or just after the meeting at Volunteer Check In.   Your wristband allows you access to participant services on event.

  • All Volunteers 21 or older are allowed two free beers on event; tickets available in the Beer Garden Tickets/ID Check tent at the Yale Bowl with proof of event wristband

  • All Volunteers will receive 10 tickets to be used at the food trucks of your choice in our food truck village.  Collect your tickets, with proof of your event wristband, at the food & beverage tent at the Yale Bowl.

Yale Bowl Volunteer Check-In

  • Yale Bowl volunteers check in at the Yale Bowl according to your shift time at the Volunteer Check-In Tent on Saturday, September 9th.

  • Please reference the tab below titled (Parking and Directions) for directions and parking map.

  • Please note that you MUST follow the directions for Volunteer parking as this lot is only accessible via Chapel Street. 

  • At Volunteer Check-In, you will receive your event t-shirt and wristband, which allows you access to food and beverage on event.

  • All Volunteers 21 or older are allowed two free beers on event; tickets available in the Beer Garden Tickets/ID Check tent at the Yale Bowl with proof of event wristband

  • All Volunteers will receive 10 tickets to be used at the food trucks of your choice in our food truck village.  Collect your tickets, with proof of your event wristband, at the food & beverage tent at the Yale Bowl.

  • Please plan to arrive at 5:30am to avoid traffic and parking wait times.

  • Services open at 5:30am.  A light breakfast with coffee will be available for riders and volunteers.

  • Free parking is available at the Yale Bowl Complex.  Please take a close look at the parking map below and plan extra time for traffic.

  • Bring Identification and a credit card and carry it with you at all times during the Ride.

  • For your convenience, we will have a free gear check area at the Yale Bowl.

  • Bring rain gear!  The event is rain or shine, so please plan accordingly.

  • Every Rider will have been issued an event wristband at Pre-Ride.  Wristbands must be worn at all times and will allow Riders to services, food & beverages.

  • Riders and Volunteers will each receive two free beers in our beer garden with their event wristband.  YOU MUST HAVE VALID ID SHOWING THAT YOU ARE 21 to be served. THIS IS A STATE LAW

  • Your wristband will also allow Riders and Volunteers to access to free food from our food truck village.  Riders and Volunteers will receive 10 tickets each, with proof of event wristband.  Tickets may be collected in the food & beverage tent at the Yale Bowl.

  • The event begins at 6:45am with an Opening Ceremony and all riders should be at the stage with their bikes no later than 6:40am.  Ride out begins immediately after the conclusion of the ceremony at 7am (regardless of your route selection).

  • Before the ceremony begins, you will be asked to stand near signs displaying your intended route distance. This helps with a safe and orderly ride out.

  • The New Haven Police Department will provide an escort to the city limits, with a stop in front of the Smilow Cancer Hospital for the Smilow Salute.

  • The Smilow Salute is a chance for our Riders to be celebrated by the patients and staff of Smilow Cancer Hospital.  Please be extra careful as you ride past the hospital and please don’t make any sudden turns or movements that could cause an accident.

Pre-Ride at Floyd Little Athletic Center, 480 Sherman Parkway, New Haven, CT 06511

From I-95 North: Take exit 47 to RT 34, Follow RT 34 to where the highway ends go straight for ¾ of a mile to Sherman Ave.  Take the right on to Sherman Ave, go straight through 6 lights the Field House is on the left. As you proceed towards the field house make your first left onto Munson Street and then make your first left into the main parking lot.  Overflow parking is available across Munson adjacent to the ball fields.

From I-95 South: Take exit 47 to RT 34, Follow RT 34 to where the high way ends go straight for ¾ of a mile to Sherman Ave.  Take the right on to Sherman Ave, go straight through 6 lights the Field House is on the left. As you proceed towards the field house make your first left onto Munson Street and then make your first left into the main parking lot.  Overflow parking is available across Munson adjacent to the ball fields.

From I-91 South: Take RT 34 exit, Follow RT 34 to where the high way ends go straight for ¾ of a mile to Sherman Ave.  Take a right on to Sherman Ave, go straight through 6 lights the Field House is on the right. As you proceed towards the field house make your first left onto Munson Street and then make your first left into the main parking lot.  Overflow parking is available across Munson adjacent to the ball fields.

From Rt. 15  (Wilbur Cross Parkway) Take exit 59, take a right onto Whalley Ave.  (Toward New Haven).  Then turn left onto Ella Grasso Boulevard.  Continue straight until the end and then make a right onto Crescent Street.  Field House will be ½ mile down on your left.  As you proceed towards the field house, make your first left onto Munson Street and then make your first left into the main parking lot.  Overflow parking is available across Munson adjacent to the ball fields.

From Rt. 15 South: Take exit 60, take a right onto Dixwell Ave.  Continue on Dixwell Ave. until you see Stop & Shop on the left and Dunkin Donuts on your right.  At the light (St. Ann’s Church) make a right onto Arch Street.  Continue for approx. 2 miles and then make a left onto Bowen Street.  After you see the baseball field on your left you then make a left onto Munson Street and make your first left into the main parking lot.  Overflow parking is available across Munson adjacent to the ball fields.

Ride Day at the Yale Bowl, 81 Central Ave, New Haven, CT 06515

 Please Note that no traffic (except emergency vehicles) will be permitted on Central Avenue between Cleveland and North Armory. Volunteers/Sponsor/Handicap must access parking in Lot F via Chapel Street. Riders must access parking in Lot D via Derby Avenue (Route 34). Follow Police instruction for any detours.

RIDER AND SPECTATOR PARKING – Lot D located off Central Ave and accessible ONLY off Derby Ave (Route 34)

From NYC and points South via Merritt Parkway (Route 15)

Take the Merritt Parkway (Route 15) North to Exit 57 and merge onto Derby Avenue (CT-34).  Follow Derby Avenue for 3.7 miles.  Turn left on to Central Avenue.  Follow signs for RIDER PARKING.

From NYC and points South via I-95

Take I-95 Northbound to Exit 43 and turn left onto Campbell Avenue.  Follow Campbell Avenue for 1.2 miles.  Make a slight right onto Boston Post Road.  Slight left onto Forest Road (CT-122).  Follow Forest Road for 1.7 miles.  Turn right on to Derby Avenue (CT-34).  After 0.6 miles, turn left onto Central Avenue.  Follow signs for RIDER PARKING.

From points North using Merritt Parkway (Route 15)

Take the Merritt Parkway (Route 15) South to Exit 59.  Turn right on to Whalley Avenue.  Follow Whalley Avenue for 0.9 miles and turn right on to Dayton Street.  Turn left onto Fountain Street.  Take the 1st right onto Forest Road (CT-122).  Follow Forest Road for 1.4 miles.  Turn left onto Derby Avenue (CT-34).  After 1.3 miles, turn left on to Central Avenue.  Follow signs for RIDER PARKING.

From points North via I-95

Take I-95 Southbound to Exit 47 and merge onto CT-34 toward New Haven.  CT-34 becomes N. Frontage Rd.  Proceed for 2.2 miles and turn right onto Ella T. Grasso Blvd.  Follow Ella T. Grasso Blvd for 0.2 miles and turn left onto Derby Avenue (CT-34).  After 0.6 miles, turn right onto Central Avenue.  Follow signs for RIDER PARKING.

From points North via I-91 North of Meridan

Take I-91 South to Exit 1 and merge onto CT-34 toward New Haven.  CT-34 becomes N. Frontage Rd.  Proceed for 2.3 miles and turn right onto Ella T. Grasso Blvd.  Follow Ella T. Grasso Blvd for 0.2 miles and turn left onto Derby Avenue (CT-34).  After 0.6 miles, turn right onto Central Avenue.  Follow signs for RIDER PARKING.

VOLUNTEER/SPONSOR/HANDICAP PARKING– Lot F located off Central Ave and accessible ONLY off Chapel Street

From NYC and points South via Merritt Parkway (Route 15)

Take the Merritt Parkway (Route 15) North to Exit 57 and merge onto Derby Avenue (CT-34).  Follow Derby Avenue for 4.3 miles.  Turn left on to Yale Avenue.  Follow Yale Avenue to Chapel Street.  Turn Left onto Chapel Street.  Follow Chapel Street to Central Avenue.  Turn Left onto Central Avenue. Follow signs for VOLUNTEER PARKING.

From NYC and points South via I-95

Take I-95 Northbound to Exit 43 and turn left onto Campbell Avenue.  Follow Campbell Avenue for 1.2 miles.  Make a slight right onto Boston Post Road.  Slight left onto Forest Road (CT-122).  Follow Forest Road for 1.1 miles.  Turn right on to Derby Avenue (CT-34).  After 0.6 miles, turn left onto Yale Avenue.  .  Follow Yale Avenue to Chapel Street.  Turn Left onto Chapel Street.  Follow Chapel Street to Central Avenue.  Turn Left onto Central Avenue. Follow signs for VOLUNTEER PARKING.

From points North using Merritt Parkway (Route 15)

Take the Merritt Parkway (Route 15) South to Exit 59.  Turn right on to Whalley Avenue.  Follow Whalley Avenue for 0.9 miles and turn right on to Dayton Street.  Turn left onto Fountain Street.  Take the 1st right onto Forest Road (CT-122).  Follow Forest Road for 1.4 miles.  Turn left onto Derby Avenue (CT-34).  After 0.6  miles, turn left on to Yale Avenue.  .  Follow Yale Avenue to Chapel Street.  Turn Left onto Chapel Street.  Follow Chapel Street to Central Avenue.  Turn Left onto Central Avenue. Follow signs for VOLUNTEER PARKING.

From points North via I-95

Take I-95 Southbound to Exit 47 and merge onto CT-34 toward New Haven.  CT-34 becomes N. Frontage Rd.  Proceed for 2.2 miles and turn right onto Ella T. Grasso Blvd.  Follow Ella T. Grasso Blvd for 0.2 miles and turn left onto Derby Avenue (CT-34).  After 0.2 miles, turn right onto Yale Avenue.  .  Follow Yale Avenue to Chapel Street.  Turn Left onto Chapel Street.  Follow Chapel Street to Central Avenue.  Turn Left onto Central Avenue. Follow signs for VOLUNTEER PARKING.

From points North via I-91 North of Meridan

Take I-91 South to Exit 1 and merge onto CT-34 toward New Haven.  CT-34 becomes N. Frontage Rd.  Proceed for 2.3 miles and turn right onto Ella T. Grasso Blvd.  Follow Ella T. Grasso Blvd for 0.2 miles and turn left onto Derby Avenue (CT-34).  After 0.2 miles, turn right onto Yale Avenue.  .  Follow Yale Avenue to Chapel Street.  Turn Left onto Chapel Street.  Follow Chapel Street to Central Avenue.  Turn Left onto Central Avenue. Follow signs for VOLUNTEER PARKING.

  • We're bringing two big screens back to the Yale Bowl again this year, and we want to see you on them! Send us a photo with any message (10 words or fewer, please) and we'll put it in our rotating slide show during the Finish Line Festival. Please send us a photo at least 1MB in size. Email us at rideclosertofree@ynhh.org by September 1.

  • We’ll be all over social media on Ride Day. Use #CTFRide when you post a photo to your favorite channel and it will magically appear on our LED screens at the Yale Bowl. PLEASE DON’T POST WHILE YOU’RE RIDING!

  • Your friends and family will be able to track when you enter a Rest Stop based on the tracking tag affixed to your seat pole.  Make sure you attach your tracking chip to your seat pole before you ride.  Each time you cross a timing mat at a Rest Stop, it will record that you have done so. A URL for tracking will be published soon.  Note that our tracking system only reports when you have entered a Rest Stop and does not track you as your ride between stops.

  • We’ll once again have a Closer to Free Bike as part of the Opening Ceremony and we invite you to sign the bike after you cross the finish line. The fully signed bike will then be moved to Smilow for all to see.

  • We’ll have MY RIDE buttons available both at Pre-Ride and before and after the ride under a tent at the Yale Bowl. Simply choose the button which shows the number of years you’ve been a part of the CTFRide (including #1 for you rookies!).

  • “I RIDE CLOSER TO FREE FOR…” bibs will be available under a tent at the Yale Bowl where you can fill in your reason for riding and pin it to your jersey.

  • If you’re riding your first Century with us this year, be sure to pick up a MY FIRST CENTURY sticker at Pre-Ride.

  • The Closer to Free Ride Shop will be at Pre-Ride and the Yale Bowl, offering the finest apparel and accessories which support Closer to Free.  Every item is discounted from our regular online prices, so be ready to get your favorite gear at a great price!

  • Our favorite finish line band, FREEPLAY, will be back and playing several sets during the day!

  • Don’t forget your helmet.  Riders will not be able to ride without an approved ANSI, Snell or ASTM helmet.

  • ROADS ARE NOT CLOSED for the Ride.  You must follow traffic rules and heed stop signs and traffic lights.

  • The route is clearly marked with CTF Ride route arrows that are posted approximately every ¼ mile.  The CTF Ride does not use spray chalk arrows on the roadway.

  • Every Rider is required to wear an event wristband which has an Emergency Help Line phone number printed on it.

  • Use the Emergency Help Line number if you need assistance on the route or find yourself having inadvertently left the marked route.  The Emergency Help Line rings in our command center and help will be dispatched to your location.

  • In the event of a MEDICAL EMERGENCY, dial 911 FIRST, then please dial the Emergency Help Line to report the emergency encountered.

  • The Route closes promptly at 5:00pm.  If you are unable to complete your ride or need a boost to a Rest Stop for mechanical support, our dedicated Road Crew is there to help!

  • Riders tackling the 100 mile route MUST consistently ride at 12mph in order to make it to the finish line by 5:00pm.  Please train accordingly.

  • At 5:00pm, if you are still on the route, you will be swept to the Finish Line Festival at the Yale Bowl, no exceptions.

  • Our Sweep Team will advance you to the next Rest Stop where you can receive support and continue riding or you and your bike can be transported back to the Yale Bowl.

  • Please do not use Sweep as a taxi service between Rest Stops as they are needed for Riders who are in need of true medical or mechanical attention.

  • Our caboose follows the last rider and will provide options to you so that you can spend as many miles in the saddle as possible.

  • Please note that disregarding Ride policies or the instructions of Staff or Road Crew is cause for immediate dismissal from the Ride.

  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  Please make sure you are drinking both water, sponsored by W.B. Mason, and sports drink during your journey.

  • If you’re not sweating and you’re not peeing, you are NOT hydrated!

  • Snacks, water and sports drink will be available to you at the Rest Stops.

  • Medical support is available at every Rest Stop along the route and at the Yale Bowl.

  • Devil’s Gear Bike Shop is our exclusive Bike Tech Sponsor.  They will be at every Rest Stop and roving the route to help with any mechanical needs.  They’ll fix you up quick and get you back in the saddle!

Routes:  You may choose from 10, 25, 62.5 or 100 mile routes.  Please note that mileages are approximate.  We may call one route a metric century (62.5 miles) but in fact that true mileage may be closer to 66 miles.  Mileage is calculated via odometer in a vehicle, which will always differ from a bike computer.  In addition, mileage is accounted for from point to point, i.e. driveway to driveway, and therefore mileage between rest stops may compute more on your bike as you will ride into a rest stop to an area where you set your bike down, which will ultimately add mileage that is not calculated in our scouting vehicle because we are not pulling into rest stops.

10 Mile Route:  9.8 Miles
(Click on image to enlarge)

Quarter Century Route (25 Miles):  24.9 Miles
(Click on image to enlarge)

Metric Century Route (62.5 Miles):  66.0
(Click on image to enlarge)

Century Route (100 Miles):  100.6 Miles
(Click on image to enlarge)

Route Cues
Please note that all routes are subject to change so always follow the route arrows

(Click on image to enlarge)

 

  • Friends, family members and supporters are encouraged to join us at the Yale Bowl for the Finish Line Festival following your Ride.

  • After you cross the finish line, walk your bike to the bike parking area where it will be safe until you’re ready to leave. PLEASE do not lean your bike on tents, railings or other structures at the site.

  • Food, beverages & beer are available for purchase by family and friends (and are free only to registered Riders and Volunteers). Riders and Volunteers are entitled to 10 tickets for use in our food truck village and 2 free beers. VALID ID PROOF OF 21 IS REQUIRED.

  • Family and friends will need to purchase food and beverages in our food truck village and beer in our Beer Garden.  Food trucks may accept credit card purchases, however our Beer Garden is CASH ONLY.

  • New this year!  Our Beer Garden will feature two of Connecticut’s favorite breweries; New England Brewing Co. and Stony Creek Brewery, plus a collaboration beer between the two breweries made just for the Closer to Free Ride!  Remember, Riders and Volunteers with valid proof of 21 get two complimentary beers.

  • The Festival ends at 5:30pm.

  • Riders on the 10 mile route can be expected to return to the Yale Bowl between 8:30am – 9:30am.

  • Riders on the 25 mile route can be expected to arrive back at the Yale Bowl between 9:00am-10:00am.

  • Faster to average Riders on the 62.5 or 100 mile routes can be expected to arrive back at the Bowl between 11:30am-3:00pm.

  • Our slowest Riders can be expected back between 4:00pm-5:00pm.  Family and friends can use these times as a guideline depending on the pace their Rider holds.

  • Bring the kids!  We’ll have kids activities at the Finish Line Festival including a kids obstacle course sponsored by Denali/Trailblazer, cornhole sponsored by Deep River Snacks, design your sign, bounce house, face painting, and more!

 

Cheering stations will be located along the course.  Encourage your family and friends to visit one of these cheering station locations and cheer you on as you ride for the finish. (Estimates on the times that we expect riders to travel by those areas are shown below)

10 Mile Route Cheering Station:

Bank of America Financial Center
157 Church Street – New Haven, CT
7:00am – 8:00am

25 Mile Route Cheering Stations:

Bank of America Financial Center
157 Church Street – New Haven, CT
7:00am – 8:00am

St. Stephen’s School
400 Ridge Road – Hamden, CT
7:30am – 8:30am

Mt. Carmel Christian Church
5100 Ridge Road – Hamden, CT
7:30am – 10:00am

Bank of America
100 Amity Rd – New Haven, CT
8:00am – 11:00am

62.5 Mile Route Cheering Stations:

Bank of America Financial Center
157 Church Street – New Haven, CT
7:00am – 8:00am

St. Stephen’s School
400 Ridge Road – Hamden, CT
7:30am – 8:30am

E.C. Stephen’s Elementary School
18 Kondracki Lane – Wallingford, CT
8:00am – 11:00am

North Guilford Fire Station #4
3087 Durham Road – Guilford, CT
10:30am – 3:00pm

Stony Creek Brewery
5 Indian Neck Ave - Branford, CT
10:00am - 4:30pm

 

100 Mile Route Cheering Stations

Bank of America Financial Center
157 Church Street – New Haven, CT
7:00am – 8:00am

St. Stephen’s School
400 Ridge Road – Hamden, CT
7:30am – 8:30am

E.C. Stephen’s Elementary School
18 Kondracki Lane – Wallingford, CT
8:00am – 11:00am

Bank of America – Clinton, CT
88 W Main St
10:30am – 3:00pm

Bethel Assembly of God
243 Boston Street – Guilford, CT
10:30am – 3:00pm

Stony Creek Brewery
5 Indian Neck Ave - Branford, CT
10:00am - 4:30pm

 

 

Additional questions about Check-In and Ride Day can be emailed to us at rideclosertofree@ynhh.org.

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