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Got questions?  We’ve got answers in our thoroughly thorough FAQs (see the different categories to the left on a computer and below on a mobile device).  But if you don’t find the answer to your question here, please contact us at [email protected].

2020 REDESIGNED CLOSER TO FREE RIDE


Is the 2020 event happening?

Yes! The 2020 Closer to Free Ride will take place as a redesigned event and you can join us from home from the moment your register through Ride Day. While public health concerns and local regulations will prevent us from gathering together in person on September 12, we can still unite from wherever we are to deliver the hope, love and support that Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center need. Registered CTF Riders and Volunteers will still be able to cycle (or choose another activity) and raise essential funds for those who need it most. There’s no fundraising minimum, but the need for funding is even greater now, so we’ll have suggested fundraising minimums and rewards to keep you challenged and inspired. As always, 100% of the funds we raise will go to the unparalleled research and care at Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center.


What is the redesigned 2020 Closer to Free Ride?

The redesigned 2020 Closer to Free Ride is an experience that allows you to ride and fundraise from wherever you choose to be. Ride Day will still take place on September 12, 2020 but instead of coming together in person, we’ll  come together for an online opening ceremony. You will then be encouraged to ride the distance you registered for while following proper social distancing guidelines.


10 Year 100,000 Mile Challenge! 

There are several ways to ensure your mileage counts towards our 100,000 mile goal!

The first step is to Join the CTF Strava Group (you’ll have to create a Strava account if you have not already): 

JOIN CTF STRAVA GROUP

Outdoor Mileage
On the Strava app, you can log miles directly by choosing “Record” on the bottom of the app screen before you begin your ride. Don’t forget to choose “Finish” when you are done to log your complete ride! Strava also integrates with many GPS watches, smart watches and cycling computers to sync activities as well.

Indoor Mileage
Peloton bike, follow these instructions to link your bike to your Strava account

Zwift, follow these instructions to link your accounts: https://bit.ly/3eQlKcD

Spin bike that doesn’t capture metrics see manual entry below.

  • Manual Entry of Outdoor or Indoor Mileage
  • If you’re on a spin bike that doesn’t capture metrics or you forgot to log a live ride, all you have to do is enter the ride manually on Strava to ensure your miles counts towards our 100,000 mile goal! !
  • To do this, if you're using the web version of Strava, select the “+” in the upper righthand corner and select “Add  manual entry.” If you're using the Strava app, select the “+” in the upper lefthand corner and choose “manual activity.”

Thanks for helping us reach our 10 Year Challenge of 100,000 miles!

Will there be fundraising rewards?

Yes. As fundraising is central to our mission, all Riders who raise $250 will receive a CTF 10th Year baseball hat and all who reach the suggested minimums of $500 (adult) and $250 (youth) will receive the 10th Year hat plus our 10th year cycling jersey! All Volunteers/Virtual Fundraisers who reach the suggested minimum of $250 will receive the 10th year hat plus our 10th year long-sleeve shirt!


What are my options for being a part of  the redesigned 2020 Closer to Free Ride?

You may register as a Rider or a Volunteer/Virtual Fundraiser and raise funds to support Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center.

  • Rider: When you register to ride you will choose a goal distance of 10, 25, 40, 65 or 100 miles to ride (from home or anywhere!) on September 12th. This will be Your Ride so you can plan to complete this distance out on your favorite route or even on an at-home spin bike! We’ll supply lots of training plans and support to help you prepare and of course, you may choose your own distance as well!
  • Volunteer/Virtual Fundraiser: When you register as a Volunteer/Virtual Fundraiser you too will raise essential funds for Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center. You will also be given a variety of ways to to support the CTF community remotely. These could include helping to spread the word about the Ride, writing notes of hope to patients, or making masks for healthcare heroes at Smilow Cancer Hospital.  We will also have opportunities for Fundraisers to connect and share stories virtually throughout the season.

Is there a registration fee to participate in the 2020 event?

To help defray production costs, we have a reduced registration fee of $25 for Riders. Your fee will enable us to provide you with an online fundraising page, training guide and registration kit will be complete with participation and fundraising guides as well as tribute bibs and more to use on Ride Day, September 12th. You will also have access to our virtual Ride Day programming.


Is there still a fundraising minimum for the 2020 event?

No, there is no fundraising minimum for the 2020 event. We ask that you strive to meet our suggested minimum of $500 for adults and $250 for youth (the same as the traditional CTF Ride) to bring vital funding to Smilow. And of course, we encourage you to go above and beyond those suggested minimums, because the more we raise, the more we support the essential research and care carried out right here in Conneticut.


What does suggested fundraising mean?

“Suggested fundraising” means that we won’t hold you to a specific dollar amount nor will you be automatically charged for any monetary goal you set. We ask that you do your best to fundraise the most you can and know that 100% of the funds we raise will go to the unparalleled research and care at Smilow and Yale Cancer Center.


What does registering as a Rider now mean?

Registering as a Rider now means you’ll receive a registration kit and gain immediate access to your online Closer to Free Ride dashboard and fundraising page. Registering now also means you can join the community and access the tools and resources we have ready for you to begin training, fundraising and gathering (safely apart)!


Will the CTF Ride routes be available on 9/12?

The CTF designed routes are public roads however we strongly encourage our community to select their own route in order to comply with social distancing.


What does registering as a Volunteer/Virtual Fundraiser now mean?

Registering as a Volunteer/Virtual Fundraiser now means you’ll gain immediate access to your online Closer to Free Ride dashboard and fundraising page. Registering now also means you can join the community and access the tools and resources we have ready for you to start fundraising from afar. We have plenty of ideas and ways you can still contribute and be part of the CTF community. 


I registered as a Rider prior to the change to the redesigned event and paid a registration fee. Will I receive a refund?

Registration fees are non-refundable, but we will be crediting your fundraising account with the difference between what you paid as your registration fee and the new reduced $25 registration fee . For example, if you paid a $100 registration fee for the 2020 event, $75 will be credited towards your fundraising total. If you paid an $80 registration fee for the 2020 event, $55 will be credited to your fundraising total. Credits will appear in your fundraising totals by June 30th.


I registered as a Rider prior to the change to the redesigned  event and committed to a fundraising minimum. What will happen now?

We will not be enforcing fundraising minimums for the redesigned 2020 Closer to Free RIde. Any fundraising contract made from a registration prior to June 1 will be cancelled and no credit cards will be charged for fundraising balances.


If I'm already a registered Rider, what happens to any of my funds raised already? Can I continue fundraising and have it count towards my goal?

Any funds already raised for the 2020 Closer to Free Ride will remain in your fundraising account and absolutely count towards your goal - thank you for starting early  and continuing to fundraise!


If I already registered as a Team, will my team stay in place?

Yes! Any 2020 teams created prior to our conversion to the redesigned 2020 Closer to Free Ride will remain in place and active!


If I’m already registered as a Volunteer, do I need to now re-register?

No. Your participant Dashboard will remain active and even include some new bells and whistles ready for your use! 


What is included in my registration kit?

Your registration kit will include all of the essential information you need for your 2020 CTF Ride Experience all in one place. There will be instructions on how to customize and set up your fundraising page, and how to set up your CTF Ride App so you can track your miles. We’ll also include a 2020 Why I Ride bib, 10 Year CTF Bingo Card, and a few fun ways to connect with the CTF community over the next couple of months.


Will I still get a Closer To Free Ride jersey?

If you are registered as a Rider and meet your $500 suggested fundraising minimum ($250 for youth under 12) by August 25th, we will send you the 2020 CTF Jersey so that you can wear it on Ride Day! If you meet your suggested minimum after the August 25th date, your jersey will be sent out post-Ride day.


What is the 10 Year Challenge?

This is our 10th CTF Ride, and even in the time of the Coronavirus, we don’t want to lose sight of celebrating such an important milestone. So we’re challenging you, our amazing CTF Ride community, to collectively ride 100,000 miles before Ride Day. We will be tracking all of your mileage through our app, so be sure to log in before starting your ride. Every mile will help us reach our ambitious goal and show our strength as a community for our 10th year. Additional details on the app and this challenge are coming soon!


What will happen on “Ride Day” September 12?

We want Ride Day to mirror our traditional CTF Ride Day as much as possible. So with that in mind, we’ll be hosting an online Opening Ceremony followed by Your Ride, which you can complete on the road, or on a spin bike from wherever you are. We’ll also have additional surprise Ride Day elements which will be announced in the coming months. Stay tuned!


Can I still create a team even though there is not an in-person Ride?

Absolutely! We encourage everyone to register for our redesigned event just as they would for the traditional ride. The more riders and virtual fundraisers and teams we have, the more we will achieve our goals of a world closer to free of cancer!


Do my team members and I have to choose the same distance or activity?

No. You and your team members can choose to participate in any distance or activity and still fundraise together as a team.


GENERAL FAQs


Who's behind the Closer to Free Ride?

The Closer to Free Ride is produced by the Yale New Haven Hospital Office of Development and is the primary fundraising and awareness event for Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven. You can learn more about Smilow here.


When and where is the Ride?

The 2020 Closer to Free Ride will take place on September 12 and you can be a part of it from wherever you are this year. [PLEASE NOTE that there will not be any activity at the Yale Bowl and the public will be prohibited from gathering there.]  You can register to Ride or Virtually Fundraise and we’ll have options to participate virtually, or on a bike (from a distance!). For more information on this year’s Ride, click here


Do I need to be an experienced cyclist or elite athlete to participate?

Absolutely not.  We have a variety of route options to choose from. Choose the distance that works for you. We’ll also have training guides available to help you reach your mileage goal. If you aren’t a cyclist or don’t want to Ride, you can sign up as a volunteer and we’ll find creative ways for you to support the CTF Ride community.


FUNDRAISING FAQ'S


Do I have to raise money to ride?

No, there is no fundraising minimum for the 2020 event. We have switched to a “suggested fundraising” model where we ask all to strive to meet our suggested minimum of $500 for adults and $250 for youth (the same as the traditional CTF Ride) to bring vital funding to Smilow. And of course, we encourage you to go above and beyond those suggested minimums, because - the more we raise the more we support the essential research and care at Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center.


Do you have any fundraising tips?

Yes. We have a fundraising guide that contains e-mail templates, fundraising ideas, and sample social media posts. For all of our tips on fundraising, click here


Where does the money I raise go?

We're glad you asked.  One hundred percent of the funds raised by Riders and Virtual Fundraisers goes to work at Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center. To see how Ride funds are used, click here.


I’m having trouble with my online fundraising page.

For any questions concerning your online fundraising page, please email [email protected]


My donors have given me cash or a check towards my fundraising. What should I do with it?

You can either drop off donations to our office during normal business hours OR mail them to our office.

Download an offline donation form here. 

Drop off location: NO MAIL.
Selina Lewis Building
1st Floor, Room H121
659 George Street
New Haven, CT 06511

If you can't find us, call us when you arrive at 203-688-9644.

If you’d like to mail in the donations, please mail them to:

YNHH Office of Development
PO Box 1849
New Haven, CT 06508
If you have any questions please call 203.200.CTFR or email [email protected].

Please make sure that whether you drop off your checks or mail them, the donations are accompanied by a donation form.  Donation forms can also be downloaded and printed here. The donation form ensures that we credit the correct fundraising account and so that that we can send your donor an acknowledgement.


I mailed in (or dropped off) my “offline” donations and I don’t see them on my fundraising scroll.

Offline donations can take up to 3 weeks to process. You will not see these donations appear immediately.


My donor is not showing up in my honor roll. Why?

Some donors choose to make their donation and the amount appear anonymously.


My donor WANTS to appear in my honor roll but they didn’t remember to fill out this information. How can their information appear on the honor role?

Please ask your donor to email us at [email protected] so that we can find out exactly how they want their gift information to read.


How do matching gifts work?

Many companies have matching gift programs. When a donor supports the Closer to Free Ride their employer may donate the same amount or even more. It will just take the donor a few minutes to contact their HR department to see if they in fact have a matching gift program.

We cannot guarantee the amount of time it takes for a company to approve the request, process the matching gift and cut checks to Yale New Haven Hospital.

It's essential that the donor designate Yale New Haven Hospital as the non-profit organization using tax ID: 06-0646652.

*All matching gift requests must be submitted to the employer prior to Ride Day September 12, 2020.


What's your tax ID?

The Closer to Free Ride operates under the tax ID number for Yale New Haven Hospital. The tax ID is 06-0646652. We are listed under Yale New Haven Hospital, 20 York Street, New Haven, CT.

REGISTRATION FAQS


I want to register as part of a team but my team captain hasn't set up the team yet. What should I do?

Sign up as an individual. We can move you to a team at any time between now and Ride Day. Just email us at [email protected] if you wish to join a team.


I’m not sure if I want to sign up as an individual or a team. What should I do?

Sign up as an individual. We can move you to a team at any time between now and Ride Day. Just email us at [email protected] if you wish to join a team.


When is the deadline to register?

You can register any time online until September 11th at 11:59pm.*

*If you register after August 31, 2020, you will not receive a registration kit in time for Ride Day.


What if I decide to change routes between the time I register and Ride Day?

Not a problem. You can make that change by logging into your participant dashboard and updating your rider profile. If you have trouble, email us at [email protected]