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Got questions?  We’ve got answers in our thoroughly thorough FAQ's (see the different categories below).  But if you don’t find the answer to your question here, please contact us at [email protected].

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the 2021 event happening?
Yes! The 2021 Closer to Free Ride will take place. Given the current state and local public health guidelines, the event will launch as a virtual program similar to 2020. It’s our hope that we will be able to include the opportunity for the CTF Ride community to come together safely in-person in September and we’ll make that determination over the coming months and in coordination with local authorities.

Registered CTF Riders will cycle (or choose another activity) and raise essential funds for those who need it most. All Riders commit to a fundraising minimum of $250 ($100 for youth and student Riders). For those who wish to join us by fundraising but not ride, our Non-Rider Virtual Fundraiser option is also available. As always, 100% of the funds we raise will go to the unparalleled research and care at Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center.

Ride Day will still take place on September 11, 2021 but instead of coming together in person, we’ll come together online for a virtual opening ceremony and a special festival experience. You will then be encouraged to ride the distance you registered for while following proper social distancing guidelines.


What are my options for being a part of the 2021 Closer to Free Ride?
You may register as a Virtual Rider or a Non-Riding Fundraiser and raise funds to support Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center.

Virtual Rider: When you register to Ride you will commit to a fundraising minimum of $250 ($100 for youth and student riders) and choose a goal distance of 10, 25, 40, 65 or 100 miles to ride (from home or anywhere!) on September 11th. You can even create your own distance! 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 in order to help you prepare. All Riders will receive an official 2021 Closer to Free Ride Jersey. Note: Should a live ride component be introduced for our 2021 ride, you will have the option to switch your registration to the live ride participant type with no additional fees.

Non-Riding Fundraiser: Interested in joining the Closer to Free community but not as a rider? Register as a Non-Riding Virtual Fundraiser and show your dedication by fundraising with us! All Virtual Fundraisers will receive a Closer to Free Ride pin. There is no fundraising minimum for Virtual Fundraisers but we ask that you strive for a $250 goal!


Is there a registration fee to participate in the 2021 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 and fundraising guides and more. You will also have access to our virtual Ride Day programming.


Is there a fundraising minimum for the 2021 event?
As the Closer to Free Ride is designed as a fundraising event, each Adult Virtual Rider must raise a minimum of $250 and each Youth/Student Rider must raise a minimum of $100 in addition to the $25 registration fee. In our 2020 virtual ride, the average rider raised more than $600 and we've got lots of fundraising tips to help you reach (and even exceed) your goal!  Click here for fundraising tips.

If riding is not for you, you may also register as a Non-Riding Fundraiser. This option has a registration fee but no fundraising minimum (and will not receive the official jersey).


What does a fundraising minimum mean?
A fundraising minimum means that you are committing to raising a specific amount of funds ($250 for Adult Virtual Riders, $100 for Youth/Student Virtual Riders) for Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center. You will supply a credit card to guarantee your commitment when you register for the event. Your card will only be charged the registration fee at that time. We will then securely hold your credit card until September 7th.  If, on September 7 you have not yet met your fundraising minimum, your card will be automatically charged for the balance due. Should you have specific questions regarding the fundraising minimum please contact us at [email protected]


Will there be fundraising rewards?
Yes. As fundraising is central to our mission, we have a great series of rewards that you’ll earn when you reach specific points beyond your fundraising minimum. Non-Riding Fundraisers will be eligible to earn all rewards at $50+. See our rewards levels here

Note: Rewards will be mailed in two shipments: one pre-event and one post-event (to be received by November 1). To receive any or all of your rewards pre-event you must reach the reward level(s) by August 15th. To receive your rewards post-ride you must reach the reward level(s) by September 30th.


Will the traditional CTF Ride routes be available on 9/11?
The CTF-designed routes that we use when we have a live ride are on public roads however, we strongly encourage our community to select their own route in order to comply with social distancing.


Will I still get a Closer To Free Ride jersey?
All registered Riders will receive a 2021 CTF Jersey to wear on Ride Day! Register by September 1st in order to receive your jersey in time for Ride Day.


When will you decide if there is a “live” ride?
We will determine if a live ride option will be an option by mid-June. We are working with local jurisdictions and following public health guidelines. If a live ride option is possible, it will look different than the traditional in-person CTF Ride. As we may have capacity restrictions, all registered virtual riders as of June 15 will have priority in switching to the live-ride option.


What will happen on “Ride Day” September 11?
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.


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 and Yale Cancer Center. You can learn more about Smilow here.


When and where is the Ride?
The 2021 Closer to Free Ride will take place on September 11 and you can be a part of it from wherever you are this year. You can register as a Virtual Rider or a Non-Rider fundraiser. 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 target distances from which you can choose. You can choose the distance that works for you. We’ll also have training guides and tools available to help you reach your mileage goal. If you aren’t a cyclist or don’t want to Ride, you can sign up to raise funds to support Smilow and Yale Cancer Center!

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 10th at 11:59pm.


What if I decide to change my goal distance 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]


 

Do I have to raise money to ride?
As the Closer to Free Ride is designed as a fundraising event, each Adult Virtual Rider must raise a minimum of $250 and each Youth/Student Rider must raise a minimum of $100 in addition to the registration fee. In our 2020 virtual ride, the average rider raised more than $600 and we've got lots of fundraising tips to help you reach (and even exceed) your goal!  Click here for fundraising tips.

If riding is not for you, you may also register as a Non-Riding Fundraiser. This option has a registration fee but no fundraising minimum (and will not receive the official jersey and additional event items).


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 Virtual Riders and Non-Rider Fundraisers goes to work at Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center. To see how Ride funds are used, click here.


Can I fundraise as a team?
Yes! Team fundraising accounts may be utilized by teams who wish to fundraise as a group or gather donations for the team as a whole. IMPORTANT  - Team fundraising accounts will not automatically be allocated to team members. The Team Captain must notify us by email to [email protected] by September 1 with the desired allocations to team members in order to have funds placed in individual team member accounts. Each team member will need to have met the required $250 (Adult Virtual Rider) and $100 (Youth/Student Virtual Rider) by September 7 or their credit cards on file will be charged.


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?

All offline donations must be mailed in along with an offline donation form. Download an offline donation form here.

Please mail donations 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 when you mail checks, 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 we can send your donor an acknowledgment. Please note that for the 2021 Ride, donations cannot be brought to our office. They must be mailed to the address above. If you are mailing donations, please note that it can take 3 weeks before you will see these posted to your fundraising page.


I mailed in 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 roll?

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 11, 2021.


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.


 

Do you have Training Plans?
Our Training & Activities page will be continuously updated throughout the year and will contain training plans and virtual activities to help you prepare for your ride. Check back often as we’ll be adding new elements!

How do I join the CTF Strava Group?
The first step is to Join the CTF Strava Group (you’ll have to create a Strava account if you have not already). To log miles follow the instructions below.

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.

Indoor Mileage:

  • Peloton, follow these instructions to link your bike to your Strava account.
  • Zwift, follow these instructions to link your accounts.
  • 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 count towards our group total.

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.” You can see more details here.