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Though our ride looks a bit different this year, we are excited to bring you a unique and fun 2020 Closer to Free Ride experience. Read on for important information about what Ride Day looks like and how to prepare.

Questions? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected], 203-535-9100 (Jessica Scheps) or Tweet us @CTFRide.

Ride Day Itinerary+

  • 8:00am ET: Opening Ceremony Broadcast
  • Join us online at eventday.rideclosertofree.org for a powerful tribute to our CTF Ride community. We encourage you to watch with your family and share the link with friends and donors as well!
  • Plan to log-on by 7:55am ET to enjoy the show.
  • The broadcast will be approximately 30 minutes and is the perfect way to kick off your Ride!
  • Chat with us during the show!
  • If you’re planning to start your ride earlier than 8:00am - not to worry! Our broadcast will be available on our event website all day.
  • 8:30am ET: Your Ride!
  • The distance you ride and where you ride is up to you. We will not be gathering at the Yale Bowl, Smilow or any other traditional CTF Ride site.
  • We encourage you to track your miles using our Strava group or your Closer to Free Ride App.
  • Send in photos or videos of your ride by tagging them with #CTFRide on social media (remember to set your profiles to public for the weekend and DON’T POST WHILE RIDING!)
  • Don’t forget to ride with your photo ID and cell phone in case of emergency.
  • In case of emergency, dial 911 as our command center will not be in operation.
  • Post-Ride: Finish Festival (available from all day!)
  • Join us back online at eventday.rideclosertofree.org for our Finish Festival, details below...

We’re excited to welcome you online for our 2020 Closer to Free Ride Finish Festival! This year’s festival may not be at the Yale Bowl, but we’re still excited to offer you some of the great tents and activities you’ve come to love and some new experiences as well! Here’s a preview of what you’ll find at the festival:

  • Bank of America Stage - Rewatch the morning’s ceremony broadcast if you missed it!
  • Smilow Salute - See our tribute banner on display on Ride Day for patients at Smilow Cancer Hospital!
  • Beer Garden - If you’ve already picked yours up, enjoy your complimentary New England Brewing Company beer (or other beverage of choice!) and toast your Ride from home!
  • Bike Mosaic - Check out the 2020 Closer to Free Ride Bike, comprised of our community’s photos!
  • NBC Connecticut - hear the incredible stories of our community and watch CTF coverage from our friends at NBC Connecticut.
  • CTF Kids - Activities for the youngest CTF Ride community members.
  • CTF Ride Shop - Shop with a special Ride Day discount 
  • 2021 Save A Spot - Sign up to save your spot and receive a special discount when we open 2021 registration.
  • Through the Years - See a photo and video montage of the past 10 years of Closer to Free.
  • Free bagels and beer - yes you read that right! Three of our partners have offered great Ride Day incentives for our participants. Stop by any of these locations on your on September 12th  while wearing your CTF Ride jersey or other CTF swag and receive:
    • Cohen’s Bagels: Free Bagel and cream cheese + coffee
      1347 Boston Post Rd., Madison, CT 06443
    • Stony Creek Brewery: 2 free beers
      5 Indian Neck Ave, Branford, CT 06405
    • New England Brewing Company: 1 free growler refill per rider
      175 Amity Rd, Woodbridge, CT 06525
  • Wear your CTF Ride jerseys and gear! Even though we’re apart on Ride Day, we encourage everyone to wear their official Closer to Free Ride jerseys (2020 if you earned and received one, or any other year). Don’t have a jersey? Fill out and wear your CTF Ride bib mailed to you in your registration packet!
  • #CTFRide. We’ll be all over social media on Ride Day. Use #CTFRide when you post a photo to Facebook, Instagram or other social channel and it will magically appear at our Finish Festival! Be sure to make your social profile PUBLIC so we receive the photo too!
  • CTF Ride Bib. If you haven’t yet completed a digital CTF Ride Bib to tell us why you Ride Closer to Free - make your bib today
  • We will not be riding as a large group - this is YOUR RIDE to do from a location convenient and safe for you.
  • We will not be posting or providing suggested routes
  • DO NOT COME TO THE YALE BOWL OR SMILOW CANCER HOSPITAL
  • Begin your ride at a time convenient for you (our Opening Ceremony will be airing all day!)
  • When riding, wear your CTF Ride jersey (from this year or a past year)
  • We’d love you to ride 10, 25, 40, 65 or 100 miles on Ride Day, but the distance is up to you
  • Riding indoors on a trainer or Peloton is welcome
  • Be sure to bring plenty of water, snacks, ID, your phone and money
  • Remember that our amazing rest stops will not be there for you.
  • In an emergency dial 911

CYCLING SAFETY TIPS:

  • Don’t forget your helmet.  Every time you ride, you should wear a helmet.
  • Wear bright and/or reflective clothing, even in the daytime hours.
  • Avoid wearing headphones so as to stay alert at all times.
  • When riding with others, ride single file at all times, with the exception of passing.
  • When passing, call out “On Your Left” when passing and make sure that you LOOK BEHIND you before pulling out to pass.
  • Follow the rules of the road, as if you were driving a car.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  Please make sure you are drinking both water and sports drink during your rides.
  • If you’re not sweating and you’re not peeing, you are NOT hydrated!
  • ROADS WILL NOT BE CLOSED FOR YOUR RIDE.  Follow all traffic laws and be smart!

HEALTH & SAFETY TIPS DURING COVID-19:

Yale New Haven Health is committed to bringing you the latest information about COVID-19 (coronavirus) to ensure you and your loved ones receive the care you need, when you need it. Our expert staff is prepared and doing everything in their power to research, diagnose and treat COVID-19 in the cities and towns we all call home. For current Yale New Haven Health COVID-19 information and resources.