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This year’s CTF Ride offers an incredible experience no matter where you’re riding. Below is all the information on our Remote and In-Person Ride Week and Ride Day activities. Still have questions after reading this trove of valuable stuff?  Email us at [email protected] or message us on any of our social media channels: Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

2022 Ride Week Schedule and Details

In-Person Riders+

Ride Week: Connect with us on our Ride Week Website. Beginning on Tuesday, September 6, all participants will have access to our Ride Week Website. The Ride Week Website will be filled with special activities and content for you.

Pre-Ride & Bike Drop Off - Friday, September 9: All In-Person Riders who did not qualify for Home Check-In must check-in at Pre-Ride to receive their jersey, event wristband and bike label (details below). Once checked in, Riders are strongly encouraged to bring their bike to Overnight Bike Parking at the Yale Bowl. Security will be provided for bikes left at the Yale Bowl and no bike locks are necessary. Note that only bikes displaying the CTF bike label may be dropped off at Overnight Bike Parking. 

Please bring a mask! Face coverings will be required in all indoor spaces (including Pre-Ride at the Floyd Little Athletic Center) and in any Ride transportation including sweep vans and shuttle buses.

Ride Day - Saturday, September 10: On Ride Day, In-Person Riders can start arriving at the Yale Bowl at 5:45am. Our Opening Ceremony will take place at 6:45am before each route will open. Once you have completed your route, you’ll join us back at the Yale Bowl for the Finish Line Festival complete with food trucks (all Riders receive tickets for food), complimentary beer (21+) and more.

Rider Check-In 

All In-Person riders must check in at Pre-Ride on Friday, September 9 at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven. Check-in will be quick and easy and is available from 11:00am – 7:00pm. Anyone wishing to register for the Ride may come to Pre-Ride to register and then check-in. 

In-Person Riders who have met the fundraising minimum for Home Check-in by August 24, 2022 will receive their jersey and event credentials in the mail approximately 5-7 days prior to Ride Day. Riders who have earned Home Check-In do not need to come to Pre-Ride.

Please note that this year, team captains or family members can check in for their team or family members. To do so, you must print and bring a completed check-in waiver signed by each person you are checking in. Adult and youth (under 18) versions are below:
 

ADULT check-in WAIVER YOUTH check-in WAIVER  
 

PRE-RIDE: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9
11:00am-7:00pm
Floyd Little Athletic Center, 480 Sherman Parkway
New Haven, CT 06511

  • At Check-In you’ll receive your jersey, bike label and event wristband.
  • If you qualify for any or all of our Fundraising Rewards, you will pick these up at Pre-Ride or onsite at the Yale Bowl.
  • Please don’t lose your event 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. Your wristband label also matches the number on your bike label so we can identify your bike at bike parking. 
  • Your bike label should be attached to your seat pole. We do not provide tracking on the route, but the assigned label and number will provide us vital details in case of emergency. 
  • After attending Pre-Ride, you can drop your bike off at the Yale Bowl Friday anytime between 12:00pm and 8:00pm 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.

Ride Day Specifics 

  • All In-Person Riders should plan to arrive at the Yale Bowl at 5:45am to avoid traffic and parking wait times. There WILL be parking lines, so the earlier you can arrive, the better.
  • All services open at 5:45am. A light breakfast with coffee courtesy of Cohen’s Bagels 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.
  • If rain is in the forecast, bring rain gear! The Ride is rain or shine, so please plan accordingly.
  • Every Rider will have been issued an event wristband. Wristbands must be worn at all times and will allow access to Rest Stops, SAG, services and bike techs.
  • All Riders and Volunteers will receive 15 tickets to be used at the food trucks of your choice in our food truck village at the Finish Line Festival. Collect your tickets at the Food Tickets tent at the Yale Bowl by showing your event wristband.
  • Riders and Volunteers will also each receive two free beers in our beer and wine garden with their event wristband. YOU MUST HAVE VALID ID SHOWING THAT YOU ARE 21 to be served. Additional beer and wine can be purchased by using cash only.
  • The event begins at 6:45am with an Opening Ceremony and all riders should be at the stage with their bikes no later than 6:30am. Ride out begins immediately after the conclusion of the ceremony (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.
  • Bring a mask! Face coverings will be required in all indoor spaces (including Pre-Ride at the Floyd Little Center) and in any Ride transportation including sweep vans and shuttle buses.

Ride Day Routes

You may choose from 10, 25, 40, 65 or 100 mile routes.  Please note that mileages are approximate.  We may call one route 40 miles but in fact that true mileage may be closer to 39 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, rather only calculating mileage as we pass the entry/exit of a rest stop.

 
 

Remote Riders & Non-Riding Fundraisers+

Ride Week: Connect with us on our Ride Week Website. Remote Riders & Non-Riding Fundraisers will join the CTF Ride community via our Ride Week Website (open on Tuesday, September 6) and social media. The Ride Week Website will be filled with special activities and content for you.

All Remote Riders who meet the fundraising minimum by August 24, 2022 should receive their jersey in the mail approximately 5-7 days prior to Ride Day. We encourage you to wear your jersey (and share photos with us using #CTFRide) on Ride Day or on whatever day you choose to Ride Closer to Free. 

Ride Day: Join the Festivities! Remote Participants can watch the broadcast (on our Ride Week Website) of the Opening Ceremony live from the Yale Bowl on the morning of September 10 and then head out to ride on their own. The Opening Ceremony will also be available on demand for the remainder of the weekend for those who prefer to ride during the live broadcast (or who want to watch it again!).

Share photos to our social wall. Be sure to post using #CTFRide on social media (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) all week long (just not while riding!). Tagged photos will be displayed on our Ride Week Website and social accounts - be sure to make your profile “public” for Ride Week so we can access your photo! 

Remote Rider Ride Day Suggested Itinerary: September 10 (all times Eastern)

  • Anytime: Join us on our Ride Week Website to explore the activities and information available rideclosertofree.org/event 
  • 6:45am: Join us for the Opening Ceremony, live streamed to connect you with your fellow Riders at the Yale Bowl and see and hear all the action!
  • 7:00am: Head out to ride! Don’t forget to share your photos!
  • Post-Ride: Reconnect with the community on our Ride Week Website to see photos and watch (or rewatch) the Opening Ceremony.

Ride Week: Connect with us on our Ride Week Website. Beginning on Tuesday, September 6, all participants will have access to our Ride Week Website. The Ride Week Website will be filled with special activities and content!

Ride Day: On Ride Day, you will report to your assigned Volunteer shift and location. Check-In information is below. All Volunteers will receive 15 tickets to be used at the food trucks of your choice in our food truck village at the Finish Line Festival. You will collect your tickets at the food & beverage tent at the Yale Bowl by showing your event wristband. Volunteers 21+ will also each receive two free drinks in our beer and wine garden with their event wristband. YOU MUST HAVE VALID ID SHOWING THAT YOU ARE 21 to be served alcohol. Additional beer and wine can be purchased by using cash only. Note: Road crew volunteers who may not make it to the Festival will receive a boxed meal. 

Volunteer Check-In

With the exception of Road Crew and Rest Area Volunteers, all Volunteers will check in at the Yale Bowl. All Volunteers will receive an event wristband and t-shirt. Your wristband allows you access to participant services.

Volunteers working at Pre-Ride on September 9 will check-in at the Volunteer desk at Pre-Ride at the Floyd LIttle Athletic Center to receive their final assignment and t-shirt.

Volunteers working at Yale Bowl will check-in at the Yale Bowl Volunteer tent to receive their final assignment and t-shirt.

Road Crew and Rest Area Volunteers will check-in at Pre-Ride before their required All Road Crew Meeting to receive their event wristband and t-shirt. Road Crew Training is MANDATORY and must be attended by all registered Road Crew and Rest Area teams. Two sessions will be offered at the Floyd Little Athletic Center. Look out for an email with a link to RSVP for one of the meeting options soon!

Any questions regarding Volunteer assignments may be sent to [email protected].

The health and safety of our participants and staff remains of utmost importance. All health and safety protocols have been created in collaboration with Yale New Haven Health’s medical team. Safety measures include: Mask requirements for indoor locations, regular disinfection and cleaning of all shared surfaces. Anyone exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 is asked not to participate in the Ride.

  • Vaccination policy: Vaccination is highly encouraged but not required to participate.
  • Mask Policy: Face coverings are required in all indoor spaces (including Pre-Ride at the Floyd Little Athletic Center) and in any Ride transportation including sweep vans and shuttle buses. 

Cycling Safety Policies:

  • Don’t forget your helmet.  Riders will not be able to ride without an approved ANSI, Snell or ASTM helmet.
  • ROADS ARE NOT CLOSED (except for the 10 mile route) for the Ride.  You must follow traffic rules and heed stop signs and traffic lights.
  • Riders must ride single file at all times, with the exception of passing.  You must call out “On Your Left” when passing and make sure that you LOOK BEHIND You before pulling out to pass.
  • 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 the Emergency Help Line phone number printed on it and matches the participant bike frame number you will attach to your bicycle.
  • Use the Emergency Help Line (973-250-8808) 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.
  • 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!
  • A sweep vehicle can 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.
  • The route closes promptly at 5:00pm. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Bike techs will be Pre-Ride, Yale Bowl and at every rest stop along the route to help with any mechanical needs. Thank you to both our Premier Cycling Sponsor, Zane’s Cycles, and our Bronze Sponsor, Velofix, for taking care of all of our riders this year. They’ll fix you up quick and get you back in the saddle!
  • Do not use headphones or earbuds with riding.

 

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

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.

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. Riders must access parking in Lot D via Derby Avenue (Route 34). Volunteers/Sponsor/Handicap must access parking in Lot F via Chapel Street. Follow Police instruction for any detours.

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

YALE BOWL VOLUNTEER/SPONSOR/HANDICAP PARKING– Lot F located off Central Ave and accessible ONLY off Chapel Street. Follow Chapel Street to Central Avenue.  Turn Left onto Central Avenue. Follow signs for VOLUNTEER PARKING.

Our 2022 Cheering stations will be located along the official In-Person route.  Encourage your family and friends to visit one of these cheering station locations and cheer you on as you ride for the finish. 

 

  • 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 and wine are available for purchase by family and friends (and are free only to registered Riders and Volunteers). Riders and Volunteers are entitled to 15 tickets for use in our food truck village and 2 free beverages. YOU MUST HAVE VALID ID SHOWING THAT YOU ARE 21 to be served. Additional beer and wine can be purchased by using cash only.
  • Family and friends will need to purchase food and beverages in our food truck village and alcohol in our Beer and Wine Garden.  Food trucks may accept credit card purchases, however our Beer and Wine Garden is CASH ONLY.
  • Our Wine and Beer Garden will feature two of Connecticut’s favorite breweries; New England Brewing Co. and Stony Creek Brewery! Wine from Murphy Distributors will also be available. Remember, Riders and Volunteers with valid proof of 21 get two complimentary drinks.
  • The Festival ends at 6:00pm.
  • 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.
  • Riders on the 40 mile route can be expected to arrive back at the Yale Bowl between 10:00am - 11:30am.
  • Faster to average Riders on the 65 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 giant lawn games and more

All participants, family and friends are invited to join the CTF community via our Ride Week Website (open on Tuesday, September 6) and via social media. The Ride Week Website will be filled with special activities and content for you. In addition to our site, check out these fun activities:

  • Download the customizable CTF “I RIDE CLOSER TO FREE FOR… ” bibs where you can fill in your reason for riding. In-person participants can also obtain bibs at Pre-Ride and onsite at the Yale Bowl under the CTF Spirit tent at the Yale Bowl. 
  • Download the “Hope Rides With Me” poster for printing and sharing during your training or as your prepare for the Ride. Show the world that Hope Rides With You by using #CTFRide and #HopeRidesWithUs
  • Join us on Social! We’ll be all over social media on Ride Day. Use #CTFRide when you post a photo to your favorite channel. Make sure your social media profiles are marked as public (you can change this just for Ride Weekend!) and your post will magically appear on our LED screens at the Yale Bowl and on our Ride Week Website for all who are joining us remotely. PLEASE DON’T POST WHILE YOU’RE RIDING!
  • For In-Person Participants:
    • 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 the CTF Spirit tent at the Yale Bowl. Simply choose the button which shows the number of years you’ve been a part of the CTF Ride (including #1 for you rookies!).
    • If you’re riding your first Century with us this year, be sure to pick up a MY FIRST CENTURY sticker at Pre-Ride or the CTF Spirit Tent.
    • 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.  Items are now at our lowest prices ever, so be ready to get your favorite gear at a great price! New for this year, the online store will be open for pre-orders on September 2. Be on the lookout for an email with the details and a promotional code to enter to ensure you can pick up at the Ride. 
    • Our favorite finish line band, FREEPLAY, will be back and playing several sets during the day!

Additional questions about Ride Day can be emailed to us at [email protected]