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Bicyclists journeying across state for the fight against cancer 540-mile adventure travels through Albany on way to Niagara Falls

Contributed photoCyclists at the end of last year's Empire State Ride. This year's event is bigger than ever.
August 1, 2017 12:30 am Updated: August 1, 2017 12:30 am

ALBANY – More than 100 cyclists from across the country have been making their way across New York state for the Empire State Ride, a seven-day bicycling event with one mission: to win the fight against cancer.

Riders participating in this one-of-a-kind event started out in Manhattan on July 30, made their way to Albany, and will continue to ride through Aug. 5, and along the way they have been raising funds to support cutting-edge cancer research at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Cyclists of all experience levels have been traveling through some of the most scenic parts of New York state, making overnight stops in Albany, the Hudson Valley, Utica, Syracuse and Rochester, and will end their journey at one of the natural wonders of the world, Niagara Falls.

“The Empire State Ride experience is one that our riders will never forget. They take on an amazing personal challenge and form lifelong bonds, while touring New York state in a unique way,” said Bryan Sidorowicz, the director of the event. “But it’s also a way for them to have an impact on the lives of others. By raising critically needed funds for research, our participants are influencing the future of cancer research and helping Roswell Park to take the next step toward creating a world without this disease.”

The Empire State Ride started as a personal challenge and was completed by event founder Terry Bourgeois in 2014. In 2016, the event grew to nearly 60 riders.

Participation has nearly doubled for the 2017 event and includes riders from as far away as California and the Virgin Islands. Several riders have registered for a one-day ride and will join the Empire State Ride for individual legs of the route.

“One of the most powerful aspects of this event is the challenge our riders come together to achieve. This event was created by a passionate volunteer to reduce the gap in critical funding for cancer research. He even did the 500-mile test ride on his own to prove the concept. His idea has since grown into the Empire State Ride,” said Sidorowicz. “Now, individuals from across the country are coming together as a community to join us on this amazing adventure and make a difference in the fight against cancer.”