Please note: The following Q&A reflects 2013-
Check back for 2014 information in December. Read more about our new website launch here!
What are my options for participating in 2013??
For 2013, we are introducing a 1 Day option for both our Midwest and New York Rides. Riders will be able to choose from a variety of mileage options.
Cyclist choosing our signature 2 Day Ride experience for either the New York or Midwest Ride will arrive at camp on Friday, and ride Saturday and Sunday. Riders choosing our new 1 Day option will arrive at camp on Saturday, and ride Sunday.
The New York Ride will take place June 7th-June 9th, 2013. For more information regarding the New York Ride, click here.
The Midwest Ride will take place August 23rd-August 25th, 2013. For more information regarding the Midwest Ride, click here.
Where do the Rides begin and end?
We are currently revising both routes because of the new options we are adding, so all of our exact route information is not yet available. We do have two different options for both of our Rides: we have our signature 2-Day Ride (Friday evening-Sunday), and our new 1-Day Ride (Saturday evening-Sunday). You can find out more about the mileage of those options below.
The New York Ride (2-day version) will start from Cold Spring, ride through West Point Campus, through Newburgh, Marlboro, through the Dutchess County Rail Trail, and finally up to Rhinebeck where our camp is located. On Sunday, our 1-day and 2-day riders will start in Rhinebeck, ride through Salt Point, Poughkeepsie, Beacon, Fishkill, and end in Wappingers Falls. Through both days of our New York Ride, we spend a good amount of time in sight of the Hudson River.
In the Midwest, we’ll start from East Troy, WI and end in Milwaukee, riding through the Kettle Moraine region, and ending up on Lake Michigan.
What mileage choices do I have?
For our 2 Day Ride option, you can choose to ride either 140 miles, or add a century loop on either day for a total of about 170 miles, or add a century loop on both days for a total of 200 miles.
For our 1 Day Ride option, you can choose to ride either 62.5 miles, or add a century loop for a total of 100 miles.
For those who are not interested in riding, you can still join this amazing community of people as a part of our crew for the full weekend.
I am going to choose the 1 Day Option. Do I have to stay at camp on Saturday? Can I just come on Sunday?
All 1 Day riders will need to check-in at our camp on Saturday in the late afternoon.
If you need weekend parking, you will need to stay at camp overnight, as the parking location is located near our ending site. That being said, we will need to shuttle you from that location to our camp. If you are being dropped off and do not need parking, you can leave Saturday night after check-in, and be dropped off again early Sunday morning if you choose.
We do encourage you to stay overnight, as our ultimate goal is to create a strong, supportive community for all of our riders who are affected by IBD and ostomy surgery. Year after year, our riders have taken away an immense amount of personal satisfaction and support from the relationship they have built during GYGIG’s Ride. and the overnight experience is an important part of how these bonds are formed.
Can I crew for 1 Day?
Our crew experience will continue to be a 2 Day experience. Due to the nature of our Ride and support logistics, we need to have the most consistent crew possible in order to provide our riders with the best support possible.
We can, of course, use all the help we can get, and do have opportunities for day volunteers to help us with opening, closing, check-in, and in-office help. Please email us at <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a> if you are interested in volunteering for GYGIG for a day.
Why a multiple day ride?
A multiple day ride is one of the most effective ways to achieve several objectives such as raising public awareness about IBD and generating vital funds to create even more advocacy and research support.
Our unique event allows riders and crew to form a close, supportive community, as they reach an empowering athletic accomplishment. An estimated 1.4 million Americans suffer from Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Yet, because of the silence surrounding these diseases, awareness is sorely lacking. Get Your Guts in Gear’s Rides empower individuals to personally fight IBD and rise to a physical challenge. Our riders, many of whom live with IBD, achieve intense personal satisfaction by achieving this ride, and often come back year after year to make a difference in the IBD community.
When can I sign up?
Now! In order to preserve an intimate, community feel, the number of riders is limited for each location. We recommend that you sign up as soon as possible to reserve your spot. Because of the preparation involved for events such as these, we are unable to accept on-site registrations. The registration fee for 2 Day riders and crew is $85, and the fee for 1 Day riders is $65. Registration fees help offset the costs of staging the Ride, including providing catered food and lodging for all participants. Individuals who register for multiple Rides at the same time qualify for a special discounted registration fee.
Crew positions are also limited, and fill up quickly.
You can register online or you can print out a registration form and mail it to us.
Participants who are at least 18 years old on or before the check-in date for the Ride can register at the link above. Participants ages 12 to17 may take part if accompanied by a parent or guardian. For riders and crew age 12-17, please write or call us. Please contact GYGIG for more information at 718-875-2123, or email us at email@example.com.
I want to ride but I don’t live in New York or the Midwest!
We get plenty of riders and volunteers that travel in for GYGIG, some years up to half the participants. If you are riding, you will receive information on how to ship your bike, and when it arrives, it will be set up by a professional bike mechanic. After the ride, we’ll keep track of your bike and ship it back home for you!
Many riders and crew members travel to the ride locations and spend a few extra days enjoying the locales. Both New York City and upstate New York are easily accessible from the ride location, and offer countless things to do including restaurants, shows, sightseeing, and even state parks. Wisconsin is an inexpensive state to travel to, and has way more than cows! An array of museums, microbreweries, and one of the country’s largest zoos are in the metro Milwaukee area, and a few minutes’ drive outside the city brings you to sprawling state parks, lakes, and friendly countryside.
Check our blog section for upcoming posts on traveling to these locations, and IBD-friendly things to do!
Is there a fundraising minimum?
Yes, there is a fundraising minimum for riders.
2 Day Ride Option: $85 registration, $1,250 per rider fundraising minimum.
1 Day Ride Option: $65 registration, $650 per rider fundraising minimum.
The fundraising minimum is based on the number of days you participate, not the mileage per day. This leaves you free to choose the mileage that is physically appropriate for you on the day of the event, rather than locking you in months in advance.
For any of our Rides, fundraising totals must be submitted prior to the Ride. Most of our riders set and achieved fundraising goals much higher than the minimum.
Fundraising is optional for volunteers and crew members. Crew and volunteers are not required to raise money, but are encouraged to do so, as this increases the funding that beneficiaries receive to contribute to their goals of awareness about Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and ostomy surgery.
How do I raise the money?
You may have never raised that much money before, but don’t worry. We’ll be here to help you every step of the way. After you register, we’ll coach you on how to be a successful fundraiser. Our staff will share their expertise in fundraising so that you can meet and exceed you goals. Once you start talking to your family, friends, and colleagues about your commitment and goals with respect to the ride, we think you’ll be surprised by their generosity. GYGIG’s per-rider average of funds raised has consistently been $2,500.
Where does the money go?
The ride benefits Get Your Guts in Gear, Inc., the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, the United Ostomy Association of America, and Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness. The total proceeds depend on the cost of creating our programs, the amount contributed by corporate sponsors, and the donations raised by participants.
In addition to supporting various other charities, funds generated support GYGIG’s mission of empowering those affected by IBD, and producing rides to raise awareness, and associated expenses of this. GYGIG is committed to donating as large a portion as possible to our long-time partners by operating a lean organization and utilizing help from generous volunteers.
Ride proceeds fund various projects of each beneficiary partner. Since 2004, GYGIG has funded more than $750,000 in research grants through CCFA alone.
Click here to see our Beneficiaries page.
Can I fundraise with a team?
Yes! Teams of up to 8 individuals may fundraise together to a combined fundraising goal – please contact GYGIG for more information about raising funds as a team.
I’m planning on riding on a tandem. How much money do we have to raise?
The fundraising minimum is per individual cyclist, not per bicycle. You will need to raise $2,500 for 2 riders choosing the 2 Day option, or $1,300 for two riders doing the 1 Day option.
Can I ride as a “Volunteer” or “Marshal” and not do any fundraising?
Each rider must meet the fundraising requirement. GYGIG’s riders are of varying experience and many have extensive knowledge about bicycles. In our experience, our riders are eager to help one another as minor mechanical situations arise on the road. Unlike much larger single day events, we do not have “marshals” without fundraising responsibility. We sometimes have a crew member ride for a few miles along a bicycle path, clean up signage, and tail the last rider, but for the rest of the event, that crew member is riding in the van.
Can I ride “unofficially” and not do any fundraising?
Everyone who rides must be a registered rider who has raised the minimum fundraising amount. Remember, GYGIG’s Rides raise awareness through our fundraising campaigns, not just during the days spent on each event. GYGIG’s staff has experience with helping riders craft fundraising campaigns, and we are here to help you throughout the entire journey.
What is the route like?
Both the New York and Midwest routes are scenic, but also challenging. Both contain several rolling hills, and a few larger hills, manageable with proper training. The majority of both routes are through low-traffic, beautiful countryside of their respective locations.
Because of the length of the rides and the terrain, you will need to train to complete this event. GYGIG offers a training guide and can recommend an online coach who is experienced with all abilities of riders.
Additionally, the route is fully supported by sweep vans, and rest stops are located every 12-17 miles (usually 12-15 miles), breaking it up into manageable legs, and you can always hop in a sweep van if your body needs a break from riding.
I am a novice and have not ridden a bike since I was a little kid. Can I do this?
Yes! With proper training and a properly fitted and tuned-up bicycle, you can complete the Ride. In fact, many of our participants include people who have never completed an event like this before. If you provide the training and commitment, we will support you all the way to the closing ceremony.
New riders are able to train for and complete the event with a bit of preparation. When you register, you’ll receive a training guide prepared specifically for GYGIG by a USA Cycling licensed expert coach. Our staff and volunteers will also keep in touch with you about your training.
On the days of the Ride, we know things happen, such as GI issues, we make sure to and support riders with sweep vans throughout the entire route. Volunteer crew members will be available, should you need to get in a sweep van, and the community will be supportive of your efforts.
New riders are some of the proudest participants when they finish a ride they weren’t sure they could do.
What if I can’t keep up?
This is not a race! We understand that there will be a range in people’s cycling abilities. There will always be an event vehicle at the back of the group to ensure that you are not left behind. Also, we encourage faster cyclists to take their time and enjoy the company of their fellow cyclists.
For all Ride options, there will be established route closing times. For our shorter mileage options, each rider needs to average a minimum speed of 12 mph over varied terrain. Riders choosing either the 1 Day or 2 Day century option will need to average a pace of more than 15 mph.
Can I do a relay with other people?
We do not have relay teams. This Ride is about reaching beyond what you think your limits are. MANY first-time riders or cyclists who had never ridden more than 20 miles before have trained for and completed this Ride, even when it was 3 days and 210 miles. YOU CAN, TOO! Our Rides are 100% supported. You can read more below about the support we provide or contact us to get more details.
What kind of bicycle do I need?
Although a road bike will be the best choice for this type of riding, any quality bike will do! A properly fit bike, good tires, and appropriate gear will help your bike carry you for two days. Before undertaking any type of training on a new (or new-to-you) bicycle, make sure that it has been serviced by a reputable bicycle mechanic. Follow this link to read about buying your first bicycle for an endurance event.
Will the roads be closed?
No. While we make every effort to map a route that minimizes traffic, we will be sharing the road with other vehicles.
Do I need to wear a helmet?
Yes! Safety is our #1 priority. All riders must wear a properly fitted cycling helmet at all times while on their bicycles. Helmets sold at reputable bicycle shops are approved to meet safety standards
Am I on my own when on the road?
Not at all—we’re with you all along the route. Rest stops are placed every 12 to 17 miles along the route and provide water, sports drinks, snacks, and toilets. Sweep vans drive along the route to support cyclists in between rest stops. We also transport your gear bag between camps while you’re out on the road riding, so you don’t have to worry about hauling it.
What sort of lodging does the Ride provide?
The Ride provides lodging on Friday and Saturday for both the New York, and the Midwest Ride. (Friday and Saturday for the 2 Day option, Saturday only for the 1 Day option). All sites provide indoor bunkroom or cabin accommodations, though participants may still sleep in their own tents if they choose.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and hot showers will be provided at each campsite, and is covered under your registration fee. Riders and crew must make their own transportation arrangements to get to the check-in and opening sites, and from the closing site, although we will provide registered participants with low cost shuttle options.
I’m riding and need to drive to the event. Can I leave my car for the weekend?
Yes! We have arranged for a location where cyclist may leave their car at either a very reduced rate or for free (depending on the Ride location). We will arrange for low-cost shuttle services from this parking area to Ride check-in for both the 2 Day option Friday, and 1 Day option on Saturday.
How do I get to the start? What about my bike?
Riders and crew must make their own transportation arrangements to get the check-in and opening sites, and from the closing site. We will provide a pre-event travel planner a few months before each event, and a full Ride Guide about a month prior to the Ride.
If you are unable to travel with your bike, GYGIG will also pre-arrange bike shipping services at the most reasonable fee that we can negotiate.
I don’t want to camp. Are there hotels nearby?
First, it’s important to note that our overnight accommodations have changed in recent years. Both of our Rides feature indoor shared bunkrooms, or cabins. Therefore, camping is not required.
In order to get the most out of each GYGIG event and fully experience our community, we recommend that all riders join us at the campsite. Even avowed non-campers have truly enjoyed the camaraderie found at GYGIG’s camps (even when we slept in tents!). However, if you arrange for local taxi transport to and from local hotels, Riders may stay offsite.
All crew members stay onsite with the group.
I’m crewing; can I drive my own car?
Probably! Due to space restrictions at some of our sites, we have room for a specified number of personally owned vehicles to be used for specific crew assignments. Once those crew positions are filled, we will not be able to accommodate additional personal vehicles.
Someone I know is riding, and I want to camp out with him/her. Can I do this?
We must provide lists of participants, as well as waivers to the camps where we stay. Therefore, only registered riders and crew are able to stay overnight at camp. If you are interested in sharing this experience with a rider but don’t ride yourself, then consider registering for the all-volunteer crew. Please be advised that our crew slots fill up quickly.
I want to follow a rider along the route in my car. Can I get route maps?
We have always asked that family and friends not follow along the route behind a rider, as this adds another element of traffic to the route, and makes it more difficult for us to support the riders. The best way to experience this Ride with your family and friends who are riding is to join the crew. Our crew keeps coming back because they find their Ride experience every bit as empowering as the riders do.
If you don’t want to crew, we will let you know the location of particular cheering spots each day, or you can volunteer as a day volunteer at a rest stop. We choose these locations based on the availability of parking and the overall safety of the riders.
Volunteering and General Financial Support
I’m not able to ride this year, but want to be a part of the ride. How can I help?
We need your help either as a crew member or a day volunteer! Crew members are volunteers who help produce the event while it is in progress. Crew members commit to being present for the entire event. Day volunteers are needed to help at various times and places: in our office, at event check-in, at opening and closing ceremonies, and at some of the rest stops each day along the route. Please contact us if you can help at any of these stages.For more information about crewing and volunteering, please contact us.
How Can I Donate?
Donations should be made payable to Get Your Guts in Gear, Inc. and mailed to us at 66 Fulton St, 2nd Floor, White Plains, NY 10606 or you can donate online below.Donate Here