FAQs

Do you have questions about Velocity: Columbia’s Ride to End Cancer? You can probably find the answer here, in our Frequently Asked Questions.

What is Velocity?

Velocity is a brand new cycling event that brings a new concept in fundraising rides to the New York metro area this October!  Velocity benefits Columbia University’s Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC). Riders have the opportunity to take on the physical challenge of riding 10, 25, 45, or 62.5 miles while raising critical funds to bring us closer to the end of cancer.

Starting approximately 62.5 miles outside of New York City, Velocity is designed to symbolize our mission to end cancer together. Each mileage group merges together as we make our way towards New York City and finish triumphantly at the end of cancer: Columbia University Medical Center. We cap off our ride together at the Velocity Finish Festival complete with food and drink and live concert.

Where does the event take place?
Velocity begins north of New York City on the west side of the Hudson and ends at Columbia University Medical Center. Your starting location depends on the distance you choose to ride.

62.5 Mile start location: Silver Start area is near Harriman State Park at Palisades Union Credit Park in Pomona
45 Mile start location: Yellow Start will be in Mahwah at Mindray North America Corporate Headquarters
25 Mile start location: Coming Soon
10 Mile start location: Coming Soon

You can view complete route overview here.
How old do you have to be to participate?
Sorry, no tricycles allowed: You’ve got to be at least 12 years of age or older in order to ride the 10 mile route and anyone aged 12 to 15 must do so in the company of a parent or guardian at all times. For all other mileage options, you must be at least 16 years of age to ride and may do so unaccompanied as long as you have written parental consent. Anyone 16 years of age or less must have a signed minor consent form from a parent or guardian prior to riding.

Where does the money raised go?
The money you raise goes toward the end of cancer at Columbia. All funds raised by Velocity riders, volunteers, and sponsors benefits the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University Medical Center.

What options are there for participation?
Velocity offers something for everyone! You have the option to register for a 10 mile, 25 mile, 45 mile, or a 62.5 mile metric century ride. If cycling isn’t for you, you can always join us as a volunteer or a crew member. If you’re unable participate in person on the weekend of October 7th, join our community of “virtual riders” and enjoy a virtual experience on event day.

What is a Start Area?
Our four color-coded Start Areas are a unique feature of Velocity. Start Areas are where each mileage group begins, where further distances merge together and also function as rest stops. There will be a Start Area at 62.5 miles (Silver Start), 45 miles (Yellow Start), 25 miles (Green Start), and 10 miles (Blue Start).

Do I need to fundraise to participate in Velocity?
Velocity is primarily designed as a fundraising event to help end cancer. In order to accomplish this challenging feat, each rider is responsible to reach a designated fundraising minimum.

The amount of your fundraising commitment depends on the distance you ride. 10 mile riders commit to raising a minimum of $250, 25 mile riders commit to raise $500, 45 mile riders commit to raise $750, and 62.5 milers commit to raise at least $1,000.

Once you register for Velocity, you’ll have access to an entire suite of fundraising and training tools, including your online participant center and fundraising page and smartphone apps. You’ll also meet your Velocity Coach who can guide you through the entire experience and help you fundraise and train. You can start raising funds as soon as you register (and we encourage you to do so).

Is there a registration fee?
Yes. The standard registration fee for the 10 or 25 mile rides is $75. For the 45 or 62.5 mile distances, registration is $100.
If you are a current student with a student ID or youth under age 18, you may take advantage of our discounted student registration fees: 10 or 25 mile ride for a $50 registration fee, or the 45 or 62.5 mile ride for a $75 registration fee.

What do I get with my registration fee?
On top of the unforgettable Velocity experience on the route, your registration gets you a custom cycling jersey matching your Start Area color and one ticket to the Velocity Finish Festival & Concert.

Why does the registration fee not go towards my fundraising minimum?
Registration fees are not tax deductible donations. They help offset the cost of your registration and the materials you will receive (i.e. your online fundraising dashboard, public fundraising page, jersey, route support etc.). Fundraising minimums are set to be made up solely of donations and for the benefit of the HICCC.

After I register, can I change my route distance?

  • Yes! You have until September 15th,  to adjust your route distance. Your fundraising commitment will not change unless you go up in distance. Fundraising commitments will not be lowered – we’re counting on your donations to help us solve cancer!

  • If you register after September 15th, any changes to distances will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us to discuss.

  • Remember that this is not a race: This is your ride to end cancer – we want you to be comfortable with the distance you choose to tackle!

After I register, can I lower my fundraising commitment?

  • You have two weeks to cancel and change your registration and original mileage commitment. Should you cancel you will not be held responsible for your original fundraising commitment; your registration fee and any donations received during the two week window are non-refundable.

  • After two weeks, you are committed to raise at least your original fundraising minimum. If you decrease your desired distance, your fundraising minimum will remain the same as your original registration. If you increase your distance your fundraising commitment will raise accordingly.

I've decided not to ride Velocity or to ride a shorter distance. Can I get a refun on my registration fee?
No, registration fees and any donations received are non-refundable.

If I choose not to ride, will I still be responsible for fundraising?
If you withdraw from Velocity within two weeks (14 days) of your registration date, you will not be responsible for your fundraising commitment. After 14 days, you are responsible for reaching your fundraising minimum whether or not you participate in the event. Your registration fee is non-refundable.

If I have registered but am unable to participate, can someone ride in my place?
No, registrations and any donations received are non-transferable.

What is the last day to register for Velocity?
The last day to register online is Thursday, October 5th. If you still want to register for Velocity, you can sign up in person on October 7th at the check-in of your desired Start Area.

What is the fundraising deadline?
All riders must meet their fundraising minimum by one week post-ride, October 15th, 2017.

What if I don't raise my fundraising minimum by October 15th?
With all the resources you will have at your disposal, and our support, we certainly don’t think that will happen! However, if you fall short of your fundraising minimum as of October 15th, your credit card on file will be charged for the remaining balance.

Your online fundraising page will remain open and you can continue fundraising until December 31st.

I've never fundraised before. Can you help?
If you’re a rookie fundraiser, you’re in good company! Many Velocity Riders are new at this, too. Luckily, you’ll have a ton of support from day one. Once you register, you’ll have access to your online Participant Center, where you can easily personalize your fundraising page and reach out to your family and friends to support your ride.

We’ve got templates to help you write emails and social media posts and lots of ideas of how to raise your minimum faster than you thought you could. Best of all, you’ll also have the support of a professional coach who’s there for you to provide advice, tips, and  motivation. You’re part of the Velocity community and you’ll never feel that you’re in this alone!

Can I set my goal higher than my fundraising minimum?
Absolutely, and we encourage you to! Reach high when setting your goal, and remember that you are only responsible for your minimum.

What happens if I raise more than my fundraising minimum?
First of all, we know you will! With the help of your Velocity coach and all the resources at your disposal, you will be a fundraising rockstar. For riders who go above and beyond, there are some great rewards:

  • If you raise $200 over your fundraising minimum, you will be eligible for Home Check-In. Your check-in materials will be mailed to you, so you can avoid the registration lines on the morning of the event.
  • If you raise $500 over your fundraising minimum you will receive two additional tickets to the Finish Festival and Concert
  • Raising $2500 total will get you into the Lion Club, a group of top fundraisers who will receive a distinguished Top Fundraiser rider bib and access to VIP lounges at the Finish Festival and Concert
  • Raise $5000 total, and you’ll be inducted into the Crown Club. In addition to an exclusive VIP experience at the Finish Line Festival and Concert, you will receive a special Velocity jacket.

If I'm part of a team. Do I still have a fundraising commitment?
Yes. Each team member must meet their individual fundraising minimum. As a team, you’ll have a team fundraising page and your own individual pages. If you are approaching fundraising as a team, please keep this in mind. For example, a team of four people all riding in the 45 mile ride will need to raise at least $3,000 ($750 fundraising minimum x4 people at this rate).

But a team’s a team, right?  So you’ll also have the opportunity to fundraise as a team in your team fundraising account. One month prior to Velocity, team captains can move specific donations from the team fundraising account to individuals’ personal fundraising accounts to help meet their fundraising minimums.

Does every team member need to raise a minimum amount?
Yes. Each team member must meet their individual fundraising minimum. As a team, you’ll have a team fundraising page and your own individual fundraising pages. If you are approaching fundraising as a team, please keep this in mind. For example, a team of four people all riding in the 45-mile ride will need to have at least $3,000 ($750 fundraising minimum x 4 people at this rate).

But a team’s a team, right?  You’ll have the opportunity to fundraise as a team using an additional team fundraising account. One month prior to Velocity, team captains will have the chance to move specific donations from that team fundraising account to individuals’ personal fundraising accounts to help meet their minimums.

What if I don't meet my team goal but all my team membes meet their individual goals? Am I still financially responsible for the remainder of my team goal?
Team goals are not binding. Only individual goals are required to be met. For example, if I set my team goal at $100,000 for my team of four 25-mile riders (who each have to raise just $500), all that I need to do is make sure that I have met my $500 and each of my team members must also meet their $500, but I do not need to worry if collectively we don’t get to my lofty goal of $100,000. In addition, Team Captains are not responsible for their team members individually fundraising minimums. Each individual is responsible for their own.

What is a virtual rider?
Virtual riders are a big part of the Velocity community. They might be unable to join us on ride day but still want to fundraise in support of CUMC. If you want to support our cause, but are unable to attend Velocity on October 7th, you can register without a fee as a virtual rider. For a $25 self-donation, you’ll get your own fundraising page, access to all of our resources, and the opportunity to earn some great incentives when you fundraise with us. There will also be an exclusive virtual rider social media experience on event day.

How do I handle check donations?
Please fill out an offline donation form to include with check donations, and send to:
Velocity: Columbia’s Ride to End Cancer
Columbia University Medical Center
Attention: Rebecca Solinksy
516 West 168th Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10032

How do I handle cash donations?
We do not accept cash. If you receive a cash donation, we suggest that you take the cash and donate the amount online using your own credit or debit card. You can write in the name of the donor to provide them recognition online. Alternatively, you can write a personal check and mail it in using the instructions above.

My employer matches donations. How do I ensure the matching gifts go towards my fundraising?
Many employers sponsor matching gift programs and will match any charitable contributions made by their employees. Not sure if your company matches? Visit this link.

If your company offers a matching gift, please fill your company's specific form (online or paper), be sure to include your name and  “Velocity: Columbia’s Ride to End Cancer” and send it to:

Columbia University
Matching Gift Coordinator
Gift Systems
622 West 113 Street
Mail Code 4524
New York, NY 10025
Email: giftsys@columbia.edu
Fax: 212-851-1240

Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes, all donations are tax deductible. Funds from Velocity ride benefit the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University Medical Center. The official 501(c)3 organizational name is: The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York. Our federal employer identification number (EIN) # is 13-5598093.

What are the important dates I need to know?

Do I need my own bike to participate?
Having your own bike is ideal for Velocity (road bikes are recommended for the longer distances), but you can also contact one of our partners to rent a bike prior to the event. (Information on partners is coming soon.)

Do I have to wear a helmet?
Yes! The safety of all participants is our number one priority – everyone who rides MUST wear an ANSI-approved helmet.

Are there shuttles to the Start Areas from the Finish Line?
Yes, we offer transportation to the four Start Areas from the Finish Festival. There will also be transportation to the Start Areas from Manhattan to get you to and your bike to your assigned area. You’ll receive communications with start times and locations of shuttles well in advance of Velocity.

Can I stay overnight near my Start Area?
Staying nearby will definitely make your morning easier! You can check out our list of convinent and start and finish area hotels (information on hotels coming soon).

Where and when do I check-in and receive my jersey?
There are two options for checking in to Velocity.

  • If you raise $250 more than your fundraising minimum by (September 22nd) you’ll qualify for Home Check-In and you’ll receive your check-in packet in the mail before Velocity weekend.
  • If you don’t qualify for Home Check-In, you’ll check in on the morning of October 7th at your assigned Start Area.  Each Start Area has a different check-in time so we’ll let you know when to expect to arrive.

Can I check a bag at my Start Area?
Absolutely! After checking your bag, it will be transported to the Velocity Finish Festival and Concert at the Armory in Manhattan. You’ll get a luggage tag to attach to your bag so it can be easily located at Gear Check. Once you’ve gotten the stuff you need out of your bag at the Armory (like comfy shoes) you can re-check your bag until you’re ready to head home.

How many people do I need to form a team?
Two or more people make a Velocity team. If your teammates aren’t ready to join just yet, no problem! Start your team by registering as a Team Captain and choosing a cool team name today. Then you can start reaching out to friends and family to join you. Joining a team in our online system is quick and easy.

What is the maximum number of people per team?
The bigger the team, the better! The only limit is how many people you can dream up to join you. You can be sure that our largest teams will be recognized online and on Velocity day!

Can teams have more than one captain?
As James T. Kirk would agree, there can only be one captain for each team. All team members may help to recruit and fundraise but due to our technology system, each team may only have one captain.

Does every team member need to raise a minimum amount?
Yes. Each team member must meet their individual fundraising minimum. As a team, you’ll have a team fundraising page and your own individual fundraising pages. If you are approaching fundraising as a team, please keep this in mind. For example, a team of four people all riding in the 45-mile ride will need to have at least $3,000 ($750 fundraising minimum x 4 people at this rate).

But a team’s a team, right?  You’ll have the opportunity to fundraise as a team using an additional team fundraising account. One month prior to Velocity, team captains will have the chance to move specific donations from that team fundraising account to individuals’ personal fundraising accounts to help meet their minimums.

What is the difference between Finish Festival Volunteers and Road Crew?
The main difference is the level of time commitment. As a Finish Festival Volunteer, you will register for a designated shorter shift during the event in and around the Fort Washington Armory. Road Crew members will be committing to the entire day and will be serving a role on the route or at a Start Area. Both roles are essential to the event, and we’re grateful for every single volunteer’s commitment!

What does it mean to register as a Road Crew Member? What do I get with my registration fee?
Road Crew Members are the heart of Velocity! Crew plays a crucial role in making Velocity a success, whether out on the route, at a Start Area, or at the finish line. When you register as Road Crew, you’re committing to volunteering for the entire day of Velocity – and to thank you for your efforts, you’ll get free admission at the end of your shift to the Velocity Finish Festival and Concert.  Road Crew members also get a t-shirt, drink tickets, a meal at the Festival and a personal fundraising page to be able to raise essential funds and earn some great incentives.

How do I sign up to volunteer?
To sign up as either type of Volunteer, go to our Volunteer page to review the various volunteer opportunities and job descriptions. Once you decide, you can register online or email us at ride@velocityride.org.

How old do I need to be to volunteer?
Road Crew Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older. Finish Festival Volunteers must be 16 years of age or older.

Are the streets on the route closed?
The roads along the Velocity route will not be closed. Riders are required to follow the rules of the road – the same rules as drivers of vehicles.

Are there rest areas along the route?
Yes, each Start Area also functions as a rest area. The 10 mile route will not have a rest area, but the Velocity Finish Festival will have plenty of food and drink.

Can my friends and family meet me along the route?
Absolutely! A list of cheering stations along the route will be released prior to the event. These are the safest and most convenient places for your biggest fans to get a glimpse of you riding toward the end of cancer.   

What kind of support is available on the route?
We’re going to take great care of you.  No matter which distance you select, the route will be full of Staff and Crew Members making sure your ride is both safe and a ton of fun. The well-marked route will include 3 rest areas (Start Areas). Each rest area will have a medical team with first-aid, water and Gatorade, snacks, and bike techs to help get you back on the road.

If you’re out on the route and need assistance between Start Areas, we’ll have sweep and SAG vans to get you back on the road or bring you to the next Start Area, or even to the Finish Line if you’re unable continue. You’ll also be able to phone our Command Center if you need help at any time.

What is the elevation along the route?
Starting north of New York City, Velocity offers riders one route with four distinct distances to choose from: 62.5, 45, 25, or 10 miles.  As we continue to finalizing all legal and logistical details, here is a glimpse at the spectacular journey our Velocity riders will take. You can view complete route overview here.

 

What is the Velocity Finish Festival and Concert?
The Velocity Finish Festival & Concert isn’t just a way to thank you for riding. It’s a true celebration. Whether you rode 62.5 miles, merged in at 10 miles, or volunteered along the route, you’ll unwind with food and beverages (beer and wine for 21+) and enjoy a private concert from Spin Doctors!

Can my friends and family join me at the Velocity Festival and Concert?
Crossing the finish line at Velocity, no matter what distance you rode, is a huge accomplishment! Your friends and family are welcome and encouraged to join you to celebrate at the finish line.

ABOUT SPIN DOCTORS

Returning to their roots at Columbia to support this incredible event, Spin Doctors will be headlining our Finish Festival.

If you think you know Spin Doctors, think again. To the wider world, the Doctors might be the multi-million-selling icons behind hits like “Two Princes” and “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong”, not to mention the classic “Pocket Full of Kryptonite.” But when the legendary New York quartet (who first performed together at Columbia, by the way) released their latest album “If The River Was Whiskey” in 2014 through Ruf Records, casual fans discovered the secret past the hardcore have never forgotten. In 2013, Chris Barron (vocals), Aaron Comess (drums), Eric Schenkman (guitar) and Mark White (bass) reconnected with the flat-broke twenty-somethings who scraped for dollars at the sharp end of the Big Apple blues circuit. Spin Doctors have come full-circle.

INTERESTED IN BRINGING FRIENDS OR FAMILY?

Tickets will be available for purchase closer to the event and you can earn free tickets for them by reaching fundraising incentive levels.

If they’d like to join in the celebration at the official Velocity Finish Festival and Concert, they’ll need to purchase tickets, which will be available one month prior to the event. You can also earn more free tickets with increased fundraising.  Click here to learn about our fundraising incentives.

Still have questions? You can reach us at ride@velocityride.org or 973-681-RIDE.