Have questions about Velocity? You can probably find the answer here. If you can't, feel free to contact us directly at [email protected] or 973-681-RIDE (7433).

Click on the buttons below to jump to specific questions and answers for each topic.

General In-Person Ride Registration, Fundraising & Donations Riders

Matching Gifts & Offline Donations Teams Volunteers Sponsorships


General Questions

What is Velocity?

Velocity is your chance to support Columbia’s Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC) and their mission to solve cancer.

Join us for our in person cycling event on October 2, 2022. Ride 25 or 62.5 miles (100K) on our fully supported route. Riders begin at two different Start Areas and merge together to cross the George Washington Bridge and end at Columbia University Irving Medical Center as one unstoppable force. 

If you can’t make it on Ride Day or if you’re not into cycling, join us as a Your Way Participant and complete any activity of your choice (from home or anywhere) on or before Velocity Day—October 2, 2022. 

Volunteer opportunities are also available on Ride Day—October 2. 

Either way you choose to join us, you’re an equal part of our mission to end cancer once and for all. 

What is your COVID-19 policy?

In an effort to ensure the health and safety of our Velocity community, Columbia requires that all who plan to be in attendance at our in-person event on October 2, be fully vaccinated. Attendees will be required to provide proof and must adhere to all of the applicable COVID-19 visitor guidelines provided by and in effect at the University. Such guidelines may be found: https://covid19.columbia.edu/content/policies-and-guidelines

What options are there for participation?

Velocity offers something for everyone! You have the option to register for an in-person 25 mile or 62.5 mile Ride on Velocity Day—October 2, 2022. If cycling isn’t for you but you still want to support us in-person, you can join us on Ride Day as a Volunteer. And, if you can’t make it on Ride Day or aren’t into cycling, join our community of Your Way participants and choose your own activity to complete from wherever you are on or before Velocity Day—October 2, 2022. Click here for more details

If you are a local business or corporation, consider becoming a sponsor and receive exclusive sponsor benefits. Click here for more details

How old do you have to be to participate?

You must be at least 16 years of age to participate and if you are younger than 18 by October 2, you must be in the company of a parent or legal guardian at all times.

What is the last day to register for Velocity?

Your Way participants can register through Velocity Day—Sunday, October 2. In-Person Riders have until Friday, September 30 to sign up.

How can I connect with the Velocity community?

There are a few ways to connect with the Velocity community. 

  1. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Share photos and updates of your progress throughout the Velocity season and on Velocity Day—October 2, 2022. Don’t forget to use #VelocityRide if you’re joining in person or #YourVelocity if you’re participating Your Way!
  2. Become part of the Velocity Strava Club. Here you can track your miles and minutes and see how other Velocity participants are staying active as well.
  3. If you train or plan to complete your activity on a Peloton bike make sure to use #Velocity and train with other members of the Velocity community. 
Is there a way to track my activities I complete for Velocity?

Yes! By joining our Velocity Strava Club, you can utilize your smartphone, smartwatch, or other gps-enabled devices to automatically track your activities each day. Logging your activity in Strava will upload your progress to our overall group where you can connect with others and keep each other motivated.


In-Person Ride Questions

Why don't you have the 10 and 45 mile route options this year?

After two virtual years, in an effort to maximize much needed fundraising results for Columbia’s Cancer Center while mitigating Covid-19 risk for the greater Velocity community, we have made the difficult decision to remove the 10 and 45 mile routes this year. We look forward to returning with these distance options in 2023. We hope you will consider our 25 or 62.5 mile in person ride options or choose your own distance and activity by registering as a Your Way participant. Your Way participants will join us remotely from a location of their choosing and will connect with the Velocity community through a variety of activities before, during and on Velocity Day.

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 rent bikes from local retailers or contact us for recommendations.

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.

Where does the event take place if I choose to ride in person?

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

62.5 Mile Start Area is in Pomona, NY 
 
25 Mile Start Area is in Orangeburg, NY

What is a Start Area?

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 and 25 miles.

Are there shuttles to the Start Areas from New York City or the Finish Line?

Yes, we offer transportation for you and your bike either to the two Start Areas from Manhattan or back post-ride from the Finish Line to the Start Areas. You’ll receive communications with start times and locations well in advance of Velocity.

Where and when do I check-in and receive my jersey, credentials and fundraising rewards?

You’ll receive your jersey, event credentials and any fundraising rewards you have earned at check in on the morning of October 2 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. Your finisher t-shirt will be waiting for you at the Finish Line!

Can I check a bag at my Start Area?

Absolutely! After checking your bag, it will be transported to the Velocity Finish Line in Manhattan. You’ll get a luggage tag to attach to your bag so it can be easily located at Gear Check. 

Can I change my route distance after I register?

Yes! You have until September 16 to adjust your route distance. If you register after September 16, 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!

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, for Riders choosing to ride 62.5 miles, there will be three rest areas - one at 45 miles, one at 25 miles (also the 25 mile Start Area) and one at 10 miles out from the Finish Line. Riders choosing the 25 mile start area will have one rest stop 10 miles out from the Finish Line.

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 routes include rest areas complete with  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, we’ll have sweep 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 to continue. You’ll also be able to phone our Command Center if you need help at any time.

Will there be a Finish Line Festival this year?

As of now, details are still to be determined based on city and hospital data due to COVID-19. Food and beverages will still be available for in-person riders along with finisher t-shirt pick up and additional activities. Shuttle buses will be available for transport back to the Start Areas for those choosing that option.

Can my friends and family join me at the Finish Line?

Yes! We encourage friends and family to cheer you on at designated areas along our route (additional details forthcoming) or to welcome you as you cross the Finish Line! Please note at this time all Finish Festival food and beverage services are for Riders only.


Registration, Fundraising, & Donations

Is there a registration fee?

Yes, registration fees are non-refundable and as follows for each participant type:
Rider: $75
Rider (Columbia Student): $0
Your Way: $25

Do I need to fundraise to participate?

Your fundraising commitment depends on how you participate in Velocity. The fundraising minimums are as follows: 
Rider: $500 
Rider (Columbia Student): $250
Your Way: There is no fundraising minimum for Your Way participants but we encourage you to fundraise! During registration you will see a suggested fundraising goal of $500.

100% of funds raised through Velocity are used to fuel the innovation, collaboration and discovery that has put Columbia’s Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at the cutting edge of cancer research.

Once registered, you’ll have access to an entire suite of fundraising and training tools, including your online participant center and fundraising page. You’ll also meet your Velocity Coach who can guide you through the entire experience and help you fundraise and train. And the more you fundraise, you can even earn some awesome, new Velocity rewards.

If I have registered but am unable to participate, can someone Ride in my place?

No, registrations and any donations received are non-transferable.

Is my gift tax-deductible?

All donations are tax-deductible. Funds from Velocity benefit the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University Irving 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.

Registration fees are not considered tax-deductible donations. They help offset the cost of your registration and the materials you will receive based on your participant type (i.e. your online fundraising dashboard, public fundraising page, jersey, route support, etc.).

Are there fundraising rewards?

Yes! Visit our Fundraising Rewards page for full details and to check out the awesome Velocity swag available for our top fundraising Riders, Your Way participants and even Volunteers! 

I've never fundraised before. Can you help?

If you’re a rookie fundraiser, you’re in good company! Many Velocity participants 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 you.
We’ve got templates to help you write emails and social media posts and lots of ideas of how to fundraise. Best of all, you’ll also have the support of a professional fundraising 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!

Where does the money I donate or raise for Velocity go?

100% of funds raised by Velocity Riders and Volunteers, benefits the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Funds raised this year will go toward:

Velocity Fellows
In addition to the areas above, money raised by the Velocity community will be presented as grants to a group of researchers selected as Velocity Fellows, who will use those crucial funds to conduct cancer research at all stages. 

The Velocity Fellows receiving grants from Velocity 2021 will be announced this summer. Stay tuned to learn about them and their research projects. Click here to learn more about the 2020 Velocity Fellows.

Can I change my personal and/or team fundraising goal once I have set it?

Yes! You can change your personal and/or team fundraising goal anytime by logging into your participant center. There is no penalization for not hitting your goal as long as you reach your required fundraising minimum (if applicable). So set it high and we’ll help you get there! 


Riders

What’s included with my registration fee and fundraising minimum?
If I decide 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. Riders that register after September 25 will be responsible for the fundraising commitment. 

What is the fundraising deadline for Riders?

Fundraising minimums for Riders will be charged on October 17, 2022.

What if I don't raise my fundraising minimum by the deadline?

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 17, 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 31.

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. Riders who go above and beyond their fundraising minimums have the opportunity to earn some great prizes!

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 riders will need to raise at least $2,000 ($500 fundraising minimum x 4 people).

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. 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 members 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 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.


Matching Gifts & Offline Donations

What is a matching gift, and how do I find out if my company has this program?

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 program, please complete your company's specific form (online or paper) and email it to [email protected].  Be sure to include your name and “Velocity: Columbia’s Ride to End Cancer”. 

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 Irving Medical Center
Attention: Rebecca Solinsky
516 West 168th Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10032

What if people want to give me cash?

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 using the instructions above.


Teams

How many people do I need to form a team?

Two or more people make a Velocity team and there is no maximum. 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.

Can teams have more than one captain?

While there can only be one team captain per team, captains can now promote others to co-captains to help manage the team page, send team communications, and more! All team members should still be actively helping with recruitment and fundraising.

Does every team member need to raise a minimum amount?

Teams may be made up of all participant types (In-Person Riders, Your Way participants and Volunteers may all be on the same team!). Only team members who are registered in-Person Riders have a required fundraising minimum that must be met. Your Way team members do not need to raise a minimum amount but are encouraged to set achievable fundraising goals.

As a team, you’ll have a team fundraising page and your own individual fundraising pages. 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.

Can I start a team with my company?

Yes. Companies can register and start a team. Your team can take on a challenge together or take on individual challenges. All of the fundraising your team members do will be counted towards your team fundraising goal. 


Volunteers

Are there any volunteer opportunities for Velocity?

Yes, if you are looking for a different way to support, we’d love to have you join us as a volunteer on Velocity Day—October 2.

Volunteer opportunities are available for: Start Lines, Rest Stops, Finish Line, and Road Crews.

How old do I need to be to Volunteer?

Road Crew volunteers must be 18 years of age or older. All other volunteers must be 16 years of age or older.

What is a Start Line, Rest Stop, and Finish Line Volunteer?

Start Line/Rest Stop and Finish Line Volunteers will assist with set up, distribution of food and beverage, traffic and safety, gear check, and cheering on our riders. Volunteers will be assigned their volunteer role event morning.  Volunteers can choose from one of three locations. Shift times vary per location (hours to be confirmed closer to the event):

Finish Line at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (11:00am - 6:00pm)
62.5 Mile Start Area in Pomona, NY (6:00am - 11:00am)
25 Mile Start Area in Orangeburg, NY (9:00am - 2:30pm)

What is a Road Crew Volunteer?

For full details visit our Volunteer page.

What does it mean to register as a Velocity Bike Marshal? 

Marshals are integral to the success of Velocity. Along with our vehicle support, Marshals responsibilities include: providing riders with important information, helping riders with flats and basic bike repair, responding to road emergencies, encouraging slow riders and assisting riders boarding Sweep vehicles. When you register as a Marshal, you’re committing to volunteering for the entire day of Velocity. As a thank you for your time and efforts, marshals will receive a Velocity jersey, breakfast at check-in and a meal at the Finish Line.

Are there any requirements to be a Velocity Marshall?

Marshals must be 18 years or older, provide their own bike and wear an ANSI certified helmet at all times. Marshals must be able to ride the respective distances at a 12mph pace continuously and are committing to spend the majority of their day volunteering for Velocity, Exact times will be determined closer to the event day. 

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.


Sponsorships

I know a company that would be interested in sponsoring Velocity, who should I direct them to? 

If you or someone you know is interested in sponsoring Velocity, please contact Rebecca Solinsky at [email protected] or 646-799-2793.

I have additional questions that haven’t been answered here.

Feel free to contact us at [email protected] or 973-681-RIDE.

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