Have questions about Velocity? You can probably find the answer here. If you can't, feel free to contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-681-RIDE (7433).
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GeneralIn-Person RideVELOCITY DAY FESTIVALRegistration, Fundraising & DonationsRIDERSMatching Gifts & Offline DonationsTeamsVolunteersSponsorships
What is Velocity?
Velocity is your way of helping Columbia’s Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC) solve cancer.
On October 8, 2023, cyclists of all levels will gather at our new Start/Finish site in Purchase, New York for an inspiring and powerful Opening Ceremony. Riders will then head out on one of three professionally designed and supported routes – 15K (9mi), 50K (31mi), or 100K (62mi). Velocity rides through the beautiful Hudson Valley, along breathtaking routes lined with stunning fall foliage.
All routes end back at the Start/Finish where participants, alongside family and friends, will enjoy the Velocity Day Festival.
If you can’t make it on Velocity 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 October 8, 2023.
Volunteer opportunities are also available.
Any way you choose to join Velocity, you’re an important part of the HICCC’s mission to end cancer once and for all.
What are Important Dates that I Need to Know?
September 15: Last day to qualify for Home Check-in (Fundraise $1,000+)
October 6: Last day to register as a Rider
October 23: Velocity Day
October 23: $500 fundraising minimum due
Your Way Participants (Remote):
September 22: Last day to reach reward levels to receive by Velocity Day
October 8: Velocity Day
-Your Way participants are invited to come cheer on our Riders at the Finish Line at Columbia’s Herbert Irving Medical Center.
October 23: Last day to qualify for rewards
What options are there for participation?
Velocity offers something for everyone! You have the option to register for an in-person 15K (9miles), 50K (31 miles), or 100K (62 miles) route on Velocity Day—October 8, 2023. If you’re not a cyclist but you still want to support us in-person, you can join us on Velocity Day as a Volunteer. And, if you can’t make it on Velocity 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. 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 ride?
You must be at least 16 years of age to ride and if you are younger than 18 by October 8, 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 8. In-Person riders have until Friday, October 6 to sign up.
How can I connect with the Velocity community?
- Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Share photos and updates of your progress throughout the Velocity season and on Velocity Day—October 8, 2023. Don’t forget to use #VelocityRide if you’re joining in person or #YourVelocity if you’re participating Your Way!
- Join the Velocity Strava Club. Here you can track your miles and minutes and see how other Velocity participants are staying active as well.
- 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.
- Reach out to Coach Steve with questions about the Ride or fundraising at email@example.com or 973-681-RIDE (7433).
Is there a way to track my activities I complete for Velocity?
Yes! By joining our Velocity Strava Club, your smartphone, smartwatch, or other gps-enabled devices can 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
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 e-bikes allowed?
E-bikes are not permitted on the Velocity route except for specific medical circumstances which will be reviewed by our team on a case-by-case basis. Please note that support vehicles will be unable to service or transport e-bikes. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where does the event take place if I choose to ride in person?
Velocity will begin and end at: The Centre – 2 Manhattanville Rd in Purchase, NY. The approximate routes will be posted closer to Velocity Day.
Will transportation be provided to the Start/Finish for me and my bike?
Riders are responsible for getting themselves and their bikes to the Start/Finish in Purchase, NY on October 8. The site is easily accessible off of I-684 and is a 5-mile bike ride from Metro-North’s White Plains Station. Click here to learn more about bike regulations on the Metro-North Railroad.
If you’re not able to get your bike to the event, read below for details on our partnership with Unlimited Biking to provide bike rentals on-site so you won’t need to transport a bike to and from the Start/Finish.
Do I need to own a bike to participate in Velocity?
We know that not everybody has their own bicycle fit to ride Velocity. To make sure everyone that would like to participate in Velocity can ride with us, we've teamed up with Unlimited Biking as our official bike rental partner for 2023. All bike rentals from Unlimited Biking include a free helmet, bike pick-up and drop-off convenience at the Start/Finish, and bike maintenance to ensure a smooth ride. Please note that bike rentals are handled individually by each rider, and the rental program is not managed or guaranteed by Velocity. Click here to learn more.
Where and when do I check-in and receive my jersey, credentials and fundraising rewards?
You’ll receive your jersey and event credentials at the Start/Finish check-in area on October 8. Your finisher t-shirt and any fundraising rewards you have earned can be picked up at the Velocity Day Festival after the ride.
Riders who reach a minimum of $1,000 in fundraising by Friday, September 15 will qualify for Home Check-in. With Home Check-in, we’ll send your Ride materials to your home, so you don’t need to wait in line on Ride Day.
Can I check a bag at the start line?
Absolutely! 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 can change your desired distance from now through Ride Day.
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, full details for the route will be announced at a later date.
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 sports drink, snacks, and bike techs to help get you back on the road should you have any issues.
If you’re out on the route and need assistance, we’ll have mobile bike techs and vans to get you back on the road or 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.
Can my friends and family come to cheer me on?
Yes! We encourage friends and family to cheer you on at the Start, along designated areas on our route, or as you cross the Finish Line! Locations and times will be announced at a later date.
Velocity Day Festival
What is the Velocity Day Festival?
The Velocity Day Festival at the Finish Line is open to all participants, friends, family and the entire extended Velocity community. Come and celebrate the incredible accomplishments of the 2023 Velocity season.
Cheer on our Riders as they cross the finish line, enjoy music, food, a beer garden, kids’ activities, and more!* More details to follow soon.
*Complimentary food and drink is available to registered participants only. Food and drinks will be available for purchase for all other guests.
Registration, Fundraising, & Donations
Is there a registration fee?
Yes, registration fees are non-refundable and help ensure that 100% of your fundraising goes to research and care at Columbia:
- Rider: $75
- 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
- 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 $250.
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. Depending on the amount you raise, you can 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 to fundraising, 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 have 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 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 for Velocity support expert patient care and life-changing research at Columbia’s Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. Click here to learn more.
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 at any time by logging in to your participant center. There is no penalty 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!
What’s included with my registration fee and fundraising minimum?
- Scenic, fully supported routes: This includes bike techs, medical teams, and rest stops.
- Velocity Swag: Cycling jersey, finisher t-shirt, and extra gear for top fundraisers
- Fundraising Coach: We’re committed to helping you reach your fundraising goals.
- Velocity Day Festival: Music, food, a beer garden, kids’ activities, and more!
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 who register after September 24 will be responsible for the fundraising commitment.
What is the fundraising deadline for Riders?
Fundraising minimums for Riders will be charged on October 23, 2023.
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 23, 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 do so! Aim 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 $50,000 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 our goal of $50,000. In addition, Team Captains are not responsible for their team members’ individual fundraising minimums. Each individual is responsible for their own minimum.
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@example.com. 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:
Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Office of Development
Attn: Sarah Hindman
516 West 168th Street, 3rd 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.
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 captain per team, captains can 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 route or activity challenge together or take on individual route or activity challenges. All of the fundraising your team members do will be counted toward your team fundraising goal.
How do I volunteer for Velocity?
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 8.
Volunteer opportunities are available for: Start/Finish, Rest Stops, 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/Finish and Rest Stop Volunteer?
Start/Finish and Rest Stop Volunteers will assist with set up, distribution of food and beverage, traffic and safety, gear check, and cheering on our riders. Shift times and locations will be confirmed closer to the event.
What is a Road Crew Volunteer?
Road Crew volunteer jobs include but are not limited to:
- Route Closure Assistant - drives the official event vehicle and works with rest stop teams to close rest stops
- Caboose Assistant - drives the official event vehicle with a staff member while following last rider and offering assistance where needed
- Motorcycle Safety - works with staff and local law enforcement to guarantee rider safety on roads
- Bike Marshal - rides the routes ensuring rider safety. Must be an avid cyclist. More details below
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 here.
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. 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.
I know someone whose company may be interested in sponsoring Velocity. To whom should I direct them?
If you or someone you know is interested in sponsoring Velocity, please contact Sarah Hindman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 929-594-0964.
I have additional questions that haven’t been answered here.
We love to answer your questions and help! Feel free to contact us at email@example.com or 973-681-RIDE.
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