Riding ever closer to cancer’s cure

Now in its eighth year, the Closer to Free ride has become the biggest charity bike ride in Connecticut.

Cancer survivors, patients, family, friends, trained athletes and riders of all skill levels and abilities are encouraged to ride. There are routes of 100, 65, 25 and 10 miles, bringing cyclists from rolling wooded hills to shoreline vistas.

Bank of America has been the presenting sponsor of the ride for the past four years, helping to amplify the event’s reach.

One hundred percent of the funds raised by Closer to Free riders and volunteers goes to research and patient care at Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center. Each rider commits to raising at least $500 and the average rider raises more than $1,000. The most recent ride raised over $2 million from nearly 1500 riders. The funding goes to a number of different initiatives, including clinical trials, a survivorship clinic, genetic counseling and early-stage research.

The support is more than just sponsorship—this year, as in year’s past, a team of employees rode to help to raise additional money for Smilow and show support for fellow colleagues, family members or friends who are dealing with cancer. The 2016 team raised over $22,000.

In addition to riders, well over 100 Bank of America employees volunteered at multiple locations throughout the course—including the Yale Bowl, Smilow, New Haven City Hall and Amity Cheer Zones, as well as the Hamden, Wallingford and Guilford rest stops.


Open Location
Open How we're involved