Thousands of bicyclists are participating in the 2019 Closer to Free Ride to raise money for cancer research in New Haven on Saturday.
Many volunteers and riders said they’re ready to ride and cheer for everyone along the route for the ride that started at 7 a.m.
A record breaking 2,100 cyclists are taking part in either the 10, 25,40, 62.5 or the 100 mile rides.
Organizers are looking to shatter last year’s record of $3 million.
All of the money raised will directly support Yale’s Cancer Center and the Smilow Cancer Hospital.
Stacey Hubbard is the captain of Carl’s Crusaders, named after her husband, Carl, who she lost to cancer in July of 2012.
“He had carcinoma, it was a very rare cancer, he was diagnosed a week before Christmas,” said Hubbard. “He continued to fight for seven months and he was such a fighter and that’s why we named our team the Carl’s Crusaders.”
Since the team’s inception, Hubbard and other teammates have raised $500,000 in seven years.
“Everyone has somehow been touched by cancer and we all come together as one big group,” said Hubbard. “We all help with fundraising and help raise money to hopefully one day beat it.”
Cyclists and supporters signed in, picked up jerseys and souvenirs ahead of the big day.
NBC Connecticut is proud to be the media sponsor for the 9th annual Closer to Free Ride.
NBC Connecticut has members from our team participating in the ride including our own Mike Hydeck.