closer to free

Thousands Participate in This Year's Virtual Closer to Free Ride

NBC Universal, Inc.

Thousands of people participated in this year's virtual Closer to Free Ride on Saturday.

It's a slightly different set up this year due to COVID-19, but the mission to raise money for the Smilow Cancer Hospital remains the same.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Closer to Free. This year, the virtual ride will have 2,000 riders, which exceeded organizers' expectations.

Riders are encouraged to ride 10, 25, 40, 65 or 100 miles today, but organizers said the distance is up to the rider.

Sue Faraone, a 10-year Closer to Free rider and nurse at Smilow Cancer Hospital explains the importance of the race and talks about who she races for as this year's race goes virtual.

Last year more than 2,100 cyclists filled the streets of New Haven. This year, riders get the chance to create their own route and they'll be riding on their own.

One of a lot of riders' favorite parts of the race, the Smilow Salute, will still go on.

"It's got the right vibe and the right culture and it is very welcoming and very exciting. The post ride ceremony is awesome and it's my favorite for a whole bunch of reasons," said cancer survivor and Closer to Free Rider Mike Smith.

The 10th Annual Closer to Free Virtual Ride is taking place tomorrow across Connecticut and across the country.

Donations are still being accepted through December. You can donate here. All proceeds raised will go directly to Smilow Cancer Hospital.

NBC Connecticut is the proud media partner of the Closer to Free Ride.

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