What To Expect 2021-02-16T16:03:41-05:00

How You Can Participate


As a Rider, you’ll be on your bike for 275 miles from Boston to New York raising awareness and funds in the fight to end AIDS. We want you to focus on riding your bike, making new friends, honoring your reason for riding and having the experience of a lifetime.


Crew are the heart and soul of the Ride. For three days these amazing people dedicate their time and energy to make sure the Riders are safe, fed, hydrated and happy. With 10+ roles to choose from, you’ll have a blast no matter what team you’re on.

Want to learn more? Interested in one of our Specialty Crew roles (Medical, Sports Medicine, Bike Tech, Motorcycle Safety)? Contact us at cycleforthecause@gaycenter.org for more information.

Virtual Participant

You can be part of the movement whether you’re in New York, Chicago, London or Tokyo. There’s no registration fee and no fundraising minimum, so it’s as simple as signing up, planning your own activity (walking, running, sewing, baking!) to show that you’re committed to making sure The Center meets the needs of those who rely on us, now more than ever.

Please note that registration feeds and fundraising minimums apply to Riders and Crew. Click here to learn more.

Fundraising & Training Support

The Cycle for the Cause community has raised more than $17 million over the years to support The Center’s HIV and AIDS services Our mission is to guide you throughout your fundraising and training to make it as easy as possible for you to achieve your goal.

We get it: fundraising and training for 275 miles sounds intimidating, but we promise we are here to support you every step (or pedal stroke!) of the way!

Frequently Asked Questions

When is The 275 Challenge closing celebration? 2021-07-27T10:23:27-04:00

The virtual component of The 275 Challenge begins on Sunday, August 29 and ends 27.5 days later on Saturday, September 25.

The 275 Challenge closing celebration will take place Saturday, September 25, 2021, and will start and end at Pier 84 in NYC. Morning start times vary between the ride (27.5 miles) and the walk/run (2.75 miles). The party on Pier 84 will be open from 10 a.m to 1 p.m.

What is the registration fee and what does it include? 2021-07-27T10:24:02-04:00

Registration fees for all participation types are the following:

  • August 29-September 25: Virtual participation only, no registration fee
  • Live Event September 25:
    • Run/Walk: $20
    • Ride: $35
    • Exhibitor: Free admission
    • Volunteer: Free admission

As part of your registration, you’ll receive:

  • Access to run/walk/ride in the event, complete with scenic and beautiful fall routes
  • Access to all Rest Stops along the routes
  • Access to all Ride Services including Medical, Bike Techs, Bike Parking, Recovery Zones, etc.
  • Snacks on route and at closing; boxed lunch at closing celebration for ride/walk/run participants
  • Access to the closing celebration with great refreshments, recovery zone, and entertainment
  • Ability to earn 275 Challenge swag through fundraising
Do I need to raise money? 2021-07-27T10:14:03-04:00

Due to our mission to raise funds for The Center’s critical community support services, we need your help in fundraising more than ever before. 

Therefore, we ask all cycling, walking, and running participants of The 275 Challenge closing celebration to set a minimum fundraising goal of $275, which can be raised by setting up a 275 Challenge fundraising page at support.gaycenter.org.

To reward your hard work, there are amazing incentive prizes for crushing those goals!  

We’re here to help you every step of the way and provide you with great resources and tools to surpass your goals with ease.

What COVID-19 safety measures are being taken at this event? 2021-07-27T10:24:38-04:00

The 275 Challenge closing celebration and accompanying ride/walk/run will implement enhanced safety protocols in keeping with current guidance from the CDC, state, city, and other local agencies to keep our participants, volunteers, staff, and community as safe as possible.

Specific safety protocols (food handling, social distancing, etc) will be distributed closer to the event.

I had signed up already to participate virtually in The 275 Challenge, and now want to sign up to also participate in the live event. How does that work? 2021-07-27T10:17:44-04:00

You’ve already completed the most important step by creating your fundraising page on DonorDrive! Now you just need to sign up for The 275 Challenge closing celebration online here so we know how you plan to participate on September 25. Email us at cycleforthecause@gaycenter.org if you have any questions or concerns.

Does my registration fee go toward my fundraising goal? 2021-07-26T12:40:29-04:00

No, your non-refundable registration fee is not a tax-deductible donation, and therefore can’t apply toward your fundraising goal. These registration fees help offset the costs of producing the event and support along the ride/walk/run route.

How do I connect my fundraising for the live event to my personal page on DonorDrive? 2021-07-27T10:15:56-04:00

All cycling, walking, and running participants of The 275 Challenge closing celebration are required to create a fundraising page at support.gaycenter.org in addition to their registration for the event on September 25. We will link up everything for you on our end!

Can I set my goal higher than what is populated under my registration ($275 for 2.75-mile run/walk participants and $275 for 27.5-mile riders)? 2021-07-27T10:18:10-04:00

Absolutely! We encourage you to strive to fundraise as much as possible—and take home all of the awesome swag we provide for those that earn top fundraiser status!

If I have to withdraw from the event due to a conflict, can I have a refund or transfer to another participant? 2021-07-26T12:40:46-04:00

All registration fees and donations are non-refundable, and non-transferable to other individuals. We aim to work with participants on a case by case basis to transfer their registration fees toward future event registrations.

What is Cycle for the Cause? 2021-02-16T16:03:45-05:00

Since the first Northeast AIDS Ride in 1995, each year hundreds of “active-ists” form a community and experience a life changing event that helps hundreds of thousands of people affected by HIV and AIDS.  Cycle for the Cause is a three day, 275 mile bike ride from Boston to New York City and the money raised through this event funds the critical HIV/AIDS services of the NYC LGBT Community Center (“The Center”).

Established in 1983 as a result of the AIDS crisis, New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center has grown and evolved over the last four decades, creating and delivering services that empower people to lead healthy, successful lives. The Center continues to serve the LGBTQ community through virtual support services, launched almost immediately after our building closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Does the Ride sell out? If so, how can I still participate? 2019-06-27T15:23:00-04:00

Because of our commitment to keeping the Ride fully supported every year, we are limited in the amount of guaranteed hotel space that we can offer to participants. However, in an effort to keep the Ride open to any individuals who want to register to be a Rider with enough time to fundraise and train, we open up our DIY Hotel participation option when we reach our accommodation capacity.

What is the “DIY Hotel” Option? 2020-09-10T09:57:39-04:00
  • Our DIY Hotel Riders will not be guaranteed a spot in C4C’s hotel room block, but will be given assistance in finding a nearby hotel room to book, including choosing from a reduced-rate room block reserved by C4C. They will be financially responsible for these rooms.
  • We will help these Riders with their transportation to the main hotel each morning and evening. 
  • DIY Hotel Riders will also receive all other support features, including meals, transportation, bike shipping and specialty support. 
  • They will also be added to a waitlist for a room in the main hotel and will be given advance notice if a spot opens up to allow them to cancel their hotel reservations.

These plans are subject to change and will be updated depending on future social distancing and safety guidelines due to COVID-19.

When is Cycle for the Cause? 2020-09-10T09:58:22-04:00

Cycle for the Cause is September 23-26, 2021. The first day, September 23, is a travel and orientation day (Riders and Crew travel together in chartered buses and vans from The Center in the West Village to the start hotel in Boston), and The Ride is September 24-26.

These plans are subject to change and will be updated depending on future social distancing and safety guidelines due to COVID-19.

What are the fundraising minimums? 2018-01-16T17:13:37-05:00

Riders age 30+ raise at least $2750. Riders ages 18-29 raise at least $2000. Crew must raise a minimum of $500. The fundraising experts on the Cycle for the Cause staff are here to support you and offer you proven tips and tools; most Riders and Crew raise way more than the minimums.

What is the age requirement? 2020-09-10T09:58:50-04:00

All Cycle for the Cause participants must be at least 18 year old as of September 23, 2021.

What kind of bike do I need? 2020-02-28T14:02:51-05:00

Every Rider needs to have a bike and a helmet. Most people choose either a road bike or a hybrid. Whichever type of bike you choose, make sure that it fits you properly and has all of the basics (like brakes). If you need help choosing a bike, contact your Team Captain, or contact our Fundraising Coordinator.

Does Crew fundraise? 2020-02-28T14:03:52-05:00

Yes! There is a $500 fundraising minimum to Crew, although most Crew raise a lot more than the minimum. If you are on one of the Specialty Crew (Medical, Bike Tech, Sports Medicine or Moto Safety), you are not required to fundraise; but, again, most do. Crew gets the same fundraising support from Team Captains, Fundraising Leaders and the Cycle for the Cause fundraising experts that is provided to Riders.

What exactly does the Crew do? 2020-02-28T14:05:04-05:00

For three days, Crew dedicate their time and energy to making sure our hundreds of Riders are safe, fed, hydrated and supported. This includes, but is not limited to, staffing themed rest stops while pouring water, mixing Gatorade and serving snacks, checking participants into hotels, parking bicycles, picking up exhausted Riders along the route, giving hugs and leading cheers (lots and lots of cheers!).

What is a Virtual Rider? 2021-02-16T16:03:45-05:00

Virtual Rider is a participation option for those who want to join the Cycle for the Cause movement while raising critical funds for The Center’s HIV and AIDS programs, but can’t be with us in person on the ride itself. Find out more here!

What does “fully supported” mean? 2018-01-16T17:15:04-05:00

We want you to focus on riding your bike, making new friends, honoring your reason for riding, and having the experience of a lifetime.  So we take care of hotel accommodations all three nights, meals (breakfast and dinner at the hotels, and lunch on the route), Bike Tech, medical services, massage crew, and anything else we can think of that will make your experience amazing.

What costs will I incur during the event? 2018-01-16T17:45:34-05:00

Very few. Once you are on the event, your meals, hotel rooms, transportation, and even some entertainment are provided for you. You may want to bring your debit card, credit card, or cash, for incidentals.

Are meals provided? 2020-09-10T09:59:32-04:00

Yes, all meals are provided starting with dinner on Thursday night. We will eat breakfast and dinner together each day at that day’s hotel, and a nutritious lunch will be served each day along the route.

These plans are subject to change and will be updated depending on future social distancing and safety guidelines due to COVID-19. 

Are there rest stops? 2018-01-16T17:16:10-05:00

Definitely! We don’t expect (or advise) you to ride 275 miles without stopping. There are Rest Stops every 10-15 miles, and they are like magical oases – snacks, water, Gatorade, rest rooms and, best of all, CREW! Plus, Medical and Bike Tech services are available at each Rest Stop.

I have special medicines that require refrigeration. What should I do? 2020-09-10T09:59:50-04:00

Our Medical Team (who are all volunteers, like all Crew) is comprised of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who will take care of all your refrigerated prescription drug needs, including delivering them to you during the day when you’re out on the road.

These plans are subject to change and will be updated depending on future social distancing and safety guidelines due to COVID-19. 

Where do I sleep each night? 2021-02-16T16:03:45-05:00

Hotel rooms are provided Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights during the event. While every effort is made to ensure only two people per hotel room, due to the growth of the ride we anticipate that some rooms will require three people. This means one person sleeping on a roll-a-way bed. Assignments for triple rooms will be made only by necessity and will be largely based on the date of registration (later registrants are more likely to be assigned to a triple room).

These plans are subject to change and will be updated depending on future social distancing and safety guidelines due to COVID-19. 

Will I have a roommate? 2021-02-16T16:03:45-05:00

Yes – you can tell us who you’d like to room with on your Travel Planner or we will be happy to match you up with someone (or someones!). Due to the growth of the ride, some people will have to be in triple rooms. Assignments for triple rooms will be made only by necessity and will be largely based on the date of registration (later registrants are more likely to be assigned to a triple room). Triple rooms will require one person sleeping on a roll-a-way bed.

These plans are subject to change and will be updated depending on future social distancing and safety guidelines due to COVID-19. 

Can I have friends meet me at the hotel and can they stay or eat with me? 2018-01-16T17:18:35-05:00

We love it when friends or family come out to support you at the hotels or on the route. However, due to our limited space and resources, we ask that they not join us for meals or stay in your hotel room.

What should I pack? 2018-01-16T17:19:02-05:00

Take a look at our What to Bring section for a list of required and recommended equipment and clothing.

Will my bike be stored securely at night? 2018-01-16T17:19:21-05:00

Absolutely! There is an overnight security team to keep your bike safe in our secure, well-lit bike parking area – it is not necessary to bring a bike lock. Due to hotel rules, bikes cannot be stored in your hotel room. But any other equipment (your helmet, bag, etc) can, of course, go with you into your hotel room.

What if I have a mechanical problem on the road? 2018-01-16T17:19:42-05:00

Our Bike Techs are on hand at rest stops to fix what ails you.  You can call the Command Center or flag one of the Sweep vehicles to take you to the next rest stop to check in with the Bike Tech team. You should carry spare tubes in your seat bag; if your bike needs a part that you don’t have, the Bike Techs can fix it – but there may be a cost for the spare part.

How many water bottles do I need? 2018-01-16T17:19:55-05:00

We suggest you have two water bottles attached to your bike; one for water and one for a sports drink (like Gatorade).  You may also use a Camelbak™ hydration pack.

Do I need to bring a bike pump? 2018-01-16T17:20:11-05:00

You should have a small bike pump attached to your bike or bring CO2 cartridges.  If you use a CO2 cartridge to refill a flat tire, you should deflate your tire and refill it with regular air at the next rest stop or at the hotel (by using a simple stand pump).  CO2 is a gas and quickly dissipates through the rubber, which can make it dangerous to ride on the re-inflated tire longer than you have to.

Do I need lights for my bike? 2018-01-16T17:20:26-05:00

Even though you won’t be riding in the dark, it’s a good idea to have lights on your bike in case of rain or fog.  Also, lights make you more visible to cars- which is always a good thing.

What should be included in my seat bag on my bike? 2021-02-16T16:03:45-05:00

Your seat bag should include the following: two spare tubes, two tire levers, two CO2 cartridges, one valve/nozzle, and a bike wrench set. A portable phone charger is recommended, as well as your ID and a small amount of cash, just in case.

What if I get lost on the ride? 2018-01-16T17:22:25-05:00

You’re on your own! (Just kidding).  The route is well marked with signage, so Riders rarely get lost. But if you do get lost simply call the 800 number on your wristband (distributed at Thursday Orientation as part of your Registration Kit) and the Command Center will help you find your way back – or send a sweep vehicle to pick you up.

What if I can’t finish riding any of the days? 2018-01-16T17:22:48-05:00

Cycle for the Cause is fully supported, so we’ve got you covered.  The Sweep Team will be driving the route and is able to take you to the next rest stop or to the hotel if you’re done for the day.  Of course, your teammates, friends, and the entire Cycle for the Cause family will be there to encourage you to keep going!

What is the weather like? 2018-01-16T17:22:59-05:00

Keep in mind that we are riding our bikes across four states where weather can vary tremendously.  September can vary with temperatures ranging from 35-60 degrees in the morning to 65-85 degrees in the afternoon.  You should consider dressing in layers to be prepared for any kind of weather.

What happens if it rains? 2018-01-16T17:23:05-05:00

Generally speaking, Cycle for the Cause happens rain or shine so you should bring rain gear to be prepared to ride in the rain.  A little rain never hurt anyone. A LOT of rain, on the other hand, makes riding our bikes unsafe.  So, in the event of severe weather, our staff may delay, postpone or cancel a day of riding.

How do I get to Boston? 2020-09-10T10:02:10-04:00

If you’re a Rider, you’ll make the trek from New York to Boston on comfy charter buses. Of course, you’ll be making the trek back from Boston on your bike, so… enjoy the plush seats and air conditioning.

Likewise, Crew will ride together in our decked out Crew Vans. Crew arrive in Boston around 12 p.m. on September 23, 2021, while Riders will arrive around 3:30 p.m. that day.

What do I do if I arrive late for the ride? 2020-09-10T10:02:43-04:00

The Cycle for the Cause event starts on September 24, 2021.  Departure for Cycle for the Cause is on September 23, 2021. We present an extremely important safety briefing and address some final housekeeping at that time. It is imperative that all participants are present in Framingham, MA for these activities on September 23, 2021. Specifically, Crew should arrive by 12 p.m. and Riders by 3:30 p.m. If you know in advance that you will arrive after that, please contact the Fundraising Coordinator.

What if I have to leave the ride early? 2018-01-16T17:29:30-05:00

We’ll be sad to see you go.  But if you need to leave the event early, you should talk with Cycle for the Cause staff, as we can provide information and advice on securing transportation home. Of course any related costs will be your responsibility.

What happens if I’m not feeling well? What if I get injured? 2018-01-16T17:29:51-05:00

There is a Medical Crew who will be at each rest stop and at the hotel each day.  It is understood that the scope of services provided by the Medical Team will be limited to the provision of First Aid.  In an emergency situation, the team will provide emergency support until local Emergency Medical Service Teams arrive on-site.

How many people make up a team? 2020-02-28T14:10:19-05:00

Any two or more people can form a team, although we suggest that a team consist of at least 3.  A team can be made up of friends, family, co-workers, frenemies, neighbors…. anyone at all! And both Riders and Crew can be on the same team.

Do I have to join a team? 2018-01-16T17:30:11-05:00

Nope! While being on a team is fun and can support you with fundraising and training, many Riders join Cycle for the Cause as individuals.  Whether you join a team or as an individual, we assure you that you’ll meet tons of amazing new friends!

Can I register as an individual then join a team later? 2020-02-28T14:09:22-05:00

Yes, you may join a team at any time.  To join a team, please contact the Team Captain or our Fundraising Coordinator.

Can I bring my own vehicle on the event? 2018-01-16T17:30:37-05:00

Due to limited space, insurance requirements, and team continuity, the general answer is no. But we still love you.

How do Crew members get to and from their assigned posts each day? 2018-01-16T17:32:00-05:00

Once you are on the event we provide all your transportation. Generally you travel with your team in a truck, car or van.

Want More Info?

We’d be happy to send you more information about Cycle for the Cause. Just let us know where to send it.