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FAQ’s

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_MG_2006What are my options for participating in 2014?
For 2014, there are a number of different options for our Georgia Ride, our New York Ride, and our Ohio Ride.

For each location, there will be a 1 day Ride on Saturday.  Saturday riders and volunteers will join us on Saturday morning, and depart Saturday evening after our celebration.  For those who wish to have a full weekend experience, we will have an option to join GYGIG for Sunday as well.  More details will become available as registrations go live.

As of December 16, 2013, GYGIG’s Georgia registration is live.  Please visit our registration page for more details here.

I want to help get people signed up.  Can I get some promotional materials and brochures?
Yes!  Please fill out a quick form, found at https://gygig.wufoo.com/forms/2014-brochure-request/ .  Once you’ve filled this form out, we’ll be sure to get materials over to you.

Where do the Rides begin and end?
We are currently creating new routes because of the new options we are adding, so all of our exact route information is not yet available.  Check back soon for more details and maps of GYGIG’s three Rides.

What mileage choices do I have?
For our Saturday 1 day option, you can choose from 100 miles, 62.5 miles, or 30 miles in each location.  Our 10 mile option will be available Saturday or Sunday, depending on location.  Mileage for our optional second day will vary by location.  Please see individual registration pages for more information.

For those who are not interested in riding, you can still join this amazing community of people as a volunteer.  Please see the registration page for the Ride you are interested in for more information.

If I am riding on Saturday, will I come the morning of the event?
Yes!  Exact timing and location will be made available for each Ride in the coming weeks.

How does volunteering work?
Our volunteers are a pivotal part of our events.  They help us with all on-event operations, including rest stop support, registration and check-in, sweep vehicle support, rest stop setup and breakdown, help with signage, and much more.  Our volunteers are the backbone of our event!

Volunteers will be needed for all three Rides on Saturday, and will additionally be needed in some locations on Sunday depending on location.

Have a loved one who is participating in the Ride who you’d like to support, but not a cyclist yourself?  Are you a patient or caregiver looking to support the cause?  Not personally connected to the cause, but looking for a way to volunteer your time?  Are you a high school or college student looking for some volunteer hours?  Then volunteering is for you!  Please visit our registration pages to register as a volunteer.

I will be 16 years old on or before the date of the Ride.  Do I have to have a parent/guardian with me?
If you will be 16 years old on or before the date of the Ride, you do not need to have a parent or guardian accompany you.  However, you do need a parent or guardian to sign off on your wavier.  When you register for the Ride, please indicate that you are under 18 years of age by checking the appropriate box.  You will then choose the 16-17 years of age waiver when registering.

If you are 18 years of age or older on or before the date of the Ride, you do not need a parent or guardian’s signature to participate.  Please fill out the regular over 18 forms during registration.

If you will be under 16 years of age on the date of the Ride, you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  For larger groups with children under the age of 16 (i.e: youth groups, volunteer groups, etc.), please email info@ibdride.org or call (718)-875-2123.

Why do you offer the option to spend the whole weekend with GYGIG?
A multiple day event is one of the most effective ways to achieve several objectives such as raising public awareness about IBD and generating vital funds to create even more advocacy and research support.

Our unique event allows riders and crew to form a close, supportive community, as they reach an empowering athletic accomplishment. An estimated 1.4 million Americans suffer from Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Yet, because of the silence surrounding these diseases, awareness is sorely lacking. Get Your Guts in Gear’s Rides empower individuals to personally fight IBD and rise to a physical challenge. Our riders, many of whom live with IBD, achieve intense personal satisfaction by achieving this ride, and often come back year after year to make a difference in the IBD community.

I want to ride but I don’t live in Georgia, New York, or Ohio!
We get plenty of riders and volunteers that travel in for GYGIG.  If you are riding, please contact us at info@ibdride.org to receive information on how to ship your bike.  We will help you to make arrangements so that when it arrives, it will be set up by a professional bike mechanic.  After the ride, we’ll help keep track of your bike and help you ship it back home.

As more details become available, we will announce discounted overnight arrangements for those who will be spending the weekend with us.

Is there a fundraising minimum?
Yes.Our base fundraising minimum for our one day Ride is $325 for riders.  Volunteer fees vary by location.  Please be aware that if you are participating in our full weekend event, fundraising and registration fees will vary by location.  Please visit the registration page of the Ride you are interested in attending for further details.

For any of our Rides, fundraising totals must be submitted prior to the Ride. Most of our riders set and achieved fundraising goals much higher than the minimum.

How do I raise the money?
This may be your first time fundraising, but don’t worry. We’ll be here to help you every step of the way. After you register, we’ll send you our fundraising guide, and our staff will share their expertise in fundraising so that you can meet and exceed you goals. Once you start talking to your family, friends, and colleagues about your commitment and goals with respect to the ride, we think you’ll be surprised by their generosity.

Where does the money go?
The ride benefits Get Your Guts in Gear, Inc.,  the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, the United Ostomy Association of America, and The Jennifer Jaff Center, formerly Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness. The total proceeds depend on the cost of creating our programs, the amount contributed by corporate sponsors, and the donations raised by participants.

In addition to supporting various other charities, funds generated support GYGIG’s mission of empowering those affected by IBD, and producing rides to raise awareness and empowerment, and associated expenses of this.  GYGIG is committed to donating as large a portion as possible to our long-time partners by operating a lean organization and utilizing help from generous volunteers.

Ride proceeds fund various projects of each beneficiary partner. Since 2004, GYGIG has given over $1.5 million dollars to beneficiaries.

Click here to see our Beneficiaries page.

Can I fundraise with a team?
Yes! Teams of up to 8 individuals may fundraise together to a combined fundraising goal – please contact GYGIG for more information about raising funds as a team.  Please note- there is no discount for groups.  Individual fundraising is multiplied by the number of participants on the team.

Can I ride as a “Volunteer” or “Marshal” and not do any fundraising?
Each rider must meet the fundraising requirement. GYGIG’s riders are of varying experience and many have extensive knowledge about bicycles. In our experience, our riders are eager to help one another as minor mechanical situations arise on the road. Unlike much larger single day events, we do not have “marshals” without fundraising responsibility. We sometimes have a crew member ride for a few miles along a bicycle path, clean up signage, and tail the last rider, but for the rest of the event, that crew member is riding in the van.

Can I ride “unofficially” and not do any fundraising?
Everyone who rides must be a registered rider who has raised the minimum fundraising amount. Remember, GYGIG’s Rides raise awareness through our fundraising campaigns, not just during the days spent on each event. GYGIG’s staff has experience with helping riders craft fundraising campaigns, and we are here to help you throughout the entire journey.

What is the route like?
Our Georgia, New York, and Ohio routes are scenic, but also involve some challenge.  The majority of each of the routes are through low-traffic, beautiful countryside of their respective locations.

Because of the length of the rides and the terrain, you will need to train to complete this event if you wish to participate in our 62 or 100 mile Ride. GYGIG offers a training guide and can recommend an online coach who is experienced with all abilities of riders.

Additionally, the route is fully supported by sweep vans, and rest stops are located every 12-17 miles (usually 12-15 miles), breaking it up into manageable legs, and you can always hop in a sweep van if your body needs a break from riding.

I am a novice and have not ridden a bike since I was a little kid. Can I do this?
Yes! With proper training and a properly fitted and tuned-up bicycle, you can complete the Ride. In fact, many of our participants include people who have never completed an event like this before. If you provide the training and commitment, we will support you all the way to the closing ceremony.

New riders are able to train for and complete the event with a bit of preparation. When you register, you’ll receive a training guide prepared specifically for GYGIG by a USA Cycling licensed expert coach. Our staff and volunteers will also keep in touch with you about your training.

View Training Tips for GYGIG

On the days of the Ride, we know things happen, such as GI issues, we make sure to and support riders with sweep vans throughout the entire route. Volunteer crew members will be available, should you need to get in a sweep van, and the community will be supportive of your efforts.

New riders are some of the proudest participants when they finish a ride they weren’t sure they could

Additionally, new for this year, we will be offering a 30 mile and 10 mile Ride– There’s something this year for the whole family!

What if I can’t keep up?
This is not a race! We understand that there will be a range in people’s cycling abilities. There will always be an event vehicle at the back of the group to ensure that you are not left behind. Also, we encourage faster cyclists to take their time and enjoy the company of their fellow cyclists.

What kind of bicycle do I need?
Although a road bike will be the best choice for this type of riding, any quality bike will do! A properly fit bike, good tires, and appropriate gear will help your bike carry you for two days. Before undertaking any type of training on a new (or new-to-you) bicycle, make sure that it has been serviced by a reputable bicycle mechanic. Follow this link to read about buying your first bicycle for an endurance event.

Will the roads be closed?
No. While we make every effort to map a route that minimizes traffic, we will be sharing the road with other vehicles.

Do I need to wear a helmet?
Yes! Safety is our #1 priority. All riders must wear a properly fitted cycling helmet at all times while on their bicycles. Helmets sold at reputable bicycle shops are approved to meet safety standards

Am I on my own when on the road?
Not at all—we’re with you all along the route. Rest stops are placed every 12 to 17 miles along the route and provide water, sports drinks, snacks, and toilets. Sweep vans drive along the route to support cyclists in between rest stops. We also transport your gear bag between camps while you’re out on the road riding, so you don’t have to worry about hauling it.

What sort of lodging does the Ride provide?
In each location, discounted overnight hotel accommodations will be available if you will be spending the full weekend with us.  Please check back for details soon!

I’m riding and need to drive to the event. Can I leave my car for the weekend?
Yes! There will be a designated parking area at our start/stop location.  Because our routes will be a series of loops, you’ll end up back at your car.

How do I get to the start? What about my bike?
Riders and crew must make their own transportation arrangements to get the check-in and opening sites, and from the closing site. We will provide a pre-event planner a few months before each event, and a full Ride Guide about a month prior to the Ride.

If you are unable to travel with your bike, GYGIG will also pre-arrange bike shipping services at the most reasonable fee that we can negotiate.

I’m volunteering; can I drive my own car?
Yes!  Depending on your volunteer assignment, you may be asked if you would like to use your car on-event.  For those assignments that will not require a vehicle, you will park at the designated location.

I want to follow a rider along the route in my car. Can I get route maps?
We have always asked that family and friends not follow along the route behind a rider, as this adds another element of traffic to the route, and makes it more difficult for us to support the riders. The best way to experience this Ride with your family and friends who are riding is to join the volunteer crew. Our volunteers keep coming back because they find their Ride experience every bit as empowering as the riders do.

If you don’t want to crew, we will let you know the location of particular cheering spots each day, or you can volunteer as a day volunteer at a rest stop. We choose these locations based on the availability of parking and the overall safety of the riders.

How Can I Donate?
Donations should be made payable to Get Your Guts in Gear, Inc. and mailed to us at 66 Fulton St, 2nd Floor, White Plains, NY 10606 or you can donate online below.