Ride FAQs

If your question is not here, please contact Margot Regan, Event Manager, at 978-241-3425 or at cycle@emmausinc.org.


I’m a returning rider--is the route the same as last year?

Yes. As of right now, all routes are the same as the 2017 ride.  Please check our event website as the ride draws closer as we will list any updates to the routes on here.  Also, please make sure to review the maps and cue sheets provided to you on the day of the ride as there could be last-minute construction or road conditions that would cause use to alter the routes slightly just prior to the ride. Here are the 2017 routes: 20-mile cue sheet, 40-mile cue sheet,  62-mile cue sheet, 100-mile cue sheet    

Has the ride ever been cancelled?20 mile small for web.jpg

No. The ride is held rain or shine, and for those who rode in 2014, you remember the rainy ride! And who can forget the 95 degree day we had in 2016?! But we all still had fun! Severe thunderstorms and wind could result in delaying the start and shortening the routes for safety.

I’m not sure I can complete the route. What will happen if I cant?

On the longer routes, rest stops are located no more than 20 miles apart; on the shorter routes 10 miles apart. Between rest-stops there are roving support vehicles which can be identified by yellow signs. All rest-stops and rovers are in radio communication with each other and the command center at the college. If for any reason you can not finish the ride, we will get you back to the finish line. You are also provided with an emergency contact number on your wristband.  Please call that number if you need assistance. You will be advised to shorten your route if you are not on schedule to finish the ride by 4:00 PM. If you are local, there are many training ride opportunities each week to help you prepare for this ride. 


Where is the start and what can I expect?

 The event starts at the Sport and Fitness Center at Northern Essex Community College, 100 Elliott St, Haverhill, MA 01830.

          *Check in Century (100 mile) begins at 6:00 am. OPENING CEREMONIES/START AT 7:00 AM.

          *Check in Metric Century (62 mile) begins at 6:30 am. OPENING CEREMONIES/START AT 7:30AM.

          *Check in for 40-mile route begins at 8 a.m.  OPENING CEREMONIES/START AT 9:00 AM.

          *Check in Weekend Warrior (20 mile) begins at 8:30 am. OPENING CEREMONIES/START AT 9:30 AM.

The college has bathrooms and complimentary breakfast items. Free bike checks with expert mechanics will be offered from 6:00 am 9:30 am. Please arrive 45 minutes before the start of your event for this service. Water is available for your own water bottles. Your registration packet has maps, cue sheets, a wrist band and a numbered bib. You may turn in sponsorship money you have collected at the check in table.

What if I miss the start time?

 You will be asked to switch to a shorter route. Please inform the volunteer at check-in which route you registered for so they can locate your packet.

Can I switch the route I am registered for before the event?
Please contact the Event Coordinator a minimum of 3 days before the event at 978-241-3425 or email cycle@emmausinc.org to request this. You may switch routes the day of the event, but please allow for extra time at registration as we need to provide you with new materials that will correspond to your new route.  Please visit the "Switching Routes" check in table at registration if you would like to switch routes. 

Can a rider register to ride on the day?

Yes! Please note that day-of registration costs $100 PLUS the minimum fundraising amount of $250, due on 9/1/18. Please allow for extra time at registration as we provide you with your ride materials and have you fill out a registration form.  Please visit the "Day of Registration" table. 

Can I pick up my registration packet before the day of the ride?

Yes.  Our Premier Bike Shop Sponsor, Riverside Cycle, hosts a Packet Pick-Up Party the day prior to the ride (July 21).  The exact details of this party will be announced later this spring.

Do I have to wear a helmet?
Yes, this is required, no exception.seferlis family small for web.jpg

Can I use headphones?
For safety, riders must not wear headphones when they are riding.

How old do you have to be to ride?
All cyclists must be over 18, or if they are younger, they must ride with a responsible adult throughout the ride.

What happens if I have not raised the minimum fundraising amount on the day of the ride?
You will be given an envelope to mail in outstanding sponsorship monies after the event.  Last year the average raised by riders was $550. Even with all the volunteer effort and in-kind donations, it costs Emmaus $75 per rider to stage the event. Riders upon registering for this event pledge to raise at least $250 above their registration fee due by September 1, 2018.  

This year we are implementing a "Delayed Self-Pay" system, which means that on October 1, 2018, we reserve the right to charge any rider's credit card in the amount needed to reach the $250 minimum.  Please note that registration fees DO NOT count toward the fundraising minimum.

This year, each member of a team MUST raise the minimmum $250, unless a member of a recognized family team.  This change was implemented after talking with many team captains who expect their team members to support our mission. 

How is the route marked?  
Yellow painted route markers like the one below that shows a right turn. 

With an additional marker after the turn to confirm you are on route. 
Eye-level arrowed signs as follows: 
Yellow = century route (100 miles)
        Blue = metric century (62 miles)
Orange= 40-miles
Purple = weekend warrior (20 miles)

How is the ride supported?
Rest-stops are between 10 and 20 miles apart. There are roving support vehicles, and we will have radio communication between route support vehicles, rest-stops and the command center at the college. All Rest-stops and support vehicles have basic supplies for cycle repairs as well as first-aid kits and water. 

How “hilly” is the route?

 There are hills in this area, the start and finish is in HaverHILL after all. Only a few routes change altitude by more than 100 feet. The highest point along the course is about 300 feet on the Century and Metric Century rides.

Where are the Rest-stops and and what can I expect? 
100-mile: North Hampton Beach State Park; Kensington Congregational Church; New England Sports Park (Amesbury)Erie 4 Historic Fire House (Georgetown); Topsfield Congregational Church; Second Congregational Church, West Boxford.

62-mile: North Hampton Beach State Park; Kensington Congregational Church, New England Sports Park (Amesbury) 

40-mileErie 4 Historic Fire House (Georgetown); Topsfield Congregational Church; Second Congregational Church, West Boxford.
20-mile: Ingaladsby Farm, and Washington Park (Center St. in Groveland)

All rest stops have bathrooms, water, energy drinks, ice and snacks. An air pump, patch kit, commonly used bike tubes are available; as are dry socks and first-aid supplies. 

What happens if I get lost?
Though the routes are well marked and supported - it happens! Each rider is provided with a map and cue sheet. It is important to bring this with you so you can get back on course. Call the emergency number on your wristband before you get too far off course. You should suspect you are if you do not see any road markings or signage for more than a mile.

What can I expect at the end of the ride?
From 11:30-5:00 pm  we will have a wonderful feast generously provided by many area restaurants.  Staff from our Family Shelter will also make their famious "rice and beans and rice pudding!"  Vegetarian and vegan options will also be available. 

We also will have:

Complimentary sports/physical therapy messages. (sign up when returning from ride)
Showers; please bring your own towel.
Music, Good company, and fun!

Can I bring my family to the event? 

If you live along one the routes, please ask them to cheer you along or put out a Support Poster to encourage all of the riders who will be going by.

Your family is welcome to come to the finish line at Northern Essex Community College to greet you on your return. There is usually plenty of food to share, but please ask them to sponsor their favorite rider (you!) .

Do you provide tax receipts for all donations to the ride?
No. We have a low administrative overhead and can not do this. If your sponsors require a tax receipt please create your own fundraising page by signing up for the event and ask them to donate by credit card.

I’m coming from out of state. Can you recommend a hotel and bike rental?

 We will have more information on local hotels in the coming weeks.  Riverside Cycle will offer discount bike rentals for those particpating in our ride.  Please contact cycle@emmausinc.org and we will assist you. 

I’m not sure how to raise the money. What should I do?
The mission of Emmaus is to create long term solutions to homelessness and poverty. Riding in Cycle for Shelter gives you a chance to be part of the solution.Emmaus 2017 LL-180.jpg

Be proud to ask your friends, family and co-workers to support you. Emmaus programs serve residents of the Merrimack Valley, but riding for Emmaus helps raise awareness of the issue in every community. The event site has tools to help you raise funds.

Contact Margot Regan,Event Manager at 978-241-3425 or email cycle@emmausinc.org if you require further assistance. All donation checks may be made payable to Emmaus, Inc. and mailed to:

c/o Cycle for Shelter
PO Box 568
Haverhill, MA 01831
(be sure to have your donors include your name on the memo line to ensure you receive proper credit for the donation). You may also bring your donations with you on the morning of the event.

My company will match my donation or a sponsor’s gift. What do I need to do?
Emmaus needs to confirm that we have received the donation. Please mail the paperwork to: Emmaus Inc. c/o Cycle for Shelter, PO Box 568, Haverhill, MA 01831. Some companies require web based confirmations. The donor needs to register the donation on the company website as a gift to Emmaus Inc., and allow the company and Emmaus do the rest. Please email cycle@emmausinc.org if you have any questions about Corporate Match Gifts. 

Do people who are homeless help at the event?
Yes, but we do not identify them as Emmaus residents. Residents ride, volunteer, donate and help with pre-event planning. One year a former resident donated $1,000.00 in support of all cyclists.

How can I buy an event jersey?
Click on the Cycle for Shelter Store to order your 2018 jersey! Jersey orders will also be taken at this year's ride. 

If I am unable to ride can I get a refund?
Please contact the Event Manager at 978-241-3425 at least 72-hours prior to the start of the ride if you are unable to attend. We will not be able to refund your registration fee, but will not hold you accoutable to raise the minimum fundraising requirement. If we do not hear from you 72-hours prior to the event indicating that you will be riding, you will be held accountable for the minimum fundraising requirement regardless of whether you participated in the event. 

Thanks to our Sponsors