The Canary Challenge features five routes, and with so many options it can sometimes be a *challenge* to select the appropriate distance. Fortunately, we’ve created a break down of all the routes to help you choose the ride (or run, or walk!) that’s best for you.
5k: This is the perfect route if you are interested in cycling with small children, or even if cycling isn’t your thing! This is the only route that allows you to walk, run or cycle, making it perfect for families.
50k: This is an excellent route if you are new to cycling, but still want a challenging ride. A 50k (roughly 31 miles) is a doable distance for most cyclists, especially because you can find one of the amazing Challenge rest stops midway through the route to take a breather and fuel up on healthy snacks! Select this ride if you are a new cyclist wanting to push yourself.
50 mi: This is a great route for intermediate cyclists. Select this route if you want a moderate challenge with minimal elevation change. This route is perfect if you are an experienced cyclist and want a relaxing ride.
75k: This route differentiates itself from the 50 mi because riders get the opportunity to go up Kings Mountain Road. This elevation change makes the route a real challenge. If you are an intermediate cyclist who wants to challenge yourself, or if you are more advanced but aren’t feeling up for the century, this is the perfect route for you.
100 mi: This is an amazing route for seasoned cyclists looking for a true challenge. As this is the longest of the routes, you can expect to put in time and effort to train for the century. Typically, our canary century cyclists are more experienced and have worked hard to train specifically for this.
Regardless of your experience level, the Canary Challenge has a route for everyone. And with the right team and training, anyone can rise to the challenge and conquer one of our routes. Did we miss anything? Let us know if you have any tips for selecting a route distance!
One of the best things about participating in the Canary Challenge is that you don’t have to do it alone. In 2017, more than 80% of participants were part of a team made up of friends, family, and coworkers. Why is doing the Canary Challenge on a team such a popular option? Being on a team can make fundraising and riding more rewarding because you can strengthen existing relationships, build new ones and have a friendly face to encourage you to keep going.
Sometimes starting a team can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are three easy ways to begin building a Canary Challenge team.
Talk to you people about the Canary Challenge. The first step in forming a team is spreading awareness. You can’t build a team if your potential teammates don’t know what the Canary Challenge is. Let them know why the cause is important to you, and highlight the impact fundraising will have.
Let your company know about the Canary Challenge, and encourage them to start a corporate team. Corporate teams allow companies to improve teamwork and comradery amongst employees. Plus companies have the chance to get extra perks for their employees by participating in the Challenge’s team sponsorship program.
Have a plan. If you want your teammates tode the same route, decide this beforehand, and ask people who have similar riding abilities (not everyone can bike the 100-mile century for example!). Keep in mind, though, that the Canary Challenge offers 5 different routes to choose from, so your teammates don’t all have to ride the same route, which means you can have a variety of skill levels on the same team.
It only takes four riders to make a team, and they have the benefit of being able to train together all while supporting a good cause. If you have any more questions about Canary Challenge teams, visit our teams page. Happy cycling!
Finding a fun, healthy activity that is appropriate and doable for the whole family may seem like a tall order, but cycling fits the bill for many Bay Area residents. For families that want to cycle together, the Canary Challenge, which features a 5k route, is an excellent option – especially for families with young children! Here are three reasons to consider signing the whole family up for the Canary Challenge:
Training for the 5k together gets children and adults alike off their iPhones and away from TV and computer screens. According to a study done by the Department of Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences at the University of Bristol, Many parents find that physical activity is an excellent way for them to bond with their children, increase communication, and it can lead to enhanced mental health. Plus this is a great way to teach children how to lead an active lifestyle. According to a Boston University study, children of active parents are 5.8 times as likely to be active themselves. Plus as a parent, you can cycle with babies and young children easily by using equipment such as a bike carrier or a tag-along bike.
Participating in the Canary Challenge as a family is a great way to make kids feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves and easily becomes a great family tradition for many participants. Traditions allow families to pass along values and bring people closer together. Participating in the Canary Challenge can be one way that you can communicate to your kids the importance of giving back while having fun together.
Cycling is a great activity to do with grandparents and older relatives. Because cycling is a low impact sport, it is good for those who may have arthritis or aren’t able to get around as easily. Plus it improves mental ability and gives older relatives a way to feel connected to the younger generation.
Staying healthy as a family may be a challenge, but cycling is a good activity to start with. If you thought that this was worth the read, or know someone who might be interested in participating in the Canary Challenge, make sure to share this post!
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An email is often the first – and sometimes only – introduction people have to your fundraising mission. That’s why making it impactful is extremely important. Not only do you have to explain what the Canary Challenge is and why you are participating, but you want the messaging to be compelling enough to motivate its readers to make a donation.
Here are some best practices to consider when emailing your potential donors:
Send it to everyone in your network! Think about how many people you know. What if each of them donated to your fundraising efforts? Keeping in mind that not all of them will will, you’ll at least want to give them the opportunity. Send an email to everyone you’re connected with on Facebook, LinkedIn and other networks. Don’t limit yourself to friends and family, reach out to work colleagues and other professional connections as well. (For more information about who to email, read our previous blog with tips on finding donors in unexpected places.)
In the first paragraph of your email, ask sincere questions about that person and say something interesting about yourself.
In the second paragraph tell that person why you are doing Canary Challenge and what it is. This would be a great place to share a personal story about your connection to Canary’s mission. (For more information on how to do this, check out our previous blog on Sharing Your Story.)
In the third paragraph, ask for a donation and provide a URL to your personal fundraising page.
Include a photo of yourself on your bicycle and – if possible – wearing and Canary swag.
Repeat the process until the donations come in, and do not stop until your have surpassed your goal.
Are we missing anything? If you’ve had success with other tips, please share them with your fellow participants in the comments below.
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For new fundraisers, the process of raising money can often seem challenging, especially without proper guidance. What may be surprising, though, is that the biggest challenge is often not how to ask, but rather who to ask.
When seeking out potential donors, most people start with the obvious – friends, family members, and colleagues. It is important to remember, though, that some of the most impactful donations can often be found in unexpected places.
When fundraising, try to look beyond the people you connect with on a regular basis. It’s often worth the effort to re-connect with people from your past (think former professional contacts or fellow high school and college alum), or reach out to people you have common interests with (members of your book or cycling club, for example). Not only are these great ideas for fundraising, they are also potential ways to bond with people who may have a special interest in Canary’s mission of stopping cancer early.
Take the following tips into consideration when reaching out to potential donors:
Get in touch with your college or university to place an ad for you in the alumni newspaper.
Contact your national chapter and fellow alumnae or alumnus from your fraternity or sorority for donations.
Associates and employers from previous jobs may also be willing to help you you’re your fundraising.
Direct message social media followers on multiple platforms while also regularly posting updates on social media regarding your fundraising progress.
Besides your current company, try contacting individuals from partner companies or companies that your team has worked with in the past.
Ask participants of any extracurricular activities that you partake in, like tennis, karate, chess, etc.
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In an era when the average person is bombarded by email advertisements and notifications on a daily basis, it’s imperative to make your donation request stand out from the crowd. An excellent way to accomplish this is by sharing a personal story. In fact, avoiding information overload is one of the primary reasons we as human beings crave personalized content over generic content, according to a study from the University of Texas at Austin.
Think of it this way: sharing your story is a chance to communicate why you are raising money for the Canary Challenge and why you feel early detection of cancer is so important. It gives your audience, whether it’s close friends and family or complete strangers, the opportunity to understand how Canary has impacted you on a personal level as an individual.
When communicating your personal story through email or in person, ask yourself these questions to get started:
Are you yourself a cancer survivor, or is someone close to you a survivor? If so, did early detection play a part in beating cancer?
Are you riding in memory of a friend or loved one who lost their battle to cancer? Could better methods for detecting cancer earlier have changed the outcome?
Is there another reason why supporting Canary Foundation’s mission is important to you?
Whether it’s a story of survivorship, or a belief in the importance of Canary’s innovative research, your unique story provides insight about why you are participating in the Canary Challenge and in doing so can inspire potential to support your effort.
So, when crafting your next fundraising email blast, think about including your story and remember: the power of your words can have a greater impact than you may think.
Do you have a story to share? Include it in the comments below to inspire other Challenge participants in their fundraising.
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