Take it from Derek: why you should ride from an experienced rider

Derek Fettes is an 11-year proud supporter of the Ride for Roswell. As a Roswell Park patient, team captain and Extra Mile Club member, Derek knows that the Ride was made for everyone.

On his first ride, he remembers being invited by a friend. Their connection to the Ride stemmed from both losing loved ones to cancer.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but I didn’t really know anyone who was actively doing it. But it was an easy yes for me, and I am glad I am doing it. I love it. I wouldn’t miss it now.”

Last year, the Ride became even more personal and meaningful to Derek as he became a patient at Roswell Park.



You never know when you are going to have to go there and use the facilities. From going there and seeing first-hand the work that happens, you learn a lot. You get to meet the staff, the doctors, the nurses, the support staff; everyone who is there that I have met have been great people. The Ride means even more to me now.

— Derek Fettes

This year, Derek is excited about the five different Ride locations being offered.

“I like that there are so many different rides now, and different ways you can ride,” he said.  

“People are always worried about the length of a ride, but there is a ride for everybody. I think sometimes, people get intimidated by the length of the Ride or they think it is a bike race, but it’s not. Just hop on your bike, go a couple miles and raise funds for cancer research.”

Derek is also part of a team, The Midnight Riders, and they go all out. One of his favorite Ride memories is when they went to UB and dressed up as the band Kiss and rode to “kiss cancer goodbye.” You may even see them this year representing the “force”- hint, hint! 

As for his experienced rider pro tips, he recommends:

at the ride...

Derek invites everyone to participate in the Ride for Roswell because it’s a day of fun and impact.