Hopkins 4K for Cancer

The mission of Hopkins 4K for Cancer is to unite communities across the country in the fight against cancer by spreading awareness, raising funds, and fostering hope.

Hopkins 4K FAQ Page


Donor Questions:

What organizations do you volunteer for while you are biking cross-country?

The 4k riders volunteer take afternoons and days off whenever possible to volunteer in the communities through which we are cycling. We contact ACS chapters, Hope Lodges, hospitals, and any other cancer-related organizations in the area. Past years have helped with various Relay for Life walks, have toured cancer treatment and research centers, have visited other Hope Lodges, as well as volunteered to help individuals struggling with cancer.

Which charities are benefiting from our donations?

The Hopkins 4K has taken a three-tiered approach to using donations to implement our mission: prevent cancer by educating others about life-style choices and the importance of early detection; fight cancer by supporting researchers who are looking for new treatments and cures; and support those affected by cancer by reaching out to communities to foster hope. Donating to Baltimore’s Hope Lodge allows us to further the later goal, while we support activities at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center that target the first two goals.

What are Hope Lodge and the SKCCC?

Hope Lodge in Baltimore is the primary beneficiary of the 4K’s fundraising efforts. Hope Lodge offers a free, temporary housing facility for out-of-town cancer patients who are undergoing treatment in the Baltimore area; it provides guests and their families with private rooms, kitchen facilities, and transportation to treatments. Perhaps the most important thing that Hope Lodge provides is a supportive and home-like atmosphere. We regularly visit the patients at the Lodge in downtown Baltimore. Whether it is preparing a Thanksgiving dinner, decorating the common area with festive decorations, or just socializing over coffee, the experience of interacting with these cancer patients before we embark is one of the most meaningful parts of our experience. In the past 7 years we have given Hope Lodge approximately $400,000.

Starting with the 2007 ride, the Hopkins 4k decided to donate to another charity with the hope of expanding our impact and furthering our mission. The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center is a hospital that treats patients from around the country and world; it offers comprehensive care to patients, meaning that all stages of detection, treatment, and recovery are done within the same organization. In particular, the 4K donates time and money to the SKCCC programs for prevention, detection, and research.

How much of the money donated actually goes to the American Cancer Society, Hope Lodge, etc?

As a student organization, we allow each year’s team to have some flexibility in deciding how donation money is allocated to the beneficiary organizations. In general, about 70% of our funds go to Hope Lodge and the remaining 30% is given to the SKCCC.

How much of my donation will go to the fight against cancer?

We are working to realize our goal that 100% of donations goes directly to fighting cancer. Historically, over 75% of donations go to our benefiting charities, the remainder of which is used to pay for costs associated with cycling across the country. These direct costs are actively managed, resulting in overall costs which are very competitive with similar organizations. As we grow, we are focusing on enlarging our donation base to increase the amount of donations that goes directly to fighting cancer, as well as partnering with corporations to offset the costs we incur.

Can I donate cash and still have it be tax exempt?

Yes, though checks are preferred since they are easier to track and keep safe. All donations to the 4K are tax-exempt, whether cash, check, or goods; simply make sure that the rider to whom you donate remembers to give you the necessary form.

Who should I make checks out to?

Please make checks payable to “JHU - Hopkins 4K for Cancer,” and send them to:

The Hopkins 4k for Cancer
Center for Social Concern

Levering Hall, Suite 200

3400 N. Charles Street

Baltimore, MD 21218

I do not personally know a member on the team, but I am very interested in your program. Is there anyway for me to make a donation to the team as a whole?

Absolutely! We encourage people to get involved with our organization in any way possible and always appreciate team donations. Please see the above question/response for information on donating.

How much is each rider required to raise?

Each rider is required to raise at least $4,000. We feel this is an amount that is both significant and manageable for students; any less would compromise our abilities and impact in donating to Hope Lodge and SKCCC.

What is the annual goal each year for fundraising?

The goal is for every year to raise over $100,000. With approximately 25 riders every year and a minimum fundraising requirement of $4,000, this is always doable, and teams are almost always able to raise more than this.

If I send in a check in a rider's name, how will I know if it is being added to his or her total?

If you include the rider’s name on your check’s memo line, you can be sure we will process the donation and add it to the appropriate rider’s running total.

Rider Questions:
Do riders have previous biking experience?

Prior cycling experience is definitely not a requirement for being selected for the Hopkins 4k, though we do consider general athleticism and interest in the outdoors. However, far more important is the applicant’s energy, spirit, genuine interest, and motivation for doing the trip.

As riders, why did you decide to do this?

Every rider has a slightly different reason for first being inspired to do the trip. Check out the Rider Bios to read about why each person is riding. In general, however, riders are all motivated by an intense desire to make a difference in and improve the lives of those who have been affected by cancer. In hopes of having the greatest and widest impact possible, we are all riding to spread awareness, raise funds, and foster hope for those whose lives have been touched by cancer.

Do you ride constantly throughout the day or do you take breaks after a certain mileage? How long do you ride before you take a break each day?

We take water and lunch breaks, rarely going more than 20 miles between stops. In general, stops included, we’re riding from 8:30am until 4pm.

What is the average age of the riders?

The demographics of each year change slightly depending on the applicants, though riders tend to be between 18 and 26 years old.

Is there any kind of training offered for the riders that are inexperienced with cycling before the ride?

Absolutely! We require that riders become familiar with cycling before the ride begins; this includes everything from learning proper cycling safety, bike maintenance, and endurance training.

Who do you stay with along the trip? Or do you camp outside?

We stay in YMCA’s, churches, school gyms, community centers, and other community buildings along the way; we rarely have to camp, though there are a couple areas out West where there are no alternatives.

What kind of roads do you ride on? Do you travel on interstates?

We usually ride on secondary roads, which is to say the best roads possible while avoiding interstates; these tend to be business routes, county roads, etc… We avoid interstates mainly because it’s illegal in most states for cyclists to use the interstates; in addition, they are neither safe nor enjoyable for cyclists.

How physically fit do you have to be able to conduct a ride across the US?

Riders do need to be relatively fit and healthy; prior injuries and strains can compromise a rider’s ability to cycle for such a long period of time. That being said, a healthy body builds muscle relatively quickly, so what a rider lacks in power at the start of the trip is very quickly built.

How fast do you ride?

Speed varies dramatically depending on the landscape of each day’s ride. Climbing a hill, a rider may go anywhere between 2 and 10 miles per hour; a descent may be taken between 20 and 50mph. However, speed is by no means the primary goal of the trip. We arrange the route so that an average athlete can finish the day, shower, and eat dinner with the hosts, and we discourage riders from racing through the days and missing opportunities to interact with communities and teammates along the way. This is not the type of experience that riders should rush to finish!