NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- The annual "Closer to Free" ride is quickly approaching and this year there's a record number of people expected to pedal their way along the Shoreline.
The ride benefits Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
This is the third year for the Closer to Free ride and already more than 850 riders are registered, more than doubling last year's number.
Among them is a team riding for 13-year-old Casey Ridgway.
Fun loving and active in sports Casey took on a winning attitude with a lot of heart.
"She's very sincere, caring more about other people," said Tracy Ridgway, Casey's dad.
However, a form of bone cancer dimmed Casey's bright light this summer.
"She was so brave, we took it one day at a time, one step at a time," Tracy said. "She never complained, she did what she had to do."
In Casey's memory, her father Tracy is riding once again in the Closer to Free ride.
"It's an honor to be a part of this, to do our part because these kids and these people that go through. They fight so much and they go through so much," said Tracy. "This is what we can do."
All American Waste, where he works, is a major sponsor of the ride.
Among the group of seven co-workers joining him, are his boss Eric Frederickson, who also signed on last year.
"It's very inspiring just seeing the strength of her family and the community, the way people come together," Frederickson said. "It really leaves an impression on you."
Another lasting impression is the stop at Smilow, with patients outside the entrance.
"It takes your breath away for a minute, it really does," Frederickson said. "There were people down there with wheelchairs with their IV assemblies next to them."
Frederickson went on to say, "It was just this real overwhelming feeling to see first hand who you're impacting."
Support along the route pumps up the adrenaline that's already going strong.
"It's nice to have somebody there that you can be connected with," Frederickson said, "whether it's just a honk of a horn or a clap or a group cheering."
Thankful for the support at work and the sea of riders, families like the Ridgways are full of hope.
"I'm waiting for that one day for that breaking news that they have a cure for cancer," Tracy said.
It's not too late to take part, you can still register before the start of the race, which is set for this Saturday, September 7th.
MONROE, Conn. (AP) — A 72-year-old homeowner has died following a house fire that injured five others, including four firefighters.
GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) — A multi-vehicle crash closed part of Interstate 95 in southwestern Connecticut for about two hours as road conditions turned slippery with the arrival of a wintry storm.
Lawmakers in Connecticut and New York are calling on the Federal Railroad Administration to take immediate action to try and prevent another deadly train crash like the one that happened last weekend in New York City.
Members of the Machinists union who work at jet-engine maker Pratt & Whitney have approved a new three-year contract.
Manchester police are investigating what lead one man to allegedly kill three women and then take his own life.
The University of Connecticut has awarded the first two scholarships under a program launched to help those affected by last year's massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
A student accused of setting off a lockdown and massive police response at Central Connecticut State University by wearing a ninja-like costume on campus is set to face a judge for the first time.
Newtown police officers rescued two people from a house fire, early Sunday.
Enfield resident Harold Slater was just 20-years-old the day he witnessed the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Two men were arrested after breaking into a home then driving at officers during a pursuit in Waterbury on Saturday night.