A diverse group of Jews of all ages took to the road this weekend in California to learn more about sustainable living and support Hazon, an organization whose mission is to create healthier and more sustainable communities in the Jewish world and beyond. The group covered 86 miles and raised nearly $80,000 to support Jewish environmental initiatives in the US and Israel.
Affectionately titled “The People of the Bike,” the Hazon sponsored program featured a range of cycling options to meet the needs of novice and advanced rides as well as opportunities to reflect and learn. The cyclists participated in yoga, qi gong and meditation as well has having the opportunity to visit a local farm and participate in a transformative Shabbat experience.
One past participant claims the chance to ride and learn was “incredible” and adds, “Being able to share the experience with my friends and family in such a well -supported community was even better.”
The California Ride and Retreat program is one of a number of rides sponsored by Hazon each year that aims to promote a more sustainable lifestyle for the Jewish community. “Cycling gives you a deeper appreciation of your surroundings,” Hazon writes on its newsletter, “you’ll see the world around you with new eyes from the seat of your bike.”
In addition to allowing riders to better connect with the world around them, bicycle transportation is also less damaging to the planet. For every four pound trip made by bicycle instead of a car, 15 pounds of pollutants are kept out of the air we breathe, reports the League of American Bicyclists.
Hazon hopes programs like the California Ride will help encourage more people to get out of cars and try pedal power to get to work each day. Yet the benefits are not only the thousands of pounds commuting by bike will save the environment each year. According to Hazon, cycling is “just plain fun.”
.ORG-Connection: Hazon, America’s largest Jewish environmental group, creates healthy and sustainable communities in the Jewish world and beyond.