The Ride attracts a varied crowd, but we have something to offer everyone – recreational riders and experienced cyclists, solo travelers and families, Jews and non-Jews, people who live in Israel and those on their first visit.
Riders from across the United States, England, Canada, Israel, Australia, and beyond participate in the Israel Ride. Each year there are many singles and solo travelers, but also many family combinations, including parents and children, spouses, and other relatives.
In addition to being a bike trip, the Ride is an opportunity to meet some fantastic people. Participants span three generations, and about 20% of the participants are in Israel for the first time. There are also riders who have been to Israel many times before and are now experiencing Israel in a new and unique way.
All of the programming during the Ride strives to make all participants feel comfortable and welcome by creating a special community for this exciting adventure.
Riding on Your Own or with a Team
Riders can choose to come as individuals or join a team. The Ride is welcoming to individual riders, with the hope that people will form new friendships. The Israel Ride staff can put you in touch with riders from your area to arrange training rides or social gatherings.
Friends, neighbors, community members, and congregations are encouraged to form teams, which can be done after the registration process is complete. Forming a team is an opportunity to build community before the Ride even begins. Teams often arrange for matching jerseys, train together, and host social events leading up to the Ride. Being on a team might be helpful with your fundraising as well.
However, being on a team does not change your fundraising commitment. Teams can opt to create a “team fundraising page” where community members can contribute to a joint pool. Distribution of the money collected on the team page to members of the team is up to the discretion of the team captain. Team members can also distribute money to other members who are short of their goal. Please note: This distribution must be done before the collection of incentives. Participants cannot use their fundraising to both collect incentives and help friends or family members.
Bar and Bat Mitzvahs
Many bar and bat mitzvah children have integrated the Israel Ride into their experience of becoming a Jewish adult. For more information regarding b’nai mitzvah, contact Jessie Karsif.
The Israel Ride is a serious physical challenge requiring significant advance preparation and maturity. Children between the ages of 12-15 can join the Ride only accompanied by a parent or guardian, who will be required to cycle with the child at all times.
Some insights and reasons to choose a bike ride from past B’nai Mitzvah:
- The Ride is an active, pluralistic Jewish, educational, and inspiring family vacation with outdoor fun and a challenging experience to work both mind and body for all involved.
- The Ride creates a supportive environment for riders of all levels.
- A great experience to challenge, grow, and learn Jewishly, with opportunities to participate in religious services.
- An added physical dimension to what is often only a spiritual journey.
- Prepare, train, and work with support from family, community, and synagogue, towards accomplishing another layer of challenge to your rite of passage.
- Connect your love of nature and your commitment to Israel to your b’nai mitzvah.
Eligibility for the Ride
Riders must meet the following criteria:
- Commit to meeting the minimum fundraising requirement.
- Be in good health. If you have a pre-existing condition, such as a pacemaker, we may require a doctor’s note. If you have any doubts about your health, please see a doctor before you begin your training.
- Riders must be at least 12 years old. Please note that this is a very strenuous physical undertaking and your child should be mentally and physically prepared. All Riders 12 – 17 years old will need to cycle and remain with their parent or guardian at all times.
- Chaverim must be at least 16 years old.
- If you are participating in a gap year program before attending college, you must have parental permission.
- Due to the nature of some of the hotels along the route, the ride is not 100% ADA compliant. If you have any maneuverability questions please contact us.