Spinning wheels will complement spinning dreidels this Hanukkah as JCC Association launches an annual Movement-wide stationary bike event called Cycle for Good on December 9, the first Sunday of the festival. Thanks to staggered start times, participants in Cycle for Good will ride indoor bikes at the same time in Jewish Community Centers across North America.
Every year, Cycle for Good will raise money for the individual JCC and give a certain portion to a designated charity chosen by JCC Association, the leadership network for the JCCs of North America. This year, the designated charity is Special Olympics, the athletic competition for the developmentally disabled. Each participating JCC will choose what portion of the money raised will go to Special Olympics, with a minimum set at twenty percent.
Individuals can rent bikes by the hour, or they can solicit sponsors to fund their rides. “We suggest at least three hours, but they can do it all day,” said Steven Becker, JCC Association vice-president for health and wellness. “We are excited to be coordinating an event for JCCs that combines wellness and Jewish values, especially at this time of year.”
Group classes on stationary bikes take place in almost every JCC. An instructor leads participants through an imaginary bike ride over varied terrain, with participants constantly adjusting the tension on their bikes to simulate hills and valleys. “This is one of the few things guys will do too,” Becker said, and most classes are made up of men and women of varying ages. It’s a great way to stay in shape when the weather doesn’t encourage biking outside. Cycle for Good adds an additional component-tzedakah!
JCCs will substitute “I Have a Little Dreidel” for the usual rock or country playlist, and participants can pedal knowing they are helping someone else. What better Hanukkah gift is there? For more information about registering for Cycle for Good, contact Steve Becker at firstname.lastname@example.org.