Spinning dreidels, meet spinning wheels, your new Hanukkah pal. JCC Association’s Movement-wide stationary bike event called Cycle for Good launches this December 9, the first Sunday of Hanukkah, to raise money for a good cause as well as for Jewish Community Centers.
This year, the chosen charity is Special Olympics, the athletic competition for the developmentally disabled. Participating JCCs must donate at least 20 percent of what they raise to the Special Olympics, but they can contribute as much as they want.
Ten JCCs across the country have already expressed interest in Cycle for Good. Local JCCs will make the decision as to how people can participate, opening it up to their entire community if they wish. 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. Those JCCs who want more indoor bikes for the event should contact Becker at firstname.lastname@example.org. Bikes may be available through JCC Association’s preferred vendors.
Group classes on indoor 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 can 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?