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Sweating for a cause

By Marla Cohen

cycle-for-good-01_rocklandThe sweat doesn’t drip. It cascades off of me. I have no idea what my pulse is, but I think I’ve gone well beyond my target heart rate. I’m pedaling on a stationary Schwinn, alternating between 70 and 110 rpms with some heavy-duty tension on the flywheel.

And I still have half an hour to go. Grimacing as I push through it, I think, “This ends, when?”

But it’s all for a good cause.

Another sip of water, head down and I head back onto our “hill.” People around me are also struggling with our “incline,” while images of Israel flash on the screen behind the instructor, Vered Adoni, who never fails to give a thorough—and thoroughly exhausting—spin class at JCC Rockland in West Nyack, New York.

I’m a regular in Vered’s Sunday morning class, but this particular class last December was turned over to Cycle for Good, JCC Association’s continental spin-for-a-cause program. The event was set up in the JCC’s social hall, not its indoor cycling studio, and ran throughout the day, attracting regular “spinners” and others interested in working up a sweat for tzedakah.

Now in its fifth year, Cycle for Good allows JCCs to take part in a continental-wide program. The idea is to have JCC participants cycling at the same time across the continent—all in the name of giving.

There’s enough flexibility that JCCs can format the day to best suit their own timing, scheduling and fundraising preferences.  However if your JCC wants to follow JCC Association’s timing guidelines, there will be an hour overlap where all participants are riding together across the continent!

JCCs can ask participants to seek sponsors for their rides, charge by the bike, or ask participants to donate to a cause of choice. Last year, my JCC raised funds for Israel’s victims of terror. This year, the money will go to the Sarcoma Foundation of America, a disease that claimed Vered’s mother’s life earlier this year.

In the interest of full disclosure, I work at JCC Association as the communications manager. But I’d support Cycle for Good whether or not I work here. It’s a great way for me to take part in a workout I love—indoor cycling—and that I’d be doing anyway on Sunday morning, while raising money for a good cause. That I’m doing it along with a bunch of other sweaty, gung-ho cyclers at JCCs across the continent makes it that much better.

Last year, 24 JCCs participated, and it’s not too late to take part now. See which JCCs are participating, and contact Mackenzie Noda for more information. If you’re already on board and clipping into your pedals, then you’ll want to post your photos to social media with the hashtag, #CycleForGood. JCC Association will want to find them so we can post them to our page and feature them on our website,

So what are you waiting for? Saddle up and cycle on!

JCCs of North America Cycle For Good – the fifth annual JCC cycle event occurring at the same time across North America

Sunday, Dec. 18

EST – 9 a.m. – noon
CST and MST – 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. or noon
PST – 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.

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