California Ride & Retreat

May 7, 2015 - May 10, 2015

Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma, CA

Check back for the 2016 Ride dates!

The 2015 Ride & Retreat took place over Mother’s Day Weekend, May 7-10, 2015. It was be held at Walker Creek Ranch in Sonoma County. Join us next year for a weekend filled with beautiful bike routes through the San Francisco Bay Area, vibrant pluralistic Jewish celebration, delicious and local food, learning, and community-building. The California Ride & Retreat raises money for Hazon’s innovative programming in the Bay Area, including our food justice work, educational initiatives, and sustainable food resources.
Rider Fee Schedule

$199:  Jan 18, 2015 – April 5, 2015
$250:  April 6, 2015 & onward

Crew Fee Schedule

$150:  Until the ride



The details below reflect the 2015 California Ride & Retreat.

Come as a Rider, Crew Member, or Shabbat Participant Only

Join us as a rider, and enjoy two days of cycling through the Sonoma and Marin Counties. We are also always looking for some great crew members who support the cyclists on the road. Or, you can come for shabbat only and participate in weekend programming.


Pedaling for a Healthy Planet

The Ride & Retreat raises money for Hazon’s innovative programming across the Bay Area, including our Food Festival, educational initiatives, and sustainable practice toolkits for Jewish institutions. The Ride & Retreat also supports projects & programs of our partners across the region.

Join the people of the bike!
For more information, contact the Bay Area office at

Schedule Overview

Thursday: Registration opens in the afternoon at Walker Creek Ranch. Attend orientation/preparation for Friday’s ride.

Friday: First day of riding. Choose from three route options: 40, 60, or 80 miles.  Bike a loop from Walker Creek Ranch through Petaluma.  Upon arrival back at camp enjoy a yoga class, tour the on-site educational garden, meet the Ranch goats, and relax.

Friday evening, choose between varied prayer options and celebrate Shabbat in a diverse and pluralistic Jewish community.

Saturday:  Take part in a variety of session offerings including: yoga, naturalist-led hikes, meditations & additional prayer services. Head out on a leisurely cycle through the countryside. Learn about the local ecology, Jewish agricultural wisdom, food justice, sustainable agriculture and more! After dinner, join the entire community for a musical Havdallah dance party, followed by orientation/preparation for Sunday’s ride.

Sunday: Bike either the 40 or 60 mile routes, ending across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Join the closing celebration and travel home in the afternoon.



The Ride & Retreat includes three overnights. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights we will stay at Walker Creek Ranch, an environmental education and retreat center in Petaluma.  There are a variety of housing options. Prior to the Ride weekend, you will complete a logistics form that helps us place you with suitable roommates. Families will always be housed together.

Basic housing at Walker Creek means dormitory-style cabins that are equipped with solid wood frame bunk beds and are carpeted and heated. There is a semi-detached bathhouse. Those with basic housing must provide all linens.

Semi-private rooms (2 beds) in lodges are available for an additional charge of $110/person. Each lodge has 3 to 9 bedrooms, with a shared bath and common area. Those that upgrade will have all linens provided.

Tenting is available on-site for those who wish to bring their own tent. You will use the same bathhouses as those in basic housing.


The ride includes nine meals from Thursday dinner through Sunday lunch as well as food at rest stops along the bike route. All food is kosher. Meals will be vegetarian with the exception of Friday night dinner, which includes fish. Where possible we strive to use food that is locally produced and/or organic.

On the cycling days, we plan rest stops every 15-20 miles along all routes. Each rest stop has a variety of snacks, typically including energy bars, granola, salty chips, and fruit as well as water and energy drinks. We aim to provide organic and healthy snacks while recognizing the need for high-energy food for cycling. Each rest stop has shade and rest rooms. One rest stop each riding day serves as a lunch stop, which also includes sandwiches and other food, prepared by our host camp.

Shabbat Weekend Retreat

Hazon welcomes non-Riders to participate in the Shabbat Retreat activities with the Hazon community.  All are invited to enjoy the delicious local meals and take part in the weekend’s programming. Through engaging prayer, hands-on learning, and immersion in the natural world, participants are encouraged to develop more meaningful relationships with their own Jewish identities, while building a strong community.

Highlights include:

  • Diverse community of all ages, backgrounds, Jewish and non-Jewish observance and practice.
  • Varied Shabbat service options including egalitarian, traditional, family-focused & in nature.
  • Wellness sessions including yoga, naturalist-led hikes, meditation, qi gong and more!
  • Opportunities to learn about the relationship between Judaism and the environment.
  • Musical havdalah dance party- bring your instruments!
  • Organic, kosher & consciously-prepared food.
  • Opportunities to learn about the inspiring work of Hazon and its partners.

The Route

Hazon’s California Ride has much to offer both the novice and experienced cyclist.  The Hazon community is diverse, with riders of all skill levels from across the Bay Area and beyond.

Cyclists may elect to ride the following mileage options:
Friday – approximately 40, 60 or 80 miles
Sunday – approximately 30 or 50 miles

Route descriptions, maps, mileage, and elevation for each route are now available on our Route Information page.

A first-time Rider wrote in 2011: “I thought the routes were great – they were well marked, I knew where I was going, they were beautiful, and I felt safe.”

Cycling Support

We have a short route briefing on Thursday and Saturday nights ahead of our riding days for all riders. Every rider receives a cue sheet with the turns of her/his chosen route, and all routes are marked with spray paint. When needed, we have additional signage or crew members to ensure that you do not miss tricky turns.

Rest stops are located approximately every 15-20 miles along the route. They are fully equipped with water, snacks, energy drinks, bathrooms, and shade.

Each route is led by a lead rider who knows the route, and a “sweeper” follows behind the last rider of each group. We also have volunteer Ride Marshals, who are seasoned cyclists and can lend a hand.

In addition, we have mechanic vehicles available on the route and at rest stops. Our mechanics are on the ride to help with flats and mechanical issues. They are not here to provide tune ups to participants – you must do that on your own before the Ride.

We also have a team of volunteer medics who are available at each rest stop and a paramedic vehicle available in case of emergency. When deemed necessary, we also have a police presence for busier roads.

Who Comes to Hazon Retreats?

People are drawn to Hazon Rides for a wide range of reasons. Some participants are serious riders, others have just picked up cycling to participate in the Ride.  Some participants come to the Ride looking to find a Jewish community that works for them and others come from well established Jewish congregations and enjoy connecting their faith and tradition to a natural place and sustainable practice. Some participants are life-long environmentalists who want to enjoy and safeguard our natural world and others are looking for some first steps toward becoming more environmentally conscious. We have always had a wide range of participants who return year after year for the Ride. For our sixth California Ride, we are anticipating close to 150 people!

Coming on Your Own

Many people register for the Ride on their own and meet people through training rides or other Hazon events leading up to the Ride. Friends, couples, individuals and families regularly participate. In past years, there has been a mix of people who come to the Ride on their own and people who come with family or friends. The California Ride is a great opportunity to meet new people.

New Riders

communityYou do not need to be super fit when you register, but you do need to train, especially in the two months leading up to the Ride. Last year almost all our Riders completed the Ride, including a 12-year-old and a 71-year-old. If you have never done 50 miles or more on a bike in a day, this is a great opportunity to do so in an incredibly supportive environment.  Starting in February, Hazon will offer weekly volunteer-led training rides in the Bay Area that all participants are encouraged to join.


If you do not want to ride, you can sponsor other riders, encourage your friends to join the Ride, or join us as a crew member or for Shabbat. The Crew really helps make the ride happen, from staffing rest stops to cheering riders.


Teams are a great way to come to the Ride with friends or family, or to recruit groups from your school, synagogue or neighborhood. Every year, teams bring colorful energy to the ride, with matching helmets, custom jerseys, creative names and great team spirit.

Here are a few reasons you might want to bring a team to the California Ride:

  • You want to get to know other people at your institution. Teams often spend time riding together, which is a great way to meet people and try something new.
  • You want to bring creative Jewish programming to your community. The California Ride offers a new way to engage with the Jewish community and Jewish values that resonates for many people.
  • It’s a program that people of all ages can attend. Your team can include parents, grandparents and kids of all ages, and the Ride has room for them all.
  • It’s a great way to recruit your friends. Want some ride buddies for the road? Form a team together, and make it a group project.
  • Fundraising and Mini-Grant opportunities can support YOUR organization or project. Bringing a team to the ride is a great way to introduce your program/event/project to the community and get support for your work:

Each team member must pay a registration fee and raise the minimum pledge amount for their registration category. Participants are welcome to join a pre-existing team, or start your own when you register online.  Don’t worry, you don’t all have to ride together – in fact, you’ll likely all cycle at different paces.  But you can cheer in the members of your team at the finish line!


This has been an incredible opportunity for me (and for so many other parents here) to share in our kids’ lives. Thank you so much for that – it’s incredibly unique.
—Rachel Rosen


Each year on our Hazon rides, a few teens ride and raise money as part of a bar or bat mitzvah project. The teens bring ruach, energy and inspiration to the Ride, as riders and as crew. They often bring their families to the Ride, and many times the experience is just as transformational for the parent as for the teen. Teen participation is genuine to Hazon’s commitment to inclusively broadening the range of voices and experiences that make up the Ride community.

Hazon’s California Ride & Retreat has hosted a team of teenage riders and crew from the Jewish Community High School of the Bay in San Francisco and Milken Community High School in LA.  This year we are hoping to include more teen riders and offer a comprehensive teen program during the weekend retreat.  Youth must be at least 12 years old to ride.

Learn more about Teen programs at Hazon

Click to see Teen Rider Requirements

  • To be a rider, the minimum age is 12 years old before the first day of Ride. Interested in signing up a younger rider? Please contact Kiki Lipsett.
  • Riders ages 12-14 must ride with a parent or guardian at all times. This means that the guardian and child will ride on the same route, at the same pace, and should remain within 50 feet of each other on the course.
  • If a guardian is accompanying a teen, parents must sign a notarized power of attorney giving the guardian the right to make medical decisions on behalf of the child. Download Consent Form.
  • Riders age 15-17 must ride with a partner, teen or adult, and stay within 50 feet of each other at all times.
  • Riders who are 17 and younger and their parents/guardians must sign a Teen Harmony Agreement, which holds teens accountable for their behavior at the Ride.
  • Youth might choose to join the Hazon Ride as part of an organized group. In that case, youth between the ages of 12-14 must ride with a designated chaperone.
  • Riders and their parents/guardians or partners are responsible for staying together at all times. No youth rider is to ever ride alone. If found riding alone, the youth will be taken off route.

Click to see Teen Crew Requirements

  • Crew members who are 17 and younger must be accompanied by an adult while on crew. If both parents are cycling, the parents are responsible for finding a guardian to be with the teen crew member during the Ride.
  • If a guardian is accompanying a teen, parents must sign a notarized power of attorney giving the guardian the right to make medical decisions on behalf of the child. Download Consent Form.
  • Teenage Crew members and their parents/guardians must sign a Teen Harmony Agreement, which holds teens accountable for their behavior at the Ride.