Frequently Asked Questions

Routes and Riding Options

I am not an experienced long-distance biker. Are there route options suitable for me?

Absolutely! Our rides are designed to accommodate bicyclists of all experience levels. The Friday loop ride features three routes: 37 miles, 61 miles, or 81 miles. Sunday’s cycle into San Francisco can be accomplished with either 40 or 60 miles of riding. Those who wish to take on only one day of riding are welcome to do so — just register as a “One Day Rider’.

Don’t be intimidated by these mileages! For many of our riders, training for the Hazon Ride is the first time they have cycled more than 15 or 20 miles continuously. Regardless of the routes you take, we strongly encourage you to take part in our free Training Rides, which begin in February. If you really don’t want to ride but would still like to be involved in the Ride & Retreat, consider registering as a  Crew or Shabbat Only participant.

What is a 'fully supported ride'?

While on the California Ride & Retreat you will be fully supported by Hazon staff and volunteers–in other words, we will provide every service you need to stay safe and have fun on the road. This includes: medical staff and emergency services; multiple staffed rest stops with lunch, snacks, drinks, and restrooms; mechanic services; SAG (Support and Gear) vehicles, including transportation back to camp if you become tired or ill; clearly marked routes; photographic documentation of your journey; and, of course, crew members who will cheer you on the whole way!

When do I need to decide which routes I will take?

We will ask for your route preference on the logistics form that you will receive closer to the ride, but you can decide how many miles you want to bike even on the morning of the ride itself. We strongly encourage all riders to listen to their bodies and minds the mornings of the ride. If you feel like pushing yourself, great! If you feel like taking it easy, great! The routes are designed in such a way that you can even shift the length of your journey when departing from certain rest stops. We only ask that you inform a crew member or Hazon staff member before doing so.

What happens if I fall behind the group of riders on my route?

Every route will be headed by an experienced ride marshal and tailed by a sweeper. You will never be the last one in the group and you will never be left behind. The sweeper is always the last in a riding group. The ride marshals and sweepers have extensive knowledge of the route and are in frequent communication with Hazon staff during the ride. Together, they keep a full account of who is riding on their route. If you need assistance, your sweeper will be there to help and can call a SAG (Support and Gear) vehicle if needed.

What do I do if I get a flat tire?

We encourage all participants to know basic safety and repair skills, including how to fix a flat tire. Be prepared and bring your own pump and extra tubes for your bike.  However, if you are unable to make the repair, ride marshals and SAG (Support and Gear) vehicle crew members accompany riders along all routes and can help you.  Should you need assistance, alert a ride marshal or SAG vehicle. If a marshal is unable to assist you with the repair, an SAG vehicle will take you to a rest stop where mechanical support is available.


Where do I mail my donations?

Attn: California Ride Donations
125 Maiden Lane, Suite 8B
New York, NY 10038

If you are donating to a specific rider, please include her/his name on the memo line of the check. Please do not send cash.

To whom should the checks be made payable?


Also, remember to put the name of the rider you are supporting on the memo line of the check so we correctly distribute donations.

To receive an email for tax purposes acknowledging your mailed in donation, send an email to requesting this letter.


Where does my fundraising money go?

For each dollar raised through our fundraisers, more than 75 cents go toward furthering the Jewish environmental movement locally, nationally, and in Israel.  Proceeds from the 2015 California Ride & Retreat help fund Hazon’s innovative programming in the Bay Area, including our food justice work, educational initiatives, and sustainable food resources. Additionally, Hazon is honored to offer mini-grants to organizations and projects in line with Hazon’s mission.

Are donations tax-deductible and how do I get a receipt?

Yes. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the law.  Donors giving $250 or more will receive a letter of acknowledgement from Hazon. Please note that registration fees are not tax-deductible.  All gifts made online are automatically acknowledged for tax purposes via email. If a donation is made in the form of a check, please email to request an email acknowledgment for tax purposes. Any donor wishing to receive a printed acknowledgement/receipt may contact us, and we are happy to fulfill your request.

How long after I send in a check does it take to show up on my personal webpage?

It depends on how many checks are coming into the office and how close it is to the event. Checks that are sent prior to the event can take two to four weeks to process. Any donations you hand in the day of the event can take up to six weeks to show up in your account. To avoid the wait, encourage your donors to donate online. Online donations are safe and easy! All online donations will immediately appear on your webpage scroll and will appear exactly as the donor enters it.

Rider Teams

What is the benefit of starting a team?

Participating in the California Ride & Retreat is simply more fun when you’re part of a team! Teams provide a great opportunity to bring your family, friends, colleagues, and/or community members together for a memorable experience.

If you put together a team of 4 or more, you are eligible to apply for a mini-grant of $1000 for a project or organization of your choosing.

Please note: Each team member must pay a registration fee and raise the minimum pledge amount for her/his registration category.

How many people should I have on my team?

Teams consist of 3 or more members in order to receive team recognition during the Ride.

Ride Logistics

Where are the start, overnight, and finish locations?

The Ride includes three overnights (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday), all of which will take place at Walker Creek Ranch, an environmental education and retreat center near Petaluma.  Sunday morning we will ride back to San Francisco for a closing ceremony at the Jewish Community High School of the Bay.

Where can I park my car during the event weekend?

Limited parking will be available at the Jewish Community High School of the Bay in San Francisco, which is the finish location of the Ride. We highly encourage you to carpool to JCHS and to leave your care there for the weekend. We provide a charter bus Thursday evening before the Ride begins to take you to Walker Creek Ranch.

Please let us know if you’d like to reserve parking on the logistics form, which will be sent to you in the month preceding the Ride.

What if it rains?

The Hazon Ride & Retreat takes place rain or shine!

Is there a minimum age requirement to participate in the Hazon Ride?

Yes. Riders must be at least 12 years old to participate. Riders under 18 years of age must complete a waiver and behavioral agreement, signed by an authorized parent or guardian, in order to attend.  Teen riders must be accompanied by an authorized parent or guardian 21 years of age or older.  Learn more about teen participation at the Ride.

Are non-riding family and friends encouraged to participate in the weekend's festivities?

OF COURSE! There are a number of opportunities for you and your family/friends to enjoy the ride together.  Crew members are an integral part of the success of the event and a great way to get your family and friends involved. Please visit the Crew section of our website for details.

We also offer an option to join the Hazon community for the Shabbat Retreat only.

Register for Crew or Shabbat Only here.

When should I plan to arrive if I am coming from out of town?

Out-of-town participants should plan to land at OAK or SFO no later than 1 pm on Thursday, May 7, 2015.  Check out the transportation page for more information.

I need to rent a bike--do you have any suggestions?

Riders who would like to rent a bike can choose from two options in the $90-$150 range.  Let us know your sizing information on the logistics form that you will receive in the month before the Ride. We will coordinate bike drop-off at Walker Creek Ranch, as well as pickup at the end of the Ride at the Jewish Community High School of the Bay.