The Community

The Hazon community is radically inclusive of participants of all ages (our retreats typically span 6 decades and 3 generations), religious backgrounds (a wide range of Jewish observance, including those who are not Jewish).  This inclusion is conscious and intentional and emphasizes the values of tzedakah (justice), physical challenge and connection to our beautiful and fragile planet.

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 cannot resist returning every year. For our fifth Golden Gate Ride, we are anticipating close to 150 people!

Teens, Young Riders, and Families

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.

Each year on our Hazon rides, a few teens ride and raise money as part of a bar or bat mitzvah project (learn more about bar and bat mitzvahs). 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.

communityIn 2011, Hazon’s California Ride 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 over 30 teenage riders and offer a comprehensive teen program during the weekend retreat.  Youth must be at least 12 years old to ride. Younger children and their parents are encouraged to come and participate as Ruach Crew or in the Shabbaton.  Learn more about  Teen Riders! [clear]

Coming on Your Own

Many people register for the Ride on their own and meet people through training rides as the Spring progresses. Cycling is a very social activity. Friends, couples, individuals and family groups regularly participate. In past years, there have been large numbers of people coming to the Ride on their own and many different family permutations. 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.  Hazon offers weekly volunteer-led training rides in the Bay Area that all participants are encouraged to join.

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.”

You really can do it, and it will feel great. If you’d like help, read our extensive training tips. [clear]


communityIf you do not want to ride, you should definitely sponsor other riders and encourage your friends to join the Ride. Equally important, Hazon needs people to help out during the Ride. The Crew make the ride happen, everything from staffing rest stops to cheering riders. Read more about crew options.

Friends of Jews

As in past years, we hope that this year there will again be non-Jewish riders along with Jewish riders of all denominations. While the content of the retreat has many Jewish elements, non-Jews who share our vision will feel at home. We welcome mixed faith couples and families.