[Cross-USA Ride] Participant Email April 11

Happy Passover. We have eight weeks to go! Have you been cycling? Fundraising? Make sure to take the time to get to know your bicycle if you haven’t yet already and send out those emails to potential supporters.

We hope that you will keep everyone at home updated about your trip. There are many ways for your friends and family to follow our trip:

As the Ride nears, we are sure that you will have more questions. Please continue to be in touch with us. We will also be updating the website with a lot of information from the Ride Guide, and will expand it as more details are finalized.

Chag Sameach,

Wendy Levine and David Rendsburg

This is the sixth email for Cross-USA Ride participants. If you’ve just registered, previous emails can be viewed here.

Keeping In Touch

Putting your stories and photos online

It’s always exciting for your friends and family to see your pictures and hear your personal stories, especially when posted on the Hazon Facebook page, Twitter account, and in our newsletters!

Blogs, Photos, and Videos: Bring a camera to capture your personal experience on the ride. We’ll all share photos and stories on a shared blog at hazoncrossusa.tumblr.com. We will make it easier than ever to post – you will be able to simply email photos or text to share and it will automatically update the blog. We’ll also have a staff video camera, and hope that you will provide us with your reflections throughout the trip. Portions of our shared blog will be used in the weekly Hazon newsletter and shared online via Facebook or Twitter.

Facebook and Twitter: You can start posting updates to Facebook and Twitter before and during the ride. On the ride, we will give you email addresses to use to automatically post photos and short updates.

On Facebook, be sure to join the Hazon Cross-USA Ride group to get updates and ask other riders for advice. Also “like” the Hazon Facebook page and reference “Hazon” when posting (type @hazon when submitting your post).

On Twitter, use the hashtag #HazonXUSA when tweeting.

Travel Information

You are responsible for booking your own flights or other transportation from your starting and ending locations. Details with addresses for our locations will be posted online shortly.

Arrival Times

Below is a list of times when you must arrive and depart for the various Segment options:

  • Seattle: Arrive at Bastyr University in Kenmore between noon and 1 PM on Thursday, June 7th to start orientation, including our first Shabbat together.
  • Twin Cities: Arrive at the St. Paul JCC by 2 PM on Friday, July 13th for orientation and to arrange transportation to your host family for Shabbat.
  • Chicago: Arrive at the Chicago Getaway Hostel in Lakeview by 2 PM on Sunday, July 29th for orientation.
  • Pittsburgh: Arrive at the JCC Pittsburgh in Squirrel Hill by 2 PM on Thursday, August 9th for orientation. You can also arrive Wednesday evening to join us at a food pantry for a service day on Thursday.


  • Spokane: Depart on Saturday night or Sunday morning after the riders depart (June 16-17th).
  • Twin Cities: You can depart when we arrive, but we encourage you to stay for Shabbat and leave Saturday night or Sunday morning (July 14-15th).
  • Chicago: You can depart on Wednesday, July 25th when we are in the northern suburbs, but are invited to stay through Friday, July 27th for an additional service day at a local farm.
  • Pittsburgh: You can depart on Thursday, August 9th at any time.
  • Washington, DC: We arrive on Wednesday afternoon, and hope to have a closing ceremony, first at the USDA, and then at a public gathering at a nearby synagogue to celebrate. We ask that multi-week riders stay through Thursday 4 pm.

Bike Transportation

Bicycles are allowed on almost all flights if they are properly packed in a traveling box. While hard-case plastic boxes are available, we will not be able to transport them on the road. Rather, we encourage you to ask your local bike shop for a cardboard box, which they often give to you for free. We will dispose of the boxes when you arrive, and help you get new cardboard boxes in your departure city.

You can also ship your bike (there are dedicated companies such as bikeflights.com or you can use any carrier). We will post destination details online for each starting location.

For more information regarding shipping bikes and links to airline policies regarding bikes, visit the Adventure Cycling Association.

Training Tip: Attacking the Hills

[Image: Photo Alt]If you are like most people, you ride to the top of the hill, breathe a sigh of relief, and coast downhill, trying to rest before the next hill. While this is very pleasant, it can be is a formula for disaster. Every hill will feel like lifting weights, and every rise will be demoralizing. Instead, do the following:

  • At the top of the hill, keep pedaling as you go over the crest.
  • Put your bike in a higher gear and pedal all the way down, gaining speed and momentum.
  • Keep that speed going as you ride into the next hill.
  • In the middle of the next hill, as you feel yourself slowing down, keep shifting to lighter gears, one by one, spin faster and try to keep that momentum to the top.
  • Don’t suddenly switch to your lightest gear at the first sign of a climb – if you gradually downshift as needed, you can keep climbing without losing pedal revolutions. This is where proper gearing technique can be key – the more you practice, the smoother the gear transitions.

This is called attacking hills. Coasting downhill lets your legs get stiff, kills rotational momentum, and it forces your body to start a physical action (pedaling) at the same time you are losing momentum by going uphill.  While coasting downhill is sweet and feels like a reward for all your effort, you pay for it on the next climb.

For larger hills, eventually you will “run out of gears” and be climbing on your smallest gear. Remember that you can always take a rest if needed to lower your heart rate and rest your legs.

Visit our website for more training tips.

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