When New Yorkers think of Jews and bikes, they probably think we’re against them as a result of the Satmar Hasidim’s outrage over the cycling lanes in south Williamsburg. But over this coming weekend, 175 Jews will be traveling via Brooklyn’s favorite mode of transportation in order to raise money for Hazon, the largest Jewish environmentalist nonprofit in the United States. The annual New York Jewish Environmental Bike Ride, which is Hazon’s largest fundraiser, has already generated $230,000 in donations.
Having done the Ride last year, I can offer this year’s participants a little bit of advice. Namely: Train. I wish I had. I rode nearly 100 miles over two days, despite having spent just a few hours in the saddle over the prior 16 years. As a result, everyone pedaled faster than I did, including Ruth Messinger. Yes, the former Manhattan borough president (and current head of the American Jewish World Service) has been a longtime supporter of Hazon. Reader, I ate her dust.