The Ride of My Life: Summer Program

Program Dates: 
Grades: Entering 10th, 11th, 12th

Registration Opens in October 2015  Sponsor a biker

Cycle for Unity’s flagship program is the “Ride of My Life,” a month-long transformative athletic adventure through Europe and Israel.  As “Charitable Champions,” our riders will visit significant Jewish heritage sites, take part in varied service learning projects and receive on-going leadership training – all while raising funds for the charities of their choice with every mile they ride.

One of the missions of Cycle for Unity is to engender in young Jews a deep emotional connection with Jewish communities around the world, Jewish history, and Jewish tradition and cultures. A ride through Europe and Israel will provide opportunities for our educators and guides to create a cohesive, emotionally-inspiring narrative about Jewish history and culture in Europe and Israel. Our participants will visit important Jewish heritage sites and spend Shabbat with Jewish communities in different countries.

Though the program presents a serious physical challenge, no previous biking experience is necessary.  Participants will be guided by professional athletic instructors in the months prior the ride.

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To learn more, please send us an e-mail.

Registration Opens in September

The Experience

Riders will cycle through some of the world’s most beautiful terrain, touring important Jewish sites and taking part in varied service learning projects along the way. On non-riding days, they will enjoy exciting outdoor excursions and will be given ample time for rest and relaxation. Riders will also participate in a range of educational activities, including leadership training and moderated discussions on Jewish thought and philosophy. To further enhance the experience, participants will spend Shabbat in local Jewish communities.

Program Dates: TBA

Week 1 ( ): After a beautiful Shabbat in Prague, cycle to Vienna

The Czech Greenways offer some of the most scenic and culturally rich bike trails in Europe. The tour begins in Prague, the ancient capital of Bohemia and the home of significant Jewish personages from R. Judah Loew (Maharal) to R. Ezekiel Landau (Noda Bi-Yehuda) to Franz Kafka. It is one of Europe’s best-preserved major cities.

Between Prague and Vienna, we will ride through forests and along rivers and lakes, visiting sites of magnificent natural beauty and significant world and Jewish heritage such as: Telc, a UNESCO world heritage site considered the best preserved Renaissance town in Europe; and Mikulov, known to Jewish history as Nikolsburg, the largest and most important Jewish community in Moravia, where many major rabbinic figures served as regional rabbi. Bohemia is renowned for its beers (though the tour will not visit the famous brewing towns of Budweis and Pilsen) and Moravia for its wines; the tour will take us through the heart of these Czech beer and wine-making regions.

Week 2 (July ): After a beautiful Shabbat in Vienna, cycle to Budapest

After spending Shabbat in Vienna, we will continue along the mighty River Danube toward Budapest. Four different European capitals lie along this river, and we will visit three of them. After spending a day taking in the scenic beauty of Hainburg, we will visit Bratislava (Pressburg), long the most important Jewish community in Austria-Hungary and the home of R. Moshe Sofer (Hatam Sofer), the great leader of Hungarian Jewry. From Bratislava we will continue down the Danube, touring Hungarian and Slovakian towns along the way as we visit and artists’ colony, take a boat down the Danube, and help a once-great Jewish community with its efforts to restore its cemetery. We will rest our tired legs on shabbat in majestic Budapest,  where we will not only participate, but witness the emergence of a Jewish community that has existed as early as the 3rd century, when the area was part of the Roman Empire’s province of Pannonia and now, clings to its faith, traditions and is proud of the achievements of the State of Israel. Where we will be next week!

Week 3 (July ): After a beautiful Shabbat in Budapest, fly to Israel

The week in Israel will be jam packed from North to South with riding some of Israel greatest trails, visiting the Holy Lands most meaningful sights and loads of fun. We’ll meet Jewish leaders and visit with organizations our charitable champions have chosen to support. We’ll ride through the valley of Sodom and relax and rejuvenate our muscles with minerals from the dead sea. We’ll ride through Tel Aviv and enjoy the holiness of Jerusalem and we’ll top it all off with an all you can eat awards banquet at Papgaio’s in Jerusalem!

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Register Now

 

The Commitment

In order to participate in the program, riders must commit to:

  • Supervised intermediate athletic training in the months prior the ride;
  • Raising $6,500 for a charity of their choice (all 501c3 or 46A organizations are eligible to become beneficiaries);
  • Safety, security and decency guidelines outlined by Cycle for Unity.
  • Read about Fund-Racing here

Instead of encouraging each rider to raise funds for a predetermined charity, our “Charitable Champions” help shape the program and their own philanthropic destinies by raising money for charities and non-profit organizations that they choose on their own.  Allowing our riders to choose the beneficiaries of the charitable work in which they have invested so much of themselves motivates them to succeed at the task at hand and ignites the spark for continued creative and generous giving. Cycle for Unity provides each rider with a robust platform and all the social networking tools they’ll need to launch a successful campaign.

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Cycle for Unity aims to train and produce “Charitable Champions,” bolster Jewish unity and promote the culture of Jewish philanthropy.

Cycle for Unity is about promoting the Charity of your Choice to as many people as possible, helping you raise as much money as possible for your cause and important causes across in Israel, the US and across the globe.

Your Target: The purpose of CFU Rides, over and above having the ride of your life and overcoming all kinds of challenges you never thought you could handle, is to raise money for the charity of your choice.

Although the conditions for registration state that each rider must raise a MINIMUM of $6,500  participants in these types of programs can raise much more that that!! We’ll even have recognition awards and gifts for the highest achieving fundraisers!

We expect you to really hit your iPhone (or favorite electronic gadget), and ask people you know, family and friends, anyone you’re related to, do business with, or think might like to help you in your incredible venture in support of a cause you believe in so deeply. Don’t be bashful. Ask your contacts what you think they can afford to give.

How do you begin? Select one of Cycle for Unity’s preferred organizational beneficiary or a choose a charity of your choice.  Learn as much as you can about the charity of your choice and the different lives that are improved and changed by their incredible staff. Then think of all the people from all the circles in your life that you want to tell about this cause, Cycle for Unity and your upcoming biking experience.

You will be amazed at the list you can compile if you think about your friends, relatives, neighbors, colleagues, as well as acquaintances from schools, universities, synagogues, health clubs, bike clubs, professional associations and anyone related to your business.

Don’t forget about businesses and corporations that may have funds earmarked for charity and/or public and community relations. Cycle for Unity offers a wonderful public relations opportunities as well

Why should people give? People give to people. The main reason that people will give is because you have asked them to and how you have asked. Don’t let the thought of asking frighten you; just invite everyone you know to share the experience with you.

Remember, donations are TAX DEDUCTIBLE to the extent allowed by the laws governing the countries in which donations are made.

Writing letters: The first paragraph of any letter is always what grabs the reader so tell your friends immediately that you are doing this ride because you want to help the charity of your choice.

Timing: We suggest that you contact people  as soon as possible.

Thank you’s: Everyone of your sponsors will receive an official thank you and receipt. It is highly recommended to also send your own personal thank you.

Suggested size of donation: Amounts of sponsorships vary widely. Knowing what the donations are used for may help you decide what to ask for.

 Write those LETTERS
Make those PHONE CALLS
Keep up your TRAINING
Make a DIFFERENCE!

Registration Opens in September

Prices & Terms

The Ride of my Life Summer program includes all hotel stays and accommodations, round-trip group flights from New York (unless otherwise noted), 3 great meals a day, trips, excellent bikes, and admission fees for regularly scheduled activities for the duration of the trip.  Prices do not include connecting flights, spending money for gifts, tips and snacks or any optional purchases. Program cost TBA and requires a commitment to raise funds for the charity of your choice

Payments

  • $360 Application fee, $250 is non-refundable
  • $750 Deposit upon acceptance
  • $TBA March 1, 2015 payment
  • $TBA Balance due April 1, 2015

Summer programs fees must be paid in full to Cycle for Unity by April 1, 2014. In the event that a person has a scholarship with an outside organization, that person’s balance must be paid in full by May 1, INCLUDING the amount pending in scholarships. If after April 1, additional scholarship monies are received by CFU, CFU will immediately credit the account for the amount received. Scholarships will be applied towards the cost of the program ONLY when CFU has received an official letter of intent from the funding source.

75% of the minimum fundraising requirement is due 30 days prior to the start of each ride. Riders will be personally responsible for any outstanding balance towards the minimum fundraising requirement if they have not met this requirement by the deadline. 100% of the minimum fundraising requirement is due by the last day of each ride. Riders who have not raised the fundraising minimum will be personally responsible for any outstanding balance towards the minimum fundraising requirement if they have not met this requirement by the deadline.

Deposits

There is a $360 application fee (not included in the cost of the program but is applied to the fundraising goal), which must be submitted at the time of application through our online registration system. Upon acceptance to any program, we require an additional non-refundable acceptance deposit of $750 to secure a bike on the program. If this deposit is not paid within two weeks of acceptance, CFU reserves the right to re-assign the bike to another applicant.  Please note – the $750 deposit is a portion of the overall program cost and does not represent an additional expense.

Withdrawals, Refunds & Cancellations

Many of the expenses that Cycle for Unity pays in advance to our vendors are non-refundable. Therefore, we have developed the following refund schedule to help us cover some of those non-refundable expenses should you choose to cancel from the program.

Upon cancellation, please notify our office by phone or email immediately. However, refunds are processed solely upon receipt of WRITTEN NOTIFICATION to Cycle for Unity. To accomplish this, you may send us an email (using the email address we have for you on file) to info@cycleforunity.org with your official notice of cancellation.

All donations processed by Cycle for Unity are non-refundable and non-transferable even if I/we do not participate in the event.

If your written cancellation is received on or before:

  • February 28, 2015 – payments are refundable less $250
  • April 15, 2015 – payments are refundable less $1,000
  • May 15, 2015 – payments are refundable less 50% of total program fee
  • After May 15th –  payments are no longer refundable.

For people with serious and unexpected medical emergencies, please contact CFU immediately. Also, please remember that once a program begins, there are no refunds upon rejection or early termination for any reason from the program. Credit card payments will be refunded less any service fee to recover the percentage retained by the credit card company.

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Please Note: Itinerary, prices and fundraising commitments are subject to change with notice due to airline surcharges, weather, unforeseen logistical alterations, large currency fluctuations or pricing alterations made by hotels, bus companies, and/or attractions.

Organizational Beneficiaries