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Akiva Freund | Cleveland Heights, OH
I donated to my B4C campaign

Akiva Freund

Welcome to My Bike4Chai Journey: Let's Pedal for Hope!

Dear Friends and Supporters, 

In the summer of 2023, I embarked on an incredible journey with Bike4Chai, a journey filled with determination, camaraderie, and the unshakable belief that together, we can make a difference. The rain might have been drizzling down on us on that summer afternoon, but our spirits shone brighter than the sun. We trained, we persevered, and we laughed through the challenges because we knew what we were riding for: the children of Chai Lifeline who inspire us every day.
During our training rides, we shared miles of laughter and encouragement, forming bonds that transcended the pavement beneath our tires. I'll never forget the call I received during a rest stop on day one, the rainstorm that couldn't dampen our resolve, the impromptu karaoke performances, the daunting ascent of "The Wall," and the tears that welled up as we arrived at Camp Simcha. It was an experience that illuminated the summer afternoon with hope, unity, and joy.
But it was at Camp Simcha, where we concluded our ride, that the true magic happened. We arrived, bedecked in gear and helmets, only to be greeted by a chorus of laughter, high fives, and heartwarming embraces. Tears flowed freely as we danced with the incredible kids of Camp Simcha, our shared triumph brightening the afternoon drizzle.
Now, in 2024, I'm gearing up for another inspiring journey. Just as in 2023, I have a goal: to raise $5000 by August 14, 2024. I invite you to join me in this mission, to pedal alongside me, or to support me as I ride once again for hope, for unity, and for the amazing kids of Chai Lifeline.
Together, we can illuminate the path ahead, no matter the weather, and bring light into the lives of those who need it most. Join me, and let's pedal for hope!
Request Your Copy of My Bike4Chai Event Book!

As a bonus, if you'd like to relive these incredible moments from my journey, you can request a copy of my book chronicling the entire Bike4Chai event here. It's a whopping 550 pages, a true labor of love, and a keepsake of our unforgettable journey together.
With love and determination,
Akiva Freund

Rider Map


November 19, 2023


🚴‍♂️ **From Edison to Brooklyn: A Journey of Resilience** 🚴‍♂️
The night before, a simple task—exchange a shop light at Home Depot—set the stage for an unexpected decision. The round trip of 8.6 miles became a warm-up for what lay ahead—a bold journey from Edison to Brooklyn, laden not just with miles but with purpose and payload.
In the sunny embrace of an upper 50s day, the weight on my bike mirrored the weight of purpose. Two 60-packs of batteries, a duffel bag of clothing, a backpack with essentials, and bags of sustenance—each item a commitment, each pedal stroke a testament.
12:35 pm: Departure from Edison. Past the Edison train station, through Papianni Lake Park, and an unexpected roadblock. A minor detour only strengthened the resolve.
1:00 pm: Metuchen railroad tracks, followed by Metropark train station at 1:15 pm, and Rahway at 1:30 pm. The Goethal's Bridge welcomed me at 1:50 pm, and at 2:00 pm, a photo marked the crossing of the state line.
2:15 pm: Bayonne Bridge, a towering spectacle over homes, demanded a photo. The ride flowed, weaving through Nicholas Street, facing the challenge of The Wall at Richmond Terrace & Nicholas Street.
2:35 pm: St. George Terminal welcomed me to Staten Island. Tefilas Haderech in the waiting area, jacket on as the sun set, and a silent prayer for the journey ahead.
3:00 pm: Boarding the boat, finding warmth in the center, and departure at 3:00 pm. A glance at the Upper New York Bay, the distant Verrazano Bridge, and the familiar Brooklyn landmarks.
3:15 pm: Passing Governor's Island, a cruise ship loomed large on the horizon. At 3:25 pm, arrival in Manhattan and a seamless transition back to the bike. The clock ticked; Mincha in Boro Park beckoned.
3:55 pm: Passing by the Smith/9th Street bridge, a landmark for F train riders.
4:00 pm: Third Avenue and Hamilton Ave witnessed the ebb of traffic onto the Prospect Expressway. Predictions aligned with reality; Boro Park was a mere 15-20 minutes away.
4:10 pm: The glow of sun rays over my workplace signaled nearing the end. At 4:15 pm, I arrived, spot on as predicted. The bike was stowed; hat and jacket retrieved for the next leg to shul for Mincha and Maariv.
On a bonus, a chance to lead the davening, a moment of spiritual fulfillment after the physical journey. Post-davening, a visit to a fellow Bike4Chai friend on 13th Avenue, and the final stretch home, concluded this extraordinary 41-mile trip.
In those 41 miles, the asphalt beneath the wheels bore witness not just to a physical traverse but to a testament of resilience, determination, and purpose—a ride echoing far beyond the streets of Brooklyn. 🚴‍♂️💨

November 16, 2023


🚴‍♂️ **A Journey of Hope: Riding for Chai Lifeline 🚴‍♂️**

Three months have gently slipped away since the spirited event of Bike4Chai, where pedals spun in unison for a noble cause. Yet, the echoes of that impactful ride lingered, inspiring a new adventure on a warm Thursday, November 16th.
As the mercury flirted with the 60s, an idea sprouted during my lunch break minyan—to embark on a journey, not merely for miles, but for a purpose beyond the asphalt. The impromptu decision to visit my brother in Edison for his son's birthday marked the genesis of a ride laden with meaning.
Packing essentials into a small duffel bag, I envisioned not just a personal excursion but a pilgrimage of purpose. Texting my brother, the plan unfolded: my bags would travel with a coworker's car, while I pedaled to Edison, a testament to the resilience forged in the crucible of Bike4Chai.
The clock struck 5:30 pm, and I wheeled my bike out of the office garage, reflective belt snug, lights ablaze. The doubting whispers of those around me couldn't dampen the spirit of this endeavor.
Pedaling up McDonald Ave Hill, memories of green hills from previous rides flooded back. My route snaked through Brooklyn's streets—7th Ave, Prospect Ave, Hamilton Ave—each turn, a cadence of the urban symphony. Smith Street, a dance of cars and bikes, required a deliberate pace, for this was no race but a journey of intention.
Tillary Street ushered me to the majestic embrace of the Brooklyn Bridge. Dedicated lanes for cyclists, a tapestry of lights, and the skyline as a backdrop—it was a scene to be etched in memory. A pause at Fulton Street offered a selfie opportunity in front of the Brooklyn Bridge, capturing not just a physical landmark but a personal milestone.
Bowling Green witnessed a momentary pause by the Charging Bull—a selfie to mark not just a geographical checkpoint but a personal one. "I've been here over 15 years and never took a selfie in front of the Charging Bull," I remarked, an acknowledgment of the unique character of this night.
The Staten Island Ferry beckoned, a short voyage offering a chance encounter with a fellow cyclist. Shared tales and camaraderie bridged the short journey, reinforcing the bonds forged on shared roads.
Disembarking, a Penny Farthing cyclist caught my eye. A selfie and a brief conversation later, I resumed my course. The familiar sight of the Bayonne Bridge stirred reflections of the past, reminding me of the vigorous training just three months prior.
Climbing the Goethals Bridge, the boundary between New York and New Jersey, a selfie captured the triumph of the moment. The ride continued through Brunswick Ave, Park Ave, and E Linden Ave, leading to the Linden train station as the sun bowed out.
As I waited for the train to Edison, the cool night air settled. The ride was more than just a physical traverse—it was a testament to the spirit, a reaffirmation of the cause. At 8:42 pm, Edison welcomed me, and the final leg to my brother's house concluded the journey at 9:10 pm.
🚴‍♂️ **Total Ride: 25 Miles** 🚴‍♂️
In those 25 miles, traversing bridges and streets, I pedaled not just for myself but for the kids at Chai Lifeline—for hope, for strength, for a better tomorrow. The asphalt under my wheels bore witness to a journey of purpose, echoing the sentiment: the ride for hope never truly ends.



As I begin to conclude this journal, it is with a heart brimming with appreciation and humility that I embark on a new chapter—dedicating these pages to express my profound gratitude to those who have made my Bike4Chai experience an unforgettable and transformative journey.
This book has been a testament to the challenges, triumphs, and moments of self-discovery that have unfolded during my ride through this incredible event. It has been a canvas on which I've painted the landscapes, the emotions, and the connections that have shaped me along the way.
Now, as I transition from this journal to the section of acknowledgments, I want to take a moment to reflect on the extraordinary support system that has been the bedrock of my Bike4Chai experience. It is fitting to start this chapter with Chai Lifeline, an organization whose mission and unwavering dedication have touched my heart deeply.
The acknowledgments that follow are a collection of chapters dedicated to the remarkable individuals and groups who have left an indelible mark on my journey. Each chapter is a tribute to their support, their inspiration, and their role in making this endeavor a profound testament to the power of community and compassion.
Through these chapters, I hope to convey not only my heartfelt appreciation but also to share the stories and experiences that have defined my Bike4Chai adventure. This journey has been a celebration of resilience, unity, and the capacity of the human spirit to overcome challenges and make a meaningful impact.
With this introduction, I invite you to join me in acknowledging and celebrating those who have made this journey possible. It is a journey of gratitude—a journey that reminds us of the extraordinary connections we forge and the incredible impact we can have when we come together with a common purpose.

Chai Lifeline

Chai Lifeline, the name itself carries a profound meaning. "Chai," the Hebrew word for life, encapsulates the very essence of this remarkable organization. From the moment I embarked on my Bike4Chai journey, it was abundantly clear that Chai Lifeline is not just a charity; it is a lifeline of unwavering support, compassion, and hope.
Throughout this journal, you have followed my adventures, my challenges, and my moments of inspiration. Behind every mile I pedaled, behind every uphill climb, and beneath every exhilarating descent, there was a foundation of support firmly rooted in the work of Chai Lifeline.
This chapter is a heartfelt acknowledgment of the tireless efforts, the boundless compassion, and the immeasurable impact that Chai Lifeline has on the lives of countless families facing unimaginable challenges. It is an organization that stands as a pillar of strength for those navigating the stormy seas of illness and adversity.
Chai Lifeline provides vital services, emotional support, and a sense of belonging to families dealing with pediatric illness. They create communities that foster hope, resilience, and a shared commitment to brighter tomorrows. From counseling to financial assistance, from summer camps to joyous celebrations, Chai Lifeline is a lifeline indeed, offering solace and strength during the darkest of times.
The Bike4Chai event, which I have been privileged to participate in, is a shining example of the magic that happens when Chai Lifeline brings people together. It's more than just a bike ride; it's a collective effort to make a meaningful difference in the lives of children and families facing medical challenges.
I want to express my profound gratitude to Chai Lifeline for the incredible work they do, for the countless lives they touch, and for being the driving force behind the Bike4Chai event. My journey would not have been possible without the support and inspiration of this remarkable organization.
As I delve into the chapters of acknowledgments that follow, I hope to convey the depth of my appreciation for all those who have been part of this journey. Chai Lifeline, you are the foundation upon which this incredible adventure stands, and for that, I am eternally grateful.


In the heart of every grand endeavor, there are architects and builders, visionaries who bring dreams to life. The Bike4Chai event, with all its miles, challenges, and triumphant moments, owes its existence to a dedicated team of organizers and directors who have crafted not just a bike ride, but an inspiring journey of unity and purpose.
As I look back on my training stories, the countless hours spent preparing for this epic ride, I am reminded of the meticulous planning and unwavering commitment of the Bike4Chai leadership. Each hill I conquered, each stretch of road I pedaled, was made possible by the hard work and dedication of these individuals.
The kickoff event on May 7th marked the beginning of this remarkable journey. It was there that I witnessed the passion and enthusiasm of the organizers, who stood before us, sharing their vision and setting the stage for what would become an unforgettable experience. Their words of encouragement, their unwavering belief in the cause, fueled my determination to take on this challenge.
Throughout my training, I found myself drawing inspiration from the commitment of the Bike4Chai directors. Their dedication to making a difference in the lives of children and families facing illness was a driving force behind my own journey. They were not mere administrators; they were leaders who inspired us to push our limits, to embrace the spirit of unity, and to keep pedaling forward.
And then came the event itself, a culmination of months of preparation and anticipation. The seamless organization, the carefully planned rest stops, the camaraderie among riders, all bore the indelible mark of the organizers and directors. They ensured that every aspect of the ride, from the first mile to the last, was a testament to the power of community, determination, and shared purpose.
To the organizers and directors of Bike4Chai, I extend my deepest gratitude. You have orchestrated an event that transcends the physical act of cycling; you have created a journey of the soul. Your dedication to the cause of Chai Lifeline, your tireless efforts to make this event a reality, and your unwavering support of all the riders have left an indelible mark on my heart.
As I close this chapter of acknowledgments, I want to honor the visionaries behind Bike4Chai. You are the architects of inspiration, the builders of dreams, and the driving force behind a community united in the pursuit of hope and healing. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be part of something truly extraordinary.

Bike4Chai Staff

In the tapestry of Bike4Chai, there are threads of dedication woven by unsung heroes who toil tirelessly behind the scenes, making the ride possible. This chapter is dedicated to the remarkable Bike4Chai staff and volunteers, whose collective efforts form the foundation of this extraordinary event.
As I reflect on my journey, from the first pedal strokes of training to the triumphant finish line at Camp Simcha, I am acutely aware of the immense planning and preparation that goes into Bike4Chai. It's a testament to the passion and dedication of those who work tirelessly year-round to ensure the event's success.
The Bike4Chai staff, both in the office and in the field, play pivotal roles in orchestrating every facet of this incredible ride. From logistics to participant support, they are the backbone of this operation. The meticulous planning, the countless hours of coordination, and the unwavering commitment to the cause are all exemplified by the dedicated staff.
Behind the scenes, the volunteers of Bike4Chai are the silent heroes who ensure that every detail, no matter how small, is taken care of. Their efforts in managing the rest stops, providing support along the route, and ensuring the safety and comfort of the riders are nothing short of remarkable. They are the hands that feed us, the voices that encourage us, and the hearts that make this journey unforgettable.
The website that keeps us informed, the emails that inspire us, the marketing campaigns that rally us—all of these elements are meticulously crafted and executed by a team of volunteers who are deeply committed to the cause.
To the Bike4Chai staff and volunteers, I extend my heartfelt gratitude. You are the unsung heroes who work tirelessly to create a platform for change, hope, and healing. Your dedication to the mission of Chai Lifeline is a beacon of light in the lives of those you touch.
As I journeyed through each mile, I carried with me the knowledge that I was part of a larger community, one driven by a shared purpose. It was your efforts that made that community possible, that turned a simple bike ride into a transformative experience. Thank you for your unwavering dedication to Bike4Chai, for being the wind beneath our wheels, and for showing us the true power of unity and compassion.


The road is a place of adventure, a realm of discovery, and, at times, a test of endurance. In the grand tapestry of Bike4Chai, where every mile is a journey of determination, there are guardian angels who watch over us, ensuring that our ride is not only memorable but safe. This chapter is dedicated to the incredible SAG staff and support crew who are our lifelines on the road.
SAG, an acronym for Support and Gear, is an apt title for these unsung heroes. They are the watchful eyes on the route, the hands that mend our bikes, and the unwavering presence that offers reassurance when the path grows challenging.
From the moment I embarked on this adventure, the SAG staff and support crew were always nearby, ready to assist in any way possible. Whether it was a minor mechanical issue or a moment of physical exhaustion, they were there with a smile, a word of encouragement, and the expertise to keep us moving forward.
The support crew's tireless work in setting up rest stops, ensuring we had access to refreshments, and providing guidance was instrumental in our journey. Their dedication to creating a seamless experience was evident at every turn. And when we needed assistance, their response was swift and reliable.
The SAG staff, on the other hand, were our guardian angels on the road. They patrolled the route, offering assistance to any rider in need. Their knowledge of bikes and their quick problem-solving skills were invaluable. But more than that, they provided a sense of security. Knowing that help was just a radio call away allowed us to face every challenge with courage.
These individuals, often working long hours under the sun or rain, deserve our deepest appreciation. They are the unsung heroes who ensure that every rider's journey is as smooth as possible, even when the road ahead is bumpy. Their presence is a source of comfort, a reminder that we are never alone on this journey.
To the SAG staff and support crew, I express my profound gratitude. You are the silent heroes of Bike4Chai, the ones who ensure that our ride is not only memorable but also safe. Your commitment to our well-being, your dedication to this cause, and your unwavering support are a testament to the incredible spirit of Bike4Chai.
As I rode each mile, I carried with me the knowledge that I was part of a community, a family that would look out for one another. It was thanks to you, the SAG staff and support crew, that this community thrived. You are the guardian angels of the road, and for that, I am eternally thankful.

Law Enforcement

In the symphony of Bike4Chai, where every pedal stroke is a note of determination, there are silent protectors who ensure that our journey remains harmonious and safe. This chapter is dedicated to the local police officers who stand as sentinels at the intersections and along the route, guiding us on this incredible odyssey.
From the very outset of my Bike4Chai adventure, the presence of these local police officers was a comforting sight. At the kickoff event on May 7, 2023, and throughout the training sessions, they were there, overseeing our safety as we prepared for the grand ride.
Come event day, they took on an even more crucial role. At busy intersections and critical points on the route, these officers ensured our safe passage. Their signals and guidance were not just about traffic control; they were a symbol of the incredible support that surrounds us.
In the midst of our arduous journey, these officers stood unwaveringly. Their watchful eyes followed our progress as we biked through towns and countryside, over hills and valleys. They managed the flow of traffic, ensuring that we could navigate the roads with confidence.
But it wasn't just their traffic management skills that left a mark; it was their encouragement and smiles that truly warmed our hearts. As we pedaled past, they cheered us on, clapping and offering words of motivation. Their presence wasn't merely functional; it was a gesture of solidarity.
These local police officers embody the spirit of community. They are our partners on this extraordinary journey, the ones who safeguard our path and amplify our mission. Their unwavering commitment to ensuring our safety is a testament to the incredible unity that Bike4Chai fosters.
To the local police officers who watched over us with diligence and care, I extend my heartfelt gratitude. You are the guardians of our safety, the silent heroes of Bike4Chai. Your presence on the route and at intersections brought us a profound sense of security. You are an integral part of this incredible experience, and for that, I am eternally thankful.
As I reflect on the miles we covered and the moments of triumph and camaraderie, I am reminded that Bike4Chai is not just a ride; it is a journey of shared determination and unity. In the chapters that follow, I will continue to express my gratitude to those who have made this journey possible. Each chapter is a celebration of the individuals and groups who have played a pivotal role in my Bike4Chai experience. Together, we have created something truly remarkable, and for that, I am eternally grateful.


Behind every seamless event, there exists a team of dedicated individuals who work tirelessly behind the scenes, orchestrating the complex symphony of logistics. This chapter is an homage to the unsung heroes, the logistics team of Bike4Chai, who transform our dreams into reality.
From the moment we set foot in the world of Bike4Chai, these behind-the-scenes architects began their intricate work. Months before the event, they meticulously planned every detail, ensuring that every rider, volunteer, and supporter could experience the magic of Bike4Chai.
Their responsibilities encompassed a multitude of tasks, from route planning that winds through picturesque landscapes to coordinating rest stops that offer nourishment and respite. They managed transportation logistics, ensuring that buses and shuttles seamlessly transported riders and their bikes.
Transportation was an integral part of the Bike4Chai experience, and it was flawlessly managed by the logistics team. They ensured that riders like myself could focus solely on the journey ahead. From Brooklyn to Kalahari, they orchestrated the safe passage of riders, bikes, and luggage.
My journey began with a ride from Brooklyn to Kalahari, and I marveled at the seamless transition. My bike was transported separately, arriving safely and ready for the adventure that awaited. The logistics team's careful planning and execution ensured that every aspect of my journey was meticulously arranged.
As we pedaled through the event, the logistics team continued to shine. Their attention to detail allowed me to concentrate on the ride, the camaraderie, and the shared purpose. The rest stops appeared like oases in the desert, and their presence was felt in every well-placed sign, every stocked rest stop, and every smoothly operating shuttle.
Their artistry extended to the road signs that adorned our path. Mile markers tracked our progress, reminding us of the distance we had conquered and the distance yet to go. Directional markers guided us with precision, ensuring that we never lost our way. But it was the inspirational messages that truly fueled our spirits.
Scattered throughout the course, these messages were beacons of motivation. Phrases like "Don’t Give Up Now!" and "Your Bikes Have Our Backs!" whispered encouragement when our legs grew weary. They were a testament to the thoughtfulness of the logistics team, who understood that a few well-chosen words could be the difference between pushing on and giving in.
But what made these signs truly special was the human touch they carried. Each sign was a reminder of the countless hours of dedication and creativity invested by the logistics team. They weren't just signs; they were our companions on the journey, cheering us on, and reminding us why we embarked on this adventure.
Their work behind the scenes allowed us to focus solely on the ride, the camaraderie, and the shared purpose. Their attention to detail transformed Bike4Chai into a seamlessly executed event, allowing us to fully immerse ourselves in the experience.
Their dedication was most evident when a sudden storm washed out part of the road. The logistics team swiftly sprang into action, arranging an immediate fix that allowed us to continue our journey without missing a beat. Their adaptability and commitment were truly remarkable.
Over the course of the event, we encountered over 160 miles of their signs, each one a testament to their meticulous planning and dedication. These signs were more than just markers; they were symbols of hope, determination, and unity.
To the logistics team of Bike4Chai, I extend my deepest gratitude. Your dedication, meticulous planning, and tireless efforts have turned a mere bike ride into a transformative journey. You are the unsung heroes who have made this adventure possible, and for that, I am eternally thankful.
As I express my appreciation for your incredible work, I am reminded of the remarkable sense of unity that Bike4Chai fosters. In the chapters that follow, I will continue to acknowledge those who have played a pivotal role in my Bike4Chai experience. Each chapter is a tribute to the individuals and groups who have contributed to this extraordinary journey. Together, we have created something truly exceptional, and for that, I am profoundly grateful. 🚴‍♂️🙏🌟

Rest Stop / Staging

In the grand tapestry of Bike4Chai, there are moments of respite and rejuvenation. These moments are brought to life by the incredible volunteers who manage the rest stops and staging areas, and this chapter is dedicated to them.
Throughout our Bike4Chai journey, these volunteers were the architects of our brief respites. They were the warm smiles that greeted us, the hands that extended refreshments, and the hearts that provided comfort. Their dedication transformed these stops from mere waypoints into havens of support and camaraderie.
At each rest stop, they worked tirelessly to ensure we had everything we needed. From replenishing our water bottles to preparing an array of delicious snacks, their efforts were fueled by a genuine desire to ease our journey. They were the unsung heroes who understood the value of a moment's rest, a friendly chat, or a reassuring word.
These volunteers not only nourished our bodies but also uplifted our spirits. Their encouragement and enthusiasm were infectious, infusing us with renewed energy as we embarked on the next leg of our ride. Their belief in our ability to conquer the miles ahead was a source of inspiration.
The staging areas, too, were brought to life by these remarkable individuals. They orchestrated the logistics of our journey, ensuring that everything ran smoothly behind the scenes. Their meticulous planning and tireless efforts allowed us to focus on the road ahead.
As I reflect on the countless miles we covered, I am profoundly grateful for the rest stop and staging area volunteers. Their unwavering support and hospitality were beacons of light on this challenging journey. They reminded us that Bike4Chai was not just a ride; it was a community of individuals bound by a common purpose.
To the volunteers who managed the rest stops and staging areas, I offer my heartfelt thanks. Your warmth, dedication, and care were instrumental in making this journey unforgettable. You were the heartbeats of Bike4Chai, and for that, I am eternally grateful.


In the grand mosaic of Bike4Chai, there's a symphony of flavors that fuel our journey. This chapter is dedicated to the culinary wizards—the caterers who transformed mere meals into moments of nourishment and delight.
From the early morning gatherings at training events to the lively celebrations at Camp Simcha, these caterers were instrumental in our Bike4Chai experience. They understood that beyond the physical demands of the ride, our bodies needed sustenance and our spirits sought comfort.
At the training events, whether it was the brisk morning of May 7th, 2023, or any other day, they laid out hearty breakfast spreads, ensuring we started our rides with full bellies and high spirits. Their warm coffee, fresh pastries, and energizing fare were the prelude to our adventures.
During our stay at Kalahari, they transformed dining into a culinary journey, offering a variety of cuisines that catered to our diverse tastes. They recognized the significance of communal dining, where riders bonded over shared meals, swapping stories and creating connections.
The rest stops and staging areas were punctuated by their culinary magic. Amidst the miles, their snacks and refreshments provided not just sustenance but a moment to pause, refuel, and recharge. Their dedication to providing a wide array of options ensured that every rider found something to savor.
Camp Simcha, the grand finale of our journey, was a testament to their artistry. Amidst the joyful chaos of arrival, they orchestrated a feast that catered to the heart and soul. Their culinary creations were more than just food; they were a celebration of our shared triumph.
To the caterers who contributed to the nourishment of our bodies and the warmth of our hearts, I extend my deepest gratitude. Your culinary expertise and dedication were instrumental in making Bike4Chai a multisensory experience.

First Aid

In the rhythm of Bike4Chai, there's a steady beat of safety and care, and this chapter is dedicated to those who stood ready to ensure our well-being—the ambulance staff, Hatzalah, paramedics, and EMTs.
Throughout our journey, both on the challenging routes and in the peaceful respite of rest stops, these dedicated individuals were our silent guardians. They watched over us, prepared for any unforeseen circumstances, and offered us reassurance with their presence.
At the hotel, they were the unseen sentinels, ready to respond to any medical needs that might arise before the ride even began. Their calm and reassuring demeanor helped us start each day with confidence.
On the routes, they were the reassuring figures in brightly colored vests. They navigated the twists and turns of our journey, ensuring that any injuries or health issues were promptly addressed. Their swift response and expert care were a safety net that allowed us to push our limits.
At the rest stops, they were the first faces we saw when seeking assistance. Whether it was a minor discomfort or a more serious concern, their professionalism and compassion were unwavering. They were the ones who provided the comfort of knowing that help was always close at hand.
In moments of crisis or uncertainty, their presence was a source of immense relief. They exemplified the values of Bike4Chai, where every rider's safety and well-being were paramount. Their dedication to our welfare, often behind the scenes, allowed us to focus on the road ahead.
To the ambulance staff, Hatzalah volunteers, paramedics, and EMTs who safeguarded our journey, I offer my deepest appreciation. Your commitment to the safety and health of every rider was evident in every interaction and every mile. You were our silent heroes, and for that, I am profoundly grateful.


This chapter is a heartfelt tribute to the unsung heroes who made Bike4Chai possible—the donors and contributors. Your selflessness and generosity transformed a simple bike ride into a powerful force for good.
From the moment I committed to raising $5,000 for Bike4Chai, I was both excited and daunted by the challenge. It was your unwavering support that bolstered my determination. Your belief in the cause and in my ability to make a difference fueled my every pedal stroke.
Your contributions weren't just financial; they were a vote of confidence, a statement of solidarity with the children and families who benefit from Chai Lifeline's remarkable programs. Each donation was a testament to your compassion and your commitment to making the world a better place.
You made possible all those early morning training sessions, the long rides under the sun, and the tough climbs that pushed my limits. It was your investment in the cause that ensured I had the resources to prepare physically and mentally for this challenge.
As I pedaled through those 100+58 miles, your names and messages of encouragement echoed in my mind. You were with me on every climb, every descent, and every mile in between. Your support was the wind at my back, propelling me forward when the road seemed endless.
But your impact reaches far beyond my personal journey. It ripples out to the countless lives touched by Chai Lifeline. It ensures that families facing unimaginable challenges find hope, strength, and a supportive community.
Your contributions are a reminder that we all have the power to effect change, to bring comfort to those in need, and to create a brighter future. You are the champions of compassion, and I am immensely grateful for your part in this incredible journey.
Thank you for your generosity, your belief, and your unwavering support. You have made a difference, not just in my life but in the lives of so many others. Your contributions were the key that unlocked the door to training, preparation, and ultimately, the successful completion of Bike4Chai.


Friends Amplifying

In this chapter, I express my heartfelt gratitude to my exceptional friends who went above and beyond to support my Bike4Chai journey. Your dedication and efforts to amplify my cause touched my heart in ways words can hardly convey.
You saw the passion I had for Bike4Chai, the commitment to raising funds for a noble cause, and the desire to make a difference. And you didn't just stand on the sidelines; you jumped into action.
You made phone calls on my behalf, reaching out to your own networks to share my fundraising campaign. Your belief in the mission of Bike4Chai was infectious, and it resonated with those you spoke to. Your advocacy not only raised funds but also created a ripple effect of awareness.
The simple act of sharing my campaign on your WhatsApp status might seem small, but it was a powerful gesture of support. It introduced Bike4Chai to a wider audience, sparking conversations and inspiring others to contribute.
You understood that this journey was about more than just me—it was about the lives we could touch and the impact we could make together. Your selfless actions exemplified the true spirit of community and giving.
During moments when I faced challenges or doubts, knowing that I had friends like you in my corner was a source of tremendous strength. Your unwavering support reminded me that I was part of something greater than myself.
As I pedaled through the rain, conquered steep climbs, and crossed the finish line at Camp Simcha, I did so with the knowledge that your support had been a driving force behind my success.
This chapter is dedicated to you, my exceptional friends, for your tireless efforts, advocacy, and unwavering belief in the Bike4Chai mission. Your actions were a testament to the power of friendship and the difference we can make when we come together for a common cause.


In this chapter, I extend my deepest appreciation to the Kalahari Resorts and Convention Center for hosting Bike4Chai's main event. Your hospitality and support played a pivotal role in the success of this incredible journey.
Kalahari Resorts, you opened your doors to hundreds of riders, volunteers, and supporters, welcoming us with warmth and grace. Your patience and flexibility were nothing short of exceptional. Bike4Chai is not your typical convention, and we are not your typical guests. We took over your entire convention center, transforming it into a hub of activity, energy, and determination.
From the moment we arrived, your staff went above and beyond to ensure that every detail was taken care of. You accommodated our unique needs and understood the importance of this event. Your willingness to work with us, even when faced with the unexpected, demonstrated your commitment to our cause.
The Kalahari Resorts and Convention Center became more than just a venue; it became a sanctuary for our mission. It was a place where riders gathered before dawn, where families celebrated their loved ones' achievements, and where lasting memories were forged.
Your contribution to Bike4Chai extends far beyond providing a space. You became an integral part of our journey, and your support helped us raise funds and awareness for Chai Lifeline. Together, we created an environment where the spirit of community, unity, and giving thrived.
As I reflect on the incredible moments we shared under your roof—the camaraderie, the laughter, and the tears—I am filled with gratitude. Your generosity helped us make a profound impact on the lives of children and families facing unimaginable challenges.
This chapter is dedicated to the Kalahari Resorts and Convention Center, a place that became our home away from home during Bike4Chai. Your unwavering support allowed us to ride with purpose and to achieve goals that went beyond the finish line.


In this chapter, I express my heartfelt gratitude to the photographers and videographers who dedicated their time and talent to capture the essence of Bike4Chai. Your artistry transformed fleeting moments into timeless memories, and your work allowed us to relive this incredible journey.
From the very first day of training, your cameras were there to document the challenges and triumphs, the camaraderie and determination of every rider. Whether you were a professional photographer or an amateur enthusiast, you shared a common goal: to tell the story of Bike4Chai.
You braved the elements, capturing the rain-soaked training sessions and the sun-drenched rides with equal enthusiasm. Your unwavering commitment to your craft ensured that no moment was too small to be immortalized.
Your lenses told stories of resilience as riders conquered hills, of unity as we came together as a community, and of the boundless generosity that fueled our mission. Through your photos and videos, you painted a vivid picture of the Bike4Chai experience.
Your dedication did not go unnoticed. Your images were more than just snapshots; they were windows into the heart and soul of this event. They conveyed the determination etched on our faces as we pedaled mile after mile, the exhilaration of crossing finish lines, and the shared laughter that echoed through rest stops.
As we relive this journey through your lens, we are reminded of the countless moments of inspiration and joy that defined Bike4Chai. Your work serves as a testament to the power of community, the strength of the human spirit, and the profound impact that collective action can have on the lives of others.
This chapter is dedicated to the photographers and videographers who used their creative talents to capture the essence of Bike4Chai. Your images have not only preserved our memories but have also inspired countless others to join us in making a difference. Thank you for your dedication and artistry.


This chapter is dedicated to the often unsung heroes of Bike4Chai—the cleaning crew and porters who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure our comfort and safety. Your dedication and hard work did not go unnoticed, and we are immensely grateful for your essential role in making this event a success.
Throughout our journey, from the early days of training to the triumphant finish at Camp Simcha, you were there, quietly ensuring that our surroundings were clean and orderly. Your efforts extended to the rest stops, staging areas, and the Kalahari Resort, where you tirelessly maintained the facilities we relied on.
Late into the night, while we rested in preparation for the ride, you were hard at work, sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming. You transformed banquet halls into places of rest, comfort, and sustenance for riders, volunteers, and supporters.
Your dedication and commitment to maintaining a clean and welcoming environment were nothing short of exceptional. Bike4Chai is a unique event, and you played a pivotal role in creating a space where riders could rest, refuel, and recharge for the challenges that lay ahead.
As we embarked on our journey, you ensured that we could focus on the ride itself, knowing that the spaces we left behind would be attended to with care and professionalism. Your contributions were a vital part of the seamless operation of Bike4Chai, and for that, we extend our deepest thanks.
This chapter honors the cleaning crew and porters who worked diligently to keep our surroundings clean and welcoming. Your efforts allowed us to fully immerse ourselves in this incredible journey, and we are grateful for your dedication to making Bike4Chai an unforgettable experience. Thank you for your hard work and commitment.


In this chapter, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the fellow riders and participants of Bike4Chai. You are the heart and soul of this incredible journey, and your presence added immeasurable value to every moment we shared on and off the road.
From the first pedal strokes of training to the triumphant finish line at Camp Simcha, you were there, supporting, encouraging, and inspiring. Together, we transformed a challenging 100-mile ride into an unforgettable experience.
Our bonds were forged in the crucible of early morning training sessions, the thrill of conquering steep inclines, and the shared laughter over well-deserved meals at rest stops. Each of you brought a unique story, a distinct perspective, and a wealth of determination to this journey.
We celebrated the victories together, whether it was conquering "The Wall," enduring a sudden rain shower, or simply finding the strength to keep pedaling when our bodies begged us to stop. We encouraged one another through words and actions, turning a solitary sport into a collective effort.
Through the rolling hills and winding roads, we discovered the power of community. We witnessed firsthand the incredible impact of our fundraising efforts on the lives of children facing illness and adversity. Our shared commitment to Chai Lifeline's mission fueled our determination, reminding us that our ride had a purpose far greater than ourselves.
As we navigated the challenging terrain and shared our stories, we became more than fellow riders; we became a family united by a common cause. We celebrated our individual strengths and rallied around one another in moments of weakness.
Our shared journey wasn't just about cycling; it was about making a difference. We raised funds that will provide crucial support to children and families in their darkest hours. Every mile we rode, every training session we endured, and every dollar we raised were symbols of our unwavering commitment to Chai Lifeline's mission.
This chapter is dedicated to each and every fellow rider and participant who pedaled alongside me, who shared in the trials and triumphs of Bike4Chai, and who, together, contributed to the remarkable fundraising efforts that will change lives. Your presence enriched this journey, and your camaraderie fueled our collective spirit. Thank you for being a vital part of this extraordinary experience.

Organizers and Hosts

In this chapter, I want to express my sincere appreciation for the individuals who organized the training events throughout the summer and the generous hosts who opened their homes to us. Your dedication and hospitality played a pivotal role in preparing us for the epic Bike4Chai journey.
From the early morning rides to the scenic routes, each training event brought us closer to our goal and forged lasting friendships among fellow riders. These events were not only physically demanding but also emotionally rewarding, as we trained together with a shared purpose: to support Chai Lifeline's critical mission.
The individuals who took the initiative to plan and organize these training sessions ensured that we had the guidance and structure necessary to succeed. Your commitment to our training did not go unnoticed. You provided us with valuable advice, safety tips, and encouragement to keep pushing our limits. Through your efforts, we were better equipped to tackle the challenges that awaited us on the Bike4Chai route.
I also want to extend my gratitude to the gracious hosts who opened their homes and provided a welcoming space for us to gather, fuel up, and build camaraderie. Your generosity allowed us to connect on a personal level, strengthening the bonds that carried us through the long miles on the road.
Your homes became hubs of warmth and support, where riders could refuel their bodies, exchange stories, and receive encouragement from fellow cyclists. The meals you prepared and the comfort you offered were invaluable in boosting our morale and preparing us for the next training session.
Together, you formed the backbone of our training experience, ensuring that we were well-prepared and motivated to take on the rigorous Bike4Chai ride. Your dedication to our success mirrored our commitment to Chai Lifeline's mission, and we couldn't have achieved our fundraising goals without your support.
As we reflect on the challenging training rides and the sense of unity they fostered, we are deeply grateful for your unwavering dedication. Your contributions were instrumental in our journey, and your belief in our mission fueled our determination to make a difference for children and families facing illness and adversity.
This chapter is dedicated to the exceptional individuals who organized training events and the generous hosts who opened their hearts and homes to us. Your support and generosity have left an indelible mark on our Bike4Chai experience, and we are profoundly thankful for your pivotal roles in this incredible journey.


This chapter is dedicated to the local supporters and cheering crowds who lined the streets, as well as the families and friends who traveled from near and far to meet us at the finish line. Your unwavering encouragement and presence added an extra layer of motivation to our Bike4Chai journey.
As we pedaled our way through the challenging miles, your cheers and applause provided a powerful boost of energy. Your homemade signs, banners, and spirited chants lifted our spirits when we needed it most. Your enthusiasm was infectious and made every uphill battle seem a little less steep.
For the families and friends who journeyed to be with us at the finish line, your presence was a heartwarming reminder of the incredible support network that surrounds each rider. Knowing that you were waiting for us at Camp Simcha drove us forward during the toughest moments on the road.
Your willingness to travel far and wide, often sacrificing your time and comfort, to witness our arrival at the World's Greatest Finish Line meant the world to us. Your smiles and hugs as we crossed the finish line were the perfect culmination of months of hard work and dedication.
You weren't just spectators; you were an integral part of our Bike4Chai experience. Your presence symbolized the unity and camaraderie that define this event, as well as the profound impact it has on children and families facing serious illness.
For the local supporters who turned out to cheer us on, thank you for sharing in our journey. Your encouragement reminded us that we were not alone on this path and that our efforts were making a meaningful difference. Your cheers echoed in our hearts as we tackled each mile.
To the families and friends who traveled great distances to be with us, your commitment to our cause touched us deeply. Your presence at the finish line was a testament to the bonds of friendship and family that unite us all, and it gave us the strength to keep pushing forward.
This chapter is a tribute to your unwavering support, to the cheers that echoed in our ears, and to the loved ones who stood by us every step of the way. Your presence and encouragement made our Bike4Chai journey unforgettable, and we are forever grateful for your role in this incredible adventure.

Personal Connections

This chapter is dedicated to the personal connections, the individuals who may not have been able to contribute financially but offered their unwavering support in countless other ways. Your presence, your encouragement, and your belief in the Bike4Chai mission made a world of difference.
In the grand tapestry of Bike4Chai, it's not just about the dollars raised, but the connections forged, the stories shared, and the collective spirit that propels us forward. Each of you played a vital role in this journey, and your contributions, no matter how small they may seem, were felt deeply.
For those who read my updates, liked my posts, and followed my journey from the sidelines, your virtual presence was a source of motivation. Knowing that there were people out there cheering me on, even from afar, provided a sense of connection and purpose.
To those who sent me messages of encouragement, who took a moment out of their day to offer kind words, you have no idea how much those messages meant. In the midst of grueling training rides and challenging miles, your words were a beacon of light, guiding me through the toughest moments.
For those who reshared my campaign, who spread the word to their networks, you extended the reach of our mission far beyond my own circle. Your efforts helped raise awareness and brought us closer to our fundraising goals.
To those who may have faced limitations in contributing financially but found creative ways to support, your resourcefulness and dedication were truly remarkable. Your actions demonstrated that there are countless ways to make a difference, and your contributions were felt in every pedal stroke.
This chapter is a heartfelt thank you to each of you who became a part of my Bike4Chai journey. Your support, whether through words, actions, or simply being there, made a profound impact. It's a testament to the fact that Bike4Chai is not just a bike ride; it's a community bound together by a shared commitment to a noble cause.
Your presence in my life and on this journey has been a gift, reminding me that the strength of our connections can move mountains, even when we're miles apart. Thank you for being a part of this incredible adventure, and for proving that together, we can make a meaningful difference.


Camp Simcha

As I begin to close the chapter of hakaras hatov (gratitude), I must dedicate a special chapter to an organization that is not only the heart and soul of Bike4Chai but also the driving force behind the incredible impact we make - Chai Lifeline's Camp Simcha.
Throughout my entire Bike4Chai journey, the spirit of Camp Simcha has been a guiding light, a constant reminder of the purpose behind every pedal stroke, every mile, and every challenge we face. This chapter is a tribute to the unparalleled dedication and unwavering support that Camp Simcha provides to children battling illness and their families.
From the very inception of my Bike4Chai journey, the stories of Camp Simcha campers and their families have served as a wellspring of inspiration. The resilience, courage, and indomitable spirit displayed by these incredible individuals have fueled my determination on the road.
As I pedaled through rain and shine, up steep climbs and along winding roads, I knew that every challenge I faced was a fraction of what these children endure daily.
The finish line at Camp Simcha, aptly named "The World’s Greatest Finish Line," is a moment etched in my memory forever. The cheers, the smiles, and the sheer joy radiating from the campers, their families, and the staff were beyond words. It was a culmination of months of training, fundraising, and riding, but more importantly, it was a symbol of the impact we make when we come together for a greater purpose.
To the campers, their families, and the incredible staff of Camp Simcha, I offer my deepest gratitude. You are the reason we ride. Your strength, your resilience, and your unwavering spirit have been the driving force behind every pedal stroke and every dollar raised. Your smiles at the finish line are the greatest reward we could ever hope for.
And to the kids of Camp Simcha, you are the heroes of this story. Your bravery, your smiles, and your boundless spirit are a constant source of inspiration. You've shown us what true courage looks like, and you remind us that even in the face of adversity, there is room for joy and laughter.
Chai Lifeline's Camp Simcha is a beacon of hope, a source of inspiration, and a testament to the incredible power of community. It is an honor to be a part of this remarkable journey, and I look forward to many more miles, challenges, and victories in the name of this extraordinary organization.



A Grateful Salute to All
I want to take a moment to express my profound gratitude to all the individuals who may not have been mentioned in the previous chapters but played an integral role in my Bike4Chai journey. You are the unsung heroes, the silent supporters, the quiet motivators who, in your own unique ways, made this incredible experience possible.
This journey was not just mine; it was ours. We embarked on this adventure together, united by a common purpose - to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most. And together, we achieved something truly remarkable.
To the entire Bike4Chai community, the teams, the riders, the participants, and everyone who contributed to this extraordinary event, I extend my heartfelt thanks. Whether you pedaled alongside me, cheered from the sidelines, supported through donations, or simply followed my journey from afar, your presence has been felt every step of the way.
To the fellow riders who became my friends and companions on this journey, your camaraderie and encouragement were invaluable. The shared laughter, the challenging climbs, and the triumphant descents are memories I will cherish forever. We pedaled through rain and sunshine, exhaustion and elation, and emerged stronger and more united than ever.
To the teams who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to organize and execute Bike4Chai, your dedication and commitment are awe-inspiring. From logistics to support, from safety to nourishment, you ensured that every aspect of this event was a resounding success. Your efforts did not go unnoticed, and they are deeply appreciated.
To the local supporters and cheering crowds who lined the routes and welcomed us at the finish line, your enthusiasm fueled our determination. Your cheers, your smiles, and your unwavering support made every mile worthwhile. You are a vital part of the Bike4Chai family.
To my friends and family, your encouragement and unwavering belief in me were my pillars of strength. Your cheers from the sidelines, your messages of support, and your boundless love carried me through the toughest moments. You are my rock, and I am endlessly grateful for your presence in my life.
To those exceptional friends who went above and beyond to help me reach my fundraising goals, who shared my campaign on their WhatsApp status, who made calls on my behalf, and who spread the word about this incredible cause, your kindness knows no bounds. You are the embodiment of the spirit of giving, and I am honored to know you.
To the hotel staff who accommodated us during our training sessions, the caterers who kept us fueled along the routes and at rest stops, the ambulance staff, Hatzalah, paramedics, and EMTs who ensured our safety, and the photographers and videographers who captured every moment, your contributions were invaluable. You played a vital role in the success of Bike4Chai, and I am immensely thankful.
To the local police officers who guided us through busy intersections and watched over us as we rode, ensuring our safety and the safety of those around us, your presence was reassuring. You are the unsung heroes of the road, and your dedication is deeply appreciated.
To the logistics team who tirelessly set up over 160 miles of road signs and even rerouted a washed-out road before the event, your dedication ensured our safety and guided us on our journey. You are the silent navigators of our adventure.
To the volunteers who managed the rest stops and staging areas, your support was a lifeline during our ride. Your smiling faces and efficient service kept us going when we needed it most.
To the caterers at the training events, at Kalahari, at the rest stops, staging areas, and at Camp Simcha, your nourishing meals were a source of energy and comfort. You ensured that we were well-fed and ready for the road ahead.
To the ambulance staff, Hatzalah, paramedics, EMTs, at the hotel, on the routes, and at the rest stops, your expertise and readiness provided us with peace of mind. Your swift response to any situation was a testament to your dedication to our safety.
To the donors and contributors who generously supported my fundraising efforts, you made it possible for me to meet my commitment and make a meaningful impact on the lives of others. Every training session, every mile, and every challenge I faced was a tribute to your selflessness. You are the reason we ride.
To the individuals who organized training events throughout the summer and the generous hosts who opened their homes to us, your hospitality and dedication to our preparation did not go unnoticed. You laid the foundation for our success.
To the local supporters and cheering crowds, and families and friends who traveled far and wide to meet us at the finish, your presence added an extra layer of joy to our accomplishments. Your cheers and smiles were the perfect welcome.
And finally, to Camp Simcha and Chai Lifeline, the heart and soul of Bike4Chai, your mission to support children battling illness and their families is nothing short of remarkable. You are the driving force behind our determination, and your impact is immeasurable. Your patience, your unwavering support, and your unwavering spirit have been the guiding light of this incredible journey.
To Hakadosh Baruch Hu, the Divine Creator, I offer my deepest gratitude for guiding and protecting us throughout this journey. Your presence was felt in every pedal stroke, every challenging hill, and every moment of unity and determination. We are humbled by your grace and strength.
To all of you, I offer my deepest and most heartfelt thanks. This journey has been an unforgettable experience, made all the more meaningful by your presence and support. Every pedal stroke, every mile, and every challenge I faced were a testament to the power of community, the strength of the human spirit, and the boundless capacity for kindness and generosity.

Closing Remarks

As I bring this journal to a close, I find myself overwhelmed with emotion, gratitude, and a profound sense of accomplishment. The journey chronicled within these pages has been nothing short of extraordinary. It's been a journey of growth, resilience, and boundless human connection, and I'm honored to have shared it with you.
From those early days of training, when every pedal stroke was a step into the unknown, to the triumphant arrival at Camp Simcha, the path has been filled with moments of sheer joy, camaraderie, and undeniable challenges. It's through these challenges that we find our truest selves, and Bike4Chai has certainly been a testing ground for that discovery.
Throughout this journal, you've witnessed the rain-soaked rides, the karaoke performances that defied the weather, the relentless climbs up daunting hills, and the heartwarming interactions with fellow riders, volunteers, and supporters. Each moment has added a layer to the rich tapestry of this unforgettable journey.
As I sit here contemplating the future, I can't help but wonder what lies ahead. Will I return to the saddle for another Bike4Chai adventure? The answer, I hope, is a resounding yes. And in that hope, I extend an invitation to you, dear reader, to consider joining me or supporting me in this mission.
Whether you're a seasoned cyclist, a curious observer, or simply someone looking for inspiration, know that there's a place for you in this incredible community. Bike4Chai has shown me that together, we can move mountains (and conquer quite a few of them on two wheels).
To all those who have been part of this journey—my fellow riders, the dedicated organizers, the tireless volunteers, the generous donors, my friends and family, the strangers who became friends, and anyone who has ever offered a word of encouragement or support—I say thank you. Your contributions, whether through fundraising, a kind word, or simply being there, have made a profound impact.
In closing, let me express my deepest gratitude and appreciation. It's been an honor to share this incredible journey with you through these words. As we look to the future, let's remember that every ride has a purpose, every challenge is an opportunity, and every mile brings us closer to making a positive change in the lives of others.
May we see the coming of Moshiach speedily, and let the next summer bring a Bike4Chai with a completely different meaning. A summer where we won't be biking to support kids with serious illnesses, but a summer where these children will be able to bike alongside us, their spirits unburdened by illness, their laughter filling the air.
With heartfelt thanks and the promise of new adventures,
Akiva Freund
2023, 5783
See you next summer.



Blog Post: An Update on My Memoir Book

Dear Readers and Supporters,

I hope this post finds you well. I wanted to give you a quick update regarding my memoir book, "831: A Bike4Chai 2023 Memoir."

For privacy reasons, I've decided not to share the chapters of my book directly on this blog at the moment. However, if you're eager to delve into the details of my Bike4Chai journey, fear not! You can still be part of the adventure.

I'm more than happy to share a copy of my memoir with you. It's a comprehensive account of the entire journey, from the early days of training to the triumphant moments at Camp Simcha. The book encapsulates the spirit, challenges, and joys of the Bike4Chai experience.

If you're interested, simply reach out to me, and I'll make sure you get your hands on a copy. Your support means the world to me, and I'm excited to share this special project with you.

Thank you for your understanding and ongoing encouragement.

Pedaling forward,
Akiva Freund


Dear Supporters,

Your unwavering commitment continues to inspire me deeply. For those interested in making a recurring donation, whether it's a monthly contribution or any other form of consistent support, I am profoundly grateful. Your ongoing generosity holds immeasurable value.

To set up a recurring donation, kindly reach out to the Chai Lifeline office at 732-719-1771. Their dedicated team is ready to assist you, ensuring your contribution is seamlessly processed. Even though the fundraising page might not have this specific option, please don't let that deter you. Your willingness to provide ongoing support is monumental, and I am touched beyond words.

Thank you for considering this enduring commitment. Together, we are making a lasting impact on the lives of the children and families supported by Chai Lifeline.

With heartfelt appreciation,



Exciting News! Get Your Copy of My Bike4Chai Event Book!

I'm thrilled to share with you all that I've turned the incredible journey of the Bike4Chai event into a book! If you want to relive the adventure, request your copy here.

Prepare for a Big Read! This book is no lightweight—it's a whopping 550 pages! 📖🚴‍♂️

From Blog to Book I've poured my heart and soul into transforming my blog into this incredible book. It's a labor of love, and I can't wait to share it with you all.

Experience the Thrills and Triumphs! Relive those heart-pounding moments from the event, like that unexpected call during a rest stop, the dramatic rainstorm on day one, the unforgettable karaoke stop, the grueling ascent of "The Wall," and the teary-eyed arrival at Camp Simcha where we danced with the kids.

Stay Tuned for More! With Hashem's help ('אם ירצה ד), I'll be sharing some exciting event details right here on this blog. Stay tuned for more updates!

Thank you all for your incredible support, and let's keep the Bike4Chai spirit alive! 🚴‍♂️🌟


Day 2 of the Bike4Chai Event (Kalahari -> Camp Simcha)

Day 1 of the Bike4Chai Event


🚴‍♂️ Exciting Update: A Comprehensive Bike4Chai Event Blog is in the Works! 🚴‍♀️
Hey everyone,
I hope you're doing well! I wanted to give you a heads up about something I've been working on – an extensive and detailed blog post about my recent participation in the incredible Bike4Chai event.
The Bike4Chai ride was an exhilarating journey, filled with unforgettable moments and inspiring experiences. From the scenic routes to the incredible camaraderie, this event left a lasting impression on me.
I'm currently in the process of carefully documenting every aspect of the event, from the thrilling start to the heartwarming finish. It's a labor of love, and I want to ensure that I capture every detail, every emotion, and every memory.
While I can't provide an exact release date just yet, I wanted to let you know that this blog post is on its way. It's taking a bit longer due to the extensive editing and organizing required for such a comprehensive piece. I'm committed to delivering a captivating and informative account of the Bike4Chai event.
So, please stay tuned! I assure you it will be worth the wait. In the meantime, get ready to dive into an incredibly detailed journal of the event, reliving the adventure with me.
Thank you for your patience, and I can't wait to share this exciting journey with all of you. Stay tuned for the big reveal!
Best regards, Akiva Freund

Mount Pocono and the long downhill!!!!

1985 from my GoPro

Day 2 Start Line -- skip to minute 5 for the departure


While you wait for my blog, it's coming


🚴‍♂️ Phase 2: Navigating Jersey's Hudson River Path and Conquering the Boss Level 🚴‍♀️
With the triumphant victory of Phase One behind me, I ventured into the heart of New Jersey for the next leg of my training journey. The sun's warm embrace accompanied me as I set out along the Hudson River, ready to conquer new challenges and unexpected twists. This phase was all about navigating the Jersey side, with a special highlight that awaited me – the "Boss Level" climb that would test my mettle and determination.

As I embarked on my journey, I found myself savoring a delightful mistake from the previous week. Inadvertently venturing down River Road instead of sticking to the cliff in Fort Lee proved to be a hidden blessing. It was this same path that guided me towards an intentional route this time – a route that would lead me to a key training hill. This week, I was prepared to tackle the ascent of Columbia Avenue (also known as NJ-5). Although fatigue from the previous night's restless sleep lingered, I felt a renewed determination to overcome this challenge.

The climb up Columbia Ave proved to be a rewarding experience, with the knowledge gained from the previous week's adventure bolstering my efforts. While the climb wasn't without its demands, I tackled it with a sense of purpose and resilience. As I reached the summit, I couldn't help but marvel at the progress I had made since last week. My journey continued, marked by each red light that prompted yet another selfie – a testament to the unique moments captured during this training ride.
Navigating through West New York and Jersey City, I encountered unexpected encounters that added a touch of humor to the ride. Two individuals on the street found my selfie-taking antics amusing and joined in the fun by taking a selfie of their own. Laughter echoed in the air, a reminder of the camaraderie that can be found even in chance encounters.

A moment of diversion led me astray in Jersey City, resulting in a detour through a quiet neighborhood. Despite the unplanned deviation, I found myself relishing the serenity of this unknown corner of the city. Crossing a pedestrian bridge on Waldo Avenue, I indulged in a picturesque pause, soaking in the scenic views that surrounded me.

Resuming my journey, I continued along Baldwin Avenue towards Bayonne, savoring the sights and sounds of each stretch of the route. My path led me through Stephen R. Gregg Park, a place I had grown fond of during my training rides. Although it added a slight detour to my journey, I couldn't resist the allure of the park's charm.

Boss Level: The Bayonne Bridge
The pinnacle of this phase awaited me as I approached the Bayonne Bridge – a colossal structure that promised both a challenge and a breathtaking vista. As I ascended the 215-foot climb, I encountered a friendly Jewish couple, capturing a candid moment that perfectly encapsulated the serendipity of the journey. Offering to take their photo together, our brief encounter unfolded into a heartfelt conversation about my training for Bike4Chai. Our meeting on this iconic bridge, suspended high above the ground, was a surreal and memorable moment that exemplified the unexpected connections forged during this training journey.

Taking a moment to capture the stunning views and bridge structure, I bid farewell to my newfound friends and continued my ascent. Crossing Staten Island and merging with my familiar Brooklyn-Edison bike route, I set my sights on the Goethals Bridge – a final challenge akin to the last blow delivered to a formidable boss in a video game.
After conquering the Goethals Bridge, I reached the Public Bicycle Repair Station in Elizabeth. Pausing to catch my breath and replenish my supplies, I allowed the sense of accomplishment to wash over me. Phase Two was complete, and the "Boss Level" had been vanquished. With each challenge overcome, I inched closer to the ultimate goal of Bike4Chai. Stay tuned for the next chapter of my training journey, as I continue to push boundaries, conquer new heights, and make a tangible impact through your unwavering support.

🚴‍♂️ Phase 3: Jersey Revisited - Embracing Familiar Paths 🚴‍♀️
In the heart of my training, Phase Three beckoned, offering a relatively shorter stretch of 18-20 miles through familiar Jersey terrain. Following a rejuvenating rest at the bike station, I knew I needed to keep pushing forward – time was of the essence, and daylight was a precious commodity.
As I pedaled on, the weight of fatigue began to settle in, tempting me to consider calling it a day. Yet, a resolute determination surged within me – a constant reminder that I was not just riding for myself, but for a greater purpose that united us all. With this steadfast resolve, I forged ahead, braving the challenges that lay ahead.
Much of this phase followed a well-trodden path, one I had traversed numerous times before. While the scenery may have been familiar, the journey itself was far from mundane. Clouds drifted across the sky, occasionally gracing me with their shade – a welcome respite as the weather forecast hinted at impending thunderstorms.
Amidst the journey, a moment of serendipity graced my path. As I crossed the pedestrian bridge over the Rahway River, I realized that I had yet to capture a photo on this picturesque bridge. Pausing for a selfie, I felt a sense of gratitude for the small moments that added color to my training.

The clock marked 3:30pm when I arrived at Papaianni Park, where the gentle sound of flowing water drew me to a previously unnoticed 9/11 memorial. Taking a moment to reflect, I marveled at the intricate design of the memorial, a poignant reminder of the resilience of the human spirit.

Completing this phase brought me to my brother's doorstep, where I danced in front of his camera – a lighthearted celebration of another milestone achieved. After a well-deserved 20-minute rest, I ventured to the Agudah of Edison and Highland Park to engage in mincha prayer, mirroring the rituals of the previous week.

With the sun slowly descending, I bid farewell to my brother's home and embarked on the final stretch of my journey – Phase 4, the last and most extensive phase of my training. The time read 4:35pm as I embarked on this concluding chapter, a blend of anticipation and determination propelling me forward.
Phase 3 may not have boasted a distinct "Boss Level," but it was a testament to the power of persistence and the beauty of revisiting familiar paths. Stay tuned as I share the gripping finale of my training journey, a culmination of months of dedication, challenges overcome, and a community united in a shared mission. 🚴‍♀️🌆🚴‍♂️
🚴‍♂️ Phase 4: The "Neila" of My Training - Embracing the Final Challenge 🚴‍♀️
As the clock struck 4:35 on that momentous Sunday, August 6, 2023, I embarked on what I deemed the "Neila" phase of my training journey – the ultimate proof of my preparedness and dedication. Much like the poignant closing moments of Neila on Yom Kippur, this phase held the weight of finality, urging me to seize every precious second as the sun hung at a 45-degree angle to the horizon.
Just as Neila marks the last opportunity for reflection and atonement on Yom Kippur, this phase represented the final chance to solidify the culmination of my training efforts. The significance was not lost on me – the day's efforts were the prelude to the imminent transport of my bike to the Poconos for the main event, a week that would put my preparation to the ultimate test.
Fatigue tugged at my resolve, much like the hunger of a prolonged fast during Yom Kippur's Neila service. My longing for the comfort of my bed and the anticipation of a satisfying dinner underscored the challenging path that lay ahead. Just as the Neila service is a final, intense push toward spiritual completeness, this phase mirrored that intensity – a final push to solidify my training accomplishments.
Homeward bound, I encountered a peculiar sensation – the hills that had once felt conquerable now bore a more formidable presence. The strain on my neck intensified, demanding frequent breaks to alleviate the discomfort. Temptation whispered the allure of a nearby train station, a swift escape from the strain. Yet, my unwavering determination propelled me forward, urging me to persist despite the obstacles.
In the spirit of Neila's enduring dedication, Phase 4 pressed on... 🌅🚴‍♀️🚴‍♂️
As the clock approached 6:00pm, the luminous hues of sunset cast a serene backdrop over my journey, instilling a sense of calm determination. Arriving once again at the familiar embrace of the Public Bicycle Repair Station in Elizabeth, I heeded the wisdom of pacing myself. A resolute voice within advised me: "Take more breaks, conserve your energy, for the path ahead is still long."

With this mantra in mind, I allowed myself a well-deserved 15-minute rest, knowing that while Phase 3 had been conquered in reverse, Phase 4's mission was far from complete. The sprawling canvas ahead awaited the final brushstrokes of Staten Island, Manhattan, and Brooklyn – each borough a testament to my tenacity.
Embracing a deliberate pace, I navigated this stretch with an unwavering spirit, savoring the nuances of each moment. Richmond Terrace unfurled before me, each section inching me closer to St. George Terminal. A mantra danced in my mind, coaxing me onward: "Two more sections and I'll be there. One more section and I'll be there."

The toll of a sleep-deprived night clung to my weary bones, casting shadows even as the sun dipped toward the horizon. A longing for rest intertwined with the anticipation of arrival, a bittersweet symphony that harmonized with the fading light. As 7:25 approached, I felt the embrace of the ferry terminal drawing near, a beacon of respite on the horizon.

Fortune favored me as I reached the terminal, greeted by a swift boarding and minimal wait time. Within a mere five minutes, I found myself aboard the ferry, my bike securely nestled in its designated slot. Yet, a quiet discomfort tugged at my rest-seeking soul. A pilgrimage to the stern of the ferry, a heartfelt Tefillas Haderech, and a simple shift to the floor to stretch my legs signaled a moment of reconnection with my inner resolve.
As the ferry embarked on its five-mile journey to Manhattan, I surrendered myself to the gentle lull of its passage. A fleeting respite ensued, a brief oasis of reprieve within the expanse of my journey. With closed eyes and outstretched legs, I found solace in the rhythmic cadence of the ferry's progress, a pause to rejuvenate before tackling the final leg of Phase 4's odyssey.

As the clock struck 8:00pm, the ferry's gentle docking on the Manhattan side marked the beginning of my triumphant voyage to Brooklyn. My sights were set on conquering the Financial District (FiDi) before setting foot in the borough that stood as the ultimate boss of Phase 4.

With the Brooklyn Bridge spanning before me, I traversed its storied expanse, each step a testament to my unyielding determination. Fellow cyclists and ebikes whizzed by, but I remained steadfast, relishing the journey.
Crossing into Brooklyn, I navigated the intricate weave of city streets. Jay Street led me to Schermerhorn Street, a prelude to the daunting challenge of Flatbush Avenue. Known for its unforgiving lanes and ruthless drivers, this thoroughfare demanded my full attention. Adorned in reflective tape and illuminated by lights, I pressed onward, determined to conquer this final urban frontier.
And then, like a beacon of solace, Prospect Park beckoned. Its car-free paths embraced me, offering respite from the city's tumultuous embrace. The park's serenity under night's embrace provided a welcomed contrast to the hustle I'd faced earlier. With the gentle downhill glide through Prospect Park, I found a moment of tranquility, a chance to catch my breath before embarking on the final leg.
At long last, the hands of time pointed to 9:00pm. My journey through Phase 4 had reached its grand finale. The comforting embrace of home awaited, a sanctuary after the trails conquered and challenges met. I swiftly unloaded my gear, heedful of the final boss battle yet to come.
But before the victor's celebration, one final quest remained: the pilgrimage to drop off my trusty steed at the haven of Chai Lifeline. A mere 1.5 miles, this endeavor was a fitting culmination. With roads stretched ahead, flat and welcoming, I summoned my reserves of determination and set forth. No break was sought, for the end was tantalizingly near.
Arriving at my destination, a sense of accomplishment welled within. I humbly requested water, savoring its taste as a reminder of the journey's arduous yet rewarding path. The return journey beckoned, and as I walked back, a bus became my chariot home. Phase 4 had been officially concluded, a cycle of challenges surmounted, and triumph embraced.
In these closing moments, gratitude unfurled within me like a blossoming flower. I extend my heartfelt thanks to each and every one who stood by my side – those who supported, donated, cheered, and offered guidance. Your presence and encouragement transformed the arduous trek into a shared adventure. As I prepare to embark on the world's greatest finish line, I send forth a heartfelt blessing for each of you. May Hashem's blessings, contentment, and the answers to your prayers shower upon you abundantly.
Chai Lifeline, I extend my deepest appreciation for this transformative opportunity. As the World's Greatest Finish Line awaits, I am fortified with readiness and resolve. To my fellow adventurers and supporters, until we converge at the finish line – onward, to new heights, and a journey beyond compare.
With gratitude and anticipation,
Akiva Freund 🚴‍♂️🌟


🌆 Boss-Level Training: Conquering Brooklyn and Manhattan 🌆
Greetings, fellow adventurers! Today, I take you on a journey through the bustling boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan, as I embark on a training ride that promises to challenge my limits and test my resolve. With the Bike4Chai event rapidly approaching, every mile and every hill conquered brings me closer to the ultimate goal.

Phase 1: Rise and Ride
Unlike last Sunday, where I started a little later, I was determined to seize the day by getting an early start. However, the night had other plans for me as sleep eluded me until the early hours of the morning. Tossing and turning until 3:30 am, I finally managed to catch some shut-eye. But alas, the alarm clock rang at 6:45 am, and I knew there was no turning back. Despite the lack of sleep, the determination burned within me.
By 8:30 am, I was ready to hit the streets. Fueling up on a quick shacharis prayer and a morning bar, I mentally prepped myself for the challenges ahead. Gathering my essentials – powerade bottles, a mix of sweet and fizzy seltzer, protein bars for sustenance, and emergency bike gear – I geared up for the adventure that awaited.
Oh, the first hiccup! As I biked down the block, the realization struck that I had left my reflective belt and front light behind. A quick turnaround and a block later, I was back on track, ensuring I had everything I needed to tackle this monumental day.
Brooklyn Bridge and Beyond
My journey began by navigating the familiar streets of Brooklyn, a place that has witnessed my growth as a cyclist. I opted for a smoother route this time, learning from past rides. Dahill to Fort Hamilton proved to be a wise choice – fewer traffic lights and less congestion, a serene path in the early hours of a Sunday morning.

Climbing Prospect Park, I felt the fatigue from my sleepless night, a reminder of the challenges I'd face today. The hill near Grand Army Plaza seemed more formidable, but I pressed on, determined to conquer it.
As I glided down Flatbush Avenue and weaved through the streets, the sun began to cast its warm glow upon the city. My destination: the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. Unlike last week's journey that took me through all five boroughs, this time I opted to skip Queens and the Bronx, focusing my energy on Brooklyn and Manhattan.

The Hudson River Greenway Connection
Embracing the nostalgia of my college days, I set my course along the Hudson River Greenway – a path that once carried me from Washington Heights to BMCC and back. Each pedal stroke felt like a culmination of all the routes I've explored over the years, as if my entire journey had been building up to this pivotal moment. Much like the carefully crafted saga of the Infinity War, every path, every experience, has led me here.
As the sun continued its ascent in the sky, I pedaled forward along the bustling Hudson River Greenway. The morning had transitioned into a vibrant scene of fellow cyclists, joggers, and pedestrians enjoying the sunny Sunday. Despite the crowded path, I navigated with caution, making my presence known with a friendly "On your left" as I attempted to pass a slower cyclist. Yet, misfortune struck as my bag collided with a concrete barrier, resulting in the unfortunate loss of a precious seltzer bottle. Grumbling under my breath, I made a pit stop to discard the remnants and continued my journey undeterred.
Past the Upper West Side, I noticed changes to the bike route, prompting me to take a detour due to pedestrian-only areas. However, I saw an opportunity to stop at a public restroom, a rare find during long rides. With a quick pit stop completed, I resumed my journey, reflecting on the closure of the old Fairway supermarket – a place that once held a treasure trove of memories and a rich selection of kosher meats. Navigating around iconic filming spots and landmarks, I was reminded of the countless movies and TV shows that had featured this stretch of the city.

Drawing closer to the George Washington Bridge, my anticipation grew. The sight of the little red lighthouse marked the beginning of my uphill battle. This 200-foot climb on a steep incline was always a formidable challenge, one that I remembered from my younger days. Today, it was time to face it again. As I struggled uphill, I made a mental note to incorporate more hill training to conquer this ascent effortlessly.
A sudden realization struck me – why not seize the opportunity to tackle additional hills on 181st Street before reaching the George Washington Bridge? With newfound determination, I changed course and took on the challenge. This hill proved steep and demanding, but I welcomed the practice it provided.
With the bonus round successfully completed, it was time to face the ultimate challenge of Phase One – the "Boss Level" of hills in Washington Heights.
Boss Level: Conquering the Heights

Navigating my way down the slope of Broadway, I geared up for the first mini-boss – 187th Street Hill. A challenging climb that demanded my all, I conquered it with a triumphant sense of accomplishment. As I descended, the next target was in sight – Hillside Avenue. I tackled this incline with determination, knowing that it led to the grand finale – Fort George Hill.

The ascent up Fort George Hill was a true test of my endurance and willpower. With every pedal stroke, I pushed myself further up the 200-foot climb over just half a mile. Weariness from my lack of sleep threatened to slow me down, but I persevered, drawing strength from my Thursday training. At the hill's peak, I paused to catch my breath, capturing the victorious moment with a selfie – a trophy of my achievement.

But the boss had one more trick up its sleeve. I decided to confront 187th Street Hill once more, a final showdown before departing Washington Heights. With grit and determination, I conquered it for the second time, emerging triumphant and ready to continue my journey.
Turning onto Wadsworth Avenue, I made my way to the George Washington Bridge, completing the first phase of my journey. As I crossed the iconic bridge, a sense of pride and accomplishment washed over me. Phase One was complete, and I had faced the boss level head-on, emerging victorious.
Stay tuned for the next thrilling installment as I venture into the heart of New Jersey, tackling new challenges and conquering unexpected twists along the way. Your support fuels my determination, and together, we're making a real impact on this incredible journey. Until then, keep pedaling towards your goals, and I'll see you on the road! 🚴‍♀️🌆🚴‍♂️



🚴‍♂️ Hills, Surprises, and Unexpected Triumphs: A 50-Mile Journey 🌆🌟
Phase One: Embracing the Challenge
Last night, as the sky painted itself with hues of twilight, I embarked on an unplanned adventure that turned into a remarkable 50-mile bike ride! After a long day's work, the cool and cloudy evening provided the perfect backdrop for my journey through the scenic paths of Washington Heights.
My original intention was to practice hill riding in the neighborhood, but as I pedaled forward, the thrill of the ride ignited something within me. Little did I know that this ordinary evening would transform into an extraordinary cycling odyssey.
Equipped with my drinks, headphones, GoPro, and emergency bike kit, I set out on my route. Up Ocean Parkway, through Prospect Park's bike path, and down Vanderbilt to the waterfront, I cycled with determination. As the sun began to set, the atmosphere shifted, making my journey more challenging yet all the more exhilarating. The streets were alive with families and individuals, creating a vibrant energy that propelled me forward.

Passing through Williamsburg, I conquered my nerves about glass shards and pressed on. Crossing the Pulaski Bridge, I caught the sunset-kissed Manhattan skyline on my left. Pushing northward, I reached the Triborough (RFK) Bridge as the night took hold. Brief stops were punctuated with selfies, evidence of my incredible journey.

Crossing Randall's Island and biking through the Bronx, I reached my beloved Washington Heights. The memory of the Sunday climb lingered as I navigated Fort George Hill and 187th Street, the highlight of my ride that bridged the two phases of my adventure.

The Highlight: Fort George Hill and 187th Street
Biking down 184th Street, I embraced the formidable challenge of the steep hill on 187th Street. The sheer intensity of the climb was invigorating. After reaching the top and arriving on St. Nicholas Avenue, I circled back, descending Broadway to Nagle, where I confronted the iconic Fort George Hill. A challenge that I welcomed, this ascent stirred memories of past triumphs.
The climb was tough, but that's precisely what I was seeking. As I powered through, I tuned in to my Rebbe's Daf Yomi shiur, drawing strength from the familiar teachings that have accompanied me through various moments of my life.
But the climb wasn't just about physical prowess; it symbolized pushing through challenges, defying doubts, and emerging stronger. I conquered Fort George Hill, and though I was tempted to head home, I knew I couldn't settle for just one climb. I circled back to 187th Street, embracing the challenge once more.
Phase Two: Hills and Surprises on the Way Home
After the invigorating challenge, I chose to explore more hills on my way home. Opting for Amsterdam instead of St. Nicholas Avenue, I navigated the vibrant streets of Harlem, adding more practice to my hill-climbing repertoire.

Unexpectedly, Central Park made its appearance, and I seized the opportunity to practice on its rolling hills. This unexpected highlight infused my ride with an extra dose of enthusiasm. Reaching 59th Street and Times Square, I captured snapshots of the city's iconic landmarks.

As I continued on Broadway, a transformation caught my eye. Broadway, once a bustling street, had turned into a pedestrian haven. The city was embracing change, a metaphor for the evolving journey of my ride.
Passing familiar streets, like Union Square and Bowery, I finally reached the Manhattan Bridge. An architectural marvel, I captured its beauty in a quick selfie, capturing a piece of New York history.

Completing my journey through Prospect Park, I made a small detour but found that Ocean Parkway's bumpy bike lane wasn't the best route. Adapting quickly, I finished the last stretch of my ride on Fort Hamilton Parkway, arriving home shortly after midnight. An unexpected 50 miles, a testament to the power of determination and the joy of discovery.
Triumph and Gratitude
And now, for the incredible news: I've reached my $5000 goal! Thank you to everyone who donated; your support has been instrumental in this journey. If you haven't yet contributed, there's still time to join this meaningful cause.
Stay tuned to my blog for more updates, and join me for the official event this Wednesday. Together, we can overcome challenges, discover new horizons, and make a positive impact. Let's keep pushing the boundaries and achieving the extraordinary! 🌟🚴‍♂️🙌

Passed $5000!! Thank you all for help me reaching my goal!!!


Ride statistics from Google's Location History

Complete map of my ride

🚴‍♂️ Riding the Century: Conquering 100 Miles of Adventure! 🌞🚲
Last Sunday, July 30th, marked a day of challenge and triumph as I embarked on a daring 100-mile ride in preparation for the upcoming Bike4Chai event. Despite a late start at around 10:30 AM, I was ready to take on this epic journey. The excitement and preparation leading up to the ride made me lose track of time, but mentally, I divided my ride into four phases to keep myself focused:

Phase 1: Brooklyn to Jersey - A Scenic Start
The day greeted me with beautiful weather, as temperatures dropped to the low 70s in the morning and stayed comfortable in the low 80s throughout the day. However, the relentless sun posed a real threat, but luckily, the ever-changing clouds provided some much-needed relief.
Setting off from Brooklyn, my route took me through familiar sights like Ocean Parkway, Prospect Park, Vanderbilt Ave, and the waterfront of Williamsburg. But, as fate would have it, I encountered an unexpected challenge - a flat tire caused by a pesky glass shard. Frustration set in as my attempts to patch it up were in vain. 🤦‍♂️
But hey, every cloud has a silver lining! Or in this case, every bike shop comes to the rescue. Thankfully, there was a bike shop nearby that was open on Sundays. Though they initially required appointments, my plea for help with my flat tire softened their stance, and they promptly fixed it for me. I also grabbed a couple of spare tubes to be better prepared for any future mishaps.
With a delay of 45 minutes, I finally got back on track, brimming with determination. I crossed the Pulaski Bridge, journeyed through Astoria, and faced the challenge of the RFK Bridge to Randall's Island.

The midday sun brought out more people on the bridge, but I powered through and even conquered those steps. My bike felt a bit heavier this time, likely due to the extra powerade bottles and seltzers I was carrying.
A change in my usual Bronx route made the adventure even more exciting. Instead of the traditional path, I opted to take the 155th Street Bridge and challenged myself to conquer the steep hill leading to St. Nicholas Ave. The effort paid off as I continued on to Broadway, reaching 179th Street to embark on the beautiful bridge crossing. This time, I took a moment to savor the milestone by snapping a selfie at the center, where the line marks the border between New York and New Jersey.

Phase 1: Complete - Onward to Jersey!
With Phase 1 under my belt, the adventure was just getting started. Stay tuned for my thrilling journey through the rest of the phases: Jersey, Staten Island to Highland Park, and Highland Park back to home. The anticipation and challenges ahead only fueled my determination to conquer the 100-mile ride and prepare for Bike4Chai in the most epic way possible. 🚵‍♂️💨

Phase 2: Conquering the Cliff and Chasing Movie Magic! 🏞️🎥
In Phase 2 of my epic 100-mile ride, I found myself in the picturesque town of Fort Lee, New Jersey. However, I encountered a bit of a navigational hiccup, thanks to my trusty GPS leading me astray. Instead of staying at the top of the hill and going south on Anderson Ave, I accidentally took River Road, which wound up below the cliff. 🤦‍♂️ At first, I was frustrated, but I soon realized that this unexpected detour was actually a blessing in disguise - a fantastic preparation for the upcoming mountain challenges.
With determination in my heart, I decided to keep going and embrace this twist of fate. I found a ramp that led me back to the top of the cliff at NJ-5, and to my surprise, climbing back up wasn't as difficult as I feared. The progress I made in my previous rides had clearly paid off, and my leg muscles were up for the challenge! With newfound confidence, I pressed on, ready to conquer the rest of my planned route. Let's go!
As I continued southward, I couldn't resist capturing the moments with every town sign I encountered. "Welcome to Fairview" - click! "Welcome to West New York" - click! The excitement of exploring new places on my bike added an extra layer of joy to my journey.

During my ride, I stumbled upon an intriguing old synagogue, and I couldn't resist taking a selfie to preserve the memory. The Shaare Zedek / West New York shul turned out to be a fascinating piece of history that I planned to research later. What a delightful discovery!

Biking down Palisade Ave, I reveled in the charm of the unfamiliar community. It's amazing how exploring on two wheels can lead us to places we might never have visited otherwise. Weehawken came into view, and I found myself above the highway trench - a perfect moment for a photo shoot! Snap snap snap!

The peaceful serenity of Bayonne welcomed me as I continued on my journey. I gave my coworker a call to update him on my progress, and we agreed to meet at the foot of the Goethals Bridge on the Jersey side. Excitement and camaraderie fueled my determination to make it there in good spirits.
As I passed through a big park in Bayonne, I savored the opportunity to immerse myself in nature. These unexpected detours were turning into delightful surprises, adding a touch of adventure to the ride.

Finally, the moment I had been eagerly waiting for - the Bayonne Bridge, famously featured in Steven Spielberg's "War of the Worlds." As I ascended the bridge, memories of the movie flooded my mind, and I couldn't contain my excitement. The steep ramp only added to the thrill as I recalled the epic scenes where the aliens wreaked havoc on this very bridge.

Reaching the center of the bridge, I marveled at its stunning architecture, standing tall over the road. It was a true marvel, and I felt fortunate to witness it up close on my bike. The elation I felt was immeasurable; it was like scratching off a bucket list item I had cherished for so long.

With the Bayonne Bridge conquered and the spirit of the movie magic still lingering, I was ready to embrace the next phases of my ride.

Phase 3: Pushing Through Challenges and Embracing the Journey! 🌆🚴‍♂️
As my thrilling adventure continued, I crossed Staten Island swiftly, making my way from the Bayonne Bridge to the Goethals Bridge. I gave my biking buddy a quick call to let him know my progress, and he informed me that he would be joining me in about 20 minutes. I welcomed the break, feeling the need to recharge my energy for the next leg of the journey.

Once on the Jersey side, in Elizabeth, I discovered a new bike-friendly rest area and decided to take a moment to relax on the grass. It was a perfect time to reflect on my accomplishments so far - I had already biked through all five boroughs of New York City and ventured into Jersey. Phase 2 was complete, marking the first half of my incredible 100-mile ride. I was proud of myself, but I also recognized the exhaustion setting in.
Thoughts of self-doubt began to creep in, wondering how I could possibly manage the second half, especially with the Bike4Chai event coming up next week. Yet, determination pushed me forward, and I considered practicing those steep hills in Washington Heights after work to better prepare myself.
When my biking buddy finally caught up with me, he offered to drive me back, but I had already planned for contingencies. Remembering my experience from last week, I knew I could always resort to biking along the northeast corridor and catching a train if needed. I assured my buddy that I would press on, bracing myself for Phase 3.

We biked together through Linden, and when we reached his house, he kindly offered me a battery bank for my phone, which was running low on charge. After a quick rest and a goodbye, I decided to continue my route alone. Giving up was not an option - not yet!
Pedaling along the northeast corridor, where trains raced to Trenton, I followed my usual Erev Shabbos path, which led me to my brother's house in Edison. Despite the weariness, a newfound surge of energy kept me going. Passing I-287, I stopped at Walmart to stock up on essentials like Powerade, batteries for my bike lights, and emergency bike repair tools. Taking about 30 minutes to prepare, I felt ready to tackle the rest of Phase 3.

With the sun setting on the horizon, the challenge was real, but I pushed on with unwavering determination. Finally, I reached Edison, celebrating the completion of Phase 3! Stopping at my brother's house, I couldn't contain my excitement, dancing in front of his doorbell camera, proudly announcing my achievement of 68 miles.
The journey continued as I biked to the Agudah of Edison and Highland Park. Mincha prayers beckoned, but with sunset approaching at 8:20, I knew I needed to make the most of the daylight for my ride. I found solace in davening ביחידות, strengthening my spirit for the challenges ahead.

A quick photo of my brother's seat and tallis bag served as a memento of my brief 15-minute visit in his neighborhood before taking off again, determined to conquer the next phase of my unforgettable 100-mile adventure! 🌟🚴‍♀️

Phase 4: Triumph and Triumph Again! 🏆🚴‍♂️
As the sun dipped below the horizon, Phase 4 of my incredible 100-mile journey began. But before I left Edison, I couldn't resist making one more joyful stop at my brother's house, waving and dancing in front of his cameras to share my exuberance. Time was of the essence, and with 3.5 hours of bike riding ahead of me and sunset approaching fast, I had to keep moving.
Something magical happened during this leg of the ride - an inexplicable surge of energy propelled me forward. I felt unstoppable as I soared through Lincoln Highway, Metuchen, Edison, and Iselin. The determination to complete this journey on my own was overwhelming. Yes, I was actually going to do this!
Back at the Goethals Bridge in record time, I continued pedaling along Richmond Terrace, stopping only for quick drinks to keep my stamina up. I felt unstoppable, and my spirit soared as I approached the St. George terminal. Night had fallen, but that wouldn't deter me. I took a moment to rest and prepare for the next stage of my adventure.
The ferry ride served as a much-needed interlude, allowing me to relax, stretch my legs, and recharge for the final stretch. As I returned to Manhattan, I felt a sense of familiarity, as this route was a part of my daily routine when I worked in Central Park. I knew this would be a quick ride, but the excitement of reaching my destination kept me focused.
Approaching 11 PM, I faced the daunting prospect of navigating Flatbush Avenue. Known for its challenges and lack of shoulder space, it can be a scary road for cyclists. However, my determination to get home led me through the tough stretch, and beyond Atlantic Avenue, the road conditions improved.
Flying down the hill in Prospect Park, I could practically taste victory - I was just 10 minutes away from my home! With every pedal stroke, the anticipation grew, and finally, I arrived - 101 miles completed! Phase 4 was triumphantly conquered!
It was 11:30 PM, and the feeling of achievement was overwhelming. I had accomplished something I had never done before, and the sense of pride and accomplishment was truly exhilarating.
But I wasn't done yet! In a flash, I readied myself and headed to shul to daven Maariv, thankful for the opportunity to express my gratitude. And then, finally back home, I could bask in the glory of this incredible feat.
To all those who donated to my cause, thank you from the bottom of my heart! And for those who haven't yet, it's never too late to contribute to Bike4Chai! I hope this blog post has been inspiring and motivates others to take on their own challenges.
This journey was a testament to the power of determination, perseverance, and the incredible joy that comes from pushing oneself beyond the limits. Thank you all for sharing in this remarkable adventure with me, and until next week's Bike4Chai event, stay inspired and keep reaching for new heights! 🌟🚴‍♀️
Congratulations to me, and here's to many more incredible journeys in the future! 🎉🎉🎉


I did a big bike ride today! Blog coming! Stay tuned! 


This is my Sunday, July 23, 2023 ride!


🚲🌞 Bike4Chai Progress Update: A Journey Filled with Challenges and Milestones 🌳🚴‍♂️

Hello, dear readers! Welcome to my latest update on the incredible adventure that is Bike4Chai! Today, I embarked on a monumental goal of biking 100 miles, hoping to complete it successfully. To make the trip more manageable, I divided my July excursion into four phases, each covering 25 miles. The stages were as follows: New York to Englewood, Englewood to Monsey, Monsey to Englewood, and finally, Englewood back to NYC.

Early in the morning at 7 am, before officially starting my journey, I decided to consider the half-mile distance from my home to the starting point as part of my warm-up exercise. After a quick preparation, I set off on my thrilling expedition, equipped with delicious plums, apricots, grapes, and refreshing seltzer, neatly tucked away in my handlebar basket.

At approximately 9 am, I began my bike ride from Ave I and McDonald Ave, taking the scenic route up McDonald, turning right on Foster, and then heading north on Ocean Parkway. I navigated through the beautiful Prospect Park bike path, even taking on the challenge of conquering a little hill near Grand Army Plaza, just for fun and a hint of nostalgia.

As my journey unfolded, I crossed the RFK (Triboro) Bridge, reminiscing about the time I biked from Washington Heights to LaGuardia Airport years ago. However, the MTA's lack of bike-friendly infrastructure on the bridge made my passage a bit challenging, especially having to carry my bike up and down the steps. Dear MTA, a ramp or bike-friendly setup would be greatly appreciated!

My adventure continued onto Randall's Island, where I pedaled through the Bronx and made my way past the Yankee Stadium, evoking fond memories of my time in Washington Heights. Biking along 181st St, I pointed out my old flat near the Washington Bridge and noticed how some familiar places had transformed over the years.

Crossing the iconic GWB, I marveled at the breathtaking view, and a fellow biker recognized my Bike4Chai shirt, but being introverted, I couldn't respond properly. Nonetheless, her acknowledgment warmed my heart, and I silently smiled to myself.

The journey continued north on Hudson Terrace until I reached E Palisade Ave, where I encountered some detours due to the New Jersey Electric Company's work. Nevertheless, I pressed on, taking in the sights and feeling a connection to my previous Bike4Chai training run. Along the way, I spotted a majestic bird of prey soaring above, reminiscent of a previous encounter with a bald eagle during my May training.

One unique landmark that caught my attention was the impressive Armstrong Tower, standing tall and captivating on my route. As I approached the New York state line near the entrance of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, I was delighted to finally see it up close, even if it was guarded. I managed to snap some photos, including one with the sign of Skunk Hollow, adding to the charm of the journey.

The journey was not without its challenges, and as I approached Nyack, my leg muscles began to feel the strain. Finding respite in the Village of Nyack Memorial Park, I rested on a park bench, enjoying my fruit and seltzer. However, the bench wasn't comfortable enough, so I opted to lie on the grass under the shade to give my legs the rest they needed. Despite my efforts, the uphill terrain proved too demanding, and I realized completing the full 100 miles might not be feasible for me today.

Determined to find a solution, I devised a new plan to head to Monsey and catch a bus back home. Coincidentally, my brother mentioned he was heading to Monsey too, so I explored the possibility of riding with him and his friends. Eventually, my legs reached their limit, and I found myself unable to continue the journey. Stranded and contemplating my options, I called Chaverim of Rockland County, and thankfully, they came to my rescue with a pickup truck to transport me and my bike.

Afterward, my brother and his friends helped me organize my bike's return while I explored Evergreen Supermarket. With aching legs, I replenished my electrolytes with a couple of powerades and even made a quick stop at the ATM. On the bus back home, I met an interesting singer who had never heard of Bike4Chai, and we had a pleasant conversation about the event.

Although I didn't manage to complete the full 100 miles, covering 56 miles felt like a personal accomplishment for me. Each phase of the journey had its own unique challenges and moments of nostalgia, making it a memorable experience. I may not have completed all four phases, but this adventure has left me with a sense of fulfillment and excitement for future Bike4Chai endeavors. Until next time! 🚵‍♂️🎉


$15 before passing $3000! Who's going to be the one to do it?

Here's the flyer I distributed all over Cleveland! I'm don't know anything about graphic designing, but I did my best from Microsoft Word!


Got 37 miles in for a Yeshiva alumni dinner!


Today was a Brooklyn practice event! We met up in Flatbush, and biked along Jamaica Bay!


There are those who recently donated, and I thank you for that!


A video of the turkey (you can hear the gobble)

Turkey in middle of the road in Staten Island! I heard a gobble and I decided to make a stop

May 29, 2023, from Edison back to Brooklyn. A very windy day and some weight (such as clothes). Also, there is an issue with my back tire slowing me down. And one more: I felt very exhausted for this ride, making many stops.

Before Shavuos, May 23, 2023: Brooklyn to Edison

May 14, 2023, from Edison to Brooklyn

May 10, 2023, from Brooklyn NY to Highland Park, NJ


Passing Tappan Zee Bridge during Bike4Chai Training

On the George Washingto Bridge


🎉💪 Highlighting the Incredible Bike4Chai Event! 💪🎉
Hey there, dear supporters! I wanted to take a moment to share some exciting news with all of you. Last May, I had the privilege of participating in the remarkable Bike4Chai event, and let me tell you, it truly reminded me why I'm so passionate about this cause!
🚲🌟 An Early Start and an Unexpected Surprise! 🌟🚲
Bright and early on a Sunday morning, I kicked off the day by waking up at 5:00 a.m. With eagerness in my heart, I hopped on the 5:30 Q train, making my way to the George Washington Bridge (with a small transfer at 42nd St). Little did I know that an incredible adventure awaited me.
As soon as I arrived at the station, I mounted my bike and embarked on a journey across the George Washington Bridge. To my surprise, a new bike-friendly path had been constructed on the north side of the bridge, eliminating the need for cyclists to carry their bikes up multiple staircases. This unexpected improvement left me pleasantly amazed, as I had always preferred the south side due to the previous challenges. Unfortunately, the south side was closed for construction, but it was a small price to pay for the thrilling experience ahead.
🚴‍♀️💪 Joining the Bike4Chai Meetup in Englewood! 💪🚴‍♀️
After covering around 5 miles, I arrived at the designated meetup spot in Englewood. Since I had reached there ahead of schedule, a little after 7 a.m. (Shacharis was scheduled for 8 a.m.), I offered my assistance with the setup. The organizers were delighted to have an extra hand, and it was wonderful to contribute to the preparations.
Following the morning prayers at 8 o'clock, we enjoyed a delightful breakfast. Before 9 a.m., there was an opportunity for everyone to pick up some essential bike gear, including shirts, sleeves, pants, gloves, and more. Just before setting off, a quadcopter captured a captivating group photo from the sky—a perfect way to mark the beginning of our incredible adventure.
🚵‍♀️🌄 Scenic Routes, Unexpected Encounters, and Breathtaking Moments! 🌄🚵‍♀️
As I pedaled onward, I encountered a few challenges with my gears, slowing me down during downhill stretches. However, uphill climbs were manageable, and I made several stops along the way to take in the surroundings and offer assistance to fellow Bike4Chai participants.
During one stop, I came across a fellow cyclist who had pulled over due to a flat tire. Although I couldn't fix the issue entirely, I provided company and support until another kind-hearted Bike4Chai participant arrived to help him get back on track. This encounter lasted about 20 minutes and reminded me of the incredible camaraderie among our biking community.
At a certain point on the route, I unexpectedly took a slight right turn off the main road. Fortunately, it was only a short distance beyond a block, and I quickly got back on track, ready to continue my journey.
One of the most memorable moments occurred when I passed the Tappan Zee Bridge (now known as the Mario Cuomo Bridge). Witnessing the majestic new bridge and the picturesque view of Sleepy Hollow on the other side filled me with awe. A short distance past the bridge, I stumbled upon a charming city park, prompting me to take a momentary break and capture a selfie with the beautiful river and the bridge in the distance. After all, such picturesque moments are meant to be shared!
Reaching the halfway mark, I embarked on a fantastic downhill ride through a reservoir called Deforest Lake (thank you, Google Maps!). The views on both sides were simply breathtaking, allowing me to fully appreciate the natural beauty surrounding me.
As I ascended a hill west of Deforest Lake, I noticed two women gazing up at the treetops. Curiosity piqued, I inquired about their interest, and to my astonishment, they revealed the presence of a bald eagle in the vicinity! This was a rare sight indeed, and I savored the opportunity to witness such a majestic creature in its natural habitat. Pausing for a precious five minutes, I absorbed the beauty of the moment, cherishing this encounter with nature.
Continuing on, I accidentally deviated from the main track, mistakenly turning onto Green Road from Sickletown. Realizing my error, I promptly corrected my course, rejoining the route along Sunset Avenue and 5th Avenue. Along this detour, I couldn't help but appreciate an intriguing sight—a visible pipeline running above ground, adding a touch of uniqueness to the surroundings.
With each passing mile, the ride felt increasingly long, as the straight path seemed endless. Doubts started to creep in—when would I reach West Clinton Ave? Had I truly covered such a distance? Surprisingly, it felt shorter when I was heading north!
Then, an uphill stretch emerged towards the end—my heart sank! I had hoped to avoid another climb, but alas, it was an integral part of the route. Although not physically exhausting, it tested my leg muscles and pushed me to my limits. To compound matters, when I attempted to shift gears for a smoother ride, disaster struck—the chain slipped off and wedged itself between the cassette and the wheel! Panic ensued.
I made numerous attempts to dislodge the chain, but it stubbornly refused to budge. With my destination a mere mile away, I resorted to calling for help on my phone, only to find my battery had drained completely! Desperation crept in as I discovered my power brick was damaged, rendering it useless. A challenging situation indeed—what was my next move?
Weary from the physical strain and feeling the need for a respite, I found a quiet spot and sat down for a well-deserved break. Time seemed to blur, and I lost track of the minutes, hours even. But eventually, determination fueled my spirit, and I rose to give it another try. Miraculously, as if granting me a second chance, the chain miraculously freed itself, and I could pedal once more—a triumphant moment!
🌇🧭 Navigating my Way and Finding Help! 🧭🌇
Buoyed by renewed motivation, I conquered the long and arduous hill, pushing myself upwards. "Chai Lifeline, I'm almost there!" I thought, as I mustered every ounce of strength. With no GPS to guide me, I relied on my instincts to find my way back. I ventured down a street, uncertain of its exact name. As I glimpsed the house numbers, anxiety began to set in. Determined not to be deterred, I approached a neighbor who happened to be outside, seeking directions to my intended destination. Much to my relief, she immediately recognized me as part of the biking group she had seen throughout the day. Pointing in the direction they had traveled, she set me back on course. Grateful for her assistance, I pressed on towards the final leg of my journey.
🎉🌭 A Joyous Arrival and a Well-Deserved Celebration! 🌭🎉
At last, I reached my destination, overwhelmed with a sense of accomplishment. As I arrived, I noticed the event winding down, prompting my surprised query, "It's already over?" A friendly volunteer reassured me, saying, "Don't worry, there's still plenty of food in the back!" With that comforting assurance, I headed over to enjoy a scrumptious BBQ meal, allowing myself a leisurely two-hour break. Revitalized and still brimming with energy, I made a decision—I would bike back to Brooklyn!
Of course, if exhaustion took over, I could always rely on the subway as a fallback option. Taking a moment to charge my phone and activating the Google Fit app, I set off on my return journey, tracing familiar routes. Englewood to Washington Heights, Washington Heights to Central Park—both places holding memories of my previous residence and employment—and finally, Central Park to Brooklyn.
🚲🔙 A Remarkable Achievement and Gratitude to All! 🔙🚲
The odometer recorded an impressive 25 miles for my return trip, bringing the total miles for the day to a staggering 75—the most I have ever accomplished in a single day! A long and refreshing shower awaited me upon my arrival, and I couldn't help but bask in the satisfaction of breaking a personal record, all while supporting Chai Lifeline. My 75-mile biking endeavor was a testament to the unwavering commitment I have for this cause, and despite the challenges faced, I even managed to make it in time for Mincha/Maariv prayers.
To sum it up, here's the breakdown of the day's distances:

  • Early Morning: 5 miles
  • Bike4Chai Route: 45 miles
  • Biking Back: 25 miles
Total? I'll let you do the math! In a future post, I'll be sharing some captivating photos and videos of this incredible adventure. Your unwavering support means the world to me, and I am incredibly grateful for each and every one of my donors. Let's continue to spread the word and wish me luck on this remarkable journey!
A heartfelt thank you to Chai Lifeline for organizing this exceptional program and enabling us to make a difference together!


Passing by the JFK landing path while biking between Brooklyn and Five Towns!

Got 40 miles in practice today!


raised of $5,000 goal


1. Simcha Ezra
Go Akiva!!
2. Tiffany Grossman
3. Michael Gross
4. Chana & Yosef Werther
Go Uncle Beeba!!
5. Kalman Biderman
Just Keep Pedaling!
6. Steven C Goldstein
72 donors