Lakewood Lends Momentum To Bike4Chai

bike_4_chaiOn August 3rd and 4th, the 2nd annual Bike4Chai event will boast a strong and proud Lakewood presence with 15 Lakewood riders (of about 100 others) enthusiastically joining the “cruise-ade”. In making this remarkable commitment, they earn the respect of their wives and children, as well as the admiration of friends and associates. They help comprise the 100 riders who are determined to trek 150 miles from Asbury Park to Camp Simcha in Glen Spey, NY, in support of Chai Lifeline.

Bike4Chai is the brainchild of native boy, Dovid Egert. During the summer of 2009, the dedicated volunteer and avid cyclist delivered on his dream “to raise monies for Chai Lifeline in unique ways,” by conceiving the “pedal & pledge” initiative. He made the 135-mile maiden voyage and garnered major media attention in doing so. Although his family was skeptical and concerned for his safety, he successfully completed the lone journey and singlehandedly raised $30,000 in sponsorships, benefiting the cause.

The buzz generated by this amazing feat inspired many people on many levels, including Rabbi Sruli Fried, Chai Lifeline’s regional director for New Jersey.

In 2010, he attempted to build upon Dovid’s accomplishment and launched a six week fundraising campaign. With the support of 8 local riders and their contacts, his efforts effectively recruited 40 cyclists and raised a whopping $206,000. Riders’ emotions ran high: “The inspiring stories belonging to the campers and their families are the motivation behind every mile we bike and every dollar we raise.”

And the project only continues to gain momentum.

The Lakewood community is turning out in record numbers to demonstrate their support by endorsing their very own Eli Abramson, Michoel Bauman, Moshe Bauman, Shaya Brachfeld, Yehoshua Brotsky, Dovid Caplan, Dovid Egert, Pinchus Gilbert, Moshe Gluck, Shmuel Lubin, Yaakov Meyer, Psachya Skaist, Pinchas Skaist, Moshe Steinmetz, Yisroel Thaler and Eliyahu Zaks. Collectively, these big hearted heroes have earned $65,000 of the $380,000 total raised to date to fund Camp Simcha’s medical needs.

Individually, nearly each rider has long surpassed his $3,600 fundraising minimum.

“Bike4Chai has become a community project that offers the Lakewood residents a glimpse into the lives of the special children of Chai Lifeline and Camp Simcha”, remarks Rabbi Fried at Bike4Chai’s headquarters located at 106 Clifton Avenue. “It has flourished under the leadership of Eliyahu Zaks, who approached me about making Bike4Chai an annual event; he has certainly taken it to a whole new level”. “The way a lone rider has evolved into a group of 100 cyclists who are committed to raise the astronomical sum of $500k, is nothing less than inspiring”.

Cyclists from across the tri-state area and beyond will gather in Asbury Park on Tuesday evening to gear up for the early Wednesday morning start. Corporate sponsor, The Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel, is proud to be the ride’s starting point and is generously providing luxury overnight accommodations. The ride promises to be another unforgettable experience that will surely deliver exhilarating, excruciating and tear-jerking moments. It will conclude on Thursday afternoon with an intense Grand Entrance into Camp Simcha, amid much warranted fanfare.

Exercise your power to make a difference. Sponsor a local rider today by visiting and answer the call: “On your mark, get set, go!”

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  1. Why are they doing it during the nine days? It’s brought down that a person should refrain from traveling for no good reason during the nine days.

  2. Hello!! It’s not like they’re traveling for pleasure. They are no different than the Yeshivos that make parties (parlor meeting) during the Nine Days.
    They are using their passion to raise monies for a very worthy organization.

  3. I think raising $$$ for Chai Lifeline is a huge mitzvah and a very good reason. But please consult with your local orthodox rabbi.

  4. This is a beautiful “togetherness” that is inspiring in a big way. It started out as one man’s faith, love, and hard work, and it brought so many people together, committed to a great cause. I’m sure the one who said “for no good reason” did not quite mean that this is not a good reason! He/She was hoping for the safety of the people involved. In any case, I know one of the bikers and I see how much work and commitment is going into this. The training, the raising money etc… Kol Hakavod!!!

  5. A prominent Rav was consulted and said it was ok for us to ride during the 9 days. Obviously this was not the optimal time to do this but this is the only time the ride would work for the children of Camp Simcha. Our ultimate goal is to lift the spirits of the Camp Simca children and support Chai Lifeline of Lakewood who we ALL benefit from.

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