FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the dates for Ride For The Living 2019?
The full 4-day program of activities will take place on June 27-30, 2019, with the bike ride itself taking place on Friday, June 28.
How many days does Ride For The Living take?
The bike ride itself is a one day ride that begins at approximately 8:00am and ends at approximately 6:00pm. The whole Ride For The Living program is four days long, from Thursday through Sunday, and includes the bike ride, opening and closing ceremonies, tours of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Krakow, Shabbat dinner, Jewish Culture Festival events, and more. During registration, you may select different registration options.
How do I register?
Is the registration fee refundable?
Yes, by March 15th, 2019.
What is registration deadline?
June 1st, 2019.
When should I arrive in Krakow?
Ride For The Living happens during the Jewish Culture Festival. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity and come to Krakow a few days early to experience the festival. Discounted Festival tickets will be available for Ride For The Living participants. Programming for the four-day Ride For The Living starts at approximately 11:00 a.m. on Thursday and ends around 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. Please note that the Ride For The Living four-day accommodation package includes three nights of hotel accommodation: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. We are happy to help you extend your reservation according to hotel availability.
What is the Jewish Culture Festival?
The Jewish Culture Festival is nine-day celebration of all things Jewish, from art to food to music and everything in between. Approximately 30,000 people—Jewish and non-Jewish, Polish and non-Polish—attend every year. While the Jewish Culture Festival is a separate organization from JCC Krakow, the JCC does plan nearly 100 events during the week. To find out more about the Festival, visit: http://www.jewishfestival.pl/en/
Can children participate?
Yes. Ride For The Living is a family event, and we have previously had three generations of one family riding together! Participants over 15 years old and under 18 are required to have written consent from a parent or legal guardian to participate in the Ride. Teens under the age of 15 years old may take part in the Ride only under the supervision of a parent or legal guardian. Our youngest rider so far was 12, and our oldest rider was 89!
Is the event suitable for me if I observe kashrut and/or Shabbat?
The one-day bike ride falls on a Friday, and we begin early in the morning to ensure we arrive back to Krakow in time for Shabbat to begin and for us to join Shabbat dinner with the community. There is an option for Progressive or Modern Orthodox services. All meals have a vegetarian option and are kosher friendly, and we can provide strictly kosher meals for participants who request them during registration.
BIKE RIDE QUESTIONS
Is Ride For The Living a race?
No. The bike ride is a community event focused on the experience of commemorating history and celebrating life together as a group.
Are there different route options?
Ride For The Living is a 60 mile route, the route is mainly flat and very manageable, we have had riders from 12 years to 89 years old participate! There are also support vehicles along the way that can pick you up and drive you some of the route if you would like to take a break. However, if you are still concerned then we do offer a a shorter 14-mile option, but we encourage you to at least try the main route. If you are an avid cyclist then we do offer a longer advanced route for a small group. There is also the option to register as a non-rider and enjoy alternative engaging and educational programming on the day of the bike ride.
Will we be riding as a group?
Yes. The majority of the ride we can spread out a bit as we ride through the picturesque Polish countryside but we’ll always have a pace car marking the front and a medical vehicle marking the back, as well as opening and closing marshal (experienced riders who know the route). For the first few miles after we leave Birkenau and before we enter Krakow until we reach our final destination, the JCC, we will be riding close together with a police escort.
What type of support does the Ride offer on the route?
During the bike ride, we have medical and technical bike staff with us. We also have RFTL Marshals who are experienced riders and will be wearing different color jersey and have flags on the back of their bikes. These marshals are able to provide directions and assistance along the route. The route is marked with clearly visible weatherproof RFTL direction signs. You’ll also be able to download the route map to view on your phone’s GPS. We also have stops and water stations with food, snacks, and water run by our volunteers on the route. Volunteers along the route will be cheering you along the way, offering excellent emotional support as well!
Can I take a break or stop part way through the bike ride?
Yes. We have a mini-bus accompanying us the entire route, should you need to get off your bike. Should you choose to get off your bicycle at the first stop, there is a bus that can take you back to Krakow to enjoy some of our programming with the non-riding participants. If you choose to take a break after this stop, you will be on the mini-bus until the end of the ride, and can choose to rejoin the route at one of the stops.
What is the 60-mile bike ride route like?
Throughout the majority of the Ride, we mostly use smaller roads and bike paths. The scenery is beautiful, including lakes and fields. When we leave Birkenau and again as we enter Krakow, we will be on busier city streets, accompanied by police. At all times, it is important to adhere to traffic regulations since there will be cars and other vehicles present on the roads.
Is the route clearly marked?
Yes. We have large, weatherproof clearly marked posters with the Ride For The Living logo all along the route. We also have experience riders in the form of ride marshals, riding along the route, that will ensure you stay on course throughout.
Do I need to train beforehand?
The ride is very manageable, and we have even had an 89 year old participant! However we encourage you to do a small amount of training beforehand as that way you will be able to enjoy the ride more. If you haven’t biked in a long time, we encourage you to take a class with a local organization where you live about road safety and bike operation, however bike marshals will be able to help you with this along the way.
Do I need to rent a bike?
No, a road-worthy hybrid or cross bike will be provided for you.
What type of bike will I ride?
We provide both hybrid and cross bikes for participants. Clip-on pedals are only allowed for those who are participating on the advanced route (not on the regular 60-mile route). Riders on the advanced route will be provided with road bikes.
Will bikes have water bottle holders?
Not all bikes will be equipped with water bottle holders, but there are pockets in your RFTL jersey that easily fit a water bottle. There are also water stations along the route.
Can I use an electric bike?
Electric bikes are allowed - should you wish to use an electric bicycle please note this in your registration form and we will look into availability of renting one for you.
What do I need to have with me on the bike ride?
Your ID, comfortable biking shorts, sports shoes, and sunglasses. We’ll provide a bike, jersey, helmet, sunscreen, water, snacks, lunch, and medical and technical services.
What happens if there is inclement weather on the day of the Ride?
The Ride will take place regardless of the weather. In past years we have biked in rain and sunshine and even a bit of both! In case of extreme conditions that are a risk of safety for the participants, the organizer reserves the right to cancel the event.
What are the rules of the bike ride? Do I have to sign a liability waiver?
I can’t ride, but I want to volunteer. Can I do that?
Is fundraising required?
Yes. All riders opting for the 60-mile, 14-mile, or advanced route are asked to raise a minimum $900 for JCC Krakow if they are over age 30 or $500 if they are 30 or below. Non-riders are not required to fundraise.
How can I fundraise?
We provide participants with a fundraising kit and an online fundraising platform that allows tax-deductible donations to U.S. taxpayers to make the fundraising process as easy and smooth as possible. Our fundraising kit is filled with handy tips and suggestions, and we are also here to help by providing any additional materials you may need. Most participants tell us that fundraising was substantially easier than they expected. Click here to learn more.
What does my fundraising support?
This year Ride For The Living will support JCC Krakow’s programming for children, students and Holocaust survivors, helping rebuild Jewish life in Krakow. JCC Krakow serves as an institution of Jewish culture and learning for hundreds of local Jewish members, thousands of tourists, and the broader Krakow community. In just 10 years, the center has transformed the narrative about Jewish Poland. A story once thought to have ended with the Holocaust now continues on with the rebirth of a thriving, modern Polish Jewish community.
Where can I get the fundraising kit?
Are donations to Ride For The Living tax-deductible?
We use a platform called Kindful, where you can create your own fundraising page, personalize it, and start raising money to support the Jewish community in Krakow! All donations made through Kindful are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Your family and friends can also donate online or by check through Friends of JCC Krakow, a 501(c)(3) set up in the United States. To learn more about fundraising, download the kit available above.