Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Rabbinic/Halachic Approach to Riding on Shabbat & Chagim

Every now and then, I like to type a combination of cycling and Jewish terms together into Google and see what comes up. Recently, I did this and found this interesting website, which is a rabbinic discourse onto the halachic (pertaining to Jewish law) views of riding a bike on Shabbat and Chagim.

Here it is:

Now while the guys who wrote this may not concern themselves with such matters as shaving precious ounces off of carbon superbikes, V02 max training and power wattage output, or if Carlos Sastre could've won the Tour de France against Alberto Contador, they do lay down some interesting points here. Not that I'm laying in agreements or disagreements (though I did chuckle when they mentioned 15 mph as a preferable riding speed), but overall it's a fair study for those who are fair and study, though hardcore cycling fanatics may have their own interpretations.

Long story short; don't ride centuries on Shabbat, don't plan on doing bottom bracket overhauls on the first day of Sukkot, but if you want to spin around the ol' shtetl on your fixie during Pesach, then go for it (though don't forget to have your cyclometers and PowerTap hubs disconnected beforehand, including the magnets from the spokes).

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