Derek Brouwer's Page


Ramah Bike Ride 2013

Training buddies Rick GoldStein

Derek Brouwer's Page

Thank you for visiting my fundraising page!

I am raising money to do this ride for a couple reasons:

First, I am riding with my good friend Rick Goldstein who is visually impaired. I will be the captain of a specially built tandem bike that allows Rick to maximize what is left of his vision. Though I enjoy cycling and racing, I have been especially blessed to find myself in a place where I can serve Rick in this way. The bike is a challenge to control and what we have found is that it takes a big guy to drive the ship. I am that big guy.

A couple years ago, Rick brought up the idea of riding tandem. It has been years since Rick could ride a bike or really exercise aerobically at all. It sounded fun to ride with him so I agreed to the idea and Rick purchased the 44 lb. monster in the picture that I call Bertha.

Immediately we realized some challenges. The bike is 10 ft. long, handles like a tank, and requires some actual strength to control. Though a number of people said they would ride with him, only I had the special gifting of strength, fitness, size, and stupidity to actually do it.

Rick likes to point out that we sound like a joke: a blind Jew and ordained minister go for a ride in Israel..." This is true: I am professionally trained in ministry, a very part time chaplain at a local hospital, I preach occasionally, and I play bass in a couple worship teams. Point being, I am a person of faith and I look for God hand in my life.

As I started riding more, I felt a little selfish about the 10-20 hours a week I was devoting to my sport. I'm a serious cyclist and I've been riding competitively for a couple years. Cycling is an expensive and time consuming sport. In many ways, cycling is a gift cyclists give to themselves. I struggled with this but felt called to ride.

Far be it for me to claim to know the mind of God, but I cultivated my riding and now I get to use my skills to give Rick a captain, a chance at being fit, the ability to be self-powered, an opportunity to ride through a country that is very special to him, and the opportunity to benefit an organization that means a lot to him.

Second, I am raising money for Ramah which is an organization that seeks to embody the ideals of Conservative Judaism. Though not Jewish myself, I have found a home in this community and a deeper understand of my own faith and spirituality though Conservative Judaism. The Ramah organization has a reputation of preserving this tradition.

Third, of course, I get to ride a bike in Israel and I just can't say no to that.

I would very much appreciate your support for Ramah and for Rick. For Rick, taking a cycling tour of Israel (or his own neighborhood) was impossible just a couple years ago. It is an honor and privilege for me to be a part of this experience for Rick and I hope you will join me in making this trip happen for him.

Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts.

Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!

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