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ROCCO’S BAR MITZVAH PROJECT: Making a Meaningful Impact - Supporting the Marin County Surfrider Chapter!

Discover how Rocco's Bar Mitzvah project is making a significant impact by supporting the Marin County Surfrider Chapter.

Rocco, a young Climate Rider, pausing on his mountain bike in the forests of Marin.

Meet Rocco, a 7th grader in West Marin who is combining his love for mountain biking with service work for his Bar Mitzvah project. Rocco took on an Independent Challenge with Climate Ride and rode 36 miles in March 2023 to support the fight against climate change. He raised $4,419.20 to support the Marin County Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation!

Climate Ride took some time to chat with Rocco about his Independent Challenge and why he’s doing it! Here’s the conversation.

Climate Ride (CR): Why did you decide to do an Independent Challenge with Climate Ride?

Rocco (RR): I’ve been inspired by a couple of people I know who have done rides with Climate Ride. For my Bar Mitzvah I need to do a community service project, so I thought Climate Ride could be a great way to combine my love of mountain biking with service work. When my mom and I looked at the website, we didn’t see any organized mountain bike rides for kids. But then we saw I could do an independent challenge where I could create my own thing and I really thought that was cool.

(CR): Can you tell us more about your Mitzvah project and how you settled on doing a bike ride?

(RR): I will be having my Bar Mitzvah this year. One of my responsibilities is to do a “mitzvah project” (good deed).

One of the most important values of being Jewish is Tikuun Olam (repairing the world). So I decided to combine my passion for mountain biking and challenge myself physically to help the world. Climate Ride offered the perfect way to do this, especially because I’m very concerned about climate change.

(CR): For your challenge, you’re planning to ride 36 miles, right? Can you tell us how you chose your route and why you decided to ride 36 miles?

(RR): Since Marin has some of the best mountain biking trails around, for my challenge I have planned a route that equals 36 miles. I chose the number 36 because it is double “chai.” Chai is the number 18 in Hebrew and means life. So it is a significant, meaningful number.

(CR): So your Bar Mitzvah is coming up! Are you excited?

(RR): My Bar Mitzvah will be in September. I’m nervous and excited at the same time!

(CR): We’re sure it’ll be great! How long have you been mountain biking? What do you like about it?

(RR): I have been mountain biking for about three or four years. I love mountain biking because it is fun and challenging, I love being in nature, and it’s a way to connect with my friends.

Rocco, a young Climate Rider, out mountain biking in the forest of Marin

(CR): There’s been some heavy weather in your area recently. We hope you and your family and community haven’t been too impacted by it. Can you tell us what it was like having so many heavy rains in such a short time?

(RR): The weather has been so crazy all over the planet, and even in my own backyard. We live beside a creek and with all the rain lately, the creek is so high and could flood. It’s also been scary because many huge trees have fallen on cars and houses in my neighborhood from the wind and storms. It makes me feel scared that something bad will happen to me, my family, my cats or my house, or other people in my neighborhood. But, the one positive thing about all the rain is it is helping with the drought, and it’s super fun to mountain bike on wet, muddy trails.

(CR): Thanks, Rocco! It’s rough to think that climate change impacts mean that you and your friends don’t just get to enjoy riding in the mud, but all of us here at Climate Ride take great inspiration that you’re using your love of riding to do good!

Rocco may be young, but he’s already making a big impact in the fight against climate change. Through his determination and passion, Rocco is proving that anyone can make a difference, no matter their age. 

Keep on riding, Rocco – the world needs more climate heroes like you!

Rocco, a young Climate Rider in a Fox shirt standing beside his muddy mountain bike.