Local rabbi completes 600-mile bike ride along Florida’s east coast one year after suffering heart attack


When doctors told Rabbi Nochum Kurinsky he needed to exercise more to recover from a heart attack, they likely didn’t expect him to respond by completing a 600-mile bike ride along the Atlantic coast.

From June 24 to July 1, he did just that, however, completing the journey a year after his heart attack.

Kurinsky, the 36-year-old co-director of Chabad at the Beaches in Ponte Vedra Beach, embarked on the journey to improve his health and promote the importance of exercise. Locals and friends joined him on the journey, which began in Ponte Vedra Beach at 3 a.m. before concluding in Key West one week later.

"We had a really fun group," Kurinsky said. "We were having a great time the whole time. It didn't feel like it was hours on end."

Since his medical episode, Kurinsky has incorporated cycling into his exercise regimen and begun to change his diet to improve his overall health. The rabbi decided to embark on a cycling challenge that would help him spread his "Healthy Body, Healthy Soul" message to Jewish communities and to everyone he encounters along the way.

“Your soul can’t practice what it’s supposed to without your body,” he asserted. “That message is a powerful one. If the ride grows, we can share that with a lot of people.”

Kurinsky and his fellow cyclers went through Ormond Beach, Cocoa, Fort Pierce, Delray Beach, Homestead and Plantation Key along their expedition.

"You do somewhere around the range of 100 miles a day," he said. "Sometimes you do more, you go about the first 25 miles, then you take a break, you find somewhere to stop. Towards the end you stop for shorter, quicker breaks. That's just how it ends up happening."

Although Florida’s summer months tend to be wet, Kurinsky noted his group didn’t encounter inclement weather throughout the trip. In fact, the rabbi said the weather was great and his group faced a light crosswind for most of the journey.

Kurinsky also noted that his excursion remained on A1A as much as possible, which allowed his group to enjoy a view of the beach.

“That was my call,” he revealed. “I just really love where we live, I love Ponte Vedra Beach, I love to stay on the beach as much as possible. It adds a little character to the ride.”