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Published: October 10th 2009
Well, here we are again, I think I left you with the promise of a 55k bicycle ride in aid of wounded and disabled to help integrate them back into normal life and to encourage them to take up sports.
This was to be my first real cycle on my new ‘Trek’ it was going to be a real test to see whether or not I have mastered the gears. I decided against using the cleats as I really did not want to look too much of an amateur by falling off the damn thing whilst struggling to get my feel unhooked from the pedals. We had to set out at 5am to reach the Kibbutz at Mizra
the start and finish place of the ride. It was funny to be driving to the event at that time in the morning as the only other people who seemed to be on the road were fellow riders in the event. There were thousands of people attending, all shapes and sizes, all ages and on a weird and wonderful array of different bicycles (if I can call some of the contraptions that), it was exciting to be part of it, and there was
a real buzz in the air. There were to be several different events for different types of bike and rider. The 55k road ride which I did, a 30k off road cycle and a 3k family ride. The start reminded me of the start to marathons, where you all count down to the start in an excited way and at the off you don’t move an inch due to the sheer volume of people. Well we managed to eventually get stared, thankfully the ride was not that tough. It was a fairly flatish ride most of the way except the last 10k which was more hilly. I seemed to be able to whiz past people on the flat but they left me standing on the hills, which was mainly due to my lack of experience with timing the gear change, however it was fun to have some banter with the others in the event. There were some amazing people taking part, like the guy with only one leg riding a normal bike
and I have to say he was pretty damn fast. There were blind riders, people with no legs, or arms, god if I found it testing, what must
it have been like for them, they were truly inspiring. We set off at around 8am and amazingly were finished within a couple of hours despite three forced stops en route. The end of the ride was a jumble of kids and families, a real party atmosphere. We arrived back at the kibbutz to the sound of music and a general carnival feel, people milling about, talking about the ride, eating, drinking, chatting and sitting in the sun. We were all given a tee-shirt for our efforts which was nice, I can add it to the ever growing collection. After the event we were invited to Moshav (farming community) Balfourya
for a birthday lunch, which was really lovely to see how a Jewish family celebrate such things, the food was non stop and delicious and it was nice to sit on the sidelines and observe the family interactions. It was also nice as Inbal, Ram's cousin, spoke really good English. She had been to South America so she was able to give me lots of information on travel there. What to see, what to avoid and the likes, I was also invited to her wedding which will be in August, so another thing for me to look forward to, and to see how the Jewish celebrate marriage.
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