Team Stages

A ride benefitting all the people in Israel, using the environment as shared foundation for peace am

Amazing ride from Jerusalem to Eilat, Israel. Met people working for environmental change and peace in the MIddle East. Read below.

This ride was a fund raiser for the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and Hazon. They are the organizations on the ground treating the planet and the people as one and building trust among all communities along the way. That is why I chose to participate. I tagged these rides as "Races" on Strava, mostly because it wasn't just a ride or a workout. They need a "special event" option. But, this is not a race, and frankly I didn't train for it thinking that my Leadville preparation would get me through this end of season ride. But, I was not only a scenic, history filled, and culturally uplifting series of rides, it was damn hard! Apx 180 riders of various levels had chosen to ride in the fast group, Chalutzim, medium group, Tzofim, and more leisurely group, the Shomrim. Distance and speed basically adjusted for each, guided by experienced riders who are also current or alumni of the Arava Institute. Beautiful scenery through the desert, privilege of riding along the Egyptian border on closed roads, and super challenging climbs and treacherous descents kept us all challenged and focused. I followed my Dash course profile religiously, however a 40-mile 1-2 % gradual, never ending climb was something I just hadn't experienced before. We took mandatory breaks every 15-20 miles plus a lunch in the middle, which made for long days but as the courses got harder I began to appreciate the breaks. Hats off to the less experienced riders navigating the traffic and up/down of the courses in all the groups. The propensity for a crash was high and I was impressed the riders in some challenging conditions. I kept myself at the front of the first group, following the ride leaders closely to stay out of trouble, and that served me well. It was great to be in the middle of history and working with a group contributing to the peace and sustainability process. Overall we did 347 miles with 18,600 feet of climbing in 5 rides. Huge KJ/Cal expenditure as well but constant supply of food at every stop was welcomed. Great people and a cause to get behind really made this a worthwhile endeavor. Now it's time to break out the fixed gear and step up the gym work while I figure out goals for next year. Thanks for the support and for reading.