15.09.2008 35 °C
Although we did not arrive at Beit Halochem in Nahariya until close to midnight the plan was to begin riding at 7 a.m. the next morning. That meant breakfast at 6, packing, get our bikes ready and then riding. Unfortunately the police who were to be our security on the ride did not arrive until 8 a.m. We could have slept in later but who knew.
It was fascinating seeing all the riders particularly the veterans There were probably 20 veterans riding. those who could not use of their legs used bikes that they powered using their arms. They were a number of blind riders and riders missing arms who rode in the back of tandems. There were riders on single bikes who had prosthetic legs. It was inspirational to see the abilities of these riders rather than focus on their disabilities.
I was totally unaware how difficult this ride would be. It was very hot and there were massive climbs with grades up to 15%. We began by climbing the hills in the wertern Galilee. The climb became more difficult as we rode towards the twin town of Tarshiha, an Arab city and a Jewish town which came together.
We were climbing the second highest mountain in Israel called the Meron. Once we reached the top we had a very steep downhill with many switchbacks. I don't know whether the climb or the descent was more difficult. I know that I was certainly more frightened by the descent.
It was great when we finally arrived at the Kibbutz. What a beautiful place to stay and the good news was that we were going to be there for two day.