Biking on Yom Yerushalayim

After the bat mitzva on Sunday, Eric and Eylon slept over at our house so we could get up bright and early Monday morning for a Yom Yerushalayim davening and leave for Kiryat Arba. Eric's nieces organize a bike ride every year in memory of their father from Kiryat Arba to Yerushalayim. When I was in Israel for the year after high school I spent a Shabbos at their house and it was a great experience (we walked to Mearat Hamachpela on Friday night). We also see the family a lot at various family affairs and they're always really nice so when my sister asked me to join them for the bike ride I reluctantly agreed. She encouraged me to get a friend to come so I wouldn't be bored and Moshe Turk volunteered to try.

So we got to Kiryat Arba at 8:30 and got good bikes. There were about 600 people biking but the "family" got the good bikes and all the high school kids got older more used bikes. We didn't actually get started until almost 10 but it gave us time to go to the makolet to get some food and to lather ourselves in suntan lotion. Just as we started, my chain fell off so I went back to the repair guys who fixed it and then we were really off. It was about 300 high school/college age boys riding followed by 300 high school/college age girls. Moshe waited for me when I got the chain fixed but we were stuck all the way in the back with the girls.

It was basically a 3 hour bike ride with long breaks every 40 minutes. They closed off the highways completely while we were riding but during the breaks we'd be off on the side and all the cars who were stuck waiting were able to go. Moshe and I managed to bike the entire first leg of the ride but we never were never able to catch up to the guys. I was determined to ride with the guys on the next part but a couple minutes after we started, Moshe discovered he had a flat tire! So we waited for the truck with the repair guys and gave them the bike. They informed us that they would only fix at the next stop and he had to get on the bus. I wasn't going to suffer without Moshe so I hopped on the bus too. They fixed it at the next stop and we did pretty well on the third section but we did have to walk the bikes up a couple hills.

The third stop was really long but it was at a gas station near Alon Shvut (brought back memories from my days in yeshiva there) so we were able to get some more food and drink. The last two legs of the ride were more hilly than the first half but we had already decided that we weren't riding up any more hills so we walked a bit. Moshe noticed a flat just as were ready to leave for the last leg. Thank God he noticed it in time and they were able to fix it before we left. We went through the tunnels which was cool and then we were in Jerusalem at around 3. Yay! Moshe and I left to come back home and didn't stick around for the celebrations. Before we started I told Moshe that I had two goals: 1. not to fall off the bike (when I rode around the Kineret when I was 18 I fell) and 2. not to get on the bus. We accomplished the first and basically accomplished the second - we only got on the bus because of things that were out of our control. Eylon biked the entire thing and didn't walk at all. Eric biked more than I did but he did have to walk a little (he is 43 years old so he can be excused - I don't really have an excuse). We really had a great time and it was definitely a worthwhile experience even if my tuchus hurt for a couple days afterwards.


Anonymous said...

Just for the record: Eric might be 43, but he can whip ALL YOUR BUTTS. He just happened to be sick on Monday, which is why he didn't complete the whole ride.

Love you, even if you do malign my husband publicly,

Anonymous said...

I was proud of you! I would love to try it but don't think I could even make it for one stretch.
That's it I have to go ring out my hankie, I already miss you being near us.