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Jerusalem to Ashkelon Guest Post from Carol

Posted by rabbiart on November 12, 2008

I know . . . I said I would give the blog back to Art. But he’s busy with the ride, so I’ll have to do for a while.

The first day of the ride was great. The riders had to cope with the hills of Jerusalem followed by a long downhill section – very long, very downhill. Art was nervous, but he did fine. In fact, his speed was as high as 38 mph on the downhill stretch. There are three levels of riders: halutzim, who ride extra distances each day, shomrim, who ride shorter distances and tsofim, who ride the standard distance. Art is riding with the tsofim.

Meanwhile, I picked up my rental car from Eldan in Jerusalem. The Israel map was helpful, but I needed more detailed instructions, which were as follows – “turn left out of the lot, turn left at the light, go yashar, yashar, yashar (follow the signs to Tel Aviv), turn at Bet Shemesh and follow the signs to Beit Guvrim”! Believe it or not, it worked!

I knew I was close to Beit Guvrim, when traffic slowed to a crawl, and I could see some bikers. When I finally was able to see the entrance, I also saw that the police escort had completely stopped traffic. I waited in line until I saw a bus and a truck leave the line and turn into the park, so I did the same.

Art and I were able to eat luncbeitguvrinlunchh together.  Bill, the trip guide, led groups through the Bell Cave during lunch. These are limestone formations that were mined for the stone – very beautiful. Then the groups took off, except for the shomrim, who toured Beit Guvrim with Bill. I spent the afternoon with them and then followed the bus to Ashkelon, where I met Art and the fellow tsofim by the Mediterranean.

One of the ride participants experienced a medical problem serious enough for her to be briefly hospitalized. She was impressed by the number of people who expressed their concern and support. But that is how it is with this group of riders – they have bonded into a committed warm supportive community. To be part of such a wonderful group of Jews in support of such an important cause has been wonderful for Art (and by extension, me).

We had a spectacular buffet dinner, after which the riders all went to bed to prepare for the early start for the next leg of the ride.ashkelonridersbytheseaBell Cave

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One Response to “Jerusalem to Ashkelon Guest Post from Carol”

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