AMID VOLATILE SITUATION, AMERICANS BIKE ACROSS ISRAEL TO SHOW SOLIDARITY WITH ISRAELI SOLDIERS
CHICAGO, Nov. 5 – Despite the recent resurgence in attacks on Israeli civilians, 40 American supporters of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) sent their own messages of courage by biking the length of Israel last week – from the Galilee hills in the north to the Red Sea in the south.
FIDF’s “Israel on Two Wheels” Cycling Tour of Israel brought this adventurous group on a once-in-a-lifetime journey, visiting Israel Defense Forces (IDF) bases along their route to show support for Israel’s brave men and women in uniform. Also joining the tour were eight wounded Israeli veterans, all of whom are participants in FIDF's Strides Program, which provides advanced athletic prosthetics to wounded IDF veterans so they can participate in and enjoy sports.
“This has been an amazing opportunity to bring FIDF supporters closer to Israeli soldiers and to strengthen the bonds between them,” said FIDF Cycling Tour leader Dany Saar, a former IDF soldier and avid cyclist from West Bloomfield, Michigan. “Biking across Israel and meeting Israeli soldiers along the way allowed us to really connect with the brave men and women who benefit from FIDF programs.”
The challenging six-day tour covered 400 miles and a total vertical climb of 32,000 feet. The riders began in the northwest corner of Israel near the Mediterranean Sea, climbed the Galilee foothills heading to Mt. Hermon, the tallest peak in Israel. They crossed the volcanic Golan Heights near Syria, and then descended into the Jordan Valley before reaching the lowest point on Earth, the Dead Sea. From there, the participants rode south, through Israel’s Negev Desert, to the Red Sea.
Below please find some photos from the FIDF “Israel on Two Wheels” Cycling Tour. Photo Credit: Different View Photography.High-resolution versions of these photos are available upon request.
Photo #1: The FIDF “Israel on Two Wheels” Cycling Tour departing for the Negev Desert.
Photo #2: FIDF cyclists with IDF soldiers at the “Snow Lookout” army post at Mt. Hermon.
Photo #3: FIDF cyclists at David Ben Gurion’s tomb in the Negev.
Photo #4: FIDF supporter Jorde Nathan of Highland Park, Ill., overlooking the descent to Eilat.
Photo #5: (L to R) FIDF supporters Jonathan Markowitz of Evanston, Ill.; Jacob Dunn of San Francisco; Steve Derringer of Chicago; Ruth Wegner of Evanston. Ill.; and Steve Diamond of San Diego.
Photo #6: FIDF Cycling Tour leader Dany Saar of West Bloomfield, Mich., riding in front of wounded IDF veteran and FIDF Strides Program participant Col. Itzik Gabai.
Photo #7: Wounded IDF veteran and FIDF Strides Program Founder Shlomo Nimrodi (front right) leading the FIDF cyclists down Mt. Hermon.