Mitzpe Ramon –> Arava Valley

The day began with a stunning sunrise out over the makhtesh, and an arguably even better looking group shot of our 200+ Israel Ride family. Never in my life did I ever expect to be photobombed by a group of ibex.

The route started with an incredible descent from the top of Mitzpe Ramon. But what goes down usually goes back up when it comes to cycling, and so everyone had to look forward to an infamous climb back out. The day ended similar to how it began, with yet another incredible downhill to bring us to Kibbutz Ketura – home of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies.

Throughout the week riders have had the opportunity to meet Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians – Arava Institute alumni on the Israel Ride crew who are working toward peace, environmental sustainability, and regional cooperation. These alumni have shared their stories throughout the week, and today our Israel Ride community visits their home, along with the faculty and staff who supported them along their way.

Tonight we will all join together for the dedication of the newly created amphitheater, a meet and greet with all current students, and a delicious barbeque dinner, complete with wine and beer.

I am having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that in less than 24 hours, we will be celebrating on the beach in Eilat. For me, this day will be all the more special as I get to experience from the seat of a bike, alongside all the riders I’ve so loved getting to know over this past week.

Anyone know where I can get some chamois butter…?

Yours truly,

Carlee Rosenthal
Program Coordinator – Hazon