November 2nd, 2017
Ashkelon –> the Northern Negev
Sleep. Eat. Bike. Eat. Bike. Eat some more. Our riders have quickly fallen into their routine for Day 2 of the ride. Today we traveled south, leaving behind the sandy beaches of Ashkelon and headed towards the sandy desert of the Negev. It’s incredible to watch the gradual, yet stark contrast in scenery, marking our progress to Eilat in a very tangible way. Shomrim, Tzofim, and Chalutzim rode 37, 69, and 82 miles, respectively, the longest riding day for all three groups. Tonight, the three groups separate to each stay at their accommodations for some bonding time off the bike.
Today we had to make a few last minute route changes due to safety precautions and the riders got to enjoy a most flat route with few turns. I think today the feeling of immersion started to really set in. This relationship with Israel – its land, its people, its complexity – has been further intensified by the Crew’s presence. Now that we are a few days in, riders are taking the opportunity to bond with the Crew in addition to fellow riders. The Israel Ride Crew team is comprised of Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian alumni of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. These alumni share their stories to help us all gain better insight into and inspiration from this region. It’s truly one of my favorite things about this Ride and makes it all the more meaningful.
Looking forward to an epic 3rd day on the road…
Program & Logistics Coordinator – Hazon