1. While this is my 4th Israel Ride, it is not getting old. Today's route, from Tzfat, north towards Lebanon, then East, through the Hula Valley, and into the Golan Heights (formerly controlled by Syria), then south, past the Kinneret to Kibbutz Maagan on the south eastern edge of the Kinneret, was just fantastic.
2. It was truly exciting, gratifying, and really beyond words for Adam and Michelle to join me for the first day of the ride. They both did the complete route, and did it in a way that would make any parent proud. For Michelle, especially, just a few records were broken today:
- the farthest, by over 65 miles, she had ever ridden a bicycle (she rode about 74 miles today)
- the most challenging climb, over five miles, that she had ever done on a bike (and she did a great job of it)
- the fastest, on one big downhill, that she had ever ridden a bike (I won't say, but it was fast)
This was not easy, as even some pretty experienced riders were challenged by parts of the route. The strength and character that Michelle showed on the route today will inspire some of the other riders here for the rest of the week.
Excellent day for Adam too, and really fun to be able to share this part of the ride with both him and Michelle.
3. This is an archeologically and historically rich part of Israel and, as a result, the day included several 'teaching' stops, which really added to the texture of the day. Not to mention that they provided some welcome breaks!
4. Awesome weather. I'm not sure who arranged it, but the rain of the past week came to a screeching halt and, other than delaying the start of today's ride by a few minutes, it had no effect on us -- we had near perfect weather.
It was about 74 miles of hard work, special time with family, a chance to visit with some old friends, and time to meet some new ones. And, great fun. A day on the Israel Ride!