2018 ALYN Wheels of Love: Israel Charity Bike Event
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Wheels of Love 2018

Challenge yourself for the children of ALYN Hospital

426 RIDERS
See full list >
DAYSHOURSMINUTESSECS
October 28, 2018
$723,634
Money Raised
24% raised of $3,000,000

The Routes

Trail: The first three days will take place in the unique terrain of the Negev Desert followed by 2 days in the breathtaking vistas of the Judean Hills. The route includes challenging singles, steep climbing, and thrilling descents. Avg. daily distance 50 km trail riding. Pace 10 KPH/6 MPH

Enduro: For Trail riders who want more, those who meet strict cut-off times will ride trail extensions that are more technical and add considerable mileage to the day.  Pace 15 KPH/9 MPH

Road: The route covers desert riding on some of the most beautiful roads in Israel for three days followed by two days in the Judean Hills.  The ride spreads out allowing those who want to ride faster to go for it while others can sit back and enjoy the amazing scenery. Avg. daily distance 95 km. Pace 20 KPH/13 MPH

Road Plus: (NEW) Faster than the regular road route with longer distances. This group will be strictly limited to 50 riders. Avg. daily distance 110 km. Pace 24 KPH/15 MPH

Touring: Riders accompany the road route half the day, followed by varied and fascinating tours. This year: A short, but remarkable desert hike to the ancient fortress of Zohar, Israel’s largest cactus farm, a wine tasting at one of Israel’s premier boutique wineries, and a visit to a Bedouin blanket weaving cooperative. Avg. daily distance 40 km.

Challenge: For the most highly experienced and fit road riders. This year’s highlights include Israel’s steepest road — the “Scorpion’s Ascent”, included in the longest single day in the history of Wheels of Love — a 180 kilometer bike ultra-marathon. Avg. daily distance: 125 km. Pace 32 KPH/20 MPH

Hiking: (NEW) Want to join Wheels of Love but you don’t ride? No problem, our hiking route will take daily guided hikes through spectacular scenery. Great for spouses who don’t ride but want to join the event. Each hike takes 2-4 hours.

Detailed Route Descriptions

Sunday’s ride begins above the wooden slopes of the Yatir Forest and finishes at the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth. Between the forest and the sea, there are long stretches  through the Negev Desert, including a few thrilling singles. 

Distance: 48 km (30 mi)

Total Climb: 475 m (1,410 ft)

Total Descent 1,032 m (3,386 ft)

Yatir Forest

The ride begins in the Yatir Forest. This is Israel’s largest planted forest and is located next to the pre-1967 armistice line (the “green” line.) The route follows a circular path to take full advantage of the leafy shaded roads that wind through the forest. Yatir covers 7,400 acres with over 4 million trees of all varieties.  As the ride crosses the forest, riders will pass from the Judean Hills to the start of the desert.

The Israel National Trail, marked in 1991 runs through the forest. Yatir forest is located on the trail south of Meitar and north of Arad.

Descending to the Plains of Arad

After leaving the forest, the trail descends sharply down to the plains of Arad. The terrain is dirt jeep trails and narrower ancient Bedouin camel paths.

While there are some steep drops, this part of the route is not technical and riders will be able to enjoy spectacular views while descending. After dropping 200 meters, the terrain levels out and crosses the desert plane by the Yatir Winery at the edge of Arad.

The Zohar Ridge and Descent

After crossing the flat desert plane around Arad, the route crosses Highway #31 and heads west to the Zohar Ridge. Past an abandoned airport, the trail traverses the mountain ridge above the Dead Sea. After enjoying spectacular views, riders start a long descent that will eventually reach 400 meters below sea level, the lowest spot on Earth. 

The regular trail group will take a moderate trail down over flint rock while the Enduro group will take on a more technical single. A short ride along the road will conclude at Ein Bokek, where the group will be staying for the next 3 days.

Monday’s route starts from the hotel at Ein Bokek. Until the early afternoon, riders will ride in desert terrain with short but steeps hills and descents. After a break, there will be an optional first-time Wheels of Love night ride in the desert.

Distance:  48 km ( 30 mi)

Climb and Descent: 580 m (1902 ft)

 

 

Rolling Desert Hills

From the hotel, riders head north along the Dead Sea coast. After a few kilometers, the route turns to the east for a short but steep climb. The path is composed of a special type of terrain that has the consistency of flour. Riders will get a light dusting of the stuff as they pedal through.

After the initial climb, there are a series of short and steep rolling hills. Riders can use the speed from the descents to coast up each hill with little effort.

Mount Sodom

The trail starts to climb up from the rolling hills to Mount Sodom. This is the place referred to in the Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah.  According to the Bible, due to the sins of the inhabitants, the city was wiped out leaving the dry rocky terrain that riders will experience.

The mountain is mostly made of rock salt covered by a later of porous limestone. Because of its unique geological make-up, the mountain has been rising for thousands of years. But the rate is only about 3.5 millimeters/year.

There will be a stop at the top of the mountain for riders to enjoy the view.

 

Nahal Pratzim Night Ride

At this time, we are planning a first ever route for Wheels of Love: A desert night ride! Monday’s ride will finish in the early afternoon giving riders a chance to rest up. 

After dark, riders can opt to ride what promises to be a highlight of the whole week. After dinner, riders will get back on their bikes and ride the narrow canyons of Nachal Pretzim. The trail winds between the rock walls that make up the canyon. Riders going fast can actually use the natural curves to bank their bikes around the turns. 

NOTE: The Night ride is optional. If you want to participate you must have a strong handlebar mounted light as well as a red, blinking rear light.  We recommend a light rated at least 1,000 lumens.)

The third day in the desert will start with a short bus ride to the trail head, right off Route #31. The day will be filled with spectacular desert canyon riding as the routes takes riders to Nachal Hemar and Nechal Peres and a thrilling single in between. 

Distance:  45 km ( 28 mi)

Climb and Descent 714 m (2343 ft)

 

 

 

Nahal Hemar

With a few kilometers, the route encounters the ridge of Nahal Hamar. This is a giant canyon formed by the ancient Hemar river. There is only water in the river bed a few days a year after torrential rains cause flash flooding in the surrounding basin. Over thousands of years, the river has carved out layers and layers of the desert limestone.

The site is one of the oldest archaeological sites in the Middle East. Certain artifacts have been dated to 8,310 BCE, which includes the oldest example of the use of a glue from animal skins as an adhesive.  

Nahal Peres

The second highlight of the day for Trail riders is Nahal Peres. This is one of the more challenging desert hikes in the country, usually taking 6-8 hours. While one can’t go everywhere on a bike, most of the canyon, including the impressive views are accessible from the bike path. There may be water in the many pools and waterfalls that run throughout the canyon. 

 

The ride now moves to the beautiful Jerusalem Hills, full of forested mountains, challenging climbs, thrilling descents, and a few exciting singles.

On Wednesday, the route snakes through three separate forests which each have their own unique history and geography. Amazingly, most of the trees in these forests were imported and planted using funds raised by worldwide Jewry through the Jewish National Fund. 

Distance:  55 km ( 34 mi)

Climb and Descent 1,184 m (3,885 ft)

 

 

The Neve Illan Forest

Right out the door of the hotel is the edge of the Neve Illan Forest. The day’s ride starts with a lengthy descent over a rocky path that at one time was a Roman road. In Biblical times, this was one of the main routes up to to Jerusalem.

Later, it became a principle Roman road and our route passes by the remains of an ancient Roman fortress. A collection of Roman milestones can be seen on the side of the path. Many of the stones that were the foundation of the road remain in place making the first 8 kilometers a fast and rocky ride as we descend through the forest in a Westernly direction. There a few rocky “berms” that must be ridden over with extreme caution (they will be marked with special signs.)

 

Park Canada

The route crosses the old 1948 armistice line (The “Green” Line) and enters the next forest, the Ayalon Canada Park. The park is rich in natural woodland scenery, planted forests and especially fruit trees, which can be seen throughout the area. 

The park offers plenty of everything: magnificent views, breathtaking landscapes, attractive shady corners, and archaeological and heritage sites. 

ENDURO riders can choose to ride a very technical single full of rock drops, pop-ups, and steps. After a few hundred meters, the single becomes less technical and the rest of the Trail riders will join with Enduro to complete the path with spectacular views of the park and beyond.

Peru Forest

The entire Peru forest was planted by hand with funds raised from Peruvian  immigrants to Israel and is located along the famous Burma Road. The Burma Road was created in six days by the fledgling Israeli forces during the War of Independence, when Jerusalem was under siege and could not be reached through the main road.

Enduro riders may choose to ascend a very steep climb that ends in an extremely technical single for the descent. The main trail group will ride along the shaded trails of the forest. When deciding whether to try the climb and descent, keep in mind that the major climb of the day is still to come. 

 

Diefenbaker Ascent

Former Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker was a staunch supporter of Israel, fighting the infamous “Zionism equals Racism” resolution at the United Nations. The final climb of the day is along a trail named in his honor.

While the views along the climb are nothing short of spectacular, it is a long and difficult ascent. While the grade is never too steep, the length of the trail makes it the hardest climb of the day. Fortunately, there will be plenty of cold beer awaiting riders at the Neve Illan Hotel which sits at the end of this challenging climb. 

 

The final day of the 2018 ALYN Wheels of Love ride begins in the hills around Jerusalem in the Judean Mountains National Park. Riders will get one more opportunity to enjoy the amazing paths, climbs, and descents of the Neve Illan Forest and ride along the historical Burma Trail.

One more memorable climb brings the ride to the incredible finish line at ALYN Hospital. Riders will be warmly embraced and presented with their finishers medallions by hundreds of children being treated at ALYN.

Distance:  42.2 km ( 26.2 mi)

Climb 1,097 m (3,600)

Descent 997 m (3,271 ft)

 

 

 

Riding Down Nachal Illan

The day’s route starts with an extremely fast downhill along the path we climbed on Wednesday. If the challenge of the climb prevented you from fully appreciating the spectacular views of the valley below, make sure to do so now. The descent is not technical and you can open up the brakes a bit.

Today will feature a great deal of climbing so take advantage of the descent while you can.

The Burma Road

During Israel’s Independence War, the city of Jerusalem was besieged by Arab forces in the hills surrounding the main roads to the city. Convoys carrying food, weapons, and medical supplies were often blocked by sniper fire. Working mostly at night, a secret passage — the Burma Road — was constructed creating an alternative way of reaching the city. The steep, rocky terrain was especially treacherous.

Today’s route follows the original Burma Road, including the extremely steep climb by Bet Meir. While some of the path has been smoothed out, other sections remain largely as constructed using local stones to create traction for the vehicles attempting the climb.

The Finish Line

The scene is extraordinary as hundreds of cyclists wearing ALYN jerseys make the final climb from Ein Kerem to the hospital.  Crowds of families and friends are cheering for the riders who have covered hundreds of kilometers and climbed some of Israel’s highest peaks.  An escort of ALYN children lead all the riders to the finish line on hand-bikes.

It is an emotional ending to an amazing five days as the children whose lives are directly affected by Wheels of Love drape medallions around riders’ necks. As riders say goodbye to each other and depart to homes in countries around the world, from everyone’s lips can be heard: “See you on next year’s ride.”

Sunday’s ride begins above the wooden slopes of the Yatir Forest and finishes at the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth. Between the forest and the sea, there are long stretches  through the Negev Desert, including an exceptionally thrilling downhill of more than 20 kilometers.

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: BREATHTAKING 15K DESCENT THROUGH THE JUDEAN DESERT 

Distance: 95 km (59 mi)

Climb: 838 m (2,750 ft)

Descent 1,868 m (6,130 ft)

Yatir Forest

The ride begins in the Yatir Forest. This is Israel’s largest planted forest and is located next to the pre-1967 armistice line (the “green” line.) The route follows a circular path to take full advantage of the leafy shaded roads that wind through the forest. Yatir covers 7,400 acres with over 4 million trees of all varieties. 

The Israel National Trail, marked in 1991 runs through the forest. Yatir forest is located on the trail south of Meitar and north of Arad.

The Negev

The route leaves the forest and enters the desert.

We will be spending much of the first three days of the ride in the Negev Desert. As you ride, you will notice that the Negev is a rocky desert. Rather than sand, it is full of brown, rocky, dusty mountains interrupted by wadis (dry riverbeds that bloom briefly after rain) and deep craters.   The Negev covers more than half of Israel. 

The Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is the lowest place on Earth. It is also the saltiest, with a density 9.6 times as salty as the ocean. The salt makes plant and animal life impossible, hence its English name. (In Hebrew, it is called the Sea of Salt.) Since the time of King Herod, the Dead Sea waters have drawn visitors from around the world who come seeking cures for various ailments.

Today the ride includes one of the toughest climbs of the week and concludes at Israel’s most impressive historical site — the Ancient Fortress of Masada.  The ride is a metric century of 100 kilometers.

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: MASSIVE ROUTE 25 CLIMB/THRILLING DESCENT TO MASADA

Distance: 97 km (60 mi)

Climb: 1,629 m (5,345 ft)

Descent: 1,284  (4,212 ft)

The Long Climb

One of the most challenges segments of the ride two years ago was the climb up Route #25. The road starts at the Dead Sea plateau and steadily climbs high around the desert mountains. From start to finish its 20 kilometers of uphill struggle. During the ascent, riders will go from 400 meters below sea-level to 400 meters above it. However, the scenery is spectacular. Usually, there is too much traffic on this road for cyclists. But the police will be closing the road while we climb so you can ride in safety. 

 

The Eastern Approach to Masada

After the morning’s difficult ascent of Route #25, riders are in for a thrill. The Eastern road between Arad and Masada allows riders to fully experience the stark beauty of the Judean desert while riding along a (mostly) downhill route. There are plenty of places to pull over and take a picture so you will have a reminder of this seldom ridden desert road. The ride finishes at the famous “Ramparts Walk” where riders can leave their bikes and hike up to the most famous historical site in Israel. 

 

Masada

Built by King Herod, the complex became the home to a band of Jewish Zealots during the First Jewish–Roman War (around the year 70 CE). After laying siege to the mountain for years, the Romans built a ramp that reached the top of Masada’s walls. 960 men, women, and children committed mass suicide rather than be captured by the Romans.

After walking up the short hike of the Ramparts Walk, riders will get a brief tour and ride the cable car down the Western slope of Masada. At the bottom, buses will be waiting to take riders along the short drive back to the hotels. The bikes that you left on the other side of Masada will be trucked back to the hotel separately.  

Tuesday’s route starts from 400 meters below sea level at the Dead Sea and finishes 80 kilometers later in the city of Yerucham. Besides a few factories that process Dead Sea minerals, there are hardly any man-made structures along the length of the beautiful desert route. 

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: DEAD SEA VIEWS

Distance: 85 km (53 mi)

Climb: 661 m (2,168 ft)

Descent 554 m (1,818 ft)

Riding Past Masada

From the hotel, we start riding North today, along the sunny coast of the Dead Sea. After around 18 kilometers, we ride away from the Sea and pass Masada where the ride finished yesterday. One of the more interesting natural phenomenon in the area are the sinkholes. Sinkholes are a result of subterranean erosion and have resulted in closed Dead Sea beaches and even a rerouting of the road we are riding. At Ein Gedi we return to the coast and continue along its entire length.

Ein Gedi Oasis

At the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, riders will stop for a relaxing pit stop. Ein Gedi is a flourishing oasis in the desert and is one of Israel’s most popular nature sites.

After the rough climb and ultra distance of Day #2, riders will get a change to recover and enjoy the unique environment of the Dead Sea and Ein Gedi.

Today the route moves from the desert to the rolling hills around Jerusalem. The start and finish for the day will be at the town of Mesilat Tsion, a small town that was named for the attempt to break the siege of Jerusalem during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: RIDING THE ROLLING JUDEAN HILLS

Distance: 96 km (60 mi)

Climb: 858 m (2,815 ft)

Descent: 858 m (2,815 ft)

 

The President’s Forest

After a brief warm-up, the route climbs Route #44. Popular Israeli national parks are located on either side of the road. On the left is the President’s Forest, dedicated to the memory of Chaim Weizmann, the first President of the State of Israel. On the right is the Eshtoal Forest, one of the biggest forestry projects of the Jewish National Fund. 

The route starts with a serious but short climb and then a long downhill that passes a number of Israeli farming communities.

Moshav Beit Elezari

After riding along Routes 44 and 411, the route turns off the highway and heads for a loop around the Moshav Beit Elazari, named after Yitzhak Elazari-Volcani, the founder of modern agriculture in Israel. Riders will ride down the main streets of this small town and then ride through a few similar communities to the north of route #40.

The terrain is flat in this scenic area, allowing riders to rest up from the earlier climbs up President’s Forest and Hulda. 

The Zacharia Climb

After spending much of the day on rolling hills and flat lands, the route tackles two short but steep climbs around the city of Bet Shemesh. The first is the climb near the village of Zacharia. The second is just past the entrance to the city.

The good news is that after these climbs, the rest of the route is either downhill or flat.

The final day of the 2018 ALYN Wheels of Love ride begins in the hills around Jerusalem and will end at the incredible finish line at ALYN Hospital where riders will be warmly embraced and presented with commemorative medallions by hundreds of children being treated at ALYN and their families. 

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: DOUBLE CLIMB — NES HARIM AND THE ALYN FINISH

Distance: 70 km (44 mi)

Climb: 1,510 m (4,950 ft)

Descent 1,082 m (3,550 ft)

Riding through the Adulam-French Park

After riding along the new highway that runs by Bet Shemesh, we turn off the main road and into the Adulam-French Park. At the 2006 dedication of this beautiful park, then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said:

There could be no more precious gift presented to the State of Israel than this splendid Adulam Park, which was a densely populated Jewish area in the time of the second temple. Slowly and surely we are renewing our connections to the past. This is our land, no doubt about it. If anyone is uncertain, we can bring him here to see how Jews lived here over two thousand years ago.

The paved trails and rolling hills are a welcome change from the highway. We will be riding right through the heart of one of Israel’s largest national parks along narrow roads used primarily for farm vehicles servicing the surrounding agricultural fields.

The Climb Up Nes Harim

The day’s major climb is up to  Moshav Nes Harim. This area is the American Independence Park which was developed by by the Jewish National Fund to celebrate the American bicentennial. After a few kilometers, riders pass a monument dedicated to the astronauts who lost their lives in the Challenger disaster. 

The climb is one of the most challenging in the area and every Friday attracts dozens of cyclists. The route has been used several times as the site of the Israeli National Time Trail Championship. While there are a few breaks, most of the 10 kilometer route is fairly steep and exposed to the sun. Even the strongest riders can be humbled from the relentless climb. The reward, however, is spectacular views, especially in the last few kilometers as the Sorek Valley opens up below you.   

The Finish Line

The scene is extraordinary as hundreds of cyclists wearing ALYN jerseys make the final climb from Ein Kerem to the hospital.  Crowds of families and friends are cheering for the riders who have covered hundreds of kilometers and climbed some of Israel’s highest peaks.  An escort of ALYN children lead all the riders to the finish line on hand-bikes.

It is an emotional ending to an amazing five days as the children whose lives are directly affected by Wheels of Love drape medallions around riders’ necks. As riders say goodbye to each other and depart to homes in countries around the world, from everyone’s lips can be heard: “See you on next year’s ride.”

Road Plus is a brand new group. It is designed for road riders who want to ride at a faster pace with more millage, but not quite the same level as Challenge. Since the Israeli Police insist that we limit this group to 50 riders, we will have to require some riders to ride with the regular road group. The route generally is the same as the Road group with an additional 15km. On Tuesday, the Road Plus will climb Maale Akribim, the steepest road in Israel (see below for details.)

 

 

Sunday’s ride begins above the wooden slopes of the Yatir Forest and finishes at the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth. Between the forest and the sea, there are long stretches  through the Negev Desert, including an exceptionally thrilling downhill of more than 20 kilometers. The Road Plus riders will ride past Ein Bokek returning on the new bike path along the unique Dead Sea coast.

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: BREATHTAKING 15K DESCENT THROUGH THE JUDEAN DESERT 

Distance: 104 km (65 mi)

Climb: 866 m (2,841 ft)

Descent -1,895 m (6,217 ft)

Yatir Forest

The ride begins in the Yatir Forest. This is Israel’s largest planted forest and is located next to the pre-1967 armistice line (the “green” line.) The route follows a circular path to take full advantage of the leafy shaded roads that wind through the forest. Yatir covers 7,400 acres with over 4 million trees of all varieties. 

The Israel National Trail, marked in 1991 runs through the forest. Yatir forest is located on the trail south of Meitar and north of Arad.

The Negev

The route leaves the forest and enters the desert.

We will be spending much of the first three days of the ride in the Negev Desert. As you ride, you will notice that the Negev is a rocky desert. Rather than sand, it is full of brown, rocky, dusty mountains interrupted by wadis (dry riverbeds that bloom briefly after rain) and deep craters.   The Negev covers more than half of Israel. 

The Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is the lowest place on Earth. It is also the saltiest, with a density 9.6 times as salty as the ocean. The salt makes plant and animal life impossible, hence its English name. (In Hebrew, it is called the Sea of Salt.) Since the time of King Herod, the Dead Sea waters have drawn visitors from around the world who come seeking cures for various ailments.

The Ein Bokek Walkway

Road Plus riders will ride past the Ein Bokek Oasis and return via the new paved bike path that has recently been constructed along the Dead Sea coast. The path was constructed as a side-benefit of a major project to shore up the Sea’s coastline to prevent flooding. Eventually it will stretch for 16 kilometers along this unique and beautiful geographical site. 

Today the ride visits one of the most impressive historical sites in the world — the Ancient Fortress of Masada. Riders will have a brief tour of the site and then walk down the Roman ramp where the bikes will be ready for the start of the day’s ride. Road Plus riders will ride the Ein Bokek bike trail again.

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: THE MASSIVE CLIMB FROM MASADA TO ARAD

Distance: 111 km (69 mi)

Climb: 1,332 m (4,370 ft)

Descent: -1712  (5,617 ft)

Masada

Built by King Herod, the complex became the home to a band of Jewish Zealots during the First Jewish–Roman War (around the year 70 CE). After laying siege to the mountain for years, the Romans built a ramp that reached the top of Masada’s walls. 960 men, women, and children committed mass suicide rather than be captured by the Romans.

Riders will visit the site using the cable cars from the Dead Sea side. After a brief tour, the group will walk down the 15 minute hike along the Roman Rampart. At the bottom, the bikes will be ready for the day’s ride to begin.  

The Eastern Road to Arad

From the base of Masada, there is no time for a warm-up. The ride starts a long, steep climb almost immediately from leaving the Masada parking area. The road has sparse traffic and winds around the desert mountains. While it is a challenging climb, the views are breathtaking.

While most of this section is an ascent, there are a few breaks in the mountains which will give riders a chance to catch their breaths and build up some speed. 

The Long Descent

After a day climbing through the beautiful desert mountains around Masada and Arad, the last 25 kilometers of the route will be mostly along the thrilling Route #25. The road plunges from 400 meters (1,300 ft) above sea level to 400 meters below. After the strenuous climbs of the day, it is exhilarating to sit back and stay off the pedals. Riders can just relish the beautiful Negev scenery rushing past. 

After the descent, the day’s ride finishes by riding another “cool-down” lap along the Ein Bokek bike path and then meeting the other Road riders for Happy Hour at the hotel. 

Day #3 of Road Plus will most likely be the highlight of the week. The route covers the steepest graded road in Israel. Climbing will be a challenge but you will remember the experience forever. 

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: CLIMB THE STEEPEST PAVED ROAD IN ISRAEL — THE SCORPION ASCENT

Distance: 87 km (54 mi)

Climb: 1,213 (3,980 ft)

Descent -547 m (1,795 ft)

Masada to Ein Hatseva

The ride will start very early in the morning, just as the morning mist is lifting from the surface of the Dead Sea. Most of the early section of the ride will look familiar, it is the same road that the route traverses in the opposite direction.

However, after the turn-off for Route #25 (the descent from Day #2), the route keeps going to Kibbutz Ein Hatseva. Riders turn North and head for the Scorpion’s Pass.

The Scorpion’s Pass (Ma’ale Akrabim)

The Scorpion’s Pass is a steep, twisted section of Route 227, starting from the Tzafir stone structure (an archaeological site) in the south. The Roman Empire built the ascent in the late 1st century CE.  Below the pass there is an abyss, and the road has no guard rails. In addition, the road has extreme drop-offs of hundreds of meters.

The Israeli Army Corps of Engineers paved it in 1950. It was again repaved in 2004. For many years, it served as the main connection between Eilat and the rest of Israel. However, the construction of other modern highways such as Route #25 means that this narrow winding road sees very little traffic.

The Challenge route has ridden the Scorpion’s pass the last few times the ride has taken place in the area and it is always a highlight. Now it’s your turn.

Today the route moves from the desert to the rolling hills around Jerusalem. The start and finish for the day will be at the town of Mesilat Tsion, a small town that was named for the attempt to break the siege of Jerusalem during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: RIDING THE ROLLING JUDEAN HILLS

Distance: 107 km (67 mi)

Climb: 898 m (2,946 ft)

Descent: -898 m (2,946 ft)

The President’s Forest

After a brief warm-up, the route climbs Route #44. Popular Israeli national parks are located on either side of the road. On the left is the President’s Forest, dedicated to the memory of Chaim Weizmann, the first President of the State of Israel. On the right is the Eshtoal Forest, one of the biggest forestry projects of the Jewish National Fund. 

The route starts with a serious but short climb and then a long downhill that passes a number of Israeli farming communities.

Moshav Beit Elezari

After riding along Routes 44 and 411, the route turns off the highway and heads for a loop around the Moshav Beit Elazari, named after Yitzhak Elazari-Volcani, the founder of modern agriculture in Israel. Riders will ride down the main streets of this small town and then ride through a few similar communities to the north of route #40.

The terrain is flat in this scenic area, allowing riders to rest up from the earlier climbs up President’s Forest and Hulda. 

The Zacharia Climb

After spending much of the day on rolling hills and flat lands, the route tackles two short but steep climbs around the city of Bet Shemesh. The first is the climb near the village of Zacharia. The second is just past the entrance to the city.

The good news is that after these climbs, the rest of the route is either downhill or flat.

The final day of the 2018 ALYN Wheels of Love ride begins in the hills around Jerusalem and will end at the incredible finish line at ALYN Hospital where riders will be warmly embraced and presented with commemorative medallions by hundreds of children being treated at ALYN and their families.

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: DOUBLE CLIMB — NES HARIM AND THE ALYN FINISH

Distance: 72 km (45 mi)

Climb: 1,463 m (4,800 ft)

Descent 1,042 m (3,3420 ft)

The Climb Up Nes Harim

The day’s major climb is up to  Moshav Nes Harim. This area is the American Independence Park which was developed by by the Jewish National Fund to celebrate the American bicentennial. After a few kilometers, riders pass a monument dedicated to the astronauts who lost their lives in the Challenger disaster. 

The climb is one of the most challenging in the area and every Friday attracts dozens of cyclists. The route has been used several times as the site of the Israeli National Time Trail Championship. While there are a few breaks, most of the 10 kilometer route is fairly steep and exposed to the sun. Even the strongest riders can be humbled from the relentless climb. The reward, however, is spectacular views, especially in the last few kilometers as the Sorek Valley opens up below you.   

The Finish Line

The scene is extraordinary as hundreds of cyclists wearing ALYN jerseys make the final climb from Ein Kerem to the hospital.  Crowds of families and friends are cheering for the riders who have covered hundreds of kilometers and climbed some of Israel’s highest peaks.  An escort of ALYN children lead all the riders to the finish line on hand-bikes.

It is an emotional ending to an amazing five days as the children whose lives are directly affected by Wheels of Love drape medallions around riders’ necks. As riders say goodbye to each other and depart to homes in countries around the world, from everyone’s lips can be heard: “See you on next year’s ride.”

Sunday’s ride begins above the wooden slopes of the Yatir Forest and finishes at the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth. Between the forest and the sea, there are long stretches  through the Negev Desert, including an exceptionally thrilling downhill of more than 15 kilometers.

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: BREATHTAKING 15K DESCENT THROUGH THE JUDEAN DESERT 

Distance: 110 km (68 mi)

Climb: 838 m (2,750 ft)

Descent 1,868 m (6,130 ft)

Yatir Forest

The ride begins in the Yatir Forest. This is Israel’s largest planted forest and is located next to the pre-1967 armistice line (the “green” line.) The route follows a circular path to take full advantage of the leafy shaded roads that wind through the forest. Yatir covers 7,400 acres with over 4 million trees of all varieties. 

The Israel National Trail, marked in 1991 runs through the forest. Yatir forest is located on the trail south of Meitar and north of Arad.

The Negev

The route leaves the forest and enters the desert.

We will be spending much of the first three days of the ride in the Negev Desert. As you ride, you will notice that the Negev is a rocky desert. Rather than sand, it is full of brown, rocky, dusty mountains interrupted by wadis (dry riverbeds that bloom briefly after rain) and deep craters.   The Negev covers more than half of Israel. 

The Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is the lowest place on Earth. It is also the saltiest, with a density 9.6 times as salty as the ocean. The salt makes plant and animal life impossible, hence its English name. (In Hebrew, it is called the Sea of Salt.) Since the time of King Herod, the Dead Sea waters have drawn visitors from around the world who come seeking cures for various ailments.

Masada

The first day of Challenge will conclude at the Masada Guest House, a cozy hotel at the foot of one of the world’s most impressive historical landmarks. From the hotel, riders will get an up close look at the towering mountain from which Jewish rebels held off a vastly superior Roman army for years before making a fateful decision.

Monday’s ride begins in the shadow of the Masada Mountain and will return there after a long day of desert riding. 

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: THE MASSIVE ZOHAR ASCENT

Distance: 132 km (82 mi)

Climb and Descent 1,571 m (5,155 ft)

Masada to Ein Bokek

The first segment is a long and (mostly) downhill desert ride that joins the Dead Sea coast. The desert mountains are reflected magnificently in the calm waters of the Dead Sea. As the riders round a curve, the oasis of Ein Bokek with its resort hotels can be seen in the distance.

It is about 25 kilometers until the major climb of the day begins.

The Zohar Climb

The climb begins soon after the Zohar junction. From the 3rd to the 8th kilometer it is  extremely steep. Riders will see stunning views as the Dead Sea stretches out below. To the right is the ancient fortress of Zohar where one can still see ruins of the site that used to be a key junction in the Roman supply route.

The road winds around the dry, desert mountains. After the 8th kilometer, the climb continues at a more manageable grade with more time to enjoy the spectacular desert views. The road is the same that the ride descended on the first day of the ride. Climbing is an entirely different, but rewarding experience. 

Riding Through the Desert

After 20 kilometers, the climb comes to an end as the route turns to the west along Route #258. For ten kilometers, the road is a gradual, straight descent. Riders can switch out of their climbing gears into the big ring and hammer away while the desert sweeps by on either side.

A stark break with the natural surroundings will be the Rotem Amfort petro-chemical plant. This giant factory process minerals from the Dead Sea. After passing the works, the route turns south on Route #25, which begins a spectacular descent of more than 20 kilometers. 

The Long Descent

After a day climbing through the beautiful desert mountains around Masada and Arad, Challenge riders are in for a thrill. The last 15 kilometers of Route #25 descend from the peaks of the Judean Desert mountains to the Dead Sea plateau. The road plunges from 400 meters (1,300 ft) above sea level to 400 meters below. After the strenuous climbs of the day, it is exhilarating to sit back and stay off the pedals. Riders can just relish the beautiful Negev scenery rushing past at speeds above 60 KPH.

 

The Long Road to Masada

Besides pace and the elevation of the climbs, what makes the Challenge route so special is the enormous distance traversed. After descending the long winding road that concludes on the desert plains, there is considerable distance left to return to the Masada Guest House.

Throughout most of the remainder of the ride, the Dead Sea will be on the right hand side as riders battle the desert heat and frequent headwinds. After another 50 kilometers, the hotel will be a welcome sight to the Challenge riders.

Day #3 of Challenge will most likely be the highlight of the week and the longest single day ride in ALYN’s history. The route covers the steepest graded road in Israel and continues for many hours in the saddle. Because of the excessive mileage, there will be strict cut-off times to make sure that no one is riding after sunset.

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: CLIMB THE STEEPEST PAVED ROAD IN ISRAEL — THE SCORPION ASCENT

Distance: 187 km (117 mi)

Climb and Descent 2,058 m (6,752 ft)

Masada to Ein Hatseva

The ride will start very early in the morning, just as the morning mist is lifting from the surface of the Dead Sea. Most of the early section of the ride will look familiar, it is the same road that the route traverses in the opposite direction.

However, after the turn-off for Route #25 (the descent from Day #2), the route keeps going to Kibbutz Ein Hatseva. Riders turn North and head for the Scorpion’s Pass.

The Scorpion’s Pass (Ma’ale Akrabim)

The Scorpion’s Pass is a steep, twisted section of Route 227, starting from the Tzafir stone structure (an archaeological site) in the south. The Roman Empire built the ascent in the late 1st century CE.  Below the pass there is an abyss, and the road has no guard rails. In addition, the road has extreme drop-offs of hundreds of meters.

The Israeli Army Corps of Engineers paved it in 1950. It was again repaved in 2004. For many years, it served as the main connection between Eilat and the rest of Israel. However, the construction of other modern highways such as Route #25 means that this narrow winding road sees very little traffic.

Challenge has ridden the Scorpion’s pass the last few times the ride has taken place in the area and it is always a highlight.

 

The Long Road Home

After reaching the summit of the Scorpion’s Pass, it is another 100 kilometers to return to the Masada Guest House. 

At the junction of Route #258 and Route #31, most, if not all, riders will take the bus the last 40 kilometers (leaving the day’s millage at 147 km.) 

Wednesday the ride departs for the final time from the Masada Guest House. Unlike previous days, the ride heads North along the coast and then climbs to Mitzpe Yericho. 

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: ASCENDING THE 7 PERCENT GRADE DARGA CLIMB

Distance: 85.5 km (53 mi)

Climb: 1.305 mm (4,282 ft)

Descent 837 m (2,745 ft)

Ein Gedi

The road winds along the coast of the Dead Sea. At the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, riders will stop for a relaxing pit stop. Ein Gedi is a flourishing oasis in the desert and is one of Israel’s most popular nature sites.

After the rough climb and ultra distance of Day #3, riders will get a change to recover and enjoy the unique environment of the Dead Sea and Ein Gedi.

Metsoke Dragot

Halfway along the coastal road, Challenge will turn west to ascend the Metsuke Dragot. This campsite atop one of the largest desert canyons in Israel marks the end of a short but incredibly steep climb. The group will have a short break to rest their legs before the exhilarating downhill and continuing the ride along the entire length of the Dead Sea. 

The Climb to Mitzpe Yericho

After leaving the Dead Sea, the road turns north and the climb begins. It is 9 kilometers from the start of the climb by Almog to the day’s finish line at Mitzpe Yericho. From Mitzpe Yericho, the view of the desert below is spectacular. 

Riders will board the bus for the final ALYN evening in Jerusalem.

The Final Day for the Challenge group includes several impressive climbs in the Judean Hills as we head to ALYN, the children you have been riding for, and the final finish line.

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: DOUBLE CLIMB — RAMAT RAZIEL AND THE ALYN FINISH

Distance: 72 km (45 mi)

Overall climb: 1,588 m (5,209 ft)

 

 

The Climbs

For one final day, the Challenge Route will push the limits with three extremely challenging climbs. The first stretches from Hadasah Hospital to Bar Giyora. The views to the right of the valley below are stunning. 

The next climb is well known among local cyclist for being unbelievably steep. This is Ramat Raziel which clings to the side of a mountain as it heads towards Jerusalem. While the police will close the road for ALYN, normally it is a hard-to-believe 2-lane road.

The final climb is from the Ein Karem junction to ALYN Hospital. Riders will climb from the valley and pass through the picturest Ein Karem neighborhood filled with trendy coffee shops and art galleries. 

The Finish Line

The scene is extraordinary as hundreds of cyclists wearing ALYN jerseys make the final climb from Ein Kerem to the hospital.  Crowds of families and friends are cheering for the riders who have covered hundreds of kilometers and climbed some of Israel’s highest peaks.  An escort of ALYN children lead all the riders to the finish line on hand-bikes.

It is an emotional ending to an amazing five days as the children whose lives are directly affected by Wheels of Love drape medallions around riders’ necks. As riders say goodbye to each other and depart to homes in countries around the world, from everyone’s lips can be heard: “See you on next year’s ride.”

Sunday’s ride begins above the wooden slopes of the Yatir Forest and finishes at Bedouin Weaving Center where the first tour will begin.

Distance: 30 km (19 mi)

Ride: Yatir Forest

The ride begins in the Yatir Forest. This is Israel’s largest planted forest and is located next to the pre-1967 armistice line (the “green” line.) The route follows a circular path to take full advantage of the leafy shaded roads that wind through the forest. Yatir covers 7,400 acres with over 4 million trees of all varieties. 

The Israel National Trail, marked in 1991 runs through the forest. Yatir forest is located on the trail south of Meitar and north of Arad.

Ride: The Negev

The route leaves the forest and enters the desert.

We will be spending much of the first three days of the ride in the Negev Desert. As you ride, you will notice that the Negev is a rocky desert. Rather than sand, it is full of brown, rocky, dusty mountains interrupted by wadis (dry riverbeds that bloom briefly after rain) and deep craters.   The Negev covers more than half of Israel. 

Tour: Negev Weaving Center

Sunbula is a not-for-profit organization that sponsors centers where women can use the traditional craft of weaving to provide financially for their families..

While the craft of Bedouin weaving dates back for hundreds of years, Sunbula helps train women to create a volume of products that will be well received by international buyers. They work with local designers who combine a sense of global trends and their appreciation for the traditional process to suggest approaches that fuse ancient and modern. Women, people with disabilities, and others we work with gain skills in running small businesses and cottage industries, along with refining their craftsmanship to make salable products.

Monday starts off with two beautiful desert hikes followed by a brilliant downhill ride to the Dead Sea. 

Riding Distance: 30 km (19 mi)

Tour: Ein Bokek Hike

The day begins with a short but beautiful hike in the desert, very close to the hotel.

Within a few minutes of leaving the hotel zone, the hike follows a desert stream that flows with water year round. As the trail winds by the rocky desert outcroppings, there are numerous pools and waterfalls that we will walk through. Thick foliage provides shade from the desert sun. The path curls quickly into a steep canyon that cuts into the mountain. 

It is hard to believe that such a peaceful tranquil setting is located just a few steps from the busy hotel district of the Ein Bokek Oais.

Tour: The Zohar Fortress

Our next tour is a visit to the ancient Zohar Fortress. 

This is an ancient site in the Zohar Valley by the Dead Sea. The earliest remains are dated back to the Israelite Kingdom period, about 3,000 years ago. The tower of the fortress is on top of a natural hill with commanding views of the valley and is preserved in a good condition. The walls around the fortress have been washed away over the years. Cisterns and dams are located around the fortress, which supplied the water.

During the Roman period, when Roman soldiers were paid in salt from the Dead Sea, the site functioned as a tax collection point in addition to a security garrison. 

The Ride to the Dead Sea

The Touring group will meet up with the Road group at lunch and then ride in the afternoon back to the hotel. The afternoon ride is an amazing descent with breathtaking desert views on both sides of the road.

Tour: The Orly Cactus Farm

What is the food of the future for healthy living, weight loss and dealing with diabetes? The answer could be cactus!

Organic cactus produce is a supplement to a balanced healthy diet in treatment of diabetes, high levels of cholesterol in the blood, weight loss, pain relief, stomach ulcers, even hangovers and constipation. Additionally it has antibiotic and antiviral qualities and can help reduce the risk of cancer. 

The Orly Cactus Farm, at 272 acres, is the largest cactus farm in the Middle East. We will have a fascinating tour and tasting of the many varieties of cactus cultivated on the farm. 

Ride: Up the Crater Wall

The Touring group will join the Road group in the afternoon for a ride through the Great Crater.  The Great Crater is a “makhtesh,” a geological object formed by land erosion measuring 5 x 10 km. The ride enters the crater through a pass in the eastern wall.

From a few kilometers away, riders will see the formidable sight of the route going up the opposite wall through a series of extremely steep switchbacks. Thankfully, the climb is “only” 2 kilometers. After reaching the top of the crater wall, riders will enjoy a 6 kilometers descent into the desert town of Yerucham.

Ride: The President’s Forest

After a brief warm-up, the route climbs Route #44. Popular Israeli national parks are located on either side of the road. On the left is the President’s Forest, dedicated to the memory of Chaim Weizmann, the first President of the State of Israel. On the right is the Eshtoal Forest, one of the biggest forestry projects of the Jewish National Fund. 

The route starts with a serious but short climb and then a long downhill that passes a number of Israeli farming communities.

Tour: Kerem Barak Winery

Kerem Barak Winery is a family boutique winery that produces about 4,000 bottles a year and is a family run business. It is named after the the eldest son of the Rosenberg family, Barak Shmuel Rosenberg, who died of a serious illness in May 2010 at the age of 18. Barak was the eldest of five children. He was an artist and creator in a variety of fields, a wonderful painter, singer, comedian, guitarist and writer of short, accurate and poignant stories. The winery’s logo is his own, and so are the cartoon illustrations on the bottle labels. 

The memory of the Rosenberg’s son is what inspires the family to bring enjoyment to the lives of people around them, as a constant reminder that every day everyone has the opportunity to grow and to realize meaningful dreams and lives.

The final day of the 2018 ALYN Wheels of Love ride begins in the hills around Jerusalem and will end at the incredible finish line at ALYN Hospital where riders will be warmly embraced and presented with their finishers medallions by hundreds of children being treated at ALYN and their families.  In between a morning and very short afternoon ride, the Touring group will visit a Kibbutz.

Kibbutz Tzorah

On the final day of the 2018 ALYN WHeels of Love ride, the Touring group will spend the morning riding with the Road group. After about 30 kilometers, they will take a break to tour the Tzora dairy farm and learn about life on the unique Israeli communal arrangement known as the Kibbutz. After lunch the Touring group will ride again the final kilometer to the ALYN Hospital and the children.

The Finish Line

The scene is extraordinary as hundreds of cyclists wearing ALYN jerseys make the final climb from Ein Kerem to the hospital.  Crowds of families and friends are cheering for the riders who have covered hundreds of kilometers and climbed some of Israel’s highest peaks.  An escort of ALYN children lead all the riders to the finish line on hand-bikes.

It is an emotional ending to an amazing five days as the children whose lives are directly affected by Wheels of Love drape medallions around riders’ necks. As riders say goodbye to each other and depart to homes in countries around the world, from everyone’s lips can be heard: “See you on next year’s ride.”

For the first time, we will now be offering a “route” for non-riders. Every day will feature a  spectacular hike. The first three days the hikes will be in the unique and breath-taking scenery of the Negev Desert followed by 2 days of trekking around the Biblical vistas of the Judean Hills.

We have carefully selected these hikes that appear on any list of the best in Israel.

Hikes are moderately strenuous and designed for people in good shape that can walk over difficult terrain for up to 4 hours. 

Hikes must bring a wide brimmed hat, backpack, sunglasses, and hiking boots.  All hikes will be led by an experienced guide and will be cancelled if there is any danger of flash flooding. The hiking route is the perfect option for spouses who don’t ride yet want to experience some of the amazing scenery that Israel has to offer.

Of course the hiking group will meet up with the riders at the hotels in time for happy hour and join the emotional finish at ALYN Hospital. 

Length of Hike: 3 hours, 4 kilometers (2.5 mi)

Wadi Bokek

The first hike starts at Ein Bokek, where we will be staying the first two nights.

Ein Bokek feels like a tropical island with green palm trees, beautiful beaches, world-class spas, and visitors from around the world. Yet just steps away is another world. When you turn your back on the hotels and face the desert, you embrace a raw and primitive place, a harsh environment with little natural life. 

Yet within this barren landscape, a flowing stream flowing over thousands of years has carved a magnificent canyon through the desert. We will walk along and through this gently flowing stream, stopping at the various shaded pools and waterfalls.

 

The Bokek Fort

The starting point of the hike is on the road opposite the concrete canal that was built along the opening of the Bokek Valley. The canal was made to effectively drain the powerful flash-floods, but since the latter are so scarce, it stands dry almost year round. 

Near the start, a short climb will take us to the ancient ruins of a 4th-century Roman fort used until 300 years later during the 7th-century Muslim invasion. Some of the original 1,700 year old stones remain while other parts of the fort have been recreated by archaeologists so we can understand how the fort looked when it was first built. 

Dead Sea Float OR Tour of Dead Sea Works Factory

After our hike, we will either have a dip in the unique waters of the Dead Sea or take a tour of the Dead Sea Works factory that extracts valuable minerals from the Dead Sea waters that have a wide range of commercial uses. (It all depends on the weather).

Length of Hike: 4 hours, 8 kilometers (5 mi)

Just half an hour from our hotel is the world-famous Ein Gedi oasis. Two impressive canyons descend from the plateau to the desert floor hundreds of meters below. Through both canyons runs a stream that flows with water even on the hottest days of the year.

The more famous canyon is Nahal David, full of water falls and pools of fresh cold water. But it is the longer, less visited, and even more impressive Nahal Arugot that we will hike. Just steps away from the barren desert landscape, our hike progresses under leafy palm trees as we walk along the bubbling stream. At one point, we depart the stream to climb the canyon walls for a spectacular view of the oasis.

After hiking for yourself, you will not be surprised to learn that this hike is considered among the most beautiful in Israel.

 

The Orly Cactus Farm

This morning, we will join the touring group for a fascinating tour of Israel’s largest cactus farm.

Cactus might just be the food of the future for healthy living, weight loss and dealing with diabetes.

Organic cactus produce is a supplement to a balanced healthy diet in treatment of diabetes, high levels of cholesterol in the blood, weight loss, pain relief, stomach ulcers, even hangovers and constipation. Additionally it has antibiotic and antiviral qualities and can help reduce the risk of cancer. 

The Orly Cactus Farm, at 272 acres, is the largest cactus farm in the Middle East. We will have a fascinating tour and tasting of the many varieties of cactus cultivated on the farm. 

The Small Fin Hike

Length of Hike: 3 hours

After our tour of the Cactus Farm, we will be ready for our third spectacular hike.

Our third day of hiking brings us to one of five “Craters” (Makteshim). These are unique geological formations are created when soft sandstone is washed away by erosion, leaving behind steep walls of harder limestone. Mineral deposits in the sandstone are responsible for the colorful red, purple, blue, and orange hues found on the crater floor. 

The Great/Large Makhtesh is a natural wonderland: spectacular panoramic views, colored sand and fossil trees. We will be hiking along a trail that is one of the most beautiful segments of the Israel National Trail. 

Ascending the Small Fin

We begin at the “Painted Sands” campsite, named after the multi-colored stone that surrounds the are.  The hike includes an exhilarating up the “Small Fin’ trail, so named because it rises above the canyon floor like the fin of a shark. We continue along a ridge that rises along the walls of the crater. As we hike up the trail, the views into the crater are simply breathtaking. 

The climb down is exciting as we use metal ladders that have been welded into the rock to make our way down from the top of the ridge back to the trail-head.

 

Length of Hike: 3.5 hours, 4.5 kilometers 

On the fourth day, we leave the stark beauty of the desert and come to the thickly wooded Judean Hills. Just a short distance from our hotel is the Kfira stream within the Hahamisha forest. We will hike a point to point to point route that includes magnificent views of the Judean Hills.

Biblical Kfira

There is interesting Biblical history connected to the area. 

Tel Kfira has been identified with the city of Kfira, a city belonging to the tribe of the Gibeonites in the time of Joshua. This tribe was fearful of the Israelites and they came to Joshua for a peace covenant, pretending to have come from far away (Joshua chapter 9). The Israelites were fooled and only later did they discover that the Gibeonites lived in the Judean Mountains. 

When the land of Canaan was divided at the time of Joshua, this territory was given to the tribe of Benjamin as a relatively narrow strip of land between the territory of the tribes of Judah to the south and Ephraim to the north, and extending from the Gilgal to Kiryat Ye’arim (Joshua 18:26). The tel is now under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, but excavations have been carried out here and the ruins of a fortified city from the Bronze Age to Second Temple times revealed. 

The Monuments

There are 2 interesting monuments in the park. One is to the Red Army. It commemorates Russian soldiers who fell during the Second World War fighting the Nazis. It was dedicated in 2012 by Vladimir Putin. 

The second monument is in memory of five young Israelis who were murdered by Arab terrorists in 1937. As a result of the murders, it was decided to establish a new settlement in their memory. It was called Ma’ale Hahamisha (“Ascent of the Five”) and was constituted a defensive position in this area. The lack of agricultural land, forced the kibbutz to develop other sources of income, and this included a hotel, the same hotel where we will be staying. During the 1948 War of Independence, Ma’ale Hahamisha became the command center for the Palmach, with some of the fighters sleeping in the hotel. Ma’ale Hahamisha sits on the armistice line that marked the 1948 border between Israel and Jordan.

Our final hike begins at Bar b’Har, where the road riders will have their final stop of the day. We will hike through the Judean Hills, emerging by the Sataf Mountain.

Length of Hike: 4.5 hours, 12 kilometers (5.9 mi)

Total Elevation Change: 261 meters (856 ft)

Riding for One Day (Galgalyn)


This year, the single day ALYN ride, “GalgALYN”, will take place on Thursday, November 1 – the final day of Wheels of Love 2018.

Register for the SINGLE DAY RIDE ONLY at this link.

We understand that many people would love to participate in the full week-long ride, but are simply not able to take so many days off. That’s why we offer GalgALYN, a taste of the magic of ALYN’s Wheels of Love Ride. Riders choose either the on-road course that climbs and descends through the historic Judean hills or the challenging off-road course that takes riders on special paths for unique perspectives that many who live here never get to see.

All routes will finish with an extraordinary challenging climb up to Jerusalem and ALYN Hospital where the children of ALYN greet the riders in an emotional finish to the world’s top charity bike ride. Single day riders pay a 300 NIS registration fee and undertake to raise 750 NIS in tax deductible donations. Besides participating in a fully supported ride with lunch and  pit stops, riders receive the  ALYN riding jersey.

The routes are the same for the day as the 5 day riders. Please check the details on the Thursday sections of both the road and trail routes.

Why Ride for ALYN?

Important Details

After a long day in the saddle, you want to relax somewhere that’s clean and comfortable where you can enjoy the comradeship of your fellow riders. We have carefully chosen the hotels of the 2018 Wheels of Love ride to make sure that you are pampered and will wake up refreshed and ready to ride in the morning.

You will eat dinner and breakfast every day at your hotel. In addition, Wheels of Love is famous for the daily “happy hour,” a time right after the day’s ride when you can grab a cold beer and a quick bite and socialize with your fellow riders. Happy hour usually takes place in the main lobby of the hotel.


Road & Touring Days 1 and 2: Leonardo Plaza Dead Sea

The road and touring routes will spend Sunday and Monday nights at the Leonardo Plaza at the Ein Bokek oasis on the shores of the Dead Sea.

The Leonardo Plaza Dead Sea overlooks one of the natural wonders of the world, at the very lowest point on earth. Guests can select from a variety of superb spa packages as well as take advantage of a host of spa facilities including mineral and saltwater pools, Jacuzzis and saunas, along with a vast range of indulging therapeutic treatments. Riders will enjoy a range of internationally inspired gourmet meals as well as delicious breakfast options during their stay.

 

For More Information > Address: Ein Bokek, Israel. Main telephone number: +972-895-5333 

 

Road & Touring Days 3 and 4: Hotel Yearim (Maale Hachamisha)

The road and touring routes will spend Tuesday and Wednesday nights at the Hotel Yearim (Maale Hachamisha) in the Judean Hills

Yearim Hotel, located at one of the highest points outside Jerusalem, is surrounded by a forest of pine and cypress trees. Riders will enjoy the fine cuisine offered in the dining room, which features a stunning view of the mountains and forest. The hotel also offers a lounge for relaxing and those looking to exercise can enjoy the indoor and outdoor pools, as well as the gym and spa.

For More Information > Address: Kibbutz Maale Hachamisha, Israel. Main telephone number: +972-2-533-1331.

Trail Days 1 and 2: Leonardo Club Dead Sea

After a long day of riding through Israel’s spectacular Judean Desert, Trail riders will enjoy the beautiful setting and facilities of the the Leonardo Club Hotel.  The  Leonardo Club Hotel Dead Sea is located on a private beach in “Ein Bokek”, at the lowest point on earth. The hotel provides an amazing location with a breathtaking view to the Edom Mountains and the Judean Hills.

Riders will enjoy the excellent cuisine of the hotel restaurant, which spoils with creative international dishes and local specialties. The hotel provides perfect leisure facilities such as Le Spa with high quality services, a heated Dead Seawater pool, a sulfur pool, a Jacuzzi and a modern Sauna.

For More Information > Address: Ein Bokek, Israel. Main telephone number: +972 (8) 668 9444

Trail Days 3 and 4: Neve Elan
The Neve Ilan hotel is located in rural, green surroundings at the heart of the Judean mountains. Nestled in the hills outside Jerusalem, the hotel offers guests a relaxing environment with stunning views and crisp air.
 
With its harmonious location,  Off road riders will find it the perfect place to relax and unwind and enjoy the famous Off road “Happy Hour”.
 
Riders will enjoy complimentary gym and saunas, as well as the indoor pool, tennis courts and Jacuzzi.
 
For More Information > Address: D.N. Judean Mountains, Neve Ilan, 90850, Israel. Main telephone number: +972-3-9190669
Challenge Days 1, 2, and 3: Masada Guest House

After riding extremely long routes and climbing some of Israel’s highest peaks, the Challenge riders will return to the Masada Guest House. This small hotel has been popular for many years, whenever the ALYN ride visits the South. Set at the foot of Masada, one of Israel’s most popular parks, the Masada Guest House is uniquely located to take advantage of this impressive site and enjoy spectacular views of the Dead Sea.

A complete, varied breakfast will welcome Challenge riders in the morning with hot dishes as well as healthy Israeli fruits, salads and cereals. The dinners will provide plenty of fuel for the next day’s demanding route.  Riders call the Masada Guest house home for the first three days of the ride. On Wednesday evening, they will join the road and touring groups at the Hotel Yearim (see Road and Touring, Days 3 and 4 above). 

For More Information > Address: Masada, Israel. Main telephone number: +972 02-594-5622

While we highly recommend that you bring your own bike on Wheels of Love, we understand that some prefer to rent a bike for the duration of the ride. The decision is entirely yours and we stand ready to help get you on the road whether you ship or rent your bike.


Shipping Your Bike

You should have your bike packed carefully. Most bike shops provide this service. Packing usually involves removing wheels, pedals, handlebars, and saddle, which are wrapped in foam and packed separately.

When you come to check-in at ALYN, our team of mechanics will unbox your bike and assemble it. (If you prefer, you can do this yourself.) During the ride, all bike boxes are stored at ALYN. After the ride, the mechanics will repack your bike for the flight home.

Most airlines will charge a separate fee for bringing a bike. El Al has a special deal for ALYN Wheels of Love riders. They will waive their usual fee ($150) for the trip to Israel. (The fee will be charged for the return flight.) To take advantage of this deal, riders must be departing from New York, Newark, Boston, LA, or Chicago. You must fly between October 20 and November 25.

Send an email to WheelsofLove@ELALusa.com Hand send a copy to FRIENDS@alynus.org

Include the following information:

  • Your name as it appears on your passport
  • The date, time and number of your flight
  • Your cell phone number

The fee waiver is entered into your flight record and activated when you check-in for your flight. (Note: They do NOT send out confirmations of the fee waiver.) 

Renting a Bike

While it is preferable to bring your own bike, you can also rent either a road or a mountain bike from our supplier. We have carefully selected our supplier for providing exceptional service and pricing. If you rent a bike, your are responsible for returning the bike and for negotiating payment, insurance and repair issues directly from the provider.

Wheels of Love will treat your rental bike with the exact same policy as all bikes that are privately owned and brought on the ride by individual riders. In other words, we will handle your rental with great care.

 

To rent a bike, get in touch with our supplier below. You must come to ALYN during rider check-in the week before the ride. You will pick up your rental bike at ALYN and then go through the same check-in procedures as all riders.

A team of mechanics will be available to make adjustments to your rental bike. You also have the same access to our mechanics during the ride as any other rider. Often riders who rent bikes bring their own pedals and even their own seat. The mechanics will help you install these on the rental bike. Just remember to return the rental pedals and seat to the rental company when you return your bike. Asaf Rockman, rent@bikejerusalem.com, Mobile phone: (972) 052-3201273

 Days could be hot and sunny or cold and rainy. Take gear that you can ride in no matter what the weather. 

  • Cycling shorts, Cycling shoes, Cycling gloves, Cycling socks
  • We are providing a 2018 cycling jersey. New riders will receive an extra jersey. We are also providing a vest to be worn over your own cycling shirts on the days that you do not wear the ALYN cycling jerseys for identification. It is mandatory to wear ALYN 2018 cycling jersey on the first and last day of the ride.
  • Bicycle helmet – PLEASE PUT YOUR NAME ON IT
  • Knee and elbow protectors (For off-road, only if you ride with them regularly.)
  • Spare inner tube, a simple set of tools and derailleur hanger suitable for your bike. Off-Road: spare brake disc pads.
  • Sunscreen
  • Vaseline, talcum powder, or other type of chamois cream. 
  • Touring riders: Small bag with comfortable clothes and shoes for touring.
  • OVERSEAS Participants need to have their passport and insurance information on them at all times
  • ISRAELIS need their identity card and kupat cholim card
  • Sunglasses
  • Lip balm
  • Insect repellent
  • Band-Aid and medications
  • Toilet paper, wet wipes
  • Casual Clothes for relaxing in the evenings
  • Money/Credit Card- Take into account that while the mechanics service is free, parts are extra. All meals/hotel rooms are included.
  • Ear plugs (for those noisy roommates)
  • Bathing suit
  • Laundry detergent, Rope to put up clothes line

 

Wheels of Love officially begins on Sunday, October 28, 2018 at 8:00. But all riders need to come to ALYN the week before to check-in their bikes, receive their rider packets, and make sure that we have all the correct essential information.

Our address in Jerusalem is: 84 Shmaryahu Levin St., Kiryat Yovel

How to get to ALYN

During check-in, you will also have the opportunity to meet other riders as well as the Wheels of Love staff and volunteers. Light refreshments and coffee/tea will be available. Riders can also pick up their fundraising incentive gifts at the check-in.  

Check in will be open during the following times:

Wednesday, October 24:  10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Thursday, October 25: 9:00 AM to 10 PM
Friday, October 26: 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM

 


To start the check-in process, riders bring their bikes to special racks that will be placed outside the ALYN entrance. (Those coming from the airport whose bikes are still boxed up can drop them off in the garage.)

Riders go into ALYN where they  check-in in the auditorium and pick up their jerseys, drop off donations, and meet other riders. You can get your name printed on the backs of your jersey in the reception room. Refreshments will be served.

If you have any last minute questions, we will be happy to help.

Riders should also take a guided tour of ALYN during check-in. We highly recommend that all riders take the tour, even if you have done so previously. ALYN is constantly innovating and it is amazing to see what the donations you have raised have made possible. 

Once riders finish upstairs, they will take their bikes to the garage where our team of mechanics will be on hand to unbox and assemble bikes and also make any needed mechanical adjustments.

Riders should stay with their bikes until after all work is done. The mechanics will have a variety of bike components that will be available for purchase (tires, pedals, chains, derailleurs, etc.) There will also be a pavilion set-up where riders can purchase a variety of cycling clothing and gear.

When you are satisfied that your bike is “ready to ride”, you place it in one of the racks designated for the route you are on. We carefully pack all bikes and they will be waiting for you at the start at Lavi Forest.

Getting to the Start

We will provide a variety of options to get you to the start of Wheels of Love.

We will post exact times and pick-up spots a few weeks before the ride. You can reserve your place on a bus at check-in.

  1. How much do I need to raise to participate?
  2. What happens if a rider does not meet the minimum fundraising requirements?
  3. How difficult is the ALYN Wheels of Love ride?
  4. What is included on the ride?
  5. Is ALYN’s Wheels of Love safe?
  6. Do I need spending money?
  7. Is the food kosher? Can I pray with a minyan?
  8. What are the Terms & Conditions of the ride? What if I need to cancel?

1. How much do I need to raise to participate?

The minimum fundraising requirements depend on which route you choose.

For the 2018 Wheels of Love ride, the amounts are:

Trail & Enduro: $3,000

On Road & Touring: $3,500

Challenge: $4,000

Single day ride, both on road and off: 750 shekels ($200)

2. What happens if a rider does not meet the minimum fundraising requirements?

The goal of Wheels of Love, in addition to producing a world-class riding experience for our riders, is to raise as much money as possible for the children of ALYN Hospital.  Participation in Wheels of Love involves making a binding commitment to raise the minimum amount of funds required by the Ride Organizing Committee.  All riders who have not met their obligations at check-in must give credit card details before taking part in Wheels of Love.

Any rider who has not raised the required amount by December 31, 2018 will be charged the shortfall. Please note that the credit card will not be charged prior to December 31, 2018, two months after the ride so there is plenty of time to continue additional fundraising in order make up the deficit.  Nevertheless, we strongly encourage you to satisfy (and hopefully far exceed your fundraising obligation ) prior to the ride.

3. What is included on the ride?

On each of the four nights of Wheels of Love (Sunday through Wednesday night), riders stay in three or four star hotels. Accommodations are clean, comfortable and convenient. We eat breakfast and dinner in the hotels.

During the day, we serve lunch half way through the route, usually soup and sandwiches and an occasional surprise. There are also numerous pit stops where healthy snack food is served. At the end of the riding day, you can relax with a cold beer and some protein and carbs at our après ride party. The food is never ending and don’t expect to lose any weight on the Ride regardless of how much time you spend in the saddle.

You will receive a deluxe CRAFT ALYN riding jersey with registration. 

During the ride, we provide complete support. That means that we have mechanics, medics, and a sweep bus to pick up riders who are having a hard time keeping up or just want a breather. We also have escort vehicles and staff ready to help if any need arises. All routes have lead and trailing vehicles. We will transport your luggage between hotels. You can also pack a small day bag that will accompany the On Road and Touring routes and which will be deposited for you at the next rest stop.

Every night the mechanics will set up shop at the hotel to make any repairs that riders need. Should you need a part, you can purchase almost anything you need for your bike — from tires to derailleurs. Please check our packing list to find out what to bring. We try and provide just about everything you might need to make Wheels of Love an exceptional experience.

4. Is ALYN's Wheels of Love safe?

Rider safety is our very first priority. We work very closely with the Israeli police and military in planning our routes. We are also in constant contact with governmental authorities in the event of a security issue. Israeli police escorts stop traffic, keep intersections clear and ensure that oncoming traffic stays in the proper lane.  

Many of the roads we ride on will be completely closed to traffic while we are riding through. In addition to police escorts, each route has a professional route manager who is responsible for the safety of all riders on the route. In the event of an accident, we have experienced medics accompanying each route who can provide immediate medical assistance.

While we make every attempt to keep you safe, riders are also largely responsible for the safety of the ride.  Please read over our “rider safety” page and familiarize yourself with the “rules of the road” so you can do your part in keeping the ride safe for all our riders.

5. Do I need spending money?

On the ride itself, you certainly don’t need to bring substantial spending money.  We provide everything you need over these five days, including hotels, meals and all logistics.   Of course, you may want to bring a little extra for souvenirs or some single malt scotch but as far as we are concerned, once you step on the bus on Saturday night or Sunday morning, you can leave your wallet at home.

6. How difficult is the ALYN Wheels of Love ride?

Wheels of Love is a five day bike ride. Every day, you will ride from approximately 8:15 AM to 4:15 PM.  

While every route has pit stops and lunch breaks, you should be able to ride for 6-7 hours each day.

The on road routes are often hilly and include multiple climbs that can be both steep and long. However, should you have trouble keeping up, we have an air conditioned bus that accompanies the ride every day that you can easily hop on and take a well-earned breather.

Most of the trail riding is done along rugged jeep and hiking trails that can be muddy and dusty. Don’t expect to be clean at the end of the day!!!! Some parts of the trail are technical and require advanced riding skills. If you find it too challenging or too technical, don’t worry – you can just get off your bike, walk through the technical part and then get back on once the trail levels out again.

If you can’t keep up, there is always a sweeper vehicle that you can hop on until you are ready to ride again.

While Wheels of Love is definitely a serious ride, we have designed the routes to appeal to a wide range of cyclists. Strong and competitive riders who are interested in riding hard and fast will love our Challenge group. Those who want to ride at a slightly lower pace can join our new Road Plus route.

Riders who prefer a relaxed pace and don’t want to spend more than half the day in the saddle, can join our Touring group which spends the afternoons enjoying unique tours of the biblical landscape. Similarly, we have Trail riders of all different abilities who can choose the regular Trail group or the more advanced Enduro group. Our largest group is the Road route and this group includes cyclists of varying levels.

Regardless of your level, we encourage you to train regularly in the months leading up to the ride. The fitter you are, the more you will enjoy this incredible experience. Check out our routes, including the mileage and elevation and see which is right for you.

 
7. Is the food kosher? Can I pray with a minyan?

Kashrut policy All food provided on the Wheels of Love (WOL) Bike Ride is kosher and has valid kashrut certification. This includes fruit, all of which is purchased from suppliers who certify that their products adhere to kashrut requirements for מצוות התלויות בארץ (mitzvot teluyot b’aretz). 

During the Ride, kashrut certificates for items that are not prepared under the supervision of the kitchen are available from the WOL staff upon request. This includes fruit and nuts served at rest stops.

Soups served at lunch are prepared in a kitchen with kashrut certification. They are cooked, heated and served from pots belonging to the kitchen involved. Dishes and spoons are disposable. Sandwiches are packaged individually. Each has individual kashrut certification.

Glatt kosher food for the five-day ride is available for an extra cost.

Minyanim

Many of our riders and volunteers are religious and therefore daily minyanim are held at the guesthouses/hotels and at the lunch stops. On Monday and Thursday mornings, we make sure that a Sefer Torah is available. Every year some of the Wheels of Love participants even learn the “daf yomi” together!

8. What are the Terms & Conditions of the ride? What if I need to cancel?

As a condition of participation, you must have read and accepted the event terms and conditions and the ride cancellation policy.

Terms and Conditions

Cancellation Policy


5 Things to  Make Your ALYN Ride Much More Fun by Yarden Frankl

How Cycling Makes You Smarter and Happier by Selene Yeager 

Safety by Yitzhak Ian Fierstein

It’s a hill. Get over it.  by Zvi Volk

Raising Funds for the ALYN Children


YOU can make the difference

We are so excited that you will be joining us on the best cycling adventure in Israel! The funds that you raise are essential for ALYN to help thousands of children receive the very best in rehabilitative care. This year, we are introducing ways to recognize riders who go beyond the minimum donation threshold. We have all sorts of great gifts as a token of our appreciation for each level you achieve.

But the main gift you will have will be the knowledge that YOU went beyond what was required for the sake of helping children receive the care that they need and deserve.

$5,000 Incentive: ALYN Wheels of Love branded riding gloves, bandanas, riding socks

It takes just a little more effort to go beyond the minimums. But when you consider that every additional dollar you raise means more resources to help the children of ALYN, it’s not that hard. When you raise at least $5,000, we will give you the choice of ALYN Wheels of Love branded riding gloves, socks, or bandannas. 

$8,000 Incentive: ALYN Wheels of Love branded winter riding jersey

This year’s long sleeve jersey is very special. It is specifically designed for cold weather riding. While — hopefully — you will not need to wear it during the ride, it will be very useful when you are training in the dead of winter for next year’s ride.  You cannot purchase these great jerseys. They are exclusively our gift to riders who raise at least $8,000. Plus, you also get your choice of gloves, socks, or bandannas. Join this select group and help the children of ALYN!

$10,000 Incentive: ALYN VIP Robe

Those who raise at least $10,000 deserve a very special gift. This year, for the first time we have a gift that you will truly relish when you are off the bike. Our VIP fundraisers will be given a luxurious robe with the ALYN logo prominently displayed. These robes are from the same company that provides robes to the King David hotel. After a long day in the saddle, what could be better that taking a hot shower and relaxing wrapped in an ALYN VIP robe. Of course, you also get all the above incentive gifts as well.

$15,000 Incentive: Deluxe Wine Connoisseur Basket

Riders who raise $15,000 or more will be able to treat themselves and their friends to fine Israeli wines that we have hand selected to thank our friends. The baskets will be delivered to riders’ hotel rooms during the ride. Of course riders at this level also will receive all the earlier gifts. 

 

$25,000 Incentive: Free Registration for Wheels of Love 2019

Those who can raise $25,000 not only will receive the gift basket, VIP robe, winter riding jersey, and their choice of ALYN branded gloves, bandannas, or socks, but they will receive 100% FREE Registration for the 2019 Wheels of Love ride. Simply put – -we want you back. 

$36,000 Incentive: Free Hotel Upgrade and Registration for 2019 ALYN Wheels of Love

We want riders who have raised at least $36,000 to return so much that we will upgrade your hotel room, give you free registration, and give you all the above gifts. But the best reward will be knowing how many lives your hard work has changed.

 

$50,000 Incentive: Special Honor at the awards dinner and free airfare for the 2019 ALYN Wheels of Love

Our final fundraising champions will be honored at our awards dinner and receive a beautiful plaque in recognition of their achievements. You are truly the ALYN VIPS and because we want you to come back and inspire others, we will pay for your airfare, hotel upgrade, and registration for next year’s ride. Of course, you will also receive all of the gifts above which we hope you will wear with pride. 

You will also have the gratitude of many, many children. Some of them cannot walk, speak, or even breathe on their own. But they all will appreciate your efforts on their behalf.

Thank you from all of us.

 

ONLINE

Next to each rider’s name on the rider list on our website is a “sponsor” button. Clicking this button will open up a personal fundraising page for that rider, hosted by either the American/Canadian Friends of ALYN or JGIVE, depending on where the rider lives. Online donations can be made in multiple currencies. Teams also have separate fundraising pages. 

Online donations will receive digital receipts that cannot be altered once issued. Before donating, you will be asked what name you want on the receipt (such as a company name.) Please make sure the name is correct because we cannot change these receipts.

To receive an Israeli receipt for a donation in any currency other than shekels, please email donations@alyn.org.

Click below to see how to donate by check, telephone, or bank transfer as well as how to donate in other currencies.


Donations by check

Israeli shekel checks:

Checks should be payable to ALYN and sent to:

ALYN Hospital
84 Shmaryahu Levin Street
Kiryat Yovel, P.O.B. 9117
Jerusalem, 91090

American or Canadian dollar checks please mail to:

American Friends of ALYN or Canadian Friends of ALYN
122 East 42nd Street,
#1519 New York, NY 10168

If you have a number of checks that you wish to bring or mail to ALYN Hospital, then print out the form at this link. Please print a separate page for different currencies. If your donor is giving in foreign currency and wishes to receive an Israeli receipt (non tax-deductible), then indicate this on the form. You can bring the form and checks to check-in for Wheels of Love.

By telephone

To phone in a credit- card donation, please call our Israeli office:

Israel – 02-6494235
U.S. 1-866-629-0025
UK: 0330-828-0808

Bank transfer (Israeli receipts)

First International Bank, Main Jerusalem Branch #012 10 Hillel Street, Jerusalem, Israel ALYN Foreign Currency account # 009997 ALYN Israeli Shekels account # 409-009997 swift code: FIRBILIT XXX JERUSALEM 012 IBAN # IL 900310120000000009997

Please be kind enough to send an email to donations@alynactive.org informing us of the bank transfer that you have made so that we can trace and acknowledge it correctly.

British Pounds

To accept online donations in British Pounds or Euros, you can easily set up a personal fundraising page on Just Giving. Donations will automatically be sent to our office in London. Just follow these instructions:

As soon as the funds are transferred to the hospital, your donation information will be added to our website.

You can also mail checks to:
Friends of ALYN London
c/o Mrs. Maureen Lowry
88 Ossulton Way
London N2 0LB

You can also send an email to alynuk@ip3.co.uk

Donating in Euros and other currencies

Donors can receive tax receipts in Holland, France, and Switzerland

Holland: Stichting Vrienden van Het ALYN Hospital, c/o Shulamit Klarenbeek-Joosten (Treasurer), penningmeester.alyn@gmail.com

Amis D’Alyn France
C/O Dr. Richard Sion
9 Boulevard Magenta, Paris, 75010 France
331-424-92362

Switzerland: Schweizer Freunde von ALYN- Jerusalem, St. Jakobs-Strasse 108, 4052 Base, Phone 061 313 46 45 margie@balcab.ch


Every year, hundreds of riders from all over the world successfully raise money for the children treated at ALYN Hospital. In fact, the majority of our riders raise far more than the minimum requirements. If the challenge of raising funds for ALYN makes you nervous, don’t worry. 

Fundraising for ALYN can be incredibly rewarding.  When you ask friends and family to sponsor you, you are asking them to help thousands of children, each one with a moving story.

Kids come to ALYN after car accidents, terrorist attacks, spinal cord and muscular injuries caused by sickness or side-effects from treatments like chemo. Others are born with serious physical challenges. They are very different but all share one thing in common: The desire to live life with their families as independently as possible.

The money you raise can make this happen.

Here’s what 13 year old Zina said when, after 14 months of intensive rehabilitation at ALYN after a devastating car accident, she was finally able to return home:

“After my accident, I never thought I would be myself again but ALYN made it possible. They never gave up on me even when I gave up on myself.  ALYN gave me the strength, the tools and the desire to face the future.   They loved me and believed in me and showed me how to overcome every obstacle. Thank you ALYN, from the bottom  of my heart.”

ALYN treats thousands of children like Zina each year. These are children, not statistics. Every dollar you raise is used by ALYN to provide state of the art treatment to the children who seek our help every day. 

The four steps to successful fund-raising

Step #1 — Aim high: Set an ambitious and inspiring fundraising goal for yourself. Although the minimum you need to raise is between $3,000 and $4,000, we KNOW that you can raise more. If you can ride for 5 days straight, up and down hills, through all types of weather, you can certainly go the extra mile for the children of ALYN. Pick $5,000, $10,000 or more. You will be making a world of difference.

Step #2 — Make a personal donation. Your registration payments pays for your hotel rooms and other expenses of the ride. But it is not a donation. To convince others to make a contribution, it is always helpful to lead by example. 

Step #3 — Ask Friends and Family. It’s always best to start with the easiest sell so start with family and close friends. It’s helpful to ask for a specific amount. Sometimes people want to help but are unsure what is appropriate. If you suggest an amount, they will be more likely to give. Some people who would gladly give $500 give $50 because they weren’t asked for a higher amount.

Step #4 — Ask Everyone! Write that email, send the WhatsAPP, post on Facebook. Most importantly — make personal phone calls.  There is a basic rule in ALL fundraising: The main reason people give is that they have been asked by someone they know and trust. That person is YOU!

Make sure to send your sponsors a personal thank you letter. Show your appreciation and let them know what a difference their gift makes for the children of ALYN.

Don’t forget about businesses and corporations that may earmark allocations to charitable causes and/or for public and community relations. Wheels of Love offers outstanding public relations opportunities in exchange for Corporate Sponsorships (If you have a lead that might result in a corporate sponsorship opportunity, please contact Chaim Wizman at cwizman@alyn.org).

Get to know the incredible children of ALYN

The more you get to know about the children at ALYN and the miracles they accomplish each day, the better an ambassador you will be.

If you are in Israel, take a tour of ALYN and experience the magic firsthand. ALYN help children recover from severe injuries sustained in terrorist attacks, road accidents, head and spinal trauma, cancer treatment, and other conditions requiring extensive rehabilitation. Many children here also have been born with congenital disabilities.

Write those LETTERS, Make those PHONE CALLS, Keep up your TRAINING, Make a DIFFERENCE! See you in October.

The best way to raise fund sis by personally asking your friends and family. You can use these letters. Just make sure to personalize them with your name and the link to your fundraising page. If you forget the link, just look up your name here and click on “Sponsor.”


Sample letter for first time riders

Dear (Fill in the Blank),

I am taking on a new challenge and I want to share it with you. 

You know I love kids, Israel and my bike.  I found the perfect way to celebrate these loves….WHEELS OF LOVE!  This is an amazing 5 day charity bike ride in Israel held every fall to benefit the physically disabled children of ALYN HOSPITAL in Jerusalem.

I am going to ride my bike for 5 days, 300 miles and too many hills to even contemplate. Every turn of the wheel will help the physically disabled children of ALYN Hospital in Jerusalem come closer to achieving their ambitious goal of leading a maximally independent life.

It’s an honor to have one of the coveted 350 spots since WHEELS OF LOVE is the original and definitive gold standard for charity bike rides in Israel and I’ve discovered that ALYN Hospital is the gold standard IN THE WORLD for pediatric rehabilitation.  You can learn all about ALYN here.

Children come to ALYN from all over Israel seeking their very special brand of love-compassion-hope-expertise.  It’s a failsafe recipe for success.  ALYN knows exactly how to help every single child reach his or her highest level of mobility – no matter how dire the circumstances.

All they lack is the money to insure this life changing care.  WHEELS OF LOVE is the Hospital’s largest annual fundraiser.  I’ve been told I am going to meet incredible people, make lifelong friends and see places in Israel one can only see from the seat of the bike.

But I’ve been told it is the children’s smiles and their parents’ thanks of gratitude that makes this experience so exceptional. I am paying my own airfare, my own hotels and a registration fee.  All gifts are 100% tax-deductible and the money raised goes directly towards treating the children.

I am very excited to be going to Israel to do a mitzvah. YOU can help me double the mitzvah by being as generous as you possibly can be to these kids. I am doing my small part in helping these young heroes.  It’s so easy to become a hero to them – just click here (insert the link to your fundraising page. If you forget it, just look up your name here).  Thank you for helping me help these very deserving children.

The ride is October 29th to November 2nd – look for pictures that I will send from Israel!

In gratitude,

 

 

PS: To donate by check please make it payable to American Friends of ALYN and mail it to 122 E. 42nd St., Suite 1519, NY, NY 10168 and make sure to put my name in the memo line!  If your company matches your gift or you wish to donate stocks, please call the office at 212-869-8085 for more info.

Sample letter for veteran riders

Dear (Fill in the Blank),

Once again, I am challenging myself for an incredible cause and I want to share it with you. 

You know I love kids, Israel and my bike.  I have found the perfect way to celebrate these loves….WHEELS OF LOVE!  This is an amazing 5 day charity bike ride in Israel held every fall to benefit the physically disabled children of ALYN HOSPITAL in Jerusalem.

So once again, I am going to ride my bike for 5 days, 300 miles and way too many hills to even contemplate. Every turn of the wheel will help the physically disabled children of ALYN Hospital in Jerusalem come closer to achieving their ambitious goal of leading a maximally independent life.

It’s an honor to have one of the coveted 350 spots since WHEELS OF LOVE is the original and definitive gold standard for charity bike rides in Israel and I’ve discovered that ALYN Hospital is the gold standard IN THE WORLD for pediatric rehabilitation.  You can learn all about ALYN here.

Children come to ALYN from all over Israel seeking their very special brand of love-compassion-hope-expertise.  It’s a failsafe recipe for success.  ALYN knows exactly how to help every single child reach his or her highest level of mobility – no matter how dire the circumstances.

All they lack is the money to insure this life changing care.  WHEELS OF LOVE is the Hospital’s largest annual fundraiser.  I’ve been told I am going to meet incredible people, make lifelong friends and see places in Israel one can only see from the seat of the bike.

But I’ve been told it is the children’s smiles and their parents’ thanks of gratitude that makes this experience so exceptional. I am paying my own airfare, my own hotels and a registration fee.  All gifts are 100% tax-deductible and the money raised goes directly towards treating the children.

I am very excited to be going to Israel to do a mitzvah. YOU can help me so this mitzvah by being as generous as you possibly can be to these kids. I am doing my small part in helping these young heroes.  It’s so easy to become a hero to them – just click here (insert the link to your fundraising page. If you forget it, just look up your name here). Thank you for helping me help these very deserving children.

The ride is October 29th to November 2nd – look for pictures that I will send from Israel!

In gratitude,

 

 

PS: To donate by check please make it payable to American Friends of ALYN and mail it to 122 E. 42nd St., Suite 1519, NY, NY 10168 and make sure to put my name in the memo line!  If your company matches your gift or you wish to donate stocks, please call the office at 212-869-8085 for more info.

 

 

Wheels of Love welcomes the formation of teams.  Team fundraising can be a useful and effective tool to maximize fundraising efforts and create a healthy sense of camaraderie among team members and good-natured competition with other teams.

Teams should be formed when a group of riders plan to be soliciting donations from the same donor. We can set up a team fund raising page which will be in addition to a riders personal fundraising page. Riders can send either page to their donors.

When a donor makes a team gift, the donation is split evenly among all team members registered to the team at the time the gift is given. However, each Team Rider still has an individual fundraising obligation which remains even if the Team has satisfied or surpassed its overall Team fundraising obligation.

In other words, even if one member of a team is raising far more than the minimum, other members of the team must still meet their obligations. The only cases where this does not apply is teams made up of immediate family members.

Suggestions For Small Gift Items  For Which Our Children And Our Staff Are Always Grateful

NO CANDY/SWEETS PLEASE!

For our younger children:

  • Small educational toys (especially “cause and effect” ones i.e. the child does something like pushing a button or opening a door or a top of a toy and it has an effect like a “Jack in the Box” popping up or music starts to play etc.)
  • Baking set
  • Carpentry set
  • Tool kit
  • Doctor set
  • Kitchen set
  • Puzzles (wooden with large attractively colored pieces)
  • Simple card games
  • Costume jewelry
  • Decorative hair items e.g. pony tail holders, slides etc.
  • Playdough
  • Small toy cars
  • Dolls and doll accessories
  • Stickers: any and all kinds but especially stickers of well known cartoon characters and children’s TV programs like Sesame Street!
  • Large crayons/thick and thin markers of all colors
  • Musical toys with/without moving pictures
  • Magnifying glasses
  • Plastic sun glasses for “dressing up”
  • And while on the subject of “dressing up” funny hats are always appreciated too especially in the Day Care Center!
  • Little torches/flashlights
  • Soap bubble containers and blowers
  • Kaleidoscope
  • Beanie Babies
  • Notebooks
  • Medals
  • Springs
  • Key-Rings
  • Rubber Stamps

Small items listed above like stickers,  toy cars, costume jewelry, decorative hair items etc. are excellent for our therapists to have to give out as motivation prizes to young patients in physiotherapy,  occupational therapy etc. sessions in order to encourage a child to do an exercise which demands an extra effort

For our older children i.e. teenaged hospitalized patients in our Active Rehabilitation Ward:

Anything which is “the craze” in the USA, if language is not involved, will certainly be appreciated by our teenage patients.

Also since we have a number of computer stations (in therapy units and also for leisure) in various areas of the Hospital any of the latest DVD/CD computer games, where knowledge of the English language is not a necessity, are also very welcome and appreciated.

 

 

Check in and Busing to the Start

Wheels of Love officially begins on Sunday, October 28, 2018 at 8:00. But all riders need to come to ALYN the week before to check-in their bikes, receive their rider packets, and make sure that we have all the correct essential information.

Our address in Jerusalem is: 84 Shmaryahu Levin St., Kiryat Yovel

How to get to ALYN

During check-in, you will also have the opportunity to meet other riders as well as the Wheels of Love staff and volunteers. Light refreshments and coffee/tea will be available. Riders can also pick up their fundraising incentive gifts at the check-in.  

Check in will be open during the following times:

Wednesday, October 24:  10:00 AM to 8:00 PM 
Thursday, October 25: 9:00 AM to 10 PM 
Friday, October 26: 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM


To start the check-in process, riders bring their bikes to special racks that will be placed outside the ALYN entrance. (Those coming from the airport whose bikes are still boxed up can drop them off in the garage.)

Riders go into ALYN where they  check-in in the auditorium and pick up their jerseys, drop off donations, and meet other riders. You can get your name printed on the backs of your jersey in the reception room. Refreshments will be served.

If you have any last minute questions, we will be happy to help.

Riders should also take a guided tour of ALYN during check-in. We highly recommend that all riders take the tour, even if you have done so previously. ALYN is constantly innovating and it is amazing to see what the donations you have raised have made possible. 

Once riders finish upstairs, they will take their bikes to the garage where our team of mechanics will be on hand to unbox and assemble bikes and also make any needed mechanical adjustments.

Riders should stay with their bikes until after all work is done. The mechanics will have a variety of bike components that will be available for purchase (tires, pedals, chains, derailleurs, etc.) There will also be a pavilion set-up where riders can purchase a variety of cycling clothing and gear.

When you are satisfied that your bike is “ready to ride”, you place it in one of the racks designated for the route you are on. We carefully pack all bikes and they will be waiting for you at the start at Yatir Forest.

Riders electing to reserve a hotel room Saturday night can take one of our buses that will leave from Jerusalem after Shabbat ends.

Other riders can take one of our buses to Yatir Forest where they will pick up their bikes, meet old and new friends, have the mechanics make any final adjustments, and prepare for the start of the 2018 ALYN Ride.

To make sure there is room on the bus for you, please send us an email and tell us which bus you would like to take.

AhavaAdamaBeer BaazarBezeqBresheetBio BeeCheck PointCLALCushman WakefieldDLA PiperEsopEin GediFinneganGatoradeGolan Heights WineryGoodwin ProcterJoe's No FlatsManchu Times FashionProvident PaymentsRodman RenshawShomeraSwiss ReWilloryXOXOZagny O.D.Craft SportswearBotz BikeIsrael Way/Derech Eretz
426 RIDERS
See full list >
DAYSHOURSMINUTESSECS
October 28, 2018
$723,634
Money Raised
24% raised of $3,000,000
426 RIDERS
See full list >
DAYSHOURSMINUTESSECS
October 28, 2018
$723,634
Money Raised
24% raised of $3,000,000
Wheels of Love 2018