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Wheels of Love 2019

20 years riding for the children of ALYN

*$2,633,588
Money Raised*
88% raised of $3,000,000
*This figure includes Rider-Facilitated Donations directed to the Hospital

The 20th-Anniversary Ride: November 10-14, 2019

The 20th Anniversary Ride was a huge success with hundreds of participants raising nearly $3,000,000 (and counting) for the children of ALYN!

Check out pictures of the ride in our gallery below or click here to see all the pictures. (If you have your rider number, you can see your pictures.)

Planning for next year? The 2020 ALYN Wheels of Love Ride will take place from October 25-29th, 2020 in the South of Israel. You can preregister now.

Videos from the 20th Anniversary Gala

Leader
board

Our Top Fundraisers

Rider Facilitated Gifts

Name
Amount
Purpose
Anonymous
$18,000
Virtual Reality System
Simon Cohen
$26,000
Defibrillator and other Equipment for Bayit Cham (Warm Home)
Anonymous
$21,000
Hospital Shortfall
Harvey Grad
$10,000
Education and Training for Care Givers Program
Joseph Krant
$46,000
Research Professor Mentor
Anonymous
$42,000
Neurological Monitoring Devices for Children with Significant Brain Injuries

The Routes

Road Group Daily Avg: 68km (44 miles) — Climbing: 1,400m (4,593 ft) —  Pace 16kph (10 mph) 

Road Group STRAVA Links: Sunday     Monday     Tuesday     Wednesday     Thursday 

If you are not sure which route to choose, check out our training guide

The ALYN Wheels of Love Road route officially begins under the shaded trees of the Biriya Forest. Riders will ride 70km on an impressive tour crossing the Upper Galilee, with a portion along the rarely traveled  road that hugs the Lebanese border. Well-stocked pit stops allow riders to refresh and relax throughout the day. Roads will be closed by the Israeli police as the ride comes through. Mechanical and medical support accompany the ride, along with a SAG bus for riders who need a break. While there are some gentle climbs, most of the day’s ride is either gradual descent or flat roads helping riders get accustomed to the week of riding that awaits.

The day’s ride ends at the Hacienda Resort in Ma’alot, where all the roads groups will stay for the first 3 nights.

 

Today’s Cumulative Climbing: 1,506 m/4,940 ft

Right-click here to download map as PDF

Relive ‘Road Day 1’

Today will feature a tour of another section of Israel’s northern border with Lebanon. The routes winds through a counter-clockwise tour of the Upper Galilee culiinating with a thrilling descent along a series of sharp switch-backs.

With over 1,500 meters of climbing and a total distance of 73 kilometers, it will be a challenging day full of beautiful views of the Galilee. 

Today’s Cumulative Climbing: 1,635 m/5,364 ft

Right-click here to download map as PDF

 

Relive ‘2019 Road Day 2’

On Tuesday, riders will travel west all the way to Acre, Neharia, and the Mediterranean coast. There is less climbing today which will be a welcome respite from the climbs of the last two days. The highlight of the day will be the stop at the famous cliffs of Rosh Hanikra which sit atop the northwestern border between Isreal and Lebanon.

Riders return for the last night at the Hacienda Resort. On Wednesday, all the routes turn south toward Jerusalem. 

Today’s Cumulative Climbing: 1,167 m/3,828 ft

Right-click here to download map as PDF

Relive ‘2019 Road Day 3’

The final day of the 2019 ALYN Wheels of Love ride begins in the hills around Jerusalem and will end at the incredible finish line at ALYN Hospital. 

The toughest challenge of the day is the ascent of Nes Harim. This is a steep, winding road that Wheels of love has ridden almost every year. After a ten kilometer climb, riders will enjoy their last pit stop. Hundreds of riders from all the road groups will gather together and ride the final segment to ALYN Hospital together.

At ALYN, riders will be warmly embraced and presented with commemorative medallions by hundreds of children being treated at ALYN and their families. 

Today’s Cumulative Climbing: 1,538 m/5,045 ft

Right-click here to download map as PDF

 

Relive ‘Alyn Road/Road Plus Day #5’

Road PLUS Group Daily Average: 77km (48 miles) — Climbing: 1,555 m (5,101 ft) — Pace 25kph (16 mph)

Road Plus STRAVA Links: Sunday     Monday     Tuesday     Wednesday     Thursday

If you are not sure which route to choose, check out our training guide

The ALYN Wheels of Love Road route officially begins under the shaded trees of the Biriya Forest. Riders will ride 70km on an impressive tour crossing the Upper Galilee, with a portion along the rarely traveled  road that hugs the Lebanese border. Well-stocked pit stops allow riders to refresh and relax throughout the day. Roads will be closed by the Israeli police as the ride comes through. Mechanical and medical support accompany the ride, along with a SAG bus for riders who need a break. While there are some gentle climbs, most of the day’s ride is either gradual descent or flat roads helping riders get accustomed to the week of riding that awaits.

The day’s ride ends at the Hacienda Resort in Ma’alot, where all the roads groups will stay for the first 3 nights.

Today’s Cumulative Climbing: 1,702 m/5,584 ft

Right-click here to download map as PDF

Relive ‘2019 Road Plus Day 1’

Today, the Road Plus will be riding the first part of the day along the same route as the other road groups. The ride features a tough but spectacular climb right up to Israel’s northern border with Lebanon. The routes winds through a serious of sharp switch-backs while gaining significant elevation. At the top will be a pit stop where riders can relax from the strenuous climbing. the rest of the day has many thrilling descents.

While the main road group turns south back toward the hotel in Ma’alot, Road Plus has more riding to do. The group will first ride another 10 kilometers east to the town of Sasa. Then, Road Plus riders will climb Mount Meron, the highest peak in the Galilee. After reaching the summit in a national park, the group will return back to the main road to finish the day’s ride.

Today’s Cumulative Climbing: 1,985 m/6,512 ft

Right-click here to download map as PDF

Relive ‘2019 Road Plus Day 2’

On Tuesday, riders will travel west all the way to Acre, Neharia, and the Mediterranean coast. After riding along the Mediterranean Coats, we will have a stop at the famous cliffs of Rosh Hanikra, which sit atop the northwestern border between Isreal and Lebanon. There are no major climbs for most of the day, allowing us to enjoy the stunning views of the coast and the Galilee.

However, the last 10k of Road Plus includes a challenging climb back to Ma’alot. The climb is tough but includes spectacular views and occasional plateaus to catch your breath. Have no fear, cold beer and refreshments are only a few kilometers ahead back at the hotel.

Riders return for the last night at the Hacienda Resort. On Wednesday, all the routes turn south toward Jerusalem. 

Today’s Cumulative Climbing: 1,347 m/4,420 ft

Right-click here to download map as PDF

Relive ‘2019 Road Plus’

After three days in the Galilee, riders head south. The route winds along green hills and through lush valleys as riders travel from the Upper to the Lower Galilee and then on through the center of Israel. After the tough climbs of the week, today the terrain is much more gentle. 

When the ride finishes for the day, riders will board coach buses for Jerusalem’s Yearim Hotel. Wednesday night all riders — road and trail — will come together for our awards dinner.

Today’s Cumulative Climbing: 988 m/3,241 ft

Right-click here to download map as PDF

Relive ‘2019 Road Plus Day 4’

The final day of the 2019 ALYN Wheels of Love ride begins in the hills around Jerusalem and will end at the incredible finish line at ALYN Hospital. 

The toughest challenge of the day is the ascent of Nes Harim. This is a steep, winding road that Wheels of love has ridden almost every year. After a ten kilometer climb, riders will enjoy their last pit stop. Hundreds of riders from all the road groups will gather together and ride the final segment to ALYN Hospital together.

At ALYN, riders will be warmly embraced and presented with commemorative medallions by hundreds of children being treated at ALYN and their families. 

Today’s Cumulative Climbing: 1,678 m/5,505 ft

Right-click here to download map as PDF

Relive ‘Alyn Road/Road Plus Day #5’

Challenge Group Daily Average: 120km (75 miles) — Climbing: 1,600m (4,800 ft) — Pace 30kph (19 mph)

Road Group STRAVA Links: Sunday     Monday     Tuesday     Wednesday     Thursday

If you are not sure which route to choose, check out our training guide

The Challenge route will kick off the 20th anniversary Wheels of Love ride in Biriya Forest. We start with a long, challenging, yet spectacular ride. From the heart of the Galilee, we head north. We ride all the way to Israel’s northern tip at Kiryat Shemona, a peninsula of Israel surrounded on three sides by Lebanon.  We then hug the border and head south and west. This is a sparsely populated area, and we will take in impressive views as we ride along the mountain ridge that separates Israel from Lebanon. 

The day’s ride finishes in Ma’alot at the Hacienda Resort, where all road riders will be staying.

Today’s Cumulative Climbing: 2,361 m/7,746 ft

Right-click here to download map as PDF

Relive ‘2019 Challenge Day 1’

Today, the Challenge group  will be riding the first part of the day along the same route as the other road groups. The ride features a tough but spectacular climb right up to Israel’s Northern border with Lebanon. The routes winds through a serious of sharp switch-backs while gaining significant elevation. At the top will be a pit stop where riders can relax from the strenuous climbing. the rest of the day has many thrilling descents.

While the main road group and the Road Plus riders turn south back toward the hotel in Ma’alot, Challange has more riding to do. The group will first ride east toward Tsfat and then along a long east-west route that traverses the lower Galilee. 

Today’s Cumulative Climbing: 2,544 m/8,350 ft

Right-click here to download map as PDF

Tuesday is the day Challenge riders have been most looking forward to — the climb up to the ski lodge on the top of Mount Hermon, Israel’s highest mountain. The day starts early, the route is 130 kilometers with more than 2,800 meters of climbing, most of it along the steep approach to the Hermon. Riders should be prepared for extreme temperature changes as they ride along the Golan Heights. 

Because the route takes riders to the most northern point of Israel, we will stay in the Ein Zivan kibbutz rather than return to the Hacienda. This small, intimate hotel will be the perfect venue to relax and bond with other Challenge riders who have ridden Israel’s toughest climb.

Riders should get a good night’s sleep because Wednesday ride will be even longer — a full 100 mile century.

Today’s Cumulative Climbing: 2,932 m/9,619 ft

Right-click here to download map as PDF

Relive ‘2019 Challenge Day 3’

The Challenge century ride has become a Wheels of Love tradition. It’s a long, spectacular route. After Tuesday’s ascent of the Golan and Mount Hermon, the long descent will be a welcome treat for tired Challenge riders. After the descent rider will form pace-lines to tackle the long flat stretches of central Israel.

After the day’s ride finishes, buses will take the riders to Jerusalem for the final evening awards ceremony.  

Today’s Cumulative Climbing: 750 m/2,460 ft

Right-click here to download map as PDF

The final day of the 2019 ALYN Wheels of Love ride begins in the hills around Jerusalem and will end at the incredible finish line at ALYN Hospital. 

The toughest challenge of the day is the ascent of Nes Harim. This is a steep, winding road that Wheels of love has ridden almost every year. After a ten kilometer climb, riders will enjoy their last pit stop. Hundreds of riders from all the road groups will gather together and ride the final segment to ALYN Hospital together.

At ALYN, riders will be warmly embraced and presented with commemorative medallions by hundreds of children being treated at ALYN and their families. 

Today’s Cumulative Climbing: 1,663 m/5,456 ft

Right-click here to download map as PDF

 

Relive ‘Alyn Road/Road Plus Day #5’

Touring Group Daily Average: 32km (20 miles) — Climbing: 400m (1,300 ft) — Pace 18kph (11 mph)

If you are not sure which route to choose, check out our training guide

After riding through the shaded Biriya Forest and north to the Naftali Kibbutz, the Touring group will leave their bicycles and take a tour of the fascinating village of Piki’in. This is currently a Druse village with a history of Jewish habitation dating from thousands of years. However, today Margalit Zinati at 87 is the only Jewish inhabitant of the city. Riders will get to meet her and she will give us a guided tour of the city’s ancient Jewish sites. 

The ancient synagogue of Piki’in has a wall that includes two stones that were taken from  the original Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The 100 shekel currency used to feature former Israeli president Yitzhak Ben-Zvi with the Peki’in synagogue on the reverse side. Thousands of years ago, Piki’in was an important Jewish center of learning in the heart of the Galilee.

Open route in STRAVA

The day starts off with riders off their bikes. After breakfast, the Touring Group will visit the famous sea-cliffs of Rosh Hanikra, where we will experience the force of nature as we see the grottoes formed by the pounding waves of the seas. By the grottoes we learn the folly of Man as we observe the train tracks leading through the mountain. We rejoin the Road group in the afternoon for a pleasant Galilee ride back to the Hacienda Resort.

Open route in STRAVA

After spending the morning riding with the main road group, we will arrive at the ancient city of Acre (Acco.) Acre is a world UNESCO Heritage site and dates back thousands of years. In fact, it is considered among the oldest inhabited places on Earth. Visitors can see various buildings and artifacts from the Early Bronze Age (3000 BCE) to sites that played a significant role in the history of modern Israel. The city played a prominent role during the Crusader period. It was also home to the prison where Jewish leaders fighting for Israel’s independence during the British mandate were sent and some of them executed.

Open route in STRAVA

On day 4, we will visit the Industrial Park in Tefen created by Ze’ev Stef Wertheimer and backed now by the Oracle of Omaha, Mr.Warren Buffet. In addition to seeing a short film about the vision of this Israeli industrialist we will visit the “Open Museum” onsite which includes a rather extensive car collection , a museum of the Art of Industry dedicated to the development of cutting tools and machinery, from prehistoric times up until the latest word in machining and turning.

We will also visit Savta Gamila’s “Wonder Soaps”, which connects to the visit to the village of Pekiin on Sunday where Savta Gamila began to manufacture soap according to formulas passed down through the generations, to which many ascribe healing powers.

Open route in STRAVA

 

 

The final day of the 2019 ALYN Wheels of Love ride begins in the hills around Jerusalem and will end at the incredible finish line at ALYN Hospital. 

We will ascend to the site of Tel Azeka and tell the story of the encounter between the young shepherd David and the gigantic Goliath and its impact on Jewish history. We will also visit the Ha Ela Winery to wine and dine before joining the rest of the ride at the Kerem Junction and ride to the finish line in ALYN.

At ALYN, riders will be warmly embraced and presented with commemorative medallions by hundreds of children being treated at the hospital and their families. 

Today’s Cumulative Climbing: 515 m/1,690 ft

Open route in STRAVA

Main Trail Group Daily Avg: 36km (22 miles) — Technical Level: Moderate with some single tracks. Bikes can be walked around obstacles.

Stronger riders who reach specified time-check points have the option to ride Enduro segments of 10-15 km extra riding with more technical terrain.

Trail STRAVA Links: Sunday     Monday     Tuesday     Wednesday     Thursday

The 2019 Wheels of Love Trail and Enduro groups start on the slopes of the shaded Biriya Forest. Biriya Forest is the largest planted forest in the Galilee, and is situated on the slopes descending east from Tzfat to Rosh Pina. Biriya boasts a variety of fascinating sites – groves, springs, an ancient synagogue, a lime pit, revered tombs, diverse flora, hiking trails and scenic lookouts.

It also is home to an exciting single. The single has rolling hills although is mostly descending. Since it is not a technical single, riders can keep a strong pace with beautiful views on the Hula Valley. All riders will experience several kilometers of this exceptional biking trail. Those who meet the Enduro time cut off will get to ride an extended segment before rejoining the rest of the riders. After the single, riders will ride through the flowing stream of Ein Yarden where they will see the unique geology of the area as hard basalt rock covers layers of soft limestone. We finish the ride along the Yarden river and conclude the ride at the Village Hotel, our home for the next three days.

Today’s Cumulative Climbing: 191 m/627 ft

Relive ‘2019 Trail Day 1’

Riders begin the day riding alongside the Hatzbani River, one of three rivers that feed the Yarden. Before too long the route curves and enters a bamboo forest where the overhead bamboo forms a tunnel through which the path travels. The route circles Tel Dan, and ancient site by the Dan River. After that, riders close in on the Lebanese border with an impressive view of snow-capped Mount Hermon. 

Now the serious climbing begins as the route takes us up the Golan by Tel Azzizyat, scene of a major battle in the Six Day War. Today, the area hosts a monument to the brave fighters who fell protecting the State. Riders continue to the TAP line, an old pipeline that carried oil from Iraq to Haifa many years ago. Enduro riders will climb and ride a route alongside the TAP line while the rest of the group take a parallel path at a slightly lower elevation. Prepare the get wet as all riders will cross the Yardenit on our way back to Sde Nechamia and the Village Hotel. 

Today’s Cumulative Climbing: 523 m/1,715 ft

The ride heads South along the Yarden on Tuesday through beautiful fruit orchards and agricultural fields. Our first climb is above the Ein Avazim, the “Goose” spring. After about 25 kilometers we reach the Ramin Single, a fun — sometimes challenging ride that ascends to Tel Hai in the northern “finger” of Israel. By Nachal Iyun, we will have a short hike-bike section as we cross the stream with our bikes.

Within 5 minutes we will be riding again, crossing one more stream as we continue to make our way to the Manara Cliffs, on Israel’s border with Lebanon. While we will stick to cross-country trails, this area is known for downhill riding and there are many races that takes places down the cliff side. After a long day, we complete our circle and return to our hotel at Sde Nechamia.

Today’s Cumulative Climbing: 648 m/2,126 ft

 

On Wednesday we say good-bye to the Village hotel for the last time and head south. We ride through the beautiful Hula Valley, known as one of the world’s best bird-watching points as birds from 3 continents converge here during their Winter and Summer migrations. 

We start a gradual climb to Ramat Naftali which will include a short section (100 meters) where we will have to dismount and hike with our bikes up the slope. After the climb we will enjoy a beautiful descent to Sde Eliazer where we will take the buses to Neve Illan for our final evening together.

Today’s Cumulative Climbing: 498 m/1,633 ft

We leave from the Neve Ilan hotel on the final day of the ride and ride through a few of the Judean forests, including the Martyr’s Forest (Yar HaKidushin.) This forest was created by the Jewish National Fund, who began planting six million trees in memory of the victims of the Holocaust in 1951. The trail runs by the Kesalon River in the Jerusalem Hills. 

Riders emerge from the forests by Ein Kerem and begin the final climb to ALYN Hospital.

At ALYN, riders will be warmly embraced and presented with commemorative medallions by hundreds of children being treated at ALYN and their families. 

Today’s Cumulative Climbing: 1,041 m/3,415 ft

Right-click here to download map as PDF.

The Hiking Group walks for 6-8 hours along beautiful but moderately difficult trails in the same region where the riders will be. Hikers stay in the same hotels as all the road groups (Road, Road Plus, Challenge, Touring) enabling non-riding partners to participate in Wheels of Love.

Hikers need to bring comfortable hiking shoes, a small-medium backpack, and a hat. Rain gear, a flashlight, and trekking poles can also come in handy. We will provide food and water for hikers to carry.

The Hiking Group is part of Wheels of Love and should not be confused with ALYN’s winter “Heels of Love” desert trek.

A “nachal” is Hebrew for a stream. The Nachal Amud hike is one of the most pleasant in all of Israel. A wooden path goes alongside and sometimes through a shallow stream. If there has been recent rainfall, it can be either dry or full of water. We will walk past numerous ancient water-mills, pools and wild-flowers.

On our return loop, we will visit the Sekhvi Pools – the place where the Sekhvi and Amud streams come together, forming small, shallow pools of clear water, shaded by tall plane trees.

Read more from Israel by Foot.

 

Nahal Betzet is a stream in the Upper Galilee in Israel. The stream runs through the Betzet nature reserve.  The Betzet stream is the northernmost stream in Israel which empties into the Mediterranean Sea within Israel’s borders.

The Betzet stream runs through limestone and is fed by the Karkara springs. Many caves have been formed in the limestone by the stream. These include the Keshet cave and the Namir stalactite cave, both within the Betzet nature reserve. A few ancient sites can also be found within the nature reserve. We hope to explore the caves, but it will depend on the weather and other factors. 

The Montfort/ Nahal Kziv loop in the Galilee takes hikers to one of the most spectacular viewpoints in Israel, at the top of an ancient Crusader Castle. 

The path leads down into the Kziv stream, where we will walk next to the river along the green trail.  This path twists and winds its way under a thick canopy of trees in a valley. Along the hike there are many wonders including a crumbling Crusader fortress, waterfalls, and a secret cave.

Read the description of the hike from Hiking the Holyland.

History and nature combine on this thrilling off-the-beaten-track trail.  Ancient Yodfat (Jotapata) is mentioned in the Mishna as a fortified Jewish village dating from the time of Joshua, corresponding with the Iron Age.  It was here that Josephus, who was a general in the Great Revolt of the Jews against the Romans (66-70 CE) before he was its chronicler, was captured by Romans. From the top of the mound, Josephus’ rich description of the site and the battle comes alive.

The trail follows a long, narrow ridge with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. 

Read more from Bible Walks.

We start at the top of a ridge that overlooks the beautiful Dolev valley. As we start hiking down the ridge, the foliage is lush and the views spectacular. There are many places where we will help each other scramble over the boulder piles that can be found throughout the trail.

There are two fun attractions near the bottom of the trail. One is a natural rock slide where the surface is so smooth, you can slide down on an old piece of cardboard or plastic bottle. Since so many people come to slide here, there are always examples available.

The real attraction is the bat cave. Steps lead down into this completely dark and cool cave. You can guess how it got its name and observe thousands of bats hanging from the ceiling. Thankfully, they will be sleeping at the time of our visit.

Read more from Hiking in the Holyland. (Note, the article describes a short hike to the rock slide and bat cave. We will be taking a much longer route.) 

After the hike, our bus will take us to ALYN for the closing ceremony.

 

AdamabezeqBresheetCheck PointCLALEsopEin GediFinneganGatoradeShomeraSwiss ReIsrael WaySoda StreamEsopBeer BazaarTzemach BananasNature ValleySasa TechTzubaRegister AbstractShevetOvationGoodwinDAF PiccardChamois ButterKimberly-ClarkMalkaLibertanaAlbaadPapa & Barkley
$2,633,588
Money Raised*
88% raised of $3,000,000
$2,633,588
Money Raised*
88% raised of $3,000,000
Wheels of Love 2019