The last day of cycling was by far the best riding day. Our group, Tzofim, began the day at the Naot Smadar junction located about 9 miles from Kibbutz Ketura. We enjoyed a gradual uphill ride for the better part of the morning on an almost completely empty and open road, although we did encounter a cool head wind until lunch. All ride groups (Chalutzim, Tzofim, and Shormrim) gathered for a leisurely final lunch, took team photos, and prepared for an incredible post-lunch ride, under the scorching sun near the Israel-Egypt border fence at Red Canyon. This final stretch of cycling included an 4-mile descent into Eilat through canyons of the Eilat Mountains, ending with a with a breathtaking view of the very blue, Red Sea.

Cyclists getting ready to begin the last day's ride from the Naot Smadar junction to Eilat

Stopping along the Israel-Egypt boder fence near Red Canyon on the last day of the ride

As we all hit the beach in Eilat, we celebrated by raising our bikes over our heads filled with the knowledge that we accomplished our personal goal of cycling from Jerusalem to Eilat, “pedaling for peace,” and raising much needed funds for the Arava Institute and Hazon. We all understand a little better the meaning of the phrase, “the environment knows no borders” and that only through “mutual co-existence” will the light ever shine through the dark and troubled waters of this region of the world.  The Ride came to an end with an awe inspiring closing ceremony that including an awesome slideshow.

Morris Maslia celebrating in the Red Sea at Eilat after the completion of the 2016 Israel Ride: 5 days and 281 miles

There are already more than 40 riders registered for the 2017 Israel Ride. Why don’t you join them and click here to register? Seriously, it is genuinely such an incredible and transformational experience and one I won’t soon forget. Thank you to all supporters of the 2016 Israel Ride on behalf of myself and the JNF-Atlanta Team. To all supporters and riders I say, Kol HaKavod!