More than 130 cyclists rode through the North Georgia mountains Sept. 23 for the first inaugural Friends of the Israel Defense Forces Southeast Bike Ride.
Cyclists chose between two routes: a 36-mile (twice chai) loop or 70 miles in honor of Israel’s 70th anniversary. The riders were equally divided between the two routes, which started and finished at Sosebee Cycling Park in White, Ga.
FIDF got the idea to hold the bike ride based on similar ones sponsored by its sister organizations around the country, including Chicago, Cleveland and San Francisco, and in Israel. The five-day FIDF ride in Israel is Oct. 13, taking riders on 50- to 60-mile courses through the Golan Heights, Dead Sea and Jerusalem.
The original goal of the Georgia ride was to attract 100 people, so organizers were delighted with the turnout, said Seth Baron, executive director of the FIDF, Southeast region. For about 60 percent of the participants, it was their first involvement with the FIDF, Baron said.
Proceeds from the Georgia event will benefit the soldiers and families of the FIDF wounded and fallen soldier program, he said.