A Few Words From Miral Alaraj, C4G Co-Leader
Thereâ€™s always a lot of of curiosity from family, friends, supporters and new C4Gersabout what happens on the road once the wheels get rolling. Some imagine a group of extremely experienced, well trained, lycra-clad cyclists, zipping through in perfect peloton formations, while others cross their fingers and toes and hope that we just come back unharmed. The truth lies somewhere in between. Annie Robbins from Mondoweiss described Cycling4Gaza as the perfect example of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and I canâ€™t think of a better way to put it.
The Cycling4Gaza (â€œC4Gâ€) rides always kick off on a Thursday with a team dinner and introductions. This year was no different with 40 cyclists dwindling in throughout the day from all over the world. Our welcome dinner this year was particularly memorable this year with the attendance of the Palestine Childrenâ€™s Relief Fund (â€œPCRFâ€) Philly chapter, and of course Ahmad Abu Nammous, our 16 year old cyclist and PCRF patient from Gaza.
Friday the 19th September marked the 1st day of the ride. The route had us riding the 130km from Philadelphia to Lancaster. Things start quite early: quick and hearty breakfast, final bike checks, a team photo, a bit of nerves and a lot of excitement and we were on our way. Itâ€™s always tricky getting out of the big city with such a large group. Our tour operator Dave Walsh and his team from Best of VA Bike Tours
did an excellent job at marking the route with unique postings for us to follow â€“ however, unsurprisingly, some people got lost the first day (and the second day as well, wonâ€™t mention any names here!).
We usually spend most of the day, apart from breaks, on our bikes. A highlight of our rides is the time we get to spend with one another while cycling. I thoroughly enjoyed these stretches â€“ meeting the other cyclists, learning about their own unique life stories. On the first day, right after our morning snack break, Ahmad got on the bike for the first time... [Continue Reading