Monday, September 24, 2007

A Perfect Day for Training

I have written many things about life racing and training in the Unholyland, much postive and with my tongue in cheek some not so positive about Israeli Drivers and life as an athlete.
Then comes the one day a year when a day of atonement becomes a day for celebrating as an athlete. For on Yon Kippur (last Fri night/Saturday till sunset) there are NO cars on the road. Imagine a country where there are NO cars, buses, trucks and motorbikes. The roads are completely empty of traffic for twenty four hours. It is without date one of the most incredible experiences to walk out and have silence, in a country where the car horn is used as a turning indicator on many occasions.
Thus Yon Kippur has also become National Bike Day and for a glorious day a year, you can ride on three lane highways without fear.
Highways and roads become the domain of children on their first bikes wobbling across all three lanes, if you have a bike you simply enjoy what is without doubt the best place in the world to train.
Whilst I was on standby for work in the office in Jerusalem, I did get up at dawn and did the ride I have always wanted to do. Ride the main hwy in Israel from Jerusalem down the mountain and back up, approx 600m vertical over twenty km's, the down was easy and hell I even enjoyed the climb back up, my biggest day of climbing on my bike ever, not to mention I also managed a new top speed on my bike of 75kmh.
And who says that religion is the root of all evil.