FILED UNDER SOMETHINGISRAELI >> Sport
There were no traffic jams on the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv this past Shabbat. Rather, hundreds of cyclists, clad in colorful helmets, sunglasses and biking tights, took to the streets to raise money for the Eli organisation, the Israel Association for Child Protection.
The normally crowdtheed highway was closed to vehicular traffic for the event, organized by Eli and the Israel Cycling Association.
Entire families participated, on bicycles, trikes, and even rollerblades, on a route that ran from Park Ranana to central Tel Aviv, and concluded with a carnival at Park Ranana, complete with massages for cyclists.
"Everyone holds 'bike-a-thons' to raise money for this-or-another cause. That's how we got together with the Eli," said Ofra Prachi, the head of the Israel Cycling Association. Prachi also said that several businesses and public bodies helped support the event, including the police, who provided thousands of officers to patrol the event and close streets.
"From my perspective it was a terrific combination," said Eli founder Dr Hanita Zimrin. "Health and happiness are what we are trying to give kids who have been abused. Therefore, this kind of event, (emphasizing sport and family) is a perfect place for us to present our activities.
"In recent years the Association has tried to get involved with as many community help projects as it could," says Prachi. "It gives us a chance to do something we love, and to raise awareness of bike riders, in a country that has so many roads but very few bike lanes.
"Next week, for instance, we will hold the fourth annual "Riding for Hope" drive. It is a bike ride around the Jezreel Valley to raise money for the "Etgarim " disabled children's program. We expect thousands of riders to take part. Let me take this opportunity to invite all Ynet readers to take part in this special event."
For more information: www.elisusa.org
Reproduced with permission: Ynetnews