Last Saturday was one of a series of races held every year at Ya'ar Meginim (Defender's forest) . The course is technical with many sharp curves, short (4.8 km), and hilly (half going up the other half down). The green forest scenery is a nice change from the sand and wind prevailing in the south where I live, especially this time of the year. I did not particularly prepare for this race, doing my usual weekly 35 mile ride to work (not a real training session). The old man category (Masters III) did 6 laps and my result was satisfactory coming second after the consistently better rider who happens to be an animal on the hills.
Somehow my thoughts drifted imagining the period when this forest was used as a refuge and stronghold during the days when Israel was fighting for its independence. I feel fortunate to be able to freely express myself, ride, come and go in the only democratic country in the Middle East which also happens to my homeland.
I pray that peace will prevail here in the Mid East and worldwide.