The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Next Year in Jerusalem (On My Bike)

Today was a tough day for me.

Every year on the day of the New York Marathon I feel pangs of regret that I'm not running. This year was especially tough because I actually was entered to do it. (I dropped out because my knees blew up but I would not have been able to do it in any event because of my recent surgery).

I know in my heart of hearts that I will never do another marathon; my knees and ankles are simply not meant to run 26 miles at a time. The fact that I managed two New York Marathons (15 years ago) is miraculous. But I still feel that yearning every year because it is one of the coolest athletic experiences I've ever had.

Making this year even tougher is the fact that the Alyn bike ride also started today and, for the first time in five years, I wasn't doing it. I hadn't planned on doing the ride this year for a number of reasons. For one, my firm's annual conference was last Thursday so I couldn't have gotten to Israel in time for the start of the ride. More importantly, with a four year old, it's just too hard on MHW for me to disappear for at least ten days. Again, as it turned out, I wouldn't have been able to ride anyway. I only started spinning last week.

(Adding to my frustration this morning was the fact that I went to the gym hoping to do a spin class. I hadn't signed up but I'm usually able to get in off the waiting list. Today I was aced out by a bunch of tubby guys who showed up at the last minute but have absolutely no clue how to spin (they should live and be well). Instead, I worked out with weights and then went home and did 45 minutes on my own spin bike. Ich kenesht.

The good news is that MHW and I are thinking about taking the Vance to Israel with us next year for the ride. OYD will be in seminary and, this way, I will only be away for the five days of the ride but will be able to spend the weekends together with the mishpacha. Maybe I can get OOS to join me.

Post script: I heard from one of my buddies that the weather on the ride is miserable.

Labels: ,


  • At 7:14 PM, Blogger PsycleSteve said…

    Sorry to hear about your health issues-hope you're well on your way to recovery.

    Was thinking about the Alyn Ride today also. Both the course and accommodations looked good this year. Looked at the forecast - showing rain up north for 1st three days.

    Spinning? Why are you riding indoors??? Yeechhhh! Rode outside for 3 hrs today. Didn't wait in line tor tubbies!

  • At 12:13 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    BH, doing very well. Getting stronger every day and, interestingly, I am about 12 pounds lighter than normal and I don't really see myself getting back to my old weight. Now I really have no excuse to be a lousy climber.

    Not ready for a three hour ride yet. Maybe I'll get out next Sunday.

    Steve N. told me it was hailing when they got to the top of Tzfat. Today is also supposed to be pretty bad weather.

  • At 1:18 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    PsycleSteve: Today's ride was cancelled. 60 kph winds and a half inch of rain. Looks like I picked the right year to bug out. They are slated to go up to the Hermon tomorrow (where it snowed today). Yikes.

  • At 4:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Baruch Hashem for the rain-sorry that the riders have to suffer--but it's still a bracha.Brad

  • At 4:36 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…


    Totally true. But I'm still glad I chose this year not to go.

  • At 5:22 PM, Blogger PsycleSteve said…

    OMG! Can't believe the weather and that they actually had to cancel. I was hiking in the Golan on Sukkot-was really warm. Left Israel saddened by the fact that I wasn't doing the ride this year.

    Saw Steve N. at a bar-mitzvah a few weeks back. He was really excited about the trip, and the fact that he talked his wife into doing the ride this year. Going south is more of a sure thing, although the desert scenery (and the sandstorm we rode through a few years ago) can get a bit monotonous. Post more updates if you get them.

    Got caught in a sudden hailstorm a few times. The worst was 2 years ago on the Gavia climb in the Italian Alps. Took shelter in an abandoned barn with a bunch of Italian cyclists. Learned some very colorful foreign phrases!

  • At 11:32 AM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    They did ride today. The word from Steve was "too exhausted to write. Will try tomorrow"

    OOS was riding two years ago on the North Shore when it started pouring so hard that he could barely see in front of him. After riding a couple of miles, he decided to seek shelter. The only place he could find was the garage at the the Brookville Country Club. He hung out for an hour with the workers. He was the only one who spoke English.

  • At 12:14 PM, Blogger PsycleSteve said…

    Thanks for the update. Sounds like they tried to make up for some lost riding.

    More likely to find English speaking foreigners abroad than English speaking Americans here.

  • At 2:33 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    Today was the ride up to the Hermon that you did a few years ago. I heard it snowed there yesterday.

  • At 6:55 AM, Blogger Elliot Lazarus said…

    Good luck on the recovery. I also forfeited my spot in the NYC marathon this year. Hope to do it next year though. Weather here in J'lem has been wonderfully wet for the past few days but we're expecting a chamsin for the weekend.

  • At 9:18 AM, Blogger PsycleSteve said…

    I remember enjoying the climb - only around a dozen of us made it all the way to the ski area on the chermon that year.

    Two other recollections-the "friendly" druze children were throwing stones at our bikes as we were climbing, and that I was so cold on the way down I was shivering and having trouble holding on to the handlebars.

    Must hace been really cold this year.

  • At 2:28 PM, Blogger my chariot wheels said…

    1st hand report from the ride.
    In all a nice ride. about 50 challened riders. Mon. was cancelled, however about 5 guys ventured out in their own. The rest of us toured Golan winery in Kazrin.
    It never snowed on the Hermon. however the fog , on Tues, prevented us from gettin permission to go up. The winds on Tues were ferocious and probably made the riding harder on the flats of the golan, where the riude continued, than the climb would have been (I have climbed Hermon several times)
    Wend was a nice day. Startin with Mevo Hama and concluding with Gilboa.
    Thurs up to Jeru, was better organized than usual and the challenge had an extended ride and we road by ourselves.
    I tried to compensate for the lost day by riding 50 K on fri
    and now the weather is again hot and dry..........
    Looking forward to seeing you guys next year.........

  • At 10:27 PM, Blogger yanmaneee said…

Post a Comment

<< Home