2002 Alyn Hospital Wheels of Love Bike Ride

This is Butch Weaver's journal and information page about his participation in the 2002 Wheels of Love Charity Bicycle Ride to support Alyn Hospital, Israel’s only Pediatric and Adolescent Rehabilitation Center.

All pictures on this site are copyright. Please see the Copyright Notice for details.

To see pictures taken by others on the ride, go to ImageStation and sign in with username=Alyn and password=2002.

RIde Map

The ride goes from Jerusalem to Eilat, covering over 400 km in five days, from Sunday, Oct 27 to Thursday, Oct 31. The map on the right shows the route highlighted in green. The locations circled in yellow are the overnight locations. Click on the map to see a large version or click here to see a medium size version. Over 100 riders are in the ride, helping support Alyn's important mission.

The maps and daily ride descriptions below are based on the information provided by the fantastic support staff of Alyn Hospital.

Many thanks for the wonderful generosity towards Alyn Hospital of my ride sponsors. You know who you are, and you are helping an incredible place.

If you want to sponsor me by making a contribution to Alyn, it’s never too late. Just go to the American Friends of Alyn Hospital Contribution Page or the Israeli Alyn Hospital Contribution Page. Please remember to tell them, you are sponsoring “Butch Weaver.”

Day -2 — Last day in Haifa    
Day -1 — Jerusalem    

Day 0 — Shabbat, a day of rest and recovery


Day 1 — Sunday, October 27

We gather at Alyn at 6:45 am sharp for final packing, organization, etc. The start is at 9:15 am after a gala sendoff from Alyn Hospital in southwestern Jerusalem. The day starts with a combination of off-road, primarily Jewish National Fund style dirt roads (no single track), and on-road biking along a wide arc passing Tsuba, Yaar Kedoshim, Park Brittania and Givat Masua. Today’s route was selected for optimum enjoyment and first-hand experiencing of the forested Judean Hills. Even though most of the vertical is down, there are still a couple of significant quadraceptual challenges. We end at Kibbutz Beit Guvrin, across the street from Israel’s largest active archaeological dig. (63 kilometers)

Day 1 Elevation ProfilesDay 1 Photo Journal

High Res Map

Day 2 - Monday, October 28

The second day's ride goes through major shifts in landscape as we move from the foothills of Judea to the shifting sands of the Negev. The first 35 kilometers are on a gently sloped off-road trail to Kibbutz Ruhama, after which we head on-road past Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's ranch and through Sderot to a poolside lunch stop at Kibbutz Saad. We continue south off-road towards Ts'elim - if time permits, through the Nahal HaBesor nature reserve. Overnight at Kibbutz Gevulot, near Ts'elim. (100 kilometers)

Day 2 Elevation ProfileDay 2 Photo Journal

High Res Map

Day 3 - Tuesday, October 29

From here on in, it’s all on road. Today we head into the Negev highlands. We start the day at an elevation of 195 meters (640 feet) and end at 860 meters (2800 feet). But don't worry, it’s not all uphill, there are some great downhills and some wonderful flats that accompany the change in scenery in the various regions of the Negev through which we will be passing. Lunch is near Ben-Gurion’s grave at Sde Boker, with its spectacular view of Nahal Zin. Road-cycling aficionados are going to love this day, with its unique desert landscapes and near traffic-free, free-range asphalt. Overnight in Mitzpe Ramon. (100 kilometers)

Day 3 Elevation ProfileDay 3 Photo Journal

High Res Map

Day 4 - Wednesday, October 30

We start the day by serpentining into the geologically stupefying Ramon crater, and continue south on the little-used but well-maintained highway through the desert. The route has its share of undulating descents, stretched-to-the-horizon flats, some headwinds in the late afternoon and a few mercifully brief climbs. Tonight we rough it at a mock-Bedouin tent encampment called Shaharut (you might even have to wait in line for one of the shower stalls). (106 kilometers)

Day 4 Elevation ProfileDay 4 Photo Journal

High Res Map

Day 5 - Thursday, October 31

Happy Halloween. Head south toward the granite and schist mountains above Eilat, unlike any other landscape in Israel. We end with a roller-coaster freewheel into Eilat, where we have much of the afternoon to relax, snorkel, veg, or do whatever else our little hearts desire before regrouping for a first-class barbecue on board a Red Sea schooner in the evening. (65 kilometers)

Day 5 Elevation ProfileDay 5 Photo Journal

High Res Map