It’s been one hell of a year. What started out as an idea to create a meaningful bar mitzvah experience for my son Oren turned into a magnet of aspirations for a variety of people. The idea began as a bike ride from Jerusalem to Eilat. This I’ve done before: train, raise money, book airline ticket, bike and write a summary blog. End of story.
But last fall I hijacked the ride to get my brother Eyal – who suffers from Parkinson’s and heart disease – out of his office chair and into a bike saddle. This complicated the ride immensely as we needed to train differently and longer, overcome medical issues, build a special bike and raise more money.
Once we raised the money (thank you!!!), got the tandem bike (Camello) and started road training, our mother – Ilana – decided not to miss her two sons ride the most improbable contraption down the spine of Israel. So she plunked down her savings and is going to be the team’s cheerleader at the finish line.
Not to be left out of the mix, my daughter Tal who is living and studying in Italy decided to travel to Jerusalem to bless Oren in person. Our good friend David, who lives in Jerusalem, is taking us to Masada, so we can climb it for a pre bar mitzvah ceremony. And of course there is a side trip to Petra, Jordan and some scuba diving in the Red Sea to cram in.
Sounds great doesn’t it? Not to someone like me sitting at the control tower with an overheated credit card trying to land my family on a runway of a fantastic idea without any guarantees of success. The expectations are high for this once-in-a-lifetime experience for the Yaari clan, but what if:
- Eyal feels poorly and needs medical help. Ride over.
- I physically just can’t propel Camello and Eyal the required miles with grace. The bike is a heavy beast.
- Oren’s experience does not measure to his expectations. He is so excited he hops around the house.
- There are a lot of moving parts that need soft landings.
For a control nut like me this adventure is quickly turning into a project. If only I was bringing a light titanium road bike and going solo, it would be a breeze. It would be an adventure again. I recall many sleepless nights before other adventures. I know pre-trip anxiety when I feel it, but this time it’s different. It’s not just my adventure anymore. I’m just the catalyst.
Or maybe this is the biggest adventure of all: the burning of the to-do list and the trusting of the adventure gods to harness all the possibilities into one awesome experience whatever it turns out to be. The Israel Ride of 2011 has that kind of potential for me, if only I let it go and just ride. I think it maybe time.