The adventure at the Maccabi games continue. I was up until 1AM getting both bikes unpacked and set up. Training on the TT course was taking place on Thursday. We were supposed to meet in front of the hotel at 7AM to catch a ride to the course, which is 2 1/2 hours north of Tel Aviv. I waited and waited and waited but no bus. Later in the day I found out that the bus did show up at another hotel. No pre-riding the course for me. I did go for a short training ride with a triathlete from Boulder and his training partner.
Tel Aviv, a beautiful costal city, is anything but biker friendly. We tried riding on the boardwalk, which runs along the Mediterranean Sea. Between the mom’s with strollers, joggers, and folks walking their dogs, I felt like I was in a game of dodge ball. Riding thru Tel Aviv is like riding thru New York City. I was lucky to make it back to the hotel in one piece.
Thursday night was opening ceremonies at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem. 9000 athletes from 77 countries marched in. I have never seen anything like it. The show was put on just like the Olympics. Team USA had almost 1200 athletes. Israel had the largest with over 2000 athletes. The energy of the athletes and crowd was unbelievable. The entertainment, fireworks, and lighting of the torch were very cool. The politicians took full advantage of the opportunity to speak to 35,000 people and to a national TV audience. It did not matter that I had no clue what they were saying because there was such electricity in the air. The camaraderie of the US team was great.
We finally got back to the hotel at 2 AM. We ate and got to bed at 4. So far sleeping isn’t in the cards. I am living off adrenaline.
Not wanting to risk another screwed up training day, my new found Boulder friends and I set up our own training. I talked with Howard (Boulder tri person) and Geoff (worked at Multi Sport in Boulder for 5 years) and we decided on Friday to rent a driver and go out to the country and train where it was a little safer. We did a 20 mile loop. Then we turned around and did the same loop in the opposite direction. I finally got in a good workout. I love riding at sea level. It’s like natural doping.
Saturday we did an easy spin to make sure TT bike is working correctly. Getting all my stuff together because I have to get up at 2:30 AM to catch a private shuttle with another cyclist. It’s a 2½ hour drive from Tel Aviv and my start time is at 7:15. That means a very quick warm-up. Lets see how I handle this since I like to be at races 2 hours before start time. All bikes are being checked and need to abide by all the rules of UCI. I’ve never had to go thru this process before.
I will give it my all tomorrow and I hope to report to you next time with good news and a medal in my hand. My field is small. We only have 9 women in my age group. To be continued.
Love from Israel,