The stairs of Rocky! Philadelphia
The stairs of Rocky! Philadelphia
LINK TO THE REPORT ON US IN THE EVENING NEWS OF CHANNEL 10! http://news.nana10.co.il/Article/?ArticleID=930543
We (Tom, Roey, Eran and Luca) proudly announce that tomorrow we are starting THE LAST WEEK OF RIDING ACROSS THE USA!!! We can not believe it’s almost over! The last period has been the most intense so far, filled with events, experiences, and people. Let us try to summarize our past week in Washington, DC, and Philadelphia, PA. Here we go :)
Getting to Washington DC was specially exciting for us – we started out by having a bike ride with members of the local community, at the same time the Israeli Channel 10 is making a major news report about us, continued by having an incredible event at the embassy where we met the Israeli ambassador to the United States, and ended with an event with the Hillel of George Washington University. So many incredible people helped us make it all happen that we don’t even know how to thank them! We do want to mention our host family, the Heidemans, who showed us great support, and a really good time. And of course, everybody working in the embassy, who made this extremely meaningful event happen – thank you! We can not express how much it meant for us!
Our next destination was Philly, where we had events with Hillel in PENN, (University of Pennsylvania), in the Perleman Jewish day school, and where we welcomed someone very special: Dror Malo works at Microsoft Israel, one of our biggest supporters, where he took the biggest price of an auction – a week with BFF! So here he is, he joined us for the last week of the bike ride on our way to New York, which is really exciting for us! Our fantastic host, Ilana took us around in Philadelphia, and we had a lot of fun on the stairs of Rocky together with Dror, so get ready for awesome photos on our facebook page!
To summarize this past week, the question that we received the most was - are you gonna do it again? Well we are still here, in the present, and are trying to “digest” all that’s going on. But we had to realize, that the amount of seeds we are planting, funds, and awareness that we are raising for cancer research, and the amount of people we move and touch with what we are doing – it has all become bigger than us, bigger than we could ever imagine, and there is no stop. So dear readers, get ready…Bike For the Fight is finishing this journey in a week, but New York is not going to be our last destination.
Dear BFF family,
Three weeks ago we got an e-mail from one of the Bike For the Fight angels, Ronit, who connected us to an Israeli couple - Dror and Tali. Tali is a breast cancer survivor, and Dror had an operation just about a week ago to take out a very rare kind of tumor from his brain. This incredible couple got inspired hearing our story, and since they were in Ohio for the surgery, they really wanted to meet us. We drove 4 hours out of our way to meet them, we could not say no. It was incredible, we spoke about everything from common friends in Israel, through their disease, to their relationship. They really admired us for what we are doing, they saw light and inspiration in us, but most of all, we all had a good time together, just talking, having good vibes. We have to say, this was exactly the kind of experience that keep us going with our mission.
Last week we biked more than 500 km from Toledo, OH to Pittsburgh, OH. On the way we met up with Eli, Eran’s friend, who decided to buy a bike and join us on the ride for two days! It was the first time we cycled together with another person other than each other, so it was a really interesting experience. We are so used to doing everything only the four of us, and the fact that someone joined charged us with new energies, and actually we are very excited about three more people who are going to join the last part of our journey towards New York!
Dear BFFs, we are spending this upcoming week in Washington, can you believe that we have only two weeks left of our journey??? We are simply amazed by how quickly this time passed, how much experience we’ve gone through together.
Take a look at how busy our next two weeks are going to be! (And this is only the events, excluding actual bike ride…)
10.10.12 - WASHINGTON, DC - Meeting with the Israeli ambassador to the United States, meeting with Hillel
11.10.12 - PHILADELPHIA, PA - Bike ride and presentation with students of the University of Pennsylvania
14.10.12. - STAMFORD, CT - Mitzva Day at Stamford JCC! Bike ride and BFF presentation
18.10.12. - PRINCETON, NJ – Bike ride and presentation with local Jewish students
19.10.12. - TOWNSHIP, NJ – Meeting with the Jewish Syrian school
20.10.12. - TENAFLY, NJ - Big BFF dinner at our supporters’ house
21.10.12. - NEW YORK, NY - Team Bike For the Fight is rolling into New York City accompanied by a bunch of other bikers through the George Washington Bridge!
22.10.12 - NEW YORK, NY – Meeting with the CEO of ELAL. Meeting with the Israeli consul general of New York.
The Barbara S. Goodman Awards dinner, where Bike For the Fight is going to be given the yearly award of the ICRF.
23.10.12. - NEW YORK, NY - David Broza concert!
24.10.12. - NEW YORK, NY - Spinnathon fundraiser
25.10.12. - NEW YORK, NY - Team Bike For the Fight is flying home to Israel after the most incredible and meaningful 3 months of their lives. What’s their next mission going to be?!
OTom, Roey, Eran and Luca with the Israeli ambassador to the United States! Michael Oren talked beautifully about our project, and expressed his support for Bike For the Fight in front of the embassy. Big moment in the life of BFF!
Shavua tov everyone!
We hope that whoever was fasting on Yom Kippur had an easy fast, and we wish everyone to have a new year full of health, love, and action towards a better world. This is what we are going to try to achieve anyways :) Our Yom Kippur was exceptionally meaningful, not only because all four of us fasted, but also because we spent it together with 400 Israelis at a hotel in Chicago. It was very special to all of a sudden feel home away from home (even without food:) and present our story to people who by definition have a connection to us and our cause.
So the next day we officially started out our next year and our next week of adventures by leaving Chicago. This didn’t happen just like us riding out of the city – Roey Gilad the consul general of Chicago took his bike and his staff, and actually accompanied us and send us off at 7 in the morning before going to work! What an amazing experience, big thank you for all the consulate for showing such meaningful support to team Bike For the Fight. It really meant a lot to us!
Continuing our way to NYC (we can’t believe how close we are!) we were given the opportunity to spend an afternoon with students of the University of Illinois in Champaign, have a bike ride with them, and present our project. We love visiting campuses, so we had a really fun time, and we even met a group of youngsters doing a very similar project to ours every year, except they ride from East to West. :)
Team BFF doesn’t stop, so we kept riding while it became fall from one day to another. Biking across Indiana brought us a complete change of scenery including a beautiful change of scenery as the trees put on their fall clothing, and Amish people with horse and buggy. The amount of different scenery we’ve been through, and the change each state brings us along our journey amazes us every day!
By the end of the week we got to Ohio, and drove to Akron for two events organized by the local Shlichim Jenny and Oz, who we are grateful for all the work they’ve done! Last night we were invited to present our cause at a wine-tasting event, and today we had a bike ride and lunch together with members of the JCC. Thanks for everyone who joined!
That’s it for now, and this time we really encourage everyone to follow us closely, because next week we are getting to WASHINGTON DC, and from then on then on events after events, and nothing to stop us from getting to the last destination of our adventure.
More publicity!! More! This time in Champaign, Ilinois
BFF spinnathon in Toronto - 27,000$ straight cancer research!!
As the Bike For the Fight journey is getting busier and busier, it’s becoming more and more difficult to summarize the happenings of each week! Last time you heard of us we were in Iowa city where we spent a fun weekend with the local Hillel people, which included a „real American experience” of watching football along with 70,000 fans in the stadium of Iowa, it was so much fun! After the weekend it took us 3 days of riding to get to Chicago, while on the way we stopped by Davenport to celebrate Rosh Hashana. The four of us were hosted by four different families, and they were all amazing. We attended services in the local synagogue with a female rabbi, and had new years dinner with our host families. Being away from our real families it was so nice experiencing such a warm environment, where people really made us feel at home. Two more days of riding took us straight to Chicago, and we have to say we can not believe we are already here!! Where did the last two months go?? As we are getting closer to the East Coast, our schedule is getting busier and busier. In Chicago we had an afternoon bike ride and some BBQ with the local Hillel, and later we got to present our project in front of friends and supporters of the ICRF – the Israel Cancer Research Fund, the beneficiary organization of Bike For the Fight. For the weekend Luca and Tom flew to Toronto, Canada for a very important fundraiser; in the framework of a spinnathon (spinning marathon) organized by the ICRF we managed to raise 27,000$!!! Not only was it an incredibly successful event, it was really fun and physically challenging at the same time, and all the participants pedaled super hard for 2 full hours. They said that he fact that Tom is crossing the United States by bicycle for such an important cause inspired them more than anything. “If he can pedal for 3 months, I should be able to spin for 2 hours!” one of the participants said. Following this sweaty but happy morning, everyone took a quick shower and proceeded to the BFF-ICRF reception, where all the important figures connected to ICRF Toronto showed up to listen to our story and support the project. It was a great success again, and we are looking forward to keep cooperating with these amazing people. While in Toronto we also got phone- interviewed by Galatz radio in Israel, and got an article published on us by the Canadian Jewish News. Toronto loves us and we love Toronto!
Now, we are back in Chicago and are about to spend Yom Kippur together. We would like to wish an easy fast for everyone! Stay in touch with us, follow us, and keep your fingers crossed for us to have a successful last month of our incredible journey.
Update! We are more than half way through our journey, and after a period of low battery we’re back on track again, had a good amount of successful presentations, and along with a lot of biking we also had a lot of fun, so the BFF team is pretty much recharged :)
Last info from us was in the beginning of Nebraska – which is the state that everyone said was going to be boring, and yet, it was where people were the nicest to us, and where we didn’t pay for accommodation once! Our favorite story from there was when we asked for a cheap motel in the local visitor center in Grand Island, and instead we got one of the workers parents to host us in the attic of their antique store! That was such a nice experience, we love encounters like this with all kinds of people along the way.
Another good day was when we got to Lincoln, the capital of Nebraska, where the lovely local community listened to our presentation and hosted us for the night. We biked to Omaha the day after that and spent the weekend celebrating Luca’s birthday, and preparing for Tom’s birthday. Why did we have to prepare for that? Because what can be a better idea than biking 25 hours non-stop for a 25th birthday?? So we prepared a little fun campaign video for this event to encourage people to donate while we are on the road, and we did it!! It was the longest and most difficult ride we’ve ever done, but it was worth starting a new year by something so challenging and inspiring at the same time. We are still waiting for the results of how many people donated in the meantime! After this crazy 250 miles we were hosted in this wonderful place called Scattergood. It’s a Quaker school, kind of like a kibbutz, where kids study and grow their own food. We were treated very very well there, had a good two-days rest, met great people, and inspired high-school kids with hour story.
Right now we are in Iowa City, are going to spend the weekend here, and would like to wish shabbat shalom and SHANA TOVA for all our beloved ones! We miss you all, and hope that everything is going well back home. We love getting answers and comments, so don’t hesitate!
SHANA TOVA BFF style :)