Pre race drinks, food and merriment

So after a slow drive from Tel Aviv we finally made it to Majdal Shams. Driving over holiday season didn’t pay off but Ezra my fantastically generous host and driver managed to stay awake until we joined the coach load of HLC entrants, left the car behind,  and climbed up through the impressive Golan Heights and towards Mount Hermon.
After some dinner washed down with home brewed beer everyone merrily toddled off to their beds for around 10 o’ clock.
It was hot today. 31 degrees C so I’m hoping the temperature will cool down considering we’re in the cooler part of the country.
It seems every rider has different objectives. Some don’t intend to complete the full route due to other commitments, some are treating the HLC as a relaxed tour, some certainly have intentions to reach Eilat before everyone else. One thing I know for sure is that this should be entertaining to track on the live map. It will certainly be tough for everyone involved. Personally my biggest concern is whether my bike fails me. I’m not here for a fast time. There are too many beautiful sights to rush through and there are far more experienced and capable riders than myself. However, I have an idea who will be challenging for first place and it could be close. Keep an eye on the Spot Tracking site. The link’s at the top right. And remember that it’s an endurance race. Riders can start slow but it’s not just who cycles the quickest but who can set up camp, de-camp, retain concentration on technical trails on only a couple of hours sleep as well as feed well. So many elements where even months of planning cannot prepare for the unexpected. Of course there is no support so the riders must find a fix to any technical problems. This is bikepacking.

Arrival at the hotel…

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Tomorrow it starts

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