How I spent my 5 months in Israel

You know I really only did one thing besides the basic functions of the body while I was holed up in Ohr Someyach for 5 months- I rode my bike. I know what you are thinking, 5 months in Israel and no learning? I learned,  but it was only for about 5 hours day- which was actually more then a lot of folks I knew who spent the nights in Crack Square and the days drooling on their pillow cases and cursing the Israeli sun and the Arab chanting that was constantly trying to wake them from their drunken beauty sleep.

I remember my first few days, I was sick and jet lagged like crazy- but deep inside I was aching because I wanted to ride my bike on the hundreds of stunts I saw scattered around Jerusalem during my ride from the airport. I remember haggling with the howling sharut driver who thought my bike box was too big and then throwing a $5 bill in his face and watching it turn from a killing scowl to the hugest smile I had ever seen.

I also remember my first ride, it lasted around 6 hours. I rode all over the city, a very fascinating city at that. I was intrigued by the architecture, the filth, the crazy drivers, the stone walls that were great for riding off of scattered everywhere. In fact everywhere I looked I drooled. As a seasoned urban biking stunt guy, I was falling head over heels in love with Jerusalem. I had this little picture of me holding the hands of the kote, prancing together through a field of wildflowers and then the some speedy Gonzales guy waking me out of my delirium and telling me “if you suffer from heart problems Lipitor may kill you”- wait that cant be right.

It was as if God had spoke and said “thou hast done good in my eyes, and I will give thee the largest skate park ever” It was as if I had arrived at the holy grail of riding, the “Skate Hamikdash.” This was all decided after I found the quarter pipe across from the central bus station. The attention was great, all the digital cameras being flung out and people screaming Od Pam in my ear. It was also the first time I was applauded by police officers, rather then the assumed chase that usually lasted until I hid under a highway bridge or something.

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One would think someone would get sick of it all, but not me, in fact I went insane. I started riding 4-8 hours everyday. Then I met some fellow riders and it was all over from there. We started scoping out new spots to ride and confirming rumors of old jumps, or great wall rides or random stuff that was amazing. Part of this process was going online and searching through pictures of the cities of Israel on any websites we could find.

Most people look at pictures for their beauty, which I do as well, but in this case we were looking for ledges, stairs and walls to fly through the air off of. The best part about it was that the owners would almost welcome the attention we would give their stores. In America, we would be arrested or beat up and have out bikes stolen by the cops.

Someone sent me this link for this site which is almost too perfect for what we used to do. The site basically has pictures of every street and neighborhood in Jerusalem. It tells a little about the neighborhood, but most importantly it contains a wealth of pictures, and they aren’t those pain in the ass thumbnails which require opening up tons of pages. Nope, just regular old scroll it down baby, now at least I can start planning for next trip to Israel. Its also great for just taking a digital tour through the different neighborhoods of Jerusalem.

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