In an awe-inspiring display of global unity and solidarity, thousands of cyclists worldwide are gearing up to participate in a special event on January 14, marking 100 poignant days since the tragic abduction of hundreds of individuals by Hamas terrorists. This unique cycling initiative, transcending borders and touching hearts, aims to honor and remember each individual still held captive.
Organized by the Israeli professional cycling team Israel – Premier Tech, in collaboration with The Hostage and Missing Families Forum and the Israeli Cycling Federation, this event has a deeply symbolic theme. Cyclists across various cities, including Barcelona, Paris, London, Melbourne, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Czech Republic, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv, will ride distances revolving around the significant number 136. This figure represents the 132 hostages still in captivity, along with Oron Shaul, Hadar Goldin, Avera Mengistu, and Hisham al-Sayed, further emphasizing the urgent plea for their return.
In Israel, the heart of this global movement, a central event will unfold at Tel Aviv’s Velodrome bicycle racing track. Here, 136 family members of the hostages and members of the Israeli cycling community will symbolically circle the stadium, each representing a hostage. This poignant gathering is not just a physical act of cycling; it is a circle of hope, strength, and unwavering solidarity.
Cyclists around the world are encouraged to join this noble cause by tying yellow ribbons to their bikes and sharing their rides on social media using the hashtag #RideToBringThemHomeNow. This simple yet powerful act serves as a beacon of hope and a call for the safe return of those unjustly taken.
Shai Benjamin’s touching story, whose father Ron Benjamin was abducted during an early morning bike ride, resonates with the pain and uncertainty faced by many families. His words, “Since October 7, I have not had a day or night, just a continuous nightmare,” vividly portray the anguish and desperation for the return of their loved ones.
The involvement of renowned cyclists like four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome, who rides for Israel – Premier Tech, amplifies the message of this event. Froome’s heartfelt appeal to the global cycling community to participate in this day of remembrance and hope underlines the universal values of empathy and compassion.
Lukas Klement’s commitment to ride for 24 hours straight, tracing a Star of David and the number 100, further embodies the spirit of resilience and solidarity that this event aims to foster. It’s a powerful reminder of the strength found in unity and the collective effort to bring light to those in darkness.
As cyclists worldwide pedal with purpose, they not only ride for fitness or leisure; they ride with a mission. They ride to echo a global plea for the safe return of the hostages, to stand with Israel in its time of need, and to uphold the universal values of freedom and human dignity. This event transcends mere physical exertion; it’s a testament to the enduring spirit of humanity and the unbreakable bonds of solidarity that unite us all in the face of adversity.