Over 700 cyclists set out Sunday on the 14th annual “Wheels of Love” bike tour, sponsored by Alyn Hospital. Wheels of Love is an international cycling event that will see some 700 cyclists travel the length and breadth of Israel for five days.
Each participant is sponsored by friends and family, who donate money based on the number of kilometers the rider expects to complete. The money goes to Alyn, a Jerusalem hospital with extensive facilities and programs for physically challenged and disabled children, adolescents and young adults. Established in 1932, Alyn is the only hospital of its kind in Israel, and is considered one of the world's leading hospitals specializing in rehabilitation of children afflicted with a broad range of physical disabilities.
More than three quarters of the money raised by Alyn bikers – as much as $2 million – goes directly to the hospital. Riders participate as individuals or as part of teams, with teams sponsored by companies large and small.
On the final day of the race, thousands more will join the race for a one day event. All riders are greeted at the finish line by some of the Alyn children, a most emotional event.