Pedal Power secured £60,0009 October 2013Press Release The Israel bike ride was one of the most exhilarating and challenging experiences of my life. Seeing Israel on a bike was absolutely fantastic. The whole five days plus Shabbat in Tel Aviv were very special. For most people who visit Israel, getting from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv is just a 45 minute journey by car. But for Douglas Silas, a 47 year old from Finchley with Cerebellar Ataxia, a rare, degenerative disorder, cycling from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv was the challenge of a lifetime. Along with 14 other riders, Douglas cycled in aid of Norwood, raising an impressive £60,000 for the Charity. The nine-day experience, which took place from the 28 September to the 6 October, included a five-day bike ride beginning with a cycle through the night, navigating the narrow streets of the ancient city of Jerusalem and finishing in the bustling metropolitan city of Tel Aviv. During the ride, the group covered the 355km route, including off-road cycling through the picturesque mountainous Jordan Valley for 12km and cycling full circle around the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Following the ride, Douglas Silas said: "As a veteran international challenger, this was one of the best and toughest weeks of my life, completing the ride on my specially built recumbent trike – some of the views I saw, can only be experienced from riding a bike on the open road. At the same time, I also made lots of new friends and caught up with old ones." Douglas is now on course to raise a significant amount of money for Norwood. Even more remarkably, he is also taking part in Norwood’s Madagascar bike ride, leaving this weekend! Also participating in the ride was Paul Viner who was joined by his twin brother and Norwood Treasurer, Andy Viner. Paul exceeded his original fundraising target, raising over £10,000 for Norwood. Following the ride, Paul said: "The challenge was physically very demanding, luckily I had trained hard. Highlights included the wonderful camaraderie amongst the team and spending time with Ravenswood resident, Julian Primhak, who rode the entire trip on a tandem." Andy Viner said: "The Israel bike ride was one of the most exhilarating and challenging experiences of my life. Seeing Israel on a bike was absolutely fantastic. The whole five days plus Shabbat in Tel Aviv were very special. Ian Tate, Norwood’s Business Development Manager for Challenges, said: "This year’s Israel Bike Ride has raised an incredible amount of money for Norwood and I’d like to thank all those who took part. The passion and determination of Douglas Silas and Julian Primhak demonstrates just what can be achieved and it is truly inspiring. Set yourself a challenge and sign up for our next international bike ride!"