Where: Hamburg to Berlin
No. of Cyclists: 39
Charity Partner: The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund
Amount Fundraised: £182,000
Our official 2013 Cycling Challenge Sponsors:
Sho Cho Facilities Management Services (SCFMS)
ICON Investment Consultants
Biking to help Gaza’s kids – Palestine
BarakaBits, August 2013
This Week In Palestine, October 2013, August 2013
Sabah Al Khair – Cycling4Gaza
MBC Television Interview, September 2013
Road Less Travelled, 1
DubaiEye 103.8 Radio Interview, August 2013
A few words from the heart from our 2013 Cyclists:
It is my duty to write to you and do so from the heart…
I want to thank you all for the amazing support and enthusiasm shared in preparation for the cycling trip, during and after! It really means a lot to me and does make a difference to the group and of course the Palestinian children in need
Can safely say that I had one of the most uplifting, enriching and enjoyable experiences of my life…and hamdella I’ve had quite a few. Met some amazing people and made some potentially lifetime friendships. Our day to day consisted of preparing mentally / emotionally being part of one team and physically by carbin’ up and living off electrolytes / power bars / bananas…etc. We achieved a total of 420km over 3 days starting off in Hamburg – Wismar – Muritz and end point in Berlin. The scenery was amazing. It was really a true adventure that involved camaraderie, team work and above all a lot of courage from all ends. I can’t wait to go for the next challenge and cycle. The tour operators were lovely and C4G team are just pros with no limits. I owe a great deal to the latter and of course you guys.
Trust me when I say that the mind and body, when in harmony, can achieve a lot and go beyond natural limits! Friends / family / peer are part of the equation though. Completing the cycle was such an accomplishment and feels like gold.
Love to all and do reach out if you would like to be a participant / contributor or have ideas to share.
I officially confirm that cycling is my new sport! Be ready people.
There are 3 reasons C4G 2013 was a life-changing experience for me: the incredible physical and mental determination to cycle 420km in 3 days, the inspirational team of people that came from all over the world united for this excellent cause, and the impact we are having on the lives of children in Gaza that need our help. I can’t thank C4G enough for orchestrating this superb event!
My name is Doaa Tahboub & I am one of the 39 proud cyclists who took part in 2013’s C4G’s challenge from Hamburg to Berlin. As a parent, I am willing to sacrifice everything for the wellbeing of my child, but I’m not an exception. Every parent will do everything in their power to protect their children, except that people living in Gaza don’t have a choice against the harsh conditions & the siege which they live under. & this is what has motivated me to provide whatever support I could for the sake of the mere smile on these kids’ faces. To give them hope in a better future. AND to contribute towards building a stronger generation that no longer has to live in fear. This experience has given me more than what I had aspired for. Not only have I met individuals who are truly among the most inspiring people that I had ever met; but I was also given the chance to explore different dimensions about myself which in return has made this trip the most spiritually fulfilling experiences of my life. I learned that goodness has no limits, that determination is interminable, & that humanity will continue to prevail against all forms of injustice that we live in .In my opinion, cycling to Brandenburg Tor in particular was equally significant to the cause itself. It reminded us that Berliners had once gone through similar circumstances of which Palestinians are currently living under; but only to emerge from it as stronger & more determined nation. A firm reminder to how today’s dreams could definitely become tomorrow’s reality.
Until the next challenge!
Ich liebe dich C4G, PCRF, Palestine & Germany <3
How was your weekend?!
is a question I typically ask friends and colleagues on a Sunday morning to fill the awkward silence, create conversation and hopefully give myself a sense of achievement if their response is ‘not much’ or ‘just chilled’, of course should my activities during that same weekend beat that! Now this weekend I had an experience that surpassed all the experiences I had in all my previous weekend combined. I’m turning 32 in 10 days so you should by no means expect huge words of wisdom from me…and that is not the intention of this…this is merely a summary of a few things I learned during this weekend that I wanted to share with you. Maybe they come handy one day, maybe they won’t!
But before that, let me answer the question I started off with, let me tell you what I did this weekend. I cycled with a group of 41 other cyclists 400 km across Germany from Hamburg to Berlin over 3 days to raise donations for healthcare for children of Gaza, Palestine. Each cyclist had a fundraising goal to meet before heading out on the trip and the money went to PCRF (Palestinian Children Relief Fund).
Now as to the things I learned:
– Ask Why: rest assured that neither myself, nor the other cyclists would’ve cycled for even 1 km if it wasn’t for a cause and a motive that we strongly believed in. We all go by our lives doing things because we are brought up to believe that that’s the right thing to do – because we are ticking boxes driven by family or peer pressure or both! But how many times do we pause and ask why are we really doing these things? Are we strong believers in them? Are we driven by a cause of is it pressure…I will continue to be thankful and grateful to the person who introduced me to this experience! It is a plus if you are surrounded by people who share similar values & principles…makes the journey a lot easier!
– train the mind, the body will catch up: I like to believe that I’m fit and athletic, and don’t get me wrong, I’m not discounting the importance of physical training for such trips – and before I set out on the trip I trained numerous times but training did not cover vital needs I experienced on the trip. Every day we were on our biked for more than 9 hours – and believe me after 2 – 3 hours on the saddle, the challenge is not only limited to your physical abilities – back, legs, arms and neck pains aside, the mental challenges you face far exceed the physical ones. Your body can do extraordinary things IF you set your mind to it. A lot of us quit and give up way before we actually can and I’m a strong believer that there’s nothing you cannot not to if you put your mind to it…so try to train the mind, surely the body will catch up!
– The first and last 50 km are equally important: had this been a race probably the learning would’ve been different, and those who ran marathons in the past would relate more to this. Maintaining energy levers all the way to the end is key. A number of cyclists decided to ride on very fast speeds on the 1st day. As a result, they got burned out by the 2nd day and were extremely exhausted by the 3rd. A lot of things in life take time, don’t burn yourself out and maintain your energy where and when its most needed….a lot of us are eager to have an early start, a quick win but we wear out and burn ourselves too quick and might end up with a wobbly finish….it is vital to finish as good as you started!
Of course there are many more things I learned throughout the experience but I do not want to list them all down as in all honesty as much as I say, won’t be even close to the experience you will gather if you set out to challenge yourself for a rewarding cause. I saw so many notes like this in the past – but now, I appreciate them more than ever. And a BIG salute to the organizers and the GREAT people I met on the trip. And on top, I now have a good story to tell when I’m asked ‘how was your weekend?!’ as I’m sure I will continue to share more and more stories about this experience for times to come…..at least until I have another great weekend like the one that passed!
“I was super glad to know that Cycling4Gaza exists. It gave me happiness and hope, happiness for knowing that there are people out there supporting the cause, and hope for realizing that I can join the C4G team and be part of the support for my people.”
Congrats everybody, the C4G 2013 cycling challenge was an unforgettable event! Our progress matched the plan perfectly; every one of the brave cyclists travelled the distance of 350 – 410 km by bike, and we collected a total fundraising amount that has almost reached the target amount of $230,000!It is my first time on a Cycling4Gaza challenge and it really feels so good to be part of an international team of about 40 enthusiastic caring friendly heroic cyclists who have flown from their countries to gather in Germany, participate in the cycling challenge, and take action in the support of Palestinian children. This blend of sport-and-cause charged us during the cycle with energy and good moods and made us go beyond our limits!
I found out about C4G in 2012 via a Facebook post, a couple of days before the 2012 cycling challenge which took place in Turkey. I admired the idea and was not lucky enough to join them then, it was too late already. By that time the situation was quite difficult in my country Palestine, there was an Israeli military attack on Gaza and I was feeling sad, tense and useless. Because a war on my people was taking place only 100 km away from me and I could do nothing about it! Not forgetting that Palestinians living in/out of the West-Bank or Jerusalem have no access to Gaza, and cannot support the people in need over there. So I was super glad to know that Cycling4Gaza exists. It gave me happiness and hope even if I couldn’t register that year, happiness for knowing that there are people out there supporting the cause, and hope for realizing the opportunity that I can join the C4G team and be part of the support to my people.
Finally after waiting a year I registered for C4G 2013, and joined the team. I want to thank Mohammed Tahboub, Zara Hannoun, Tamara Ben-Halim and all who volunteered by working hard, in their own time, for planning and managing this event. The C4G 2013 was a real success, even though it was relatively big regarding the number of participants and cycle distance!
On the morning of the 19th of September, after preparing ourselves, stretching, filling up supplies and getting ready, we started our cycling challenge as one big group. The scenery on both sides of the road was naturally beautiful, we cycled in pairs most of the time and the cyclists were friendly and cheerful. We were a little bit unfortunate to have a few strong rain drops in the first and second days but the blend of sport-and-cause charged all of us with positive energy that kept us going relentlessly. I felt that this group of cyclists was a family of mine, the common blend we all had strengthened the bonds between us so fast and I made magical quick friendships that could really last forever.
This challenge was a one of a kind experience for me, I was so pleased to see people from all around the world participating in the C4G event, collecting funds, raising awareness and cycling for the cause of Palestine. This is something I never take for granted, and I will always remember all the cyclists, the special musketeers that give me hope. I am not an athlete, I am a sport lover with a random practice of cycling, I thought that I would not be able to do the 410 km because I was never trained to such distance, but with the company of the C4G musketeers it gets easier and easier, the smiles, spirits and wonderful participants are charged with enthusiasm and love, and this is the real engine that made us move and accomplish our target.
Thank you all, see you in C4G 2014!