Fear and Loathing in Tel Aviv

On my way to work I commute over the bridge to the Ayalon mall at the intersection of rehov Raul Wallenberg and rehov Pinchas Rozen. I usually try to avoid busy roads but going this way I get a nice downhill stretch before the bridge and can build up speed, even breaking the speed limit on my bicycle.

Yesterday the lights were red at the bottom of the hill so I approached the bridge slowly, cycling next to the pavement  and a car overtook me.  Then the lights changed to green and I started pumping my legs and hitting the speed limit. I moved out between lanes 1 and 2, overtaking the car that had passed me as well as the car in lane 2, then I crossed in front of the car in lane 2  and cycled between the cars in lanes 2 and 3. There’s a fourth lane for cars turning left and since it was empty, I moved into the fourth lane. by now I was cycling uphill on the bridge, but I had sufficient momentum and the cars were hampering each other so I made my way back to the pavement overtaking the cars (and one truck) in each lane as I switched lanes.  The whole thing probably lasted less then 15 seconds.

After that hill I turn off the bridge and cycle along a quiet road with few cars. A few minutes later I am on the pavement next to Derekh Em HaMoshavot, heading for Petach Tikva. Em HaMoshavot has Cement trucks and trucks with trailers, so I prefer the pavement which has no residential buildings alongside and no pedestrians.

Somewhere along Em HaMoshavot my heart beat suddenly slowed and I realized that I just had a major Adrenaline high.  I remembered Hunter S. Thomsons classic book about drug use “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”. The peak comes when the author and his friend inject pure Adrenaline.  Its pretty disgusting and sounds very frightening.

I should add that it is very rare that can hit the bridge with such speed and that in that situation I simply ride my bicycle like it was a motorcycle.



About the Author
Jonathan Lowenstein is an Anglo-Israeli who has lived half his life in England and half in Israel, but has never spent longer then a decade continuously in either country, Both Tel Aviv and London are his native cities and he has almost always commuted by bicycle. In the 1990's, he helped found the Tel Aviv Bicycle Association, arguably Israel's most successful bicycle advocacy organization, now known as the Israel Bicycle Association.