Veronique Sandler Visits Israel

by Veronique Sandler

Marin athlete, Veronique Sandler, visited our Marin Bikes Israel distributor, Pedalism, a few weeks ago. Here's what she had to say about her experience: 

"I was so stoked when I received a call last month asking if I wanted to visit the Marin Bikes/ Pedalim crew in Israel in a few weeks time. 

Israel has always been on my to do list as my mother spent a lot of time there when she was younger and has been raving about it throughout my childhood.  

On arrival I was expecting a boiling hot country filled with barren deserts as far as the eye can see…I definitely got the first part right… it was HOT! I was surprised, however, to see forests and greenery wherever I looked.  I spent the first day at Ben Shemen MTB trails at the busy demo day riding with the awesome Allride MTB club and loads of local ladies who were all so stoked to be out shredding! Assaf from Pedalim, who was hosting me during the trip, then took me to his families Shabbat dinner...the biggest, most amazing spread I have ever witnessed all cooked by his mother for him and his 20 or so family members. Unreal! 

Day two was a chill one… I was lucky enough to be given a tour of Jerusalem and learnt a bit about it’s incredible history with a couple of the Pedalim/Marin Israel crew. Speaking to the locals was such an eye opener… the attitude of the people is so different to how they are portrayed in the British media and they are honestly some of the most positive, encouraging and proud people I have ever met! 

On day three I met with some of the Allride MTB club early in the morning at the start of the Sugar Trail to embark on an epic pedal through the desert ending near the Dead Sea. With sightings of camels, Bedouins and views like nothing I’d ever seen before, mixed in with some epic sandy descents and laughs, the sugar trail is something I would 100% recommend to anyone. Just remember to drink loooads of water! Something I payed the price for quite heavily the next day haha.. 

Afterwards we headed to the Allride MTB club HQ for a shred and amazing BBQ. For those who don’t know, Allride are an organisation run by an awesome couple, Iftach and Michal who’s initiative is to get as many kids as possible stoked on riding mtb. They’ve built a mini compound in their backyard with a pump track and dirt jumps, and have over 300 members. Some of these kids are genuinely some of the best riders of their age that I’ve seen anywhere in the world, not to mention their stoke levels which are through the roof!  

I headed back to freezing cold London early the next morning with some unforgettable memories and a strong urge to return back to Israel soon for a longer trip to explore more spots which have been recommended to me by the local riders. Thank you so much to Assaf, Iftach and Michal for having me, along with all the amazing shredders and people I had the pleasure of meeting, chatting to and riding with! Until next time :)"

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