You Have Reached Your Destination

July 29, 2011 by Henry Benjamin
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Israeli round the world cyclist Roei “Jinji” Sadan turned left down Sydney’s Macquarie St yesterday and rolled onto the Opera House forecourt five minutes late for his scheduled arrival…after 1,458 days on the road and  65,000 kms clocked up on his odometer.

Sydney arrival

The 29-yr-old from the West Bank town of Oranit  near Kfar Sava spent three years in the Israeli army with no plans following his discharge…only a dream.

A dream which would take him and his faithful bicycle Emuna on a journey through 42 countries finishing at Sydney’s most famous icon…a journey which started in the Arctic Circle town of Prudhoe Bay in Alaska in July 2007.

Phoning home

Waiting for him on the forecourt were Natalie Green from Zionist Council of New South Wales and the Zionist Federation of Australia’s Mirit Frenkel

Today, Jinji spent time at two Jewish day schools in Sydney motivating pupils in ways to realise their dreams.

Jinji told J-Wire: ” I did not meet success when I was a child…but I continued to dream and now I have a realised this amazing project. We have to learn how to go for it although we will not always be successful.”

Jinji’s travels took him through, amongst others, Canada, the US, Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru Bolivia, Argentina, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, across China, New Zealand and Australia. He travelled with a mobile phone and a computer and kept in touch with home regularly. “But there were times”. he told J-Wire, “when I was in the middle of nowhere for up to three weeks…totally out of touch. In Australia there were stretches during which I saw a car maybe every three hours. They always stopped and gave me water.”

He flew from New Zealand to Perth and has cycled across Australia calling in at Uluru.

When he was in Turkey, Jinji was contacted by Orli Tal….a blind cyclist from Jerusalem. Together they made arrangements for Tal to fly to Adelaide with her tandem bike and with Jinji in the driving seat, the pair made the journey together from Adelaide to Melbourne. Emuna, “faithful” in Hebrew followed the pair in a support vehicle. Tal farewelled Jinji in the Victorian capital and headed back to Jerusalem as Jinji and Emuna headed up the Hume Highway to Sydney.

Jinji told J-Wire about his journey. He said: “For me the highlight was cycling on the Great Wall of China. It was freezing cold and there was no-one around so I did not have to worry about the authorities…not like at the Opera House where I was told I could walk my bike but not ride it. The down side was Mozambique, where I came down with malaria. In Mexico, I was robbed at gunpoint and hit by cars twice…..in California and Bolivia.”

Jinji and the bridge All Pics: Henry Benjamin

Emuna, Mirit Frenkel, Jinji, Natalie Green

He spent a great deal of time camping out and carried very little with him in his panniers. Jinji added: “Emuna was sensational. I learned it pays to get top quality. In the entire time I was away…four years…I used only five sets of tyres.”

In Sydney, Jinji is being hosted by the Zionist Council of NSW. On Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m., the ZCNSW will team up with Maccabi NSW for a cycle run starting at the Catalina Restaurant in Sydney’s Rose Bay…

Jinji is now planning a future career as a motivational speaker…encouraging people to chase their dreams.

But before that, Jinji and Emuna will fly from Sydney to Amman from where he will cycle home on a casual 1000km route ending up at the Kotel in Jerusalem….and a good night’s rest in his own bed at home.

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