Biker Combines Altruism, Cross-country Challenge

An extreme sports enthusiast is combining his pastime with a good deed: Ronen Medina, a 39-year-old Tel Aviv resident, yesterday completed the second day of a cross-country trip on electric scooter from Metula to Eilat, visiting hospitals and distributing packages of candy to patients.

His goal: "to make them happy."

Medina set off after converting a dirt bike into a motorized scooter, to which he hitched a carriage containing a tent and four batteries plus bags of treats for the patients.

He is also carrying a GPS navigation device and a camera to document the trip.

On the first day, Medina left Metula for Safed and encountered trouble. On the steep ascent to Safed, technical problems forced him to change the scooter's motor, but after overcoming his difficulties, he arrived at his first stop, Safed's Rebecca Sieff Hospital, where the administration welcomed Medina's initiative.

"We are pleased about the visit and wish him every success on his trip," a hospital spokesman said.

The electric scooter rider is cruising from one hospital to another with sponsorship from the commercial businesses that contributed the candy and with the support of scooter and battery companies whose contributions were also solicited for the expedition.

Yesterday Medina left Safed for his next stop, Tiberias.

He explained that his trip was inspired by his attraction to extreme sports.

"First, I thought about the challenge of crossing Israel on a scooter," Medina said, "and then I thought, if I am already doing it, why not make patients in the hospital happy?"

Passing motorists and people he has met on the way have offered encouragement and compliments "which gives me the energy to continue along the long road I have ahead of me. It looks like on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, I will still be on the road," said Medina.