Downpour Brings Tel Aviv Bike Race to Premature End

Major roads and bus routes disrupted in the country's commercial hub in anticipation of Crosstown Bikeride as rain soaks the city.

Zafrir Rinat
Ilan Lior
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Screenshot of photo showing bikers taking shelter under the La Guardia bridge during Wednesday's rain.
Zafrir Rinat
Ilan Lior

Heavy rain halted the Tel Aviv Crosstown Bikeride on Wednesday morning, leaving the city not only closed to everyday activities, but drenched to the bone.

Some of the riders had already set out on their routes – ranging from eight kilometers to 41 km – by the time the rain began. The Tel Ava-Jaffa municipality announced that the 41 km, 21 km and roller blade routes would not set off, due to concern over possible injuries in the slippery conditions.

A little later, the municipality instructed all riders to quit their routes and take cover. Emergency vehicles went out to assist riders in distress and eight were reported slightly injured in falls.

Many of the city's streets were closed from 4:00 A.M. Wednesday in anticipation of the race and bus services were patchy, at best. Roads that were closed included parts of the Ayalon Highway South, Herbert Samuel, Hayarkon, Agnon, Bnei Efraim, Rokach and Hataarucha.

The rain began in the north of the country overnight on Tuesday and moved down into the center, accompanied by lightning and thunder. According to the Meteo Tech meteorological company, nine millimeters of rain fell in Tel Aviv on Wednesday morning, 11 mm in Sefad and 20 mm in Ma'alot.

Temperatures around the country on Wednesday are likely to be between three and six degrees lower than is typical at this time of year.

Further rain is possible on Thursday night, but it is unlikely to last. Friday will be partly cloudy to clear and temperatures will rise.