Blinded IDF Hero to Ride in a Cycling Event

Eli Yablonek lost his arm and his vision during the Yom Kippur War. He is an amazing man, with a can-do spirit and a drive to be active and independent. Eli will be participating in a cycling event on September 14, 2014 from Manhattan to Tenafly, NJ and back, and hopes local riders will join him. 

How does a blind man ride a bike? The answer is – with help! Eli is a member of a tandem cycling club called CanVelo, which was established in Israel to give blind and visually impaired people a chance to combine a social and physical activity. The blind people ride on the back with a sighted volunteer in front. The club is very popular in Israel, and Eli is coming to New York to get more people involved.

Eli will also not be traveling alone – his constant four-legged companion is Glen – a guide dog that was trained in Israel using only Hebrew commands. After Eli lost his vision, he knew he wanted to get on with his life and to be independent, so he obtained a guide dog from the Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind, a school that is located just south of Tel Aviv. CanVelo was created by the center with the help of many volunteers.

Today, Eli and Glen travel everywhere together and are an amazing “team.” Not only are they participating in a cycling event on Sunday, but they are also going to be available the day before on Saturday, September 13, at 10:00 AM at West 67th and Central Park – for a special event. People are invited to put on a blindfold, and take a ride on the back of a tandem bike to feel what it is like to truly trust a partner.

For more information, please email: or call 215-343-9100. You can also click on this link:

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