The moment you return to cycling is the moment you reunite with life.

Avida Bachar will never be the same man he once was: the husband, father, farmer, and cyclist he was until the dawn of October 7. By the end of that terrible night, he had lost his wife Dana, his 15-year-old son, and yes, his right leg, too, all taken by the bullets and grenades of terrorists who invaded his home in Kibbutz Beeri.

In the seven months since, nearly everyone at the rehabilitation department of Tel Hashomer Hospital has witnessed Bachar prove that no one can sever his spirit or his eternal optimism. When we visited him, it was immediately clear he was the brightest face in the ward, zipping around in his wheelchair, spreading cheer among other patients—many of whom faced far lighter challenges—refusing to lament his fate.

“I live with the feeling that I was incredibly fortunate to have lived alongside my wife Dana and to have raised our son Carmel until they were taken,” he has repeated thousands of times since that tragic day.

Recently, Bachar returned to the kibbutz and the land he loves so dearly, but one precious goal remains elusive: getting back on a bike.

Avida was one of the leading cyclists in his kibbutz, where biking is a central part of daily life and leisure culture. He never doubted that this day would come.

Video: an inspiring moment – Avida climbs back onto the bike with the help of The Next Step project

Just a few days ago, he made a significant, albeit small, first step by hesitantly climbing onto a trainer bike at The Next Step project that is dedicated to help amputees adjust to the sport they used to love.

But after the first few pedal strokes with a prosthesis that still felt so foreign, a big smile spread across his face. He says: “The hardest part was figuring out how to get on the bike. It’s like starting everything from scratch—a task that was so natural to me before. But after a few minutes, my apprehension was replaced by a wonderful feeling.”

Photo: IPT presented Avida with the team’s unique Tour de France 2023 jersey and invited him as a guest to this year’s race

Now, he’s waiting for the real thing—to ride without any wires and to savor once again the freedom that only a bicycle can offer. “My biggest fear is falling, but I know I’ll overcome it,” he says.

His long-time friends in the kibbutz have no doubts: “Nothing can defeat him,” says his friend and fellow cyclist, Rami Gold.