Lukáš Klement, the 28-year-old Czech cyclist who has been captivated by his love for Israel, has embarked on the most daring and remarkable solidarity ride in support of the kidnapped.

He has committed to a 24-hour non-stop ride in challenging conditions of snow and bone-chilling cold, with temperatures dropping to minus three degrees at night. His goal is to complete this marathon by tomorrow afternoon, tracing a route on the map that forms the number “100.”

His ride is part of a larger movement of solidarity rides that began today across Israel and the world, marking 100 days since the kidnapping by Hamas terrorists during the 7 October horrendous attack. Is it rational? Perhaps not. But to Klement, it makes perfect sense.

“It won’t be easy. It will be extremely cold, but my body is capable of handling it, especially when my mind is in the right place,” he says. “During the tough moments, I’ll think about the kidnapped, enduring harsh conditions, and their families who have suffered a hundred days of uncertainty.”

This rationale also answers the question of why he is undertaking this challenging endeavor. But why would a non-Jewish Czech individual, seemingly unconnected to Israel, commit to such a rigorous and demanding gesture?

Lukáš’s deep connection to Israel stemmed from a visit to the country, where he intended to traverse the nation through a long cycling route, his area of expertise in extreme riding. A twist of fate led to the theft of his bike during his last night in Israel, spent on a beach in Tel Aviv. His dismay was short-lived, however, as Israeli cyclists who learned of his predicament quickly mobilized to help him, gathering funds and offering support. He says: “I fell in love with Israel. I’ll always remember their kindness during that difficult time.”

Lukáš Klement's proposed 24-hour challenge route
Photo: Lukáš Klement’s planned route incorporates the Star of David and the numbers 1-0-0

Following the massacre on 7 October, he embarked on a ride along a route shaped like the Star of David. Recently, upon hearing about the #RideToBringThemHomeNow, he felt compelled to contribute uniquely. Hence, the idea for a continuous 24-hour ride in extreme cold was conceived. He began his journey today at noon, equipped with specialized cycling gear for the cold, numerous energy bars, and a symbolic yellow ribbon.

He aspires to complete the ride coinciding with the start of the primary solidarity cycling event in Israel at the Tel Aviv Velodrome tomorrow. At this event, 136 cyclists will unite to represent each of the 136 kidnapped victims. Nearly 40 similar cycling events will occur worldwide.

Clement’s ride, undoubtedly, stands as the most arduous of them all. “If I can endure 24 hours of riding, then others can surely dedicate at least an hour for the cause of the kidnapped,” he adds. “My hope is that this effort resonates, offering encouragement to the families, and bringing the kidnapped closer to home.”