Our first day of riding started with launch ceremonies at the outskirts of Jerusalem before riders headed out on their way to Ashkelon!
Chaverim started the day with a visit to Neve Shalom / Wahat al-Salam, an intentional community jointly established by Jewish and Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel. They joined the riders for lunch at a small community in the Jerusalem hills. In the afternoon they visited the Adullam Grove Nature Reserve, with options for shorter and longer hikes.
Shomrim were bused to the outskirts of Jerusalem, and started riding on the same basic route as the Tzofim. After lunch, Shomrim continued riding to Beit Guvrin to take a tour of the Roman-era antiquities and underground cave system. Afterwards, they bused to the hotel in Ashkelon.
Tzofim were bused to the outskirts of Jerusalem for the launch ceremony. The morning route started with a long downhill from the Jerusalem hills, passing a few small communities in the area with one short climb. After lunch at Luzit, the route brought the Tzofim west towards the Mediterranean coast, ending with a ride through the port city of Ashkelon.
Chalutzim were bused to the edge of Jerusalem for a launch ceremony at the village of Ein Karem. They then rode towards the other groups’ starting point. The Chalutzim ate lunch at Luzit with the other groups before heading to Ashkelon.