We understand that the Israel Ride can be a complicated endeavor. Below are quick answers to some questions you may have, with links to further detail on our website.
Life on the Road
The weather varies throughout the Ride. In the morning and evenings, it can be chilly, although it is often quite warm by noon. There is a chance of rain throughout the ride, which can create cold misty days. Layers are the key. Specialty cycling clothes, especially bike shorts, are strongly recommended for riding. Evening and Shabbat attire is very casual but should also be layered for warmth when needed.
We have three cycling groups and one non-riding group:
- Shomrim (“guards”) ride an average of 35 miles a day, 10-12mph, typically until lunch, and then have special bus tours in the afternoon.
- Tzofim (“scouts”) ride an average of 55 miles a day, 13-15mph, from hotel to hotel.
- Chalutzim (“pioneers”) ride an average of 75 miles a day, 16-19mph, with extra hills and distances between overnights.
- Chaverim (“friends”), our non-riding group, have a dedicated tour guide and van and visit sites along the way. Must be able to be physically active.
Each group has its own unique elements, designed to provide riders of all levels a challenge and sense of accomplishment. While separated during the day, on most nights the groups will still stay together at a hotel. However, on some evenings the groups are separated.
Each riding group has its own support team of lead riders, sweep cars, rest stops, and a medical team. There is a rest stop set up approximately every 15-20 miles, including one longer lunch stop. Food (often dried fruit, nuts, granola bars) and energy drinks are provided, plus sunscreen, water, shade, and restrooms. Our cycling tour educators will also teach about the history of the region and local environmental issues at various stops.
You are responsible to book and pay for your own international flights. Plan to arrive in Israel at the latest by 12 pm /noon on Tuesday, Nov 5th. Plan to depart Israel after 12 pm/noon at the earliest on Tuesday, Nov 12th.
You are responsible for your own transportation to Jerusalem before the ride starts. There are private taxis and shared “sherut” vans from Ben Gurion Airport to Jerusalem. We notify Riders on the same flights so they can arrange group transportation once in Israel if desired.
Note: Passports must be valid for 6 months after your return flight.
You may bring one piece of luggage and possibly one smaller item, like a backpack. You may bring a laptop, but it must be transported in your regular luggage (padded among your clothes). The Israel Ride provides one jersey to every rider, and we recommend bringing two additional jerseys. You do not need five complete sets of cycling clothing, and will not need much regular clothing. Do not plan on laundry being available.
The mandatory Israel Ride orientation is held on Tuesday, Nov 5th in the late afternoon. You need to be at the hotel no later than 12 pm but your room may not be ready until 3 pm. Bike assembly, mechanic assistance, test rides, and optional tours all take place before orientation on Tuesday.
Included for each participant is a domestic flight from Eilat back north to Ben Gurion International Airport at the end of the Israel Ride. We can also book you on a bus if desired. Please note on your flight form when you know your itinerary so we can properly book your transportation.
All participants must have a working cell phone in Israel for security purposes. The Israel Ride is proud to partner with Unlimited Israel to offer all participants a discount on a SIM card, cell phone rental, MiFi device and more.
We stay at a mix of hotels and kibbutz guest houses. Hotels have varying amenities such as pools, wifi, elevators, and shops in the lobby. Guesthouses are more spread out (motel-style), some with kitchenettes, some with shared bathrooms, all very comfortable.
The day-by-day breakdown of the hotels and guest houses we will be staying in is as follows (note, some sites are in Hebrew):
- Tuesday in Jerusalem: Royal Wing, Prima Park, and Jerusalem Gardens
- Wednesday – Harlington Hotel, Ashkelon
- Thursday – Northern Negev: Tze’elim, Mashabei Sadeh, and Nitzana Educational Community
- Friday and Saturday (Shabbat) – Mitzpe Ramon: Pundak Ramon and Ramon Suites
- Sunday – Arava Valley Kibbutzes: Yahel, Lotan, Ketura, and Elifaz
- Monday and Post-Ride in Eilat – Isrotel Sports Club and Isrotel Royal Gardens
On Thursday night, riding groups will be split between multiple towns. If in different riding groups, spouses and partners will stay in separate locations but can request a particular roommate for that evening.
Bikes and Additional Add-Ons
Participants are encouraged to bring their own bike to Israel, for a more familiar and comfortable ride. There is a $110 fee if you bring your own bike which covers the transport and storage.
Please note our ride is not equipped to support e-bikes.
If you are bringing your bike, you’ll need to disassemble it, pack it in a box, and fly with it. Airlines generally allow bikes as a piece of luggage for a fee. Ask the airline about flying with bikes and frequent flyer discounts. Do not ship your bike ahead of time!
The Israel Ride contracts with a storage company located near Ben Gurion International airport. Upon landing in Israel, call the storage facility and they will pick up your bike after you are through customs. Our crew will then drive all of the bikes to our starting hotel in Jerusalem. We will store your bike box during the Ride. At the end of the Ride in Eilat, our mechanics will help disassemble and pack your bike, and our crew will then drive all of the bikes to the storage company, and you will be able to call the company to pick up your bike when you arrive at Ben Gurion airport for your departing international flight. We charge $110 for this service.
We welcome guests to join Riders over our relaxing Shabbat in Mitzpe Ramon, and are encouraged to join for all activities over Shabbat. Guests will be booked in the room with the participant they are visiting.
Guests must arrange and provide their own transportation; we do not provide transportation for guests, and guests are not allowed in staff or crew cars due to liability.
Standard rooms on the Israel Ride is double or triple occupancy.
We offer a limited number of single rooms for the full week for an additional cost of $1100 plus a pledge to raise $4600 in fundraising.
Chaverim can upgrade to single rooms for the full week at $1500, no fundraising component attached.
Single rooms are also available just for Friday and Saturday nights over Shabbat for an upgrade fee of $350.