One of the great pleasures of the Israel Ride is simply riding in Israel! With full on-road support, including mechanics, rest stops, medical staff, tour guides, and more, all you need to focus on is enjoying cycling safely through the beauty of the country.
Past experience with long distance, multi-day rides is not a requirement to participate in the Israel Ride but is recommended. The more you train, the better your experience will be. An average person in good health can train and do the Ride. But you will need to train. The best way to prepare yourself for this fun and challenging ride is to log time on your bike.
On the Israel Ride there will be three distinct riding groups, plus a non-riding group. All routes enjoy full support, stocked rest stops, and expert tour guides and educators. While the main differences are mileage and riding speed, each route offers a unique experience. At the evening briefings we will explain the routes for each group for the following day.
- 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 (but still physically active) group, have a dedicated tour guide and van and visit sites along the way.
Each rider receives a cue sheet with each turn on the route and rest stops marked. Groups tend to start together and spread out between rest stops. However, this is not a “grab a cue sheet and go” ride. We have police permits which require us to keep our groups together.
While we have designed our routes and riding groups to allow riders to spread out and ride at their own pace, we do use rest stops to gather the group together. In addition, there are times where we bunch up the group to allow for safer and easier cycling. This may mean that faster riders have to wait for slower riders to arrive before departing or that slower riders have a shorter rest period before hitting the road.
Chaverim: Touring/Non-Riding Program
Chaverim (Hebrew for friends) is a week-long unforgettable touring option built for actively mobile, non-cycling family members of Riders. Participants will travel to incredible sites each day while the other groups cycle, and can share their experiences each evening with the Riders at the shared group accommodations. Be prepared to experience Israel through walking, moderate hiking, and exploring places you’ve never before seen by foot or bus!
This full package costs $2950, increasing to $3100 on May 1, and is fully inclusive with all overnight accommodations, all meals including Shabbat, a private tour guide, daily transportation, entrance fees to various sites visited around the country, and transportation from Eilat to the center of Israel. There is no fundraising requirement for the Chaverim. Chaverim who wish to book single rooms for the duration of the Ride will pay a $1500 single room supplement.
Chaverim can register as part of our standard registration form. Minimum age for Chaverim is 16.
The 2019 Chaverim tour is still in development. To get a sense of the daily schedule, below are the main sites visited by the 2018 Chaverim Tour.
- Wednesday – Adullam Grove Nature Reserve hikes, Beit Guvrin ruins, Ethiopian farm in Kiryat Gat. Overnight in Ashkelon.
- Thursday – Settlements that surround the Gaza Strip, “Shvil HaSalat” in Moshav Talmei Yosef. Overnight in the Northern Negev.
- Friday – Sde Boker (David Ben Gurion’s home), Ein Avdat hike, desert cisterns. Overnight in Mitzpe Ramon.
- Saturday – Rest day over Shabbat with the Ride in Mitzpe Ramon, enjoy optional activities such as synagogue services, hotel pool, walks, and other activities with the riders.
- Sunday – off-road jeep tour of Makhtesh Ramon, Ein Saharonim ruins, the Shitttim desert ashram, the Leopards’ Temple (possibly the oldest temple in the world), Kibbutz Ketura. Overnight in the Arava Valley.
- Monday –Park Timna copper mines, head up into the mountains for a panoramic view of the Red Sea, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. End the day in Eilat, meeting the riders as they end their journey with a celebratory finish on the shores of the Red Sea.