We understand that the Israel Ride can be a complicated endeavor. Please use the tools below to ensure that you are fully prepared. Many details of your trip including bike rentals, single room upgrades, and trip extensions booked through us.
Life on the Road
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 miles /24 km, including one longer lunch stop. Food – often dried fruit, nuts, granola bars – and drinks are provided. Our tour educators will also teach about the history of the region and local environmental issues at various stops. Refer to our Itinerary page for more details.
The group generally arrives around 3 pm to the overnight accommodation. Some evenings feature an educational presentation and optional evening prayers are offered. We encourage everyone to get to bed early to make sure you have a full tank of energy for the next day!
The Israel Ride offers various Jewish prayer options and we come together as a community on Friday night and Saturday to celebrate Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath. While all of our ritual activities are optional, we use the time over Shabbat to learn more about the alumni from the Arava Institute and the work of Hazon. With all activities offered, we strive to strike a balance that allows riders to practice as they see fit, but to also experience other facets of Jewish tradition if they choose.
Depending on the make up of the Israel Ride community, we try to have daily prayer both in the morning and the evenings. Usually, we conduct a Shacharit service in the morning or at the first rest stop. In the evenings after the daily briefing we will have Maariv. In general, these services are egalitarian with a traditional liturgy in Hebrew.
If possible, we try to schedule some prayer outdoors, taking advantage of the natural beauty on our route. We also try to have a weekday service that includes music, explanation, and meditation while giving those who prefer a traditional service space as well.
All hotels that we stay at throughout the Ride are kosher under the supervision of the Israeli Rabbinate. All food which is provided by the ride on the road is kosher as well.
The powered energy drink available in Israel which we use on the ride sometimes does not have kosher certification, but we bring some containers from the US which do. Each rest stop will have both types, clearly marked.
You are responsible to book and pay for your own international flights. Plan to arrive in Israel at the latest by 8am on Tuesday, October 27th. Plan to depart Israel after noon at the earliest on Tuesday, November 3rd. Note: Passports must be valid for 6 months after your return flight.
We recommend bringing 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 other jerseys. You do not need five complete sets of cycling clothing, and will not need much regular clothing. See the recommended Packing List.
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 to fly as a piece of luggage. There is often a set charge for flying with your bike. Ask the airline about flying with bikes and frequent flyer discounts. We do have a discount on the bike fee with EL AL for flights originating in New York, Boston, and Los Angeles. See more information here.
The Israel Ride contracts with a storage company located 10 minutes from Ben Gurion airport. Before the Ride, we will send out the contact information for the company. You can call the storage facility when you land to meet you and pick up your bike from you. A crew member of the Israel Ride may be available to help you in the airport. Our crew will drive all of the bikes to our starting hotel in Jerusalem. We will transport your bike box during the Ride. At the end of the Ride, our mechanics will help disassemble and pack your bike. 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.
The Israel Ride orientation is held on Tuesday, November 8th. You need to be at the hotel no later than noon, but your room may not be ready until 3 pm. There are private taxis and group taxis (sherut) from Ben Gurion Airport to Jerusalem. Bike assembly, mechanic assistance, test rides, and optional tours all take place before orientation on Tuesday.
We will book you on a domestic flight from Eilat to Sde Dov or Ben Gurion airport. The cost of the flight is included in the Israel Ride. We can also book you on a bus to Jerusalem.
Participants must carry personal health insurance to join the Israel Ride. From past experience, we know that US health insurance often does not cover medical expenses that are incurred overseas. Any medical costs incurred during the Ride will have to be paid by the participant. Because of this we recommend that every participant carry additional travelers insurance.
Riders are encouraged to rent Israeli cell phones. The Israel Ride is once again proud to partner with Amigo. Order a phone for the Israel Ride here. While there is internet access each overnight, the hotels charge for usage. The most cost effective way to have unlimited internet access on the Ride is by renting a USB internet key for $6 per day.
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):
- Pre-Ride and Tuesday in Jerusalem – Ramat Rachel Hotel
- Wednesday – Holiday Inn Ashkelon
- Thursday – Northern Negev: Tze’elim, Mashabei Sadeh, and Nitzana
- Friday and Saturday (Shabbat) – Mitzpe Ramon: Pundak Ramon and Ramon Suites
- Sunday – Arava Valley Kibbutzim: Yahel, Lotan, Ketura, and Elifaz
- Monday and Post-Ride in Eilat – Isrotel Sport Club
Participants are encouraged to bring their own bike to Israel, for a more familiar and comfortable ride. If you choose to rent a bike, you can rent either a hybrid or road bike. The hybrid bikes are FUJI brand, with a good climbing gear and upright handlebars, cost $200 to rent for the week. The road bikes are specialized or Trek and cost $325. There are a limited number of bikes, which will be rented out on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please bring your own helmets.
Guests can join for each night of the Ride, for a nightly charge that includes dinner and breakfast. On Sunday night, when the riders are in the Arava Valley, the guests stay in Eilat due to limited space. Guests are also invited for a week-long touring program, called “chaverim” (Hebrew for “friends”). See more information here.
You are welcome to come early to Israel or extend your stay after the Ride. You can book extra nights at the hotel in Jerusalem or extra nights in the hotel in Eilat, here.
Tuesday night is the first night of the Ride covered by your registration, at the Ramat Rachel Hotel, at the southern tip of Jerusalem. All riders will stay at Ramat Rachel on Tuesday, but you can book Monday night at the hotel if you like, using the logistics form.
The last night covered by the Ride is Monday, November 14nd. Feel free to stay in Eilat afterwards at the Isrotel Sport Hotel by booking a room through the logistics form.
You are welcome to upgrade your hotel stays to a single room for most nights of the Ride, for a charge each night of $75-100.
Upgrade to Single Rooms using the Logistics Form.
There are two pre-Ride programs this year, both on Monday, October 26th: the JNF Carmel Tour and the Pardes Institute Day of Learning.
We are offering two tours to visit Jordan. The one-day options visit Petra, while the two-day trip includes more time in Petra and the tour of Wadi Rum the following day. We have contracted with Desert Eco Tours to run these trips.
The Israel Ride plans to partner again with Encounter to experience what life is like in Bethlehem. Encounter encourages Jewish leaders to be agents of change in transforming the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
More information is on the Extended Stay Options Page.