Today on the bike ride into Jerusalem, I was thinking that contrasts is one of the things that is so fascinating in Israel, and one perfect example is dressing for a bike ride. I left the house at about 6:20am, it was just getting light and still pretty cold. My ride starts off with a long downhill so I have gloves, scarf, wind jacket, and earmuffs to keep me from freezing and then at the bottom, I start a 6km (4mile) climb and within 10 minutes, I am so warm that even with a Gore-Tex jacket, I need to pull off layers. Of course, the contrasts here in Israel are not just about the weather; another example is people using carts and donkeys to move merchandise in Tel Aviv right near some hi-tech centers where state of the art software is being developed for global consumption.
As I was biking into town today, I looked down and realized that I was wearing the same clothes at the end of December that I wore at the end of August in Denmark. Winter biking in Jerusalem is a dream–come-true; there’s the odd day of heavy rain where the poor drainage system makes biking kind of sketchy, but most days, it is pleasant and sunny and the biking is great. In fact, after a few minutes of uphill cycling, I was pulling off layers and able to cycle in a T-shirt.
My suggestion: book a flight, pack your bike, and come to Jerusalem!
The winter is the ideal time to visit the Negev Desert in the south of Israel for hiking, road biking and mountain biking. I just return from a week long MTB safari in Ezuz and the region, and what a week it was! The weather was perfect, cool mornings and warm afternoons, this is at the same time it was wet and cold in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and allowed us to really enjoy the single track trails through the desert. We stayed at a small Eco-Lodge in the Village of Ezuz (population 70) and went biking from there every day. We followed the ancient trade routes that Nabatean and Bedouin caravans followed hundreds of years ago, through dry river beds, to hidden water holes. This was also the brief period in the year that the desert flowers bloom and we could see hundreds of red and yellow flowers everywhere, quite a sight for anyone who has been in the Negev desert before. We also saw wild asses and ibex standing calmly, watching as we biked by. We returned every afternoon to enjoy a cold beer and home cooked pizza in the tiny restaurant at Ezuz, a delightful place it is. For those who like mountain biking, you need to know that it is one of the most popular sports in Israel today. The whole country is covered in well marked single track trails from the green Golan Heights to the yellow Negev. Lucky for us, the trails were empty of other riders, and it seemed like we had the whole desert to ourselves. Check out our MTB safari for your next trip to Israel!
Last week we completed a 6 day tour from the North of Israel to the Central Negev with a group of fundraisers from the United Jewish Israel Appeal in Manchester. Our staff was in charge of all logistics for the ride with 50 participants divided into two pelotons.
As always, our focus was on providing our clients with unbeatable service with a high premium on customer satisfaction; and we were very grateful for the great reviews and feedback we got from the participants.
The tour took us around the Sea of Galilee, to Mt Gilboa, the Jordan Valley and along the coast of the Dead Sea. On the last day of the ride we climbed a spectacular ascent in the Negev called Ma’ale Akrabim (The Scorpions Ascent).
Since it was the 11th of November, we marked the British Remembrance day at the top of this hill with a moment of silence. Together, Israelis and Brits of the bike, we stood and remembered those who had lost their lives in the name of their homeland. The tranquility of the desert and the feeling of comradeship turned that into a very moving moment for us all.
Our first real post…
This October we had the opportunity to host a group for a 10 day bike tour of Israel. This was a group of friends, most of whom had traveled on several other bike tours around the world with other tour companies (such as Backroads), and were keen to see what Israel had to offer.
We stayed at the best hotels in the country and biked in Tel Aviv, the Galilee, the Golan Heights and the Jerusalem area.
We visited some great wineries along the way; Tabor, Galil, Château Golan and Agur. We also visited Safed (Tzfat), the ancient Synagogue in Bara’am, Nazareth, Gamla, Masada and spent a day touring the Old City of Jerusalem.
Combing the years of experience that we have in running bike tours, and the professional back office we have to support us, we provided our clients with a tour and experience that they will never forget.
Israel can offer the interested bike tourists everything that some of the more classic biking destinations can, such as Provence or Tuscany. Israel has great food, world-renowned wine, excellent hotels, and with our logistics and planning, a high class bike tour in Israel should be considered by all.
Just one of the comments we got back from one of the participants: “… This was undoubtedly the best vacation of our lives”.
This is the first post we publish here, and it’s main goal is to see that the blog is operative and fully functioning, what we sometimes call “alive” but don’t go away – we shell soon have some really good stuff here, about who we are and what we do, what we did last summer and where we’re gonna go next.Of course, when we say “go” we actually mean “cycle”because everything here is going to be about bikes and biking, specifically in the holy land of Israel.And of course, while cycling Israel from Tel Aviv to the Galilee, Golan Heights and Jerusalem, Nazareth and Judean Heights, we’ll have to eat some great foods and maybe drink some wines.We can’t let you taste these, but we’re sure going to shoot some photos so you could see what you’re missing.Stay tuned…