Having never before participating in a group ride, nor for that matter having ever ridden on a bike for more than one full day, Ellen Taxman of Boulder signed up for the Arava Institute and Hazon Israel Ride in 2010. She joined 125 other riders for over 300 miles of cycling and recalls that
each leg of the journey was incredible and remarkable. Not only were the sights and places we rode through interesting and beautiful, but my fellow riders added a level of depth to the experience as we discussed our mutual interest in Israel and the organizations that we came together as a community to support.”
More than two dozen Coloradans have participated in the Israel Ride in past years and more are signed up for the experience this year. Riders in 2012 will have the additional privilege of learning from Alon Tal, author and one of Israel’s leading environmentalists.
The Israel Ride is October 30 – November 6th and this year the route explores the different regions of Israel, beginning in the north cycling through the forests of the Galil, on the slopes of the Golan Heights, and around the Kinneret, then continuing with three riding days down south, traversing the expanse of the Negev Desert and Arava Valley, ending in Eilat. The ride includes a day of orientation at a kibbutz on the Mediterranean Sea, a rest day over Shabbat in Mitzpe Ramon in the desert, and a finale on the shore of the Red Sea.
There are three route options: a standard route (55 miles a day), a challenging option (70 miles), and a touring group (40 miles plus afternoon touring). Each day is fully supported with rest stops and mechanics, and your accommodations and all food is provided. In addition, throughout the ride there are ample opportunities to learn about environmental issues in the region as well as the work of the Arava Institute and Hazon in this sector.
There are scholarships available for riders who have not been to Israel in at least five years or who are visiting for the first time. And, the Oreg Foundation has generously pledged $360 toward the fundraising goal for any Team Colorado rider!