On our first day of riding we set off just as the sun rose above the Jerusalem skyline. As 165 participants took to their bikes to ride in support of peace and sustainability it was truly a sight to behold. Traveling in three different riding groups, participants rode west of the city to journey through the Jerusalem Forest. As the group passed modern farms, Roman ruins and Biblical landscapes they learned about the history of the land from the tour guides who travel with the riders throughout their journey.
After lunch I joined the Shomrim in the afternoon touring option of the Beit Guvrin cave system. This touring option, one of five offered throughout the trip, took us into a vast underground network of store rooms, olive presses, burial chambers and residential homes from Roman times.
As the Shomrim explored this ancient city structure, riders in the Tzofi and Chalutzim groups continued to ride after lunch, passing the separation wall as they made their way to our hotel. As I spoke with riders this evening it was incredible to hear the ways in which the Israel Ride accommodates the various interests and riding ambitions of each participant. Despite being the second largest Israel Ride to date, riders are able to participant in one of three riding groups which ride at different speeds and cover different terrain. Named the Shomrim, Tzofim and Chalutzim, these groups ride on average 30, 55 and 70 miles day. These riding options mean that the Israel Ride is accessible to a wide range of riders with different riding experiences and interest.
I look forward to keeping you updated on Ride events as the week continues! So be sure to follow the Ride on facebook and check beck in tomorrow for another post!