So despite the current news, which is somewhat of an exaggeration in general, we have just closed registration fro an 18 day bike tour in Israel and Jordan. The tour is called from Jerusalem to Petra and BACK, and it is a ray of hope to the future of the region. Before getting to the program itself, I think that the story of how this tour was created is interesting in itself.
Last winter, I was invited to participate, together with several other Active Travel experts, to participate, in a workshop in Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Jordan organized by EcoPeace Middle East.
The organization seeks to promote environmental and cultural cooperation as a key to promote coexistence. The work shop consisted of meetings and tours in the region, with experts in Cycling, Hiking and other Active tours in Israel, Jordan and the PA. At the end of the last meet, that took place in Northern Jordan, the participants presented ideas for cross border tours in the region to be revised by a committee. I presented a cycling program the included Jerusalem, Eilat, the Negev, Petra, the Moab mountains and the Jordan valley near Jericho.
Our program received a grant for marketing which we devoted to running a pilot tour this past September.
A few months after the seminar, and not related, we ran our first tour with the BAC. For those who are not familiar with this club I will say that it is a non-profit, bicycle touring club for serious cyclists run by its 1,500 volunteer members. We ran a tour called “Spring in the Holy Land” that covered the Galilee and Acre, Golan Heights, Sea Of Galilee, The Dead Sea, Jordan Valley, Mediterranean Coast, and the Judean Hills ending with an epic climb to Jerusalem.
The tour was a huge success, and the participants, who have all cycled around the globe, all had a fantastic ride in Israel. When we had time to sit down, I asked the organizer, a former NY fire fighter, a great cyclist and a charismatic leader, if he would be interested to run a cross border bike ride, and presented him with our new program. We decided to publish, and as I said, we have 25 participants signed up for next winter!
The ride will start with a loop ride around Jerusalem for the first day before we will ride down to the Dead Sea and stay at the Ein Gedi Oasis. We will visit Masada, the Arava, Scorpions Accent, Ramon Creator and bike down to Eilat on the Red Sea. After Resting for a day the ride will cross into Jordan and head towards Wadi Rum for a day to explore the desert on foot. We will climb up to Petra, and the Moab Mountains, and then “dive” into the Dead Sea following a day long decent to the shore. The ride will end after crossing the Jordan River again and Entering by bike into Jericho, believed to be the Oldest City in the World.
I am thrilled to be running this tour and plan to be on staff, if you are interested in joining the next Jerusalem to Petra and BACk, chaeck out the tour page at the following link.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanuka, Happy New Year, change the world, bike to work
Written by Amir Rockman, Gordon Active Cycling Specialist and Guide