† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.
Note: before signing up for this ride, please consult the current US State Department cautions for travel in this area -- http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/israel-travel-warning.html
OVERVIEW: Come join us as we embark on one of the world's great journeys, following in the footsteps of Richard Burton and TE Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), as we start this 18-day tour by exploring the Holy City of Jerusalem in its anticipation of the holiday season. Following our time in Jerusalem, we cycle south to the Dead Sea and Masada, floating in its salty embrace and soaking up the history of the region. Continuing south, we head up the winding Scorpion's Ascent for grand views of the Arava Desert and make our way to the Negev Desert, eventually reaching the water-sport Capital of Israel, Eilat. Eilat is nestled on the Red Sea. After we explore its grandeur, we cycle into Jordon and experience first hand the enchanting Wadi Rum Desert that so enraptured TE Lawrence, even spending a night in a Bedouin Camp. And then the prize: we cycle to Petra, the ancient Nabatean City, one of the world's new seven wonders. After more exploring, we will cycle into the Jordan Valley and return to Israel, stopping in Jericho before our triumphant return to Jerusalem. We stay at the Mt. Zion Hotel overlooking the Old City and its walls. By this time, the City will be in full preparation for the holiday season, as we once again walk and cycle the City before our departure home. With nearly all meals included and wonderful happy hours featuring local microbrew beer, wine and middle eastern snacks, this promises to be an epic tour!
RIDE RATING: The tour is 500 miles in total and we climb about 32,000 feet but Gordon Active will provide outstanding support and the two support vans will have a seat for ALL riders and a space for ALL bikes and bags. While we expect ALL riders to sign up with the intention of doing the entire tour, Riders can determine their own ride each day; either ride all the miles or select a shortened version of the day's route. The hope is that the December weather will be ideal for the southern desert area and aided by cooler temperatures, We hope to have a good representation of cyclists attempt to tackle some of the challenging, short climbes like Scorpion's Ascent -- Israel's most iconic climb. Thus, the 4C rating is only a signpost for serious cyclists who might wish to do the entire tour without needing SAG support.
WEATHER: December should be the perfect time to ride the southern part of Israel and into Jordan. The winter flowers should be in bloom. In Jerusalem, the average December temperatures are in the mid-60s by day, so a jacket at night is recommended.
LODGING: The lodging is excellent. The hotels that have grown from the Kibbutz movement are excellent, with spa treatments available and very healthy meals that even leave a cyclist full! The meals are included, the spa treatments are extra.
Day 1: Arrival -- Thursday November 30th , 2017
Independent arrival to Jerusalem. Meet the group and enjoy dinner together to mark the beginning of your adventure.
Meals: D Overnight: Mt Zion Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 2: Jerusalem -- Friday December 1st , 2017
Start the tour in the heart of Jerusalem with a walking tour of the Old City; here you will visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Western Wall, and get a rooftop view of the Dome of the Rock. After lunch exit the Old City through the Jaffa Gate and start your bike tour through the modern city, taking in the Tiyelet viewing platform, the Old Train Station, Downtown, Government Hill, Valley of the Cross, and Machane Yehuda produce market.
Approx. Riding Distance: 6 mi.
Meals: B Overnight: Mt. Zion Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 3: Jerusalem to Dead Sea -- Saturday December 2nd , 2017
Depart Jerusalem through the quiet Sabbath streets and start your descent to the lowest point on earth – the Dead Sea. Leaving the European climate of Jerusalem you will quickly see the change as you enter the Judean Desert, passing the Inn of the Good Samaritan as you go. Cycle along the shores of the Dead Sea to Kibbutz Ein Gedi Hotel.
Approx. Riding Distance: 68 mi. Approx. Elevation Gain: 2788 ft.
Meals: B, D Overnight: Kibbutz Ein Gedi Hotel
Day 4: Rest Day/Masada -- Sunday December 3rd, 2017
Spend the day relaxing in the hotel or at the Ein Gedi Spa on the shores of the therapeutic Dead Sea. Optional visit for a guided tour of Masada; the mountain top fortress built by King Herod and used by the Jews for their final stand against the Romans in 73ce.
Meals: B,D Overnight: Kibbutz Ein Gedi Hotel
Day 5: Dead Sea to the Peace Trail -- Monday December 4th, 2017
Riding south along the Dead Sea you will pass the hilltop fortress of Masada, the Dead Sea evaporation pools, the Dead Sea Works and enter the Arava Desert. Here you will follow the beautiful Peace Route, viewing the impressive desert agriculture as you follow the Israeli Jordanian border.
Approx. Riding Distance: 59 mi. Approx. Elevation Gain: 2493 ft.
Meals: B,D Overnight: Local B&B
Day 6: Peace Trail to Yeruham via Scorpions' ascent -- Tuesday December 5th, 2017
Climbing out of the Arava Desert you will ascend the winding Scorpion's Ascent for a spectacular view over the desert. Your ride will continue through the Makhtesh Gadol (large crater), to the sleepy desert town of Yeruham.
Approx. Riding Distance: 34 mi. Approx. Elevation Gain: 3746 ft.
Meals: B,D Overnight: Desert Irus, Yeruham
Day 7: Yeruham to Mitzpe Ramon -- Wednesday December 6th, 2017
Riding through the Negev Desert you will leave Yeruham and join the main desert road. Passing Sde Boker you will stop to visit the grave of Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion and continue to the edge of the Ramon Crater for your overnight in Mitzpe Ramon.
Approx. Riding Distance: 34 mi. Approx. Elevation Gain: 2057 ft.
Meals: B,D Overnight: Ramon Suites, Mitzpe Ramon
Day 8: Mitzpe Ramon to Kibbutz Lotan -- Thursday December 7th, 2017
Following the desert road through the Ramon Crater is an incredible ride through the deserted landscape, until you come to Kibbutz Lotan. Nestled on the Jordanian border the members of Kibbutz Lotan built an ideological community based on collective living and an eco lifestyle.
Approx. Riding Distance: 68 mi. Approx. Elevation Gain: 1968 ft.
Meals: B,D Overnight: Kibbutz Lotan
Day 9: Kibbutz Lotan to Eilat -- Friday December 8th, 2017
Short Ride: Bike along the old road towards the beach town of Eilat. You will pass many small agricultural communities as well as surprising wildlife such as the flamingos.
Approx. Riding Distance: 38 mi. Approx. Elevation Gain: 426 ft.
Long Ride: Cut across the Eilat Mountains to the Egyptian Border and follow the mountainous road to enter Eilat from the West; a more challenging ride through the beautiful red Eilat Mountains.
Approx. Riding Distance: 50 mi. Approx. Elevation Gain: 3608 ft.
Both Rides: As you enter the town of Eilat on the Red Sea the first stop will be a well-earned drink on the beach.
Meals: B,D Overnight: Astral Village, Eilat
Day 10: Eilat to Aqaba -- Saturday December 9th, 2017
Enjoy a free morning in Eilat. In the afternoon bike to the Arava border crossing. The group will walk across the border with their bikes. The Jordanian staff will be waiting to meet you and assist with immigration. Then transfer for bikes and people to Aqaba.
Approx. Riding Distance: 12 mi. Approx. Elevation Gain: 656 ft.
Meals: B,D Overnight: Aqaba Gulf Hotel, Aqaba
Day 11: Aqaba to Rum -- Sunday December 10th , 2017
Cycle out of Aqaba through the mountains and ascend. Then continue along the highway before turning right into Wadi Rum desert area. We stop for a picnic. Crossing the ancient Hijaz railway, you will cycle all the way to Wadi Rum rest house. The bikes will be secured in Rum Village, whilst you enjoy a 4x4 jeep ride inside the reserve to the Bedouin Camp to experience Bedouin hospitality.
Approx. Riding Distance: 43 mi. Approx. Elevation Gain: 4921 ft. Approx. Elevation Loss: 1640 ft.
Meals: B, L, D Overnight: Milky Way Bedouin Camp, Wadi Rum
Day 12: Rest Day/Wadi Rum -- Monday December 11th , 2016
Spend the day resting or exploring the area of Wadi Rum on foot or by jeep.
Meals: B,L,D Overnight: Milky Way Bedouin Camp, Wadi Rum
Day 13: Wadi Rum to Petra -- Tuesday December 12th, 2017
There is an optional transfer for some who prefer a shorter ride and to spend a little longer in Rum. The route returns out of Wadi Rum and along the desert highway, including an ascent to Ras Al-Naqab, with amazing views. We stop for a picnic lunch. Then on top of the plateau, the route turns off the main road onto quieter roads to Rajif and finishing in the town of Wadi Musa, home to the archeological site of Petra.
Approx. Riding Distance without transfer: 71 mi. Approx. Elevation Gain without transfer: 7217 ft.
Approx. Elevation Loss without transfer: 6233 ft
Meals: B, L, D Overnight: Petra Guesthouse, Petra
Day 14: Petra -- Wednesday 13th December, 2017
Time off the bikes and exploring by foot. Your guide will accompany you through the ancient city of Petra, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. You will walk through to the Colonnaded street, where you will stop for lunch. Then you have several hours to explore on your own, with options including ascending to the Monastery and beyond to the superb views across the Jordan Valley, or taking the back route to the High Place of Sacrifice, or ascending Jebel Khubtha, to view the Treasury from above.
Meals: B, L, D Overnight: Petra Guesthouse, Petra
Day 15: Petra to Dana -- Thursday December 14th, 2017
Back on the bikes, we cycle north out of Petra to Little Petra and explore the site. Then continue north towards Shobak Castle, an ancient crusader fort with time to visit the site. Then on to Dana.
Approx. Riding Distance: 48 mi. Approx. Elevation Gain: 5905 ft. Approx. Elevation Loss: 4265 ft.
Meals: B, L, D Overnight: Dana Guest House, Dana
Day 16: Dana to Dead Sea -- Friday 15th December, 2017
The longest day on the tour, with an optional transfer at the start to Kerak. The route takes the country roads from Dana to Tafila, then descends to the Jordan Valley, 300m below sea level. There is an optional transfer down to the Dead Sea road. Then continue for 96Km north following the Dead Sea highway, past the salt pans and following the shores of the Dead Sea. Finish at the hotels for a swim and rest.
Approx. Riding Distance without transfer: 88 mi. Approx. Elevation Gain without transfer: 5921 ft.
Approx. Riding Distance with transfer: 53 mi. Approx. Elevation Gain with transfer: 656 ft.
Meals: B,L,D Overnight: Spa Hotel, Dead Sea
Day 17: Dead Sea to Jericho -- Saturday December 16th, 2017
Cycle to the Allenby Border Crossing to cross back to Israel. Bike to Jericho for lunch, and transfer to Jerusalem. Check into hotel and enjoy celebratory meal to mark the end of your ride.
Approx. Riding Distance: 19 mi
Meals: B,L,D Overnight: Mount Zion Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 18: Departure -- We will help arrange airport transport for those leaving directly after Breakfast.
Sunday December 17th, 2017
COST & ADMINISTRATION: The cost for the entire 18-day tour is $4,200.00 per person and includes the following:
Staff in Israel
Staff in Jordan
The price does NOT include the following:
Checks for the deposit ($1,200) and the final payment ($3,000 by September 1, 2017) are to be made payable to the Bicycle Adventure Club (not Tom Ryan) and mailed to PO Box 23998, San Diego, CA 92193.
SINGLES: We will do our best to match room mates and avoid the single supplement which is available for $920.00 for those who wish it.
CANCELLATION POLICY: The BAC ride registration fee is not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled. Refunds for cancellations will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up and/or on costs that can be recouped. The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations. If a canceling participant cannot be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and the final expense report is completed. If a single participant cancels and a replacement roommate cannot be found, the cancelling roommate will be liable for the single supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour in addition to any other costs that cannot be recouped.
SIGN-UP: To submit a request to join this ride use the "links" displayed above this Ride Description. When you are accepted, you will receive an email notification to login to the BAC website to sign the release of liability (ROL) and pay the BAC ride registration fee online. The initial deposit of $1200 for the ride is due within 2 weeks of your acceptance onto the ride. To contact the Ride Director, "click" the name at the top of this Ride Description.
Bicycle Adventure Club
PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510 firstname.lastname@example.org