The Israel Bike Trail gives us the privilege of riding in some of the prettiest, remotest locations that Israel's natural surroundings have to offer. It passes through areas of great ecological, cultural and religious sensitivity.
The trail was planned with care and its route was coordinated with dozens of organizations that have expressed good will and invested their time and energy in making it a reality. All of us are riders who love nature, and as such, it is our responsibility to help in its conservation for everyone. The purpose of the trail is to expose its riders to Israel's beauty, but that also comes at a cost. Areas from which visitors have so far been excluded will from now on host a significant number of riders each year. This is a price that nature will pay but it is up to us to determine how high it is. If we ride and preserve what exists, the cost will be negligible.
We hope that with the help of the Israel Bike Trail you’ll learn to love the land even more and understand how important it is to protect it, especially its open spaces. In order to preserve the values of nature, the sensitive ecosystem and the trail itself, here are several important rules:
Ride Only on the Trail
This is a general rule that applies to all mountain biking. The trail is planned so that you don’t need to get off it. Its width varies from 40 cm to 1 m and its route was chosen so as to minimize damage, whether aesthetic or ecological. Any deviation from the trail can demage the landscape, changes the flow of rainwater (and can destroy plant life), and harms the ground's surface by possibly creating new channels for surface runoff. We’ve worked hard to build and maintain the trail so riders won’t need to leave it. If you encounter a section you can’t pedal, don’t create your own path – walk your bike. This rule also holds true when you encounter rocks and steps that “beg” to be jumped from. Please, leave the stunts for somewhere else.
Respect Other Trail-Users
Others who are using the trail are travelers just like you, lovers of nature and of the land. While you’re riding you’ll probably meet other cyclists as well as hikers. A sudden encounter may startle people, so make sure to adapt your speed to other users on the trail and in your field of vision up ahead. Signal to pedestrians, yield to them and don't surprise them. Greet other trail users and offer assistance when needed.
Leave No Trace
There are no sanitation workers out in the wilderness. If you haul it in, you haul it out. Bring trash bags with you to clean up after yourselves – extra points if you clean after others as well. Littered ground encourages continued disregard; well-kept spaces encourage continued cleanliness.
Do not pick or trample plants or scare animals.
To maintain safe and enjoyable riding conditions for riders who come after you, try not to ride immediately after a rainfall. This makes grooves in the trail. Abrupt stops and locking your wheels also ruts the path. Adjust your speed to riding conditions so as not to damage the trail's infrastructure.
Respect the Local Residents
You are riding in areas that pass near fields, orchards, villages and Bedouin camps. Respect the inhabitants’ sources of livelihood. Don’t touch their property and don't pick fruits and vegetables. Do not cross fields or enter greenhouses.
We ask you to set an example and to take responsibility and initiative for what’s happening around you. Provide help to those who need it, report damage to surroundings as well as illegal behavior. While you’re riding the trail you can serve as watchful eyes assisting the authorities who are tasked with protecting nature and upholding the law.
None of the above replaces the basic rules of riding safety or the rules of behavior established by the managing bodies of Israel's open spaces, such as the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, the Jewish National Fund or the regional councils through which the trail passes.
Wishing you a safe and enjoyable ride,
The trail staff