Noam Pratzer
Love being outside and helping people get outside!

Five Reasons to Mountain Bike around Jerusalem

A few weeks ago I posted five reasons to go hiking around Jerusalem. Today I want to share a bit about mountain biking. As I mentioned in my first blog post, I started mountain biking about two years after I moved to Israel. Coming from Canada my two favourite sports growing up were hockey and skiing. Needless to say, these sports are not exactly accessible in Israel’s Mediterranean climate. When I discovered mountain biking, especially single-track riding, it felt like I had stumbled upon skiing’s summertime doppelganger. The communion with the mountains, the adrenaline rush and freedom as you pick up speed, the feeling of gracefulness when you nail a turn just in time and that jolt to your heart as you realize maybe you didn’t make the turn in time, they all reminded me of the thrills and joys of skiing. 

In Jerusalem, we are blessed with access to an incredible diversity of mountain biking, from easy family friendly trails to terrifying technical downhills, there really are trails for everyone. 

Here are my five top reasons why, if you don’t already, you should start mountain biking outside Jerusalem this summer! 

  1. Social Distancing – Even before it became a legal requirement, mountain biking always encouraged social distancing. Part of the beauty of biking with a partner (or your family) is the way you can be alone together. I love the way I can retreat into my own mind and senses, enjoying the beauty of my surroundings or focussing on the contours of the trail, while also knowing I’m out there together with a partner. Maintaining two meters of distance will be easy, and being both social and distant is the natural way to be when you’re out riding. 
  2. Something for Everyone – I know I wrote this in my previous post about hiking, but I’ll say it again because it’s true. Jerusalem has an amazingly diverse trail network. Whether you’re looking for a flat smooth family ride, quad-burning climbs, or skill-testing technical rides, you will find it in Jerusalem’s backyard. And because the city is surrounded by beautiful hills and forests, you don’t have to drive more than a few minutes to discover these amazing trail networks. Among other places, you can park at Yad Kennedy, the Jerusalem Aquarium, and Har Eitan, and just get on your bike and explore!
  3. Discover our Backyard – Biking is a great way to discover the beautiful hills, valleys and forests surrounding Jerusalem. Spend a few weekends riding in a different trail or park each time, and after a month you’ll feel infinitely more connected to the place you live!
  4. You’ll Probably Fall, but You Don’t Have To – If you’re teaching your kid to ride a two wheeler for the first time, or taking your first charge down Jerusalem’s IMBA  trail, you’ll probably take a spill. If you’re riding with proper protective gear and your body is supple enough to take a few bruises, this is a great thing – it’s how you learn, it’s proof that you’re pushing yourself to get better, and it’s accompanied by a feeling of adrenaline and vitality that can be hard to come by in day to day indoor life. That feeling of getting back on the bike and getting it right next time is as good as it gets! At the same time, we don’t all want to fall! As long as you know how to ride a bike, you can find plenty of trails where you can comfortably and confidently enjoy a beautiful, safe and peaceful day outside!
  5. Beer, Coffee or Ice Cream – There’s no need to deny it. One of the best parts of biking is the post-ride treat. Whatever it is that you crave, it’ll taste better after a nice sweaty bike ride!

If you’d like ideas on where to go biking around Jerusalem, contact me at noam@get-out.guru and I’d be happy to share ideas! You can also check follow my facebook page where I regularly post new biking ideas! Stay tuned for the next post on “Five Reasons to Take your Kid Rock Climbing!”

About the Author
Noam Pratzer is the founder of Get Out Jerusalem, a platform promoting outdoor adventures in Jerusalem's backyard. Noam studied philosophy, law and economics at the Universities of Toronto and Pennsylvania and is an ordained rabbi. He worked at Israel’s Supreme Court and as a corporate lawyer before founding Get Out. Noam finds sanctuary in nature, is a passionate hiker, cyclist and rock climber, and loves sharing this passion with anyone!
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