bike on trail

About Israel

“Within its small perimeter, Israel packs in abundant riches, from cherished religious sites and plentiful archaeological treasures to spectacular natural wonders. It’s the Holy Land to Jews, Christians, and Muslims. This this is where biblical place names like Jerusalem and the Galilee come vibrantly alive. Here, too, you can party in Tel Aviv by the Mediterranean, float in the Dead Sea, and explore the haunting yet fascinating desert”…(from Fodors)

The Challenge

An individually, self-supported mountain bike race from the north to the south of Israel, across the historical landscapes of the holy land. Bring your bike and gear and ride as fast as you can from Mt. Hermon to the Red Sea.
Starting with 2016, two HLC races are available; HLC1400 – ending in Eilat, HLC700 – ending in Jerusalem old city.

The Spirit

The self-supported spirit is the key and fundamental code the HLC strives to root as part of its DNA. It is this code among riders that will make this event special in the future along with the magical route.

We feel we want to stress the message that even though the HLC is a bikepacking race, the racing element of it is the theme that keeps the rider pushing him/her self to the limit.

The most important element of the event is the JOURNEY – the epic experience one will go through while riding the HLC. The journey starts by meeting the underlined below code of conduct;
1. Riding the entire route; no shortcuts or variation of the route
2. Self supported; no angel intervention, family or bystanders
3. Trying to keep external intervention to a minimum; minimum facebook or other social media
4. Demonstrate brotherhood to fellow riders in need; remember its not only about the race
5. Respect Nature and Parks Authority rules; don’t ride at night where it’s prohibited

The HLC team does not want to monitor or police the codes but will do so when necessary to maintain the spirit of the event.

There is nothing to win or lose in this event just personal experience and the sense of achievement from completing such a challenging ride. Take it as a break from day to day life, go out to the wilderness and experience the feeling of being free from it all.

Ride in your style, enjoy and embrace every simple moment and leave all behind. To keep the event a truly bikepacking experience, the HLC requires each rider to bivy at least 50% of the nights in the wild and out of urban and civilized areas.

In order to keep the event in a “racing” spirit and not “sightseeing” touring like style; beginning with HLC 2015 a cut-off period of 11 days will be implemented. All riders wishing to become “finishers” of the HLC must do so within 11 days after which the trackleaders HLC tracking system will go offline.

Some Basic Rules

Important: Once you’ve decided to participate in this challenge, you are on your own and must take full responsibility for yourself! There are some remote segments of the trail that with limited or no cellular network coverage, in which any medical assistance may be far away. Think carefully about the implications of the possibility of getting hurt and being alone in the desert, at night, in the cold before you decide to join this race.

1. There is no entry fee and absolutely no support – you are on your own!
2. The rules are simple. It’s all about integrity. If you cannot do it without external support, better not to enter the race.
3. The race is intended for cyclists to be truly self-supported and as such, NO external intervention or assistance is allowed and NO delivery or collection of items along the way.
4. Cyclists must ride the entire route unless permitted deviations are communicated (maybe due to weather conditions)
5. The cyclist must ride self-supported from start to finish self-supported and is solely responsible for his own ride, including; rest, navigation, supplies including food and water, and repairs along the route.
6. The use of public facilities and services is permitted to all cyclists including; bikes shops, restaurants, motels, B&B’s, convenience stores etc provided it is not pre-arranged**
7. Cyclist must “bivy” (camp outdoors) at least 50% of the nights. “Indoors”accommodation for the reminder 50% is allowed provided it is not pre-arranged**.
8. **Calling ahead during the race for any service, including accommodation, is the same as pre-arranged and as such, is prohibited.
9. Even though it is intended to be a solo challenge, formation of groups is allowed provided that each member of the group is self-sufficient and there is NO group gear allocation and/or sharing. However, peloton formation and drafting is strictly prohibited.
10. In case of technical failure of your bike, and if you are interested to continue the race, you must get to the closest commercial maintenance point or bike shop. After repairing your bike, you must return to the *exact spot* where you left the route, and continue the race. Remember, calling for technical assistance is prohibited – you are on your own!
11. Visiting family and friends along the route is not allowed in order to ensure equal opportunity to all competitors as the challenge should be kept fair for all riders.
12. Respect fellow racers, communities along the way and nature.
13. It’s about honor.