You’re viewing a version of this story optimized for slow connections. To see the full story click here.

Palestine Riders

Before the Trip

Story by Rubens Ben April 24th, 2017

Palestine Riders is a community that promotes bike riding as a healthy exercise, active exchange and with the idea that biking is the ideal way of transportation in Palestine.

Started in 2011 by Salah Abu Ain, Mohammad Salous & Mohammad Waleed Zarour in Ramallah and Naplouse, the community was first composed of a small group of bike lovers who were posting pictures of their excursions on Facebook. Little by little, the group grew thanks to social networks and passion, as some videos reached thousands of views in a short amount of time.

So on, Mohammad and his colleague became instantly friends with other riders from Haifa, Nazareth and Akko that they met online. They then started organizing guiding tours for Arab Israelis in the mountains of the Dead Sea.

The vision of Palestine Riders is to gather everybody who like or would like to ride bicycles in Palestine, from individuals to group. They also love to meet and connect with other cycling groups in Palestine, Everyone is welcomed !

First, something to put you in the Middle-Eastern mood with the one and only Oum Kalthoum.

HOW DID IT HAPPENED ?

Looking for partners about an side project (open a SolarSoundSystem Palestinian antenna), I had the pleasure and chance to meet Mohammad thanks to a common Israeli friend on Facebook.

He invited me for a bike trip he was organizing a week-end but I had to fly abroad the same day of the trip. I finally accepted his invitation and visited him 2 days before the trip in order to document it's preparation.

So on, I arrived there with 20 bikes to be prepared and with his friend Ameed to help him.

Palestine-Riders-04.jpg
The queen Umm Kulthum
Palestine-Riders-05.jpg
Ameed  in action
Ameed
Mohammad

Dinner Time

As a break, we went to a Dinner in town, discovering a tasty local beer : Taybeh. Fadwa, a French teacher from the Naplouse's French Institute also joined us.

Palestine-Riders-12.jpg
Taybeh, Palestinian Beer brewed in Ramallah
Mohammad
Fadwa
Ameed

Tea Time

By waking up the next morning, I realized that the guys have been working until 4am in order to prepare the bikes for the mountain trip.

ENJOY THE RIDE ! SLAMA / الى اللقاء

You can follow Palestine Riders on Facebook : facebook.com/palestineriders

Ramallah with a view
The bikes ready
Palestine-Riders-23.jpg
Palestine-Riders-26.jpg
Palestine-Riders-25.jpg

About

This a 100% self-funded report. If you like my work you can help me to continue these explorations and shine a light on more amazing communities thanks to a donation :

About me : I'm a freelance photographer on the road. I believe in a world of independent communities based on ecology, open-source and decentralization. I'm also a music photographer. The whole spectrum on RubensBen.com.

Footnote: A huge thanks to Mohammad for his hospitality ! Text and Photos = Rubens Ben
Ramallah, رام الله