On Friday November 18th, 2016, Israeli cyclists acquired a new route, the Kfar HaHoresh Forest Single Track Cycle Trail
, and dozens of riders turned out to enjoy the forest and surrounding natural landscapes. They gritted their teeth on the uphill stretches, coasted on the downhill runs and breathed in clear mountain air before returning to their starting point for the official ceremony to inaugurate the new route.
This new single track, which is 13 kilometers long, is part of the Na‘im BeYahad route, which has an overall length of 54 kilometers. The name of the route is a three-way play on words: apart from being a Hebrew acronym for the names of the local authorities through which it passes – Nazareth, Upper Nazareth, the Jezreel Valley, Yafia and Migdal HaEmek – it also has the double meaning of either “moving along together” or “pleasant together.”
The route itself is a joint venture on the part of KKL-JNF and Central Galilee-Michigan Shutafut BeYahad (Partnership2Gether Peoplehood), a Jewish Agency community network. “This network brings people together
and helps Jewish communities in Israel and abroad to maintain social contacts with one another,” explained Andrea Arbel, Director of the Jewish Agency’s Partnership Unit. “I believe that this new venture will attract many visitors to northern Israel and help to empower local communities. The cycle trail is an example of the variety of initiatives that grow out of partnership and collaboration.”
The single track was built by youth from the Neveh Amiel Youth Village at Sde Yaakov, who are participating in a Partnership2Gether Peoplehood leadership program, and by two contingents from the Arab town of Yafia: young people from a leadership program and a cycling group. Yafia Regional Council Sports Coordinator Hisham Basharat, himself an experienced cyclist, was in attendance at the head of a large group of young riders. “I’m glad that I’ve managed to get the youngsters interested in this trail from the constructive aspect as well,” he said. “Today they had the privilege of riding their route for the first time. It’s important that cooperation between the communities assume a practical form instead of just remaining at the slogan level.”