Well, for the first ride of the New Year 17 of us met at the usual spot. What was unusual was that our usual trusty leader David and his dear wife Ingride had ditched us for a very good reason. They were in Australia with their family for Rosh Hashana and to celebrate a Family wedding...MAZALTOV!
But, we were not without a leader. URI SA'AR volunteered to lead the ride and did a great job. Thanks Uri. He led us to Marina in Herzliya and I for one (and many of the others rode along quite a few new stretches, and enjoyed some new scenery close to home. Well done Uri for choosing paths that were not too sandy.
Frome the Marina we headed toward Glilot and then home via the Herzliya park to our breakfast stop at Arc Café. Another 28 kilometres had been notched up and good few calories consumed. We had all enjoyed a morning out with good exercise, with good friends and lots of exchanges of how the New Year had passed.
Yom Kippur (The day of Atonement) is next week, so we are wishing that you all be inscribed in the Good Book and that we meet again soon, spiritually cleansed and refreshed - "Gmar Hatima Tova"
This morning's ride was dominated by two core items. The first, that this was the first "'autumn" morning ride of the Gregorian year but it was also the last ride of the year as per the Hebrew Calendar. The autumn weather was characterized by the clear skies devoid of humidity, a sharp breeze from the south and fluffy white and grey clouds. In addition low temperatures made the riding a "breeze" compared with the hot conditions of the past months. Even Dina ventured out after a break of several weeks riding as if she was never absent.
Perhaps the most unusual part for me was listening to the reports from the various individuals who have been abroad recently some on rides while other just for recreation. Here is a brief description of what I picked up.
The Italian Job riders enjoyed their trip which included dramatic scenery, good food and tough riding on some days made easier by bikes with excellent gears. No rain until they hit Venice but by then it was "off bike".!!!!!
The "Devon" mob, all two of them, had a great time feasting up on English breakfasts and Devonshire cream afternoon teas. They even rode on a couple of days and on one had a gained elevation of some 700 meters in 42 kls. Phew!!! Uri's legs did cramp... small wonder?
The Polish Connection... Haim ventured out on his own after his friend withdrew on medical grounds but that did not stop our "Polish Gentleman" who rode in the Krakow region alongside Italians, New Zealanders, Canadians and a handful of non communicative Germans. He hit the Shlibowitz which almost sent him in a spiral towards the floorboards. Good Polish sausage did help.
The Austrian Mafia was a real familial affair led by Arik who spent time in the Salzburg region with his "clan". All went well in true Austrian style. He denied vociferously eating sauerkraut but sausages and kartofel were on the menu. Coffee and strudel to follow but his girth was still intact this morning.
I returned from London after attending two important family affairs and even saw an occasional patch of blue sky but most days it was pure drizzle. The day I departed they declared the first official storm of winter. No riding but I did manage two good walks along a delightful stream.
The ride this morning was a classic Udim circuit marred only by Yochi'c flat tyre and Merrill taking a tumble. All was well as rescue teams worked "tyrelessly". Ha Ha!!!
Get well Rafi and Bon Voyage to the Lewises and Shana Tova to all of you.
Where have all the rocks gone?
14 of us met near the Baptist village and cycled around 28 km in a kind of round route that took in the Nachshonim forest and skirted El Ad. The starting point is a great compromise - it cuts out the tiresome ride back to Elishema, where we used to start the route.
We didn't stop much because of the heat (even though Ingride pleaded....) and we managed to get back early without much trekking through sand. The big surprise?? the path up the Nachshonim hill has been denuded of its rocks - yes, the road has been cleared in what looks like the beginnings of a road construction. Cheated out of our rock climbing!
We stopped off at Landwer in Hod Hasharon but they refused to let us move tables together so we figuratively stuck our tongues out and went to CafeNetto instead.
Imagine Peter Seeger (a morbid song, but livened up to suit us...)
Where have all the cyclists gone?
Early in the morning
Where have all the cyclists gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the cyclists gone?
Gone to Nachshonim every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Around 12 of us gathered to ride on what was a hot hot day - in the abscence of our usual leader, we made a combined effort to ride to the sea and back.
Welcome to Talia - new to the country and to the group - a roadie who has seen the light. First time on a mountain bike very kindly lent to her by ASHER of GIANT KFAR SABA. Thanks to ASHER and to GIANT!
We whooshed along creating our own breeze as nothing stirred - not a suggestion even of a bit of wind. We chose to avoid the sand and made our way via Sidna Ali and the US embassy downhill (which is no longer the challenge it used to be) to the marina where we gazed and the boats and the sea. Not for long, though. We made our way back as directly as possible to stop off at Arc Caffe. Thanks to all who came - the ride was pleasant considering the weather and the coffee at Arc Caffee very welcome.... Hopefully John's stitches will be gone soon and he will be able to join us again!
Since I have no inspiration for either song or poem you will all just have to recite and sing your own....
On a Hot Summer's Day
Well, what is there to do on a hot summer's day? Why, cycle of course!
17 of us gathered and set off on what turned into a 40 km ride to Tel Aviv port area and back. Along cycle paths and offroad (with and without sand...), ably led by David. Despite the creeping heat, we sped along at a reasonable pace, making it back before 10am. We resisted stopping at Max Brenner in the port and rode back to Ramat HaChayal along the river. People are far more conscious of not walking in the cycle path, which made the trip through the park a lot more pleasant. From there we cycled mostly along the road through Ramat Hasharon to Arc Caffe for refueling. Apart from a minor mishap - a small group of us straying from the path - we all kept together with very few stops along the way.
So....imagine Barbara Streisand or Frank Sinatra
On a hot day, rise and look around you, and you'll see where you are.
On a hot day, how it will astound you That the glow of your bicycle outshines every star.
You will follow every mountain, sea and shore,
You will see from far and near a world you've never seen before.
On a hot day, on a hot day, you can cycle forever, and ever, and ever more.
In order to "beat the heat" it was decided to commence our "Home Patch" rides at 6.30am. Missing that extra hour's sleep affects some more than other and I am one of those affected, but nevertheless, I was there at 6.30 and so were 19 others. Well done! The route was an oft ridden circular one ... Batzra, Benei Tzion, Yaqum, Udim and back to, where else, good old Landwers in the industrial area of Ra'anana, where the food and service is always good. Today was no exception.
By the way, we didn't "beat the heat"!!!! so that's one to "the Heat" and nil to Cyclenix :) We covered thirty-two kms and suffered one puncture. I am sure all enjoyed the company, the ride and those who came to breakfast, that as well.
Keep cool and see you next week.
Nachal Alexander can be a boring ride. East to west, west to east, no hills, some sand and often a stench from the stream that almost dries out in summer. In winter it's a mud bath. And yet we ride it at least twice yearly. One of the reasons is that it is convenient and in summer , now that we ride west to east, is even pleasant.
Yesterday's ride was just that and by finding a little diversion by visiting the Agmon Hadera, we gave it another form of variations on a theme on the return segment. A by pass route always gives added value and yesterdays was particularly timely. We stayed at the Agmon lookout enjoying the cool breeze while the two scouts Michal and Merril set off to find the Holy Grail.
In no time we bid fond farewell to the lookout tower and followed the scouts. This had been preceded by a short stay at the Copse we often use as a turn around and rest stop some 15 kl's eastwards where we sang David Happy Birthday because a year has passed since we celebrated his previous (80) B'day in grand fashion. In fact the ride yesterday was a celebration ride of several layers as we also marked Wedding Anniversary's of Anna and John (who was conspicuous in his absence). We were less than 20 but the rising dust from the rear at time gave the impression we were a stampeding herd.
David took several calls including some overseas to congratulate him and it was a reminder of how small the world has become with modern technology. Arik who was in the tech industry and has many interests including poetry wrote this superb poem in David's honour...enjoy it as much as we enjoyed the ride.
If you have any questions or want to get in touch for any reason, feel free to get in touch with David or John: