A whopping number of 29 Cyclenixers pitched up for our weekly ride.
Yoavi joined with his brand new Bergamont bike, rocking his 27.5 inch wheels and a blue and orange XS aluminum frame. He got all the attention that he needed and we were off on our way. The beginning of the ride gave us all an illusion that we are going towards the Yarkon, but to our surprise we just took a detour on gravel paths instead of riding on pavements.
Out of Raanana towards Kfar Shmaryahu, where we tried to ride through a bushy narrow path. Frances stopped and I yelled to her very "gracefully" to move out of the way. Karma did the rest of the work since I found myself lying on my side in the bushes. Needless to say that all the witnesses enjoyed a good laugh.
We continued to ride to our beloved spot on the cliff of Arsuf. The security guard was thanked many times as always when he kindly opens the gate at our arrival. The view is the reason we stop there and it always recharges your mental battery. Rafi's nuts and other varieties of nosh are just an excuse to stay there a little longer. From here the group split up. John and a few others (aka the breakaway group) turned back towards Raanana due to the heat and feeling not on the strong side to continue for too long. The majority of the group continued the regular way coming back via Yakum, Bnei Zion then Bazra all the way to the Promised Land Landwer.
John, Dina, Yoavi and myself were already finishing our breakfast there to welcome the few Cyclenixers who decided to dine together. Surprisingly only about 8 people made it back to Landwer and it took them quite a long time to arrive with a relatively small difference between the different lengths that we did.
I was informed that this was due to chain problems and not because the breakaway could be perceived as any actual breakaway. Since I was one of the ditchers with John's breakaway group, I can only hope that they all made it back to their destinations safely.
The group did about 33 kilometers of peddling for this home patch ride.
History: Today's ride was a shorter version of a ride which we first did in 2011, and repeated 2 years later. That first ride was planned and led by Avi Tsabban, who at that time was one of our "regulars". On those rides we started from the Ir Yamim Sportech in Netanya South and covered around 38 km.
Today's Route: Our start point today was just west of the Laniado Hospital, thereby shortening the route by approximately 15 km. But the rest of the ride followed the original circular route - crossing under the Kvish Hahof, turning north through the western part of the picturesque Hefer Valley countryside and village settlements up to Nahal Alexander, then east along the river for approximately 3 km, then back southwards in the eastern part of the Valley, then back under the Kvish Hahof and (eventually) back to the cars.
Why "Eventually": Because before reaching the cars we made a surprise and very significant detour - to the home of Uri and Yael Nativ where we were treated to another end-of-ride gastronomic experience. Why "another"? Because on a ride we did in the Netanya area a few years ago Uri and Yael similarly "spoiled" us with their fine food and drink. A very big thank you to both for your wonderful hospitality. (Does this have the makings of a Cyclenix tradition??!!)
Bottom Line: 16 participants. An enjoyable, easy-going route. Ideal riding conditions. Great company. 2 punctures. 2 minor mechanical breakdowns. End-of-ride party. To quote Ira Gershwin: "Who Could Ask For Anything More"!!
The following is the link to my GPS details of the route:
Video Report this week.
Kibbutz Mishmar Haemek where we met is strategically located on the southern slopes of the Jezreel valley hillside. In April 1948 its members fought a bitter battle over several days against the volunteer Arab force led by the Iraqi commander Kaukji . Seventeen members of the kibbutz were killed in the see-saw battle that finally ended when Yitzhak Sadeh's support units arrived at the battle and drove back the Arab attackers. In a battle some several kls away to the west, Moshe Dayan's brother Zorik was killed in a battle with Arab forces attempting to capture Kibbutz Ramat Yohanan. The Arab Forces included Druze fighters who switched sides and joined the Jewish forces when they realized the Jews were the stronger force. Since that battle, Druze serve in the IDF and the Police.
We awaited Tracey at the launch sire near the Palmach Cave in anticipation of an exciting new ride in unchartered territory for most of us. But Tracey had other unexpected plans and instead David and Michal were entrusted with instructions and GPS destined to navigate us on the path to the Holy grail. A steep immediate uphill was the first obstacle and not knowing where to turn was the second. By then Sami had given up and abandoned the group.
Finding the way again we rode up another hill to be faced with yet another "where to" By then Uri Sahar was turning white so he decided to rest and return to the car. We rode off to again lose the way and returned on our tracks to find Uri now recovered. "I once was lost, but now am found." Amazing, but some grace.
Things started to look better and directions easier as we approached the summit. After a short rest we commenced the return. A slight diversion to the Kibbutzim memorial site enabled us to view majestic vistas as well as to grasp the enormous contribution the kibbutzim have made in sacrifice in the way of fallen soldiers over decades. Their fallen numbers are vastly disproportional to the numbers of fallen in the community at large.
Having climbed for several kls and mostly steep inclines we finally welcomed the fast downhills on the way to the carpark. There was one last climb through the kibbutz to the real holy grail... our cars and for me and Haim, a beer at the Meggido rest area. David and Hylton declined the beer offer but provided good company as we discussed our good fortune at being well enough to be able to enjoy rides like today's superb route irrespective of minor glitches.
Thanks to David and Michal who also provided fine weather. The phot is the site of the Kibbutz Memorial (prior to its construction) when we last visited it 15 years ago. Who can you identify???
|From 2003, can you name them all?|
Yesterday (Friday) was John's birthday which we planned to celebrate on the Sat ride. Unfortunately neither John, David or Ingride were there to ride along so Meir took the reins and led us up the sandy wastes of northern Basra. It was bearable and for some a chance they could prove they could ride through sand like a buggy. Further along nearing Yacum one of our gang experienced a broken chain which Rafi repaired in a professional and efficient manner. The same rider whose name we will not mention on the grounds that he has expressed his wish for anonymity (but we all know who he is Ha Ha) then had a slow puncture but we were able to re-pump several times and get him home eventually. In meantime on the return from the Yacum singles we realized Talia was missing so I rode back to try to locate her but to no avail. Fortunately she was able to meet riders on the path who were able to help her to find her way back to Ra'anana. By then we were running behind schedule so we hastily powered our way back via Benei Zion and the Raanana canal in order to be at Landwer in time for the "breakfast party". Michal and several others turned up and Durban Talya's young family also joined in so we were well in excess of twenty by then. A rousing chorus of Happy Birthday singers and loads of hugs were a grim reminder to John that he is now over 60. Good luck mate and many more years of riding.
Thanks Meir for returning the Jewish riders to the Promised Landwer despite the plagues that the 20 riders had to "suffer" in perfect weather.
התכנסנו בבוקר יום שבת הצפוי להיות שרבי.
רכבנו דרך פארק רעננה והשכונות החדשות במערב העיר. משם רכבנו למרכז רישפון בדרכנו לכפר שמריהו.
חצינו את כפר שמריהו מצפון לדרום דרך שדרת גנים (ובתים) יפים. בדרך עצרנו לראות את מערות הקבורה העתיקות שהיו פתוחות לביקור.
משם הדרך מערבה דרך הגשר אל שכונת נוף ים, תצפית לים ומסגד סידנא עלי.
חום היום החל להיות מורגש ולכן החלטנו לחזור לרעננה בדרך הקצרה והרגילה.
סה"כ רכבנו מעט אך נהנינו מהחברה המצוינת, מכך שהסתבר כי ליעל ולי יש חבר משותף: חבר ילדות של יעל וחבר מהשרות הצבאי שלי.
בברכת (מאוחרת) חג שבועות שמח
Rain had been forecast for today, hence the postponement once again of our proposed "away ride", and indeed at 3am the was a brief heavy downpour in the area. But, by 7am when 24 of us met at our usual meeting point the sun was shining and it looked as though the rain was going to give our area a miss. We decided to keep away from mud and David, who led the ride did exactly that. The paths we traversed (some off road and some not) were familiar ones that we have ridden. The weather was great and the company greater. After travelling some 28kms we arrived back in Ra'anana and made our breakfast stop at ArcCafe. All in all it was a very pleasant ride with great company and an enjoyable breakfast stop. As we were about to leave ArcCafe there were a few drops of rain that didn't develop into anything.
I want to end off by repeating a request that has been made before. We are looking for others to lead the rides and do the weekly bulletins. Please volunteer your services. ☺
Have a great week.
August 6th 1983, just 38 years after the bombing of Hiroshima I made my grand entrance into the world! The youngest of three, I enjoyed a typical 80's Jewish South African childhood. I had a lovely protected childhood without any worries about reality? in 1992 my world crashed! We were told that we would be making Aliyah!! So, on Erev Pesach 1992 we arrived in Israel at my grandmother's house in Afula Ilit. I cried for about two weeks straight.
According to my mother I refused to say a word in Hebrew for three months till I could speak fluently and I have never stopped talking since. It was quite a culture shock coming from a private Jewish school where there was about one black child to a public school in Afula Ilit where we were only three white kids in the class. Questions like "did you live in a jungle?" or "do you know Michael Jackson?" were a regular routine. We lived in Afula for two years and I went to a religious school at that time. We then moved to Pardesiya, closer to Netanya where my father worked.
At this stage I gave my mother an ultimatum: "Either you send me to a secular school or I am not going to school anymore!" My mother knowing that I was always a strong willed person, and, also having shared the experience of being In a religious school against your will, sent me to a secular school. From leaving South Africa till now I was lost and in the wrong surroundings and this is where it all changed. I had great friends, whom I am still friends with till this day (borderline family) and at this stage I could also understand that my parent's decision to make Aliyah, was the best thing they could have done for me. From here it was all pretty much "by the book" finish middle school and high school and off to the army. I guess that the structures of school and the army are what kept me going by any book? whoever knows me, knows that I am anything but "by the book". I worked in a nursery school, and then moved on to working in a glasses shop (optician) where I started to find my path.
In 2005 my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and being the only child living at home I took it upon myself to go with her to doctors and treatments. It made my relationship with her flourish and become stronger than ever. She survived to hear the words cancer free but she was never really a healthy person, so we had many other doctor appointments to go to for the next few years. While my mother lived through pain and different problems I started doing my bachelor's degree in optometry. In 2010 I bought myself a? sticker? bike and started riding around Pardesiya. Once to twice a week about 4-8 kilometers was my routine. It gave me a release from studying and all the doctors' appointments at that time. In 2012, once again, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. This time it had spread. Though the doctors made us feel optimistic the cancer had other plans and within about three months from the diagnosis, my mother passed away.
In Tel Mond where I now lived on my own I couldn?t find a routine. At that point, Yvette who was my customer then, insisted I join Cyclenix for a ride. At a time when I was most in need, I found a family! Then and now I am constantly asked why I don?t ride with people my age. While I always give answers that one's brain can comprehend, it is mainly because Cyclenix for me is my "cheers".
Cheers theme song lyrics:
"Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.
If you have any questions or want to get in touch for any reason, feel free to get in touch with David or John: