It was grey winter morning when at our usual gathering place, the multicolored Cyclenix Flying Phalanx gathered for its year end foray into the wilds of the Sharon. The weather was perfect for cycling: overcast and with a little nip in the air (just like the forecast before the attack on Pearl Harbor) that invites you to pedal long and hard without breaking into a sweat. (Kindly note: ladies do not sweat, they glow).
Leaving the rear outskirts of Raanana and proceeding along the orchards, we soon reached Bnei Zion where turning right, we went through a tunnel to emerge in Sde Warburg, a most prosperous looking moshav whose homes would do any residential area proud. Soon we were once more in the fields and thankful that the kindly rains had damped down the earth to make it passable, an otherwise impossible task in summer where we would have had to drearily trudge through the sand!
Reaching Moshav Tsufit, we passed through it to finally arrive at Kibbutz Nir Eliyahu. Personally, the kibbutz was a bit of a disappointment as I didn't encounter any of its members wearing shorts, sandals and "kova tembels" making the most of their Saturday morning by dancing the "hora" in the main square to the accompaniment of an accordion. It seems that our country's pioneering spirit is now well and truly deceased!
Our phalanx then rode along the kibbutz's perimeter path, exiting and returning via the fields to the northern suburbs of Kfar Saba where, turning right at the junction, we returned to Raanana. Our homing instincts were well honed and David faithfully and swiftly led us to Cyclenix's favourite watering hole the Café Landwer. There, suitably ensconced, fed and watered, the jolly company engaged in light bantering, jocularity and exchanging of wisdoms before wending our way homewards full of goodwill towards our fellow beings.
All in all, a good ride, a great morning and an excellent way to see the old year out. May we enjoy many more such year endings and all in the best of health
A large group - at least 20 of us - breathing in the fresh... oh not so fresh early morning air as we set off. Dust still lingered in the morning air, but this did not put us off to ride around 30 km backwards. Well, the route was familiar but we did it backwards...
Suffice to say, it was a great ride with some old and new faces. Of course, refreshments were also enjoyed by part of the group at the end. Some enjoyed their refreshment along the way by liberating some of the rather delicious oranges....
With a lot of lyrical licence - apropos the dust:
They said some day you'll find
Loving cycling is blind
When cycling is your fire
You must realize
Dust gets in your eyes
They asked me how I knew
My true love was true
I of course replied
Something here inside
Can not be denied
They, said some day you'll find
All who love are blind
When your heart's on fire
You must realize
Smoke gets in your eyes
Participants: At the risk of chauvinism (which in my case is a high risk) as well as sacrilege our Shabbat ride was validated with a "minyan" and one other, that one other being Ingride. For those who are mathematically challenged this means that we were 11 altogether. The "one other" expressed serious concern that being the only "girl" she would not be able to "match the machos". But if the truth be told (and my professional background instantly calls this into question) she, and her bike, showed us all that they were both at very least equal to the challenges that lay ahead, of which there were not a few... So Kol Hakavod Ingride!
Route: The route itself appears from my Garmin's GPS data, a link to which is on the website (thanks to our trusted expert Webmaster Joseph Shulman). The data also includes an elevation profile, which tells its own story! Enough uphills and downhills, some more challenging than others, to remind us that the ride is not a "stroll in the park" and that we are mountain bikers doing exactly what mountain bikers do, and doing it well!
Riding Conditions: Weather-wise, I think it was as perfect a day as any biker could dream of. A clear sunny sky, temperatures in the upper teens rising to low twenties towards the end, and a gentle breeze to keep us cool. A variety of trail surfaces from smooth to rather rough (and for Richard and me, proof enough of the strength of the axles on our Leftys!!).
Bottom Line: Our leader was Joseph Kowen, and the Zichron area is his "home patch". So needless to say we were under expert management. This was the third ride that Cyclenix have done with Joseph in the area, this one being a variation on our two previous rides, a little longer, a few more challenges, and views, scenery and the natural beauty in abundance. Thank you Joseph for a truly outstanding ride.
Today in a chilly 9 point something degrees around 19 of us set off under Meir's guidance "in the direction of Wingate" as he said. We did indeed go in the direction of Wingate along familiar and some paths we haven't cycled on in a long time. It was a meandering route passing Tel Yitzchak, Yakum (where some chose to leave us to head off to Landwer) and taking in some marvellous sea views.
We cycled an extra bit from Yakum along part of shvil Israel up to one viewpoint on a clifff. We went further along to another viewpoint over the sea - perched on even a more treacherous looking cliff. We descended a kind of ravine onto Poleg beach. The sea sparkled and the white sand and warm sun beckoned.... but that was not to be.... We pressed on, returing to Yakum and home. Unfortunately one of us went south instead of north and was not seen again...
A lovely day of cycling along interesting routes (around 38km) under Meir's guidance.
A song for today:
You take the high road and we'll take the low road
And you will probably get to Landwer before us
And the one who go lost, we will hopefully meet again
Along the cliffs by the ocean
I'm starting at the end of the ride with David's Garmin results. If you take a look you will see how unusual this route is and unlike most of our away-rides this is almost one gradient constantly up and the way back down the reverse in a constant down. And when you have a tail wing on the return you can really pick up speed. I saw David's maximum Garmin speed on the ride back was in the mid 20's KPH but I have a feeling that Stuart and Co., were a tad faster??
As for the rest, what more can you wish for. Even the strong Easterly wind was in our favour. The weather was brilliant and the panoramic views stunning. The route was rock hard and tiny spots of mud were no obstacle. We were 18 and two of our riders Yaacov and Francis had maiden rides on their brand new spanking bikes... great bikes for both so Mazal Tov.
The lookout perch is always breathtaking whichever direction you choose to look but more importantly the vineyards we ride thru and those that surround the perch provide Barkan wines with fine crops that enable us to sip fine wines now and then. Which brings me to breakfast or brunch??
We located fine restaurant in Gedera where we ate "a la Eastern" but Barkan wine was not on!!!! I guess I was Barkan up the wrong tree with my Tuborg!!
'Twas a festive Saturday "Home Patch", with 20 riders comprising the group, including our junior division rider - displaying some pretty fine technical skills. Clear skies after the rain this week meant that sandier parts of the routes were dampened down with only the occasional mud patch to be enjoyed by all. The cooler weather this week also meant that the fetching winter attire bedecking our intrepid cyclists was only shed midway, due to a fresh and brisk easterly wind.
Our route took us South-East towards the coast, through Kfar Shmaryahu and north towards Shfa'im through Ga'ash and towards the Wingate Institute. En route we got to see (and hear) a moto-cross competition - impressive stuff! We spent a few moments on the cliffs below admiring the sea views and the sheer drops from afar the cliffs' edge - while the braver amongst us like Avrahm displayed excellent gazelle-like moves near the edge. There may have been some illicit avocado shenanigans, but that is a story for anther day...
From there it was back westward, heading via Yarkum with a small detour via the scenic Ben Zion and upwards along the gentle foothills of Bazra towards a welcomed coffee and breakfast stop in Ra'anana at Landwer Cafe; where John graced us with his presence and wit after undertaking his own ride. Props to the cafe, if you bring to your waitress's attention that your omlette was not the correct one post consumption - a second one will be sent out... but fortunately a table full of cyclists very capable in making short work of the second one.
Till next time...
Participants: 20 riders at the start - but (for various reasons) less than 20 at the "finish"!
Route: From Ra'anana down via a new section (for Cyclenix) parallel to Road 531 ending just below Nahalat Ada and on towards the coast through Kfar Shmaryahu, then north on "Dina's Trail", Shefayim, Ga'ash, and briefly into the Sharon Beach Nature Reserve just south of the Wingate Institute, then over the Coastal Road at Yakum and back south, past Europark, then parallel to the railway line, east up the hill to Bnei Zion, south again through Batzra and on to Landwer Coffee Shop Ra'anana
Riding Conditions: Ideal weather, very few sandy sections (thanks to the rain over the past week) and very little mud (doubtless that will come after the next rains!)
Distance: 34 km
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: