Editor: Before we get to the ride report check out these links to some absolutely cool and fantastic info about the ride. This Relive link is particularly interesting, showing a 3D render of the landscape: CLICK HERE for the Relive Link. Or you can visit YouTube and view this playlist of videos from the ride: CLICK HERE. Now.. back to our regularly scheduled report...
With a dysfunctional Waze link, surprisingly 18 Cyclenixers succeeded in finding their way to Ben Shemen.
Finding parking seemed to be the harder mission since the MTB "Mecca" was packed.
As everyone started to ride, Dina had a chain malfunction. It was quickly fixed and she was peddling with the rest of us in no time. The ride started with a steep hill that got quite a few of us off our bikes. This steep climb left its mark since for the rest of the ride all climbs were compared to the first one.
Yep you got it, what was expected to be a relatively flat ride, turned out to be a climbing challenge.
For me personally i had the fun of pushing two bikes up almost all the hills... it has been quite a while since my last biceps workout.
Some hills, Yoavi gave his all,at one of his hardest workouts yet. He pushed his hardest up the hills while refusing any help.
I found it surprising that some of the adults had more complaints than a poorly functioning company's customer service.
The downhills were fast and fun and let all of us release our leg muscles and gain some speed. One downhill got a few people off their bikes with no real just cause, except for a herd syndrome. Whoever looked to the left of the trail saw some rocks and sand which looked scary. Whoever looked and took the right had no issue.
Yoavi fell into the first group and i knew that this was a challenge he could totally conquer! So back up we walked and he rode down correctly with a boosted ego and a video to show off with. Thank you Yaakov for the videos.
We stopped at quite a few view points and celebrated John 78th birthday with some cake.
Neither Timmy or anyone else fell into the well but Yoavi did "enjoy" a cold shower.
After our ride some of us escaped quickly. It could be because of the lack of a "civilized" breakfast spot or the threat of doing any more climbing, either way they lost out.
The rest of us stayed and "dined" at what could only be referred to as Ben Shemen city. Stall food and drinks and home made beer were enjoyed on a local forrest bench under the shade of the trees.
We covered about 16 kilometers with 300 meters of climbing.
It was a challenging fun ride.
I big thank you to Tracy who take upon the mission of leading us on special different away rides.
16 of us started out under David's guidance for a lovely ride of around 24 km. We went on familiar paths - but backwards. So it all looked a little different. We lingered under the shade when possible, but since it was predicted as being a hot day, we cut stops to a minimum. Only when a racalcitrant tube popped out of where it should have been did we stop for any length of time. David promised a bit of sand and were weren't disappointed. So, good practice for the summer months and sand ahead!
A lovely surprise along the way - our fabulous friend Frederic from France who works at the .... no no longer French Embassy, rather the German embassy, was seen on route. He promises to join us on one of our away rides.
We pedalled along to Ra'anana and some went through the Newe Zemer neighbourhood to refuel at Landwer whilst others made their way home - satisfied if not a tad hot!!
So, with apologies to Summertime:
Summertime, and the ridin' isn't easy
Cyclers are pumpin' and the sand is high Oh, your bike's ok and your legs are good-lookin'
So hush, little baby, don't you cry.
"Josephs luck was really outSo we got an invite to come and ride the hills of Zichron to bring back happy times to Joseph... While the original Joseph had 11 brothers our Joseph had 16 followers. In less than 5 kilometers, it seemed that the back of the herd had somehow made a wrong turn. Standing in our spot, trying to phone the front of the herd to verify their whereabouts...
his spirit and his fortune low
alone he sat, alone he thought
of happy times he used to know"
"Hey dreamer, don't be so upsetComing to our rescue our leader was pedaling towards us.
hey Joseph, you're not beaten yet"
Buzzie: Hey flaps, what we gonna do?My suggestion was let's keep pedaling so no one develops hypothermia.
Flaps: I don't know. What you wanna do?
"Go, go, go Joseph you know what they sayWet and cold (at least some of us), already been lost, from here it all should get better...
Hang on now Joseph you'll make it someday
Don't give up Joseph fight till you drop
We've read the book and you come at on top"
There was a great number of cyclists at the meeting point this morning - far too many to count, so we didn't. I did get one or two disapproving comments about my bike, which was still filthy from last week's ride, but most people were too busy chatting to notice.
At some point, someone yelled "People, we're going" and off we set. We cycled along Ahuza, into the fields behind the Park Mall, over Route 5 and through Gan Rashal and Nachalat Ada. Crossing the railway line, we turned north along the Israel Route with its outdoor statues. One statue in particular, got our attention, with people volunteering names such as "Erectile Dysfunction" and "After" for it.
We continued in the general direction of Rishpon, Arsuf, Shfa'im, and Ga'ash - crossing Route 2 after Rishpon and skirting the Ga'ash golf course - until we neared the southern border of Wingate. Taking a break at Yakum to catch our breaths, we couldn't help admiring two stunning white vintage Cadillacs basking in the sun. From Yakum we followed the railway line southwards, turning east through the fields near Route 531. We passed the now fruitless avocado orchards, continued onwards through Kfar Nachman and the Lev Ha'Park neighborhood in Ra'anana, and as usual ended the ride at Landver. We were joined by Dina, Michal and Yoav, who hadn't ridden with us today.
The breakfast conversation was varied, jumping from the quietest room in the world to whether accidently putting money in the washing machine could be considered as money laundering. There were also some jokes that I won't repeat here.
To summarize, it was a fast and challenging ride of 31km, with a fair amount of sand but in weather conditions that were still bearable, and with the usual good company and laughs.
Editors Note: Talia gets douze points from the UK judge for this report!
The Carmel Coast offers more than a physical riding experience . It's a ride through history as it is located in what is known geographically and historically as the Cradle of Civilization. If you were under the impression that the Cradle was in the region of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers you are misinformed. The cradle stretches all the way from Mesopotamia where the rivers flow and even encompasses the coast of ancient Canaan. Where we rode is at the heart of the western part of the Cradle. It is also commonly believed that the Cradle was the location of the Garden of Eden but where exactly is firstly a matter of whether you are a true believer or a skeptic.
As for Mesopotamia all that's left is a mess and no "potamia", a battle ground for Shiites and Sunnis and drug war lords is all that remains.
Just a couple of KL's from where we began our ride at Ein Carmel runs Cave Creek, flowing from Daliyat El Carmel westwards to the sea. At its widest point near Road 40 are located four large caves which historians, anthropologists and archeologists have excavated for almost a century and is now a recognized Unesco Historical site. The excavators who commenced work on the caves in the 1920's eventually realized that the region was inhabited for almost half a million years of continuous prehistoric and historic primate groups including eventually those of the homo sapiens, our own forefathers. The reason for this ongoing presence were the ideal conditions which included water from the creek, abundant animals to hunt (coming to from the creek) and the nearby sea which provided fishing opportunities. Last but not least were the caves themselves which offered shelter. And over the centuries these "cavemen" also developed into omnivorous societies eventually cultivating their own crops. An ideal place and what some scholars believe is the perfect description of the Garden of Eden.
We departed from Ein Hacrmel to the south and passed by the ancient abandoned quarry which had been used for centuries as a water storage facility and is fed by the very Cave Creek mentioned above.
We passed Ein Ayala where delicious peppers are grown (Uri tested one to be certain) and rode up the hill to Habonim for a brief description on the history of the area including the ruins of the Crusader castle. The trail led us southwards to Nachsholim Dor where we started to ride along the sandy beach northwards to the climb to ancient Dor, one of the oldest cities in the world and a site of great scenic views. A brief description was delivered on the use of sand and how Dor and the region are connected to modern day Israel and off we rode into the sandy tails of the Hof Carmel Nature Reserve. We later veered slightly eastwards to cross the railway line at the tragic crossing where 22 persons lost their lives in 1985 as a bus stalled on the lines. From there we rode towards the Para Dive centre and viewed the parachutes falling like feathers initially and towards the end picking up speed on the "final approach".
The favourable weather enabled us to "breeze" along and in no time we were back to the parking area. Some of us had a breakfast at the Zichron Mall where I couldn't help but reflect on how we had advanced since the early caveman….although there are moments when I am in doubt if to judge by the ongoing conflicts in the region and elsewhere.
Our mascot, brave young Yoav. riding like an adult also put a smile on all our faces. Keep up the good work Michal!! A great ride with great company in great weather and super scenery.
On a clear, cool morning we all set forth,
Twenty two members were counted.
We gazed towards the sunrise instead of the north,
and at 7:40 AM we had mounted.
We pedaled with force through the Givat Chen sand,
Towards the shining star of the Sharon,
We savored the dew on the glistening land,
As the glare from the bright sun shown.
Into the fields through the bamboo arches,
We rode in a steady line.
Reminiscent of the army that marches,
Avoiding the prickly vines.
The weather was perfect for this early ride,
And we continued at a leisurely pace.
So no matter how much I valiantly tried,
I couldn’t turn it into a race.
We made a short stop at the green lily ponds,
Though water there was scarce.
Then we rode back off through the feathery fronds.
No friggin’ rhyme for scarce.
Park Afek was our goal for the day,
From there we made our way back.
Feeling the heat along the way,
And the weight of the water in our packs.
Through Neve Yarak, Yarkona and Adanim,
To Café Café in the center of the city.
Refreshments and breakfast for the entire team,
Just hope you all enjoyed my ditty.
I went off to this ride at Hazorea not in the best condition, with a bit of a cold and sore throat, but I couldn't miss out this great ride. So I would like to apologize for holding you up and thanking your patient. (sic)
Special thanks for the others that kept riding with me in my speed and of course Tracy that led us on the right track and let David enjoy himself without worrying about directions.
14 of us started off at 8 am (Welcome back Arik, you still know how to ride!) on this very hot day, but the route was so beautiful through the forest above the kibbutz. Actually we didn't feel the heat as we were riding in the shade on tricky singles up and down. Only on the way down on the open field did we feel the heat. The elevation by some was 390m at others 470m. Take your pick. We did altogether 19 km but it was worth it. We finished up at Yankele's Coffee for refreshments next to the parking lot and I hope all of you enjoyed the lovely breeze and scenery.
Then we all went home tired and satisfied.
Today's ride is worth two titles:
"Hasharon Haadom", as we rode through carpets of poppy flowers that painted the fields RED. Nothing to be ashamed compared to "Hadarom Haadom" . The second title
"The Rally", (Yohi's initiative) as we sacrificed time and effort, going out of our trail, to sign a petition against the destruction of the Harutsim Nature Reserve by building an airfield. That would make the first title obsolete.
And in between the 18 lucky riders enjoyed a wonderful spring day interwoven with beautiful colors (mostly red, but not only), smells of blossoming citruses, birds and... stories. Yes, this is part of this social riding/gathering. While riding side by side you exchange stories, sayings, anecdotes, make a pause when passing a single or climbing breathless a steep hill, and continue afterwards. Michal described the Mud Day competition she and Megan participated in yesterday, Haim about his upcoming ride in southern Poland... some stories are confidential J.
Yes, and there was the path (as I report it from my Endomondo application), led by our best navigator, David, who knows the area as his own and Ingrid's palm.
We started northbound, past Kiryat Rasko, turned west along Har Hazevel and then through fields and orchards to Nachal Poleg and to west outskirts of Udim. There was our turning point back home, along Nahal Rishpon, Harucim Reserve, protest Signing point, Bnei Zion, Batsra, Landwer's, food and more stories. We stopped at countless points to enjoy the flowers, photograph each other taking pictures and climb electric poles. What a Day!
(Editors' Note: I saw at least 3 Cyclenixers with cameras out in todays pictures - well done. Could be a photo group as well as a cycle group. Check out the gallery for some great images, makes me very jealous - joe)
Due to very weird weather for Israel in March our away rides were constantly postponed. At some point the home patch rides just becomes a bit too much of a routine for some of us.
A different local ride was needed to give us a feeling that we had an away ride. The Netanya area was suggested to give us just a bit of different scenery in the Sharon and to let David relax and lower his guards in the leading department.
Two new comers joined to practice for their upcoming bike packing trips and the rest of us were all just "regulars". We headed off on a semi pavement semi off road route, part of it being on "Shvil Yisrael" alongside the sea heading south.
We all the way to Poleg to "Shmurat hawirusim" which was sadly as bare as old mother Hubbard's cupboard… we did take a small walk to try and find a couple irises and that is about all we found.
We continued through Shlulit Ha'horef Park and back towards the eastern side of Netanya. With a fun stop at the bicycle park and a few rounds on the pump track and BMX track we all had some fun.
From there the intentions were to go to Beit Yitzhak for coffee at one of the nicer coffee shop in the area... but they were closed.
I on the other hand chose to turn back with Yoavi so he would actually live to tell about the ride. Tal and Dafna chose to join us turning back to the cars. As we were about to drive away everyone pitched up from their coffee less adventure, to Yoavi excitement that after all he will dine with the gang!
The weather was great and it was a fun and easygoing ride. A nice change to the regular home patch ride that we are so used to. To all who would like to lead occasionally, especially on a different local ride and also away rides, just give a shout out to David and he will gladly take the day off...
If you have any questions or want to get in touch for any reason, feel free to get in touch with David or John: