My blissful sleep was interrupted at 05:30 am by my annoying but trustworthy alarm. Just a few minutes after, my other trust worthy alarm sends me a morning message: "Rise and shine" with me replying to John asking if he ever sleeps and it snowballing into a cynical chat there was nothing to do but get up and get ready.
From this point it was all a bit foggy (all puns intended)
OMG! I thought the clouds were supposed to be in the sky! The scene would have been perfect for filming a great thriller.
Bike on the carrier and we were on our way for a nice drive down south. We happened to find Yochi and Anna waiting at the wrong bus station for the convoy so we started our own two car convoy.
The fog accompanied us all the way and well into later hours of the day, but somehow all 17 of us managed to make it to Beit Kama, our starting point. Due to the lack of modern technology and the new junction some made it after a little detour.
It was already after 8:00 and the fog was still chillin' with us (or chilling us) but we were pedaling along. We made sure not to pass the 10 km speed limit because of the low visibility, but being the only one not wearing a rain coat or any coat in that matter it was sufficient to warm up. We started off going north and then east towards Ruhama. The fog really added some mist to the vibe and the photos. It also added some dew drops to my hair on my arms. Along the way Ingride's gears were giving her hassles, but like any good machine would only perform when the mechanic was not around. This was mainly a concern on the uphills, which were not too few on this ride. Though they weren't too hard they did seem to drain a few of us from our energy.
The blessed rain that the area had this winter caused the various terrain changes. Some muddy patches that for some reason my bike tends to choose to go through as if it has a mind of its own, dry cracked grounds causing bumpy and harder to ride tracks and dry skidish sand with many rocks of all sizes. Somewhere on the way I heard a noise from behind me and just after that someone called out to raise our attention. I quickly turned around to witness a deer run across our path so swiftly in escape of the human presence threatening its being. We were all in awe of it amazing beauty, speed and wonderful being.
The bees on the other hand did not get such awe but constant complaints about the hives lurking our route. I defended their honor by explaining how the lack of bees in the world is causing much more damage than the lack of people... those who were stung did not find the facts convincing. (Whoever would like to learn more on the subject watch the movie "Bee movie")
We stopped at a couple view points. The first one we got to hear about the history of the area and at the second Ingride and I had a great laugh when john wanted to do the thing with the soap in the shower. Needless to say that both of us being out of his intended context and him speaking too vaguely brought on hysterical laughter and my imagination running wild with prison scenes from movies. My advice to him was: do not pick up the soap! After he gave us his intended context to a shampoo prank at the expense of people showering at the beach we calmed down. He then discovered that his back wheel was not tightened properly. Thank god we realized it before something had happened to him or even worse to his new bike.
At some point the fog just disappeared and the day was hot and sunny. The flowers were blooming all around; the colours of the ground had the strongest were like and abstract painting with the desert being bright green of wheat fields. Stripes of yellow, red and white flowers with paths in different shades of brown, to remind us that this still is the desert.
We were a bit off our track and were trying to find our way back; it makes sense when fields grew on what was the original route on the GPS. A few calculations on David's behalf and we were back on our track all the way to the car park. All in all we did approximately 37 km's with a total ascent of about 500+ meters. We then dined at Aroma at Beit Kama and all headed home.
We wandered happily in a group,
cycling through fields and up small hills when all at once we saw a crowd a host of .... black irises beside the sea beneath the trees fluttering and dancing in the breeze
Well, there wasn't much of a breeze, but the weather was excellent for cycling. 18 of us started out from Raanana and completed around 32 km that took us along the coast to the lookout at Arsuf, through the nature reserve where we frolicked among the black irises, and further north along familiar routes (except doing it backwards) and home again to refuel at Landver.
The route was colourful - very green after the rains, the last of the oranges and grapefruit and of course, the deep purple/black of the irises.
We say farewell to Richard - a safe trip back to Colorado. It was a pleasure to have you along on our rides and we hope that you continue riding in Colorado (it may be a tad more challenging with the hills....). All the very best to you and your family.
Spring- like weather ( 13 deg?) greeted the 21 riders at the start point at Ein Carmel by the Banana Plantation. We met there almost 8 months ago and the Bananas offered less protection as they were almost bare to those who dared to bare their private parts prior to setting off southwards.
After a delayed start we set off southwards in perfect conditions with a cooling NE breeze. The pace was leisurely as we passed the beautiful pampered cemetery of Ein Carmel (yes, some are beautiful) where a dear friend lies and whenever I pass the point I think how unlucky she was to succumb so young and how lucky we are to be well enough to be riding. A short rise further and several dog encounters and we were at the height overlooking the ancient pumice water storage cisterns where I gave a short dissertation on sex and other matters. An amazing feature was the presence of a flock of Flamingos enjoying the waters of the "lake" which gave rise to avid discussions on the Flamingo and other fowl
We weaved our way thru Ein Ayalas' hot -houses and scampered down and up the drainage canal to finally reach Habonim. We visited the Crusader ruins for yet another short explanation on the history of the place and off we went towards Dor along the partly lime stone trail.. We reached the beach at Nachsholim via the beach gate as entrance fees are exempted in winter. A short snack stop to take in the view by the waters was followed by the ascent up to the ruins of Dor. The spectacular views and yet another informal explanation on the history of the site played second fiddle to David's pun on Rappa-port and if you missed out and are curious call David or me for details.. We rode along the sea front in partial sandy spots where David met a friend who only days ago recommended to David how to breach the beach.. We pedaled across several minor coves to finally reach the car park near the Habonim railway crossing.
Above us parachutes slowly made their way earthwards as we aimed for the Airstrip at Habonim with its recently rebuilt Paras terminal. We stopped there for breakfast and gawked at the Paras gracefully landing while breakfast was served. We visited the Terminal and admired the architecture, airline seats and museum pieces. We were so relaxed that it took some effort to get us back on the bikes. Several riders in a hurry split off from the "diners" who were able to enjoy faster service??!!! The temp had by now risen but cloud cover helped as we crossed the bridge at Atlit for the final assault to the car park.
I should mention the amazing array of flowers that lined the paths and the birds in varying types that entertained us on the way, Also realised how many riders have upgraded bikes sine last year's ride.
What a ride, what a group, what a day. Thanks David for the ultimate ride.
And if you are observant or possess with a good memory you may realize this report is a copy paste of my report from last June. I just love the age of computers!!!!!and I did warn John of my criminal intentions to plagiarize my own work$$$$$$
Concerned about being the only one at the Ra'anana meeting point today, I was pleasantly surprised
when five others arrived. Haim volunteered to lead in David's absence, and off we cycled. We rode along
Weizmann Street, through the Lev Ha'Park neighborhood, past the cemetery, and up the first of many
We continued on to the Ra'anana Municipality's Sewage Purification plant. This plant impressively recycles sewage into water fit for agriculture, and comprises a large artificial pond. The pond was teeming with birds, with the black ones towards the back and the white ones at the front (proving that birds of a feather do indeed flock together).
Avoiding potentially muddy routes, we continued along paved country lanes past Moshav Batzra, and then crossed under Route 4 heading east. We cycled through Moshav Sde Varburg - with its beautiful houses and killer hills - and John was surprised at how much it had changed. We then veered right on Tchernichovsky Street in the direction of Kfar Saba.
After a detour through another pretty moshav called Tzofit, we continued onto Kfar Saba and its beautiful park. There Haim pointed to an elderly man on a park bench, explaining in Yiddish that he "nehmt a dreml" (is taking a nap) and that we should "macht nicht wisserdich" (pretend not to notice) or something like that!
Five of us agreed to stop at Landwer Café in Kfar Saba for coffee, with not everyone realizing that there is actually more than one. In the confusion, Rafi got left behind (apologies Rafi) and the rest of us ended up at the familiar Ra'anana branch. It may have been for the best though, as Rafi and Uri were probably already home, and we had just reached the coffee shop, when the heavens opened. After finishing our snacks, we waited for the next window of opportunity and cycled back without getting wet.
Today with Haim we took the road less travelled by, and it was very special. We covered an impressive 28 kilometers despite the clouds, and all agreed that Cyclenix should definitely head that way again soon.
Twelve of us gathered for the usual Saturday ride. However we dwindled down to eleven as Dina's bike malfunctioned even after Ted's several attempts to repair it. So Dina went back to her warm bed and we were ready to start.
However we had NO LEADER! After a short discussion Ted suggested that we should ride on dry ground toward the Marina and cross back at the Cinema City. Uri was volunteered to lead us.
Just before getting to the Marina the route was changed to "soft ground" to prove that we are field riders.
By 9 o'clock we were debating either to cross over to Cinema City and go home, or ride a bit further towards Tel Aviv. Well, we added a few more miles to Tel Baruch where we had a chance to peep at the sea, beautiful as usual. There were some sailing boats far out and lots of seagulls making white lines on the water as they were swimming together. The most important thing is that there was an opportunity for Michal to climb on something. It was just the rail on the promenade, as there wasn't any horse or a tree in the vicinity. Got back to the bridge at Cinema City and rode back to Sheva-Kohavim through the orchards of Bat Galim where some horse riders passed by and there we also stopped for a few minutes to watch enthusiastic model airplane flyers showing off their skills. Yochi joined us, first time after her big fall and managed the whole route very well. We had our snack/beer/coffee at Tapuz, not praising the place. At one point Michal and I missed the green light, so we were left behind, but luckily got back safe and sound.
The weather was nice a bit cold so I kept my sweater on to keep me warm. One thing I don't understand; How did I managed to get my shoes so muddy?! It meant to be a ride on dry ground...
6.30am. There are dark clouds on the horizon (very ominous) but the sun is peeping through and there's no wind. The weather forecast was "RAIN"! Oh, what the hell, I decided to get dressed and go to the meeting point and see who else pitched up. I ventured outside with my bike and pedalled 250 metres to the starting point. I was freezing! & others decided as I had, with Ingride being the only rose amongst the thorns. Well done Ingride!
Shortly after 7.30am we pedalled off with Haim leading the way and our sweep today was David. Trusty Ted didn't show up. Maybe he knew something we didn't.
We cycled to Weitzman Street and then tuned West making our way passed the Cemetery and then North along a somewhat muddy path. On the way down to the Cemetery it started to drizzle so we made a stop at the cemetery to enable Hylton to don his rain gear. As soon as he had, yes, you guessed it, the drizzle stopped!
On we pedalled crossing the level crossing between Kfar Shmaryahu and the Shefayim railway siding, making our way up towards the Coastal Road, our intention being to circle the lake at Yaqum and then head for home. The sky had darkened! Half way around the lake it happened. The heavens opened up and the rain started in various degrees of ferocity. To put it mildly, there was a bloody downpour!!! Rain suits proved not to be rainproof (except for David's jacket). In minutes I was drenched. Every time I hit a bump there was a distinctive "Squish" from the padding of my riding shorts and I am sure the water sprayed out from the sides of my saddle!!!!We sought refuge under a bridge but it really didn't help. The damage was done the the longer we stood out of the rain , the colder we got! So, what the hell! In for a penny, in for a pound. We decided to ride on, taking a route only along tarred roads.
Most of the mud that our bikes had collected was washed off. (Less to clean when we got home). All except yours truly, Ingride and David, decided to head straight for home. The three of us stopped at Aroma, Park Mall, for a very, very light snack. By the time we made it to Aroma the rain had stopped but I (and Ingride) were freezing. A quick cup of coffee to warm our innards and we were off again, homeward bound.
My summary of today's ride. Great company, something different, enjoyable (for me), somewhat "squishy" and definitely very wet and cold. Oh that I had taken my yellow "Banana suit". I could have kept nice and dry (and warmer)! BUT, the end of the story is we're all still smiling. Have a great week and be prepared for lots of rain in the next few days.
15 courageous Cyclenixers stood up to the challenge on this most amazing spring day in the middle of January.
We all pitched up at the entrance to Kfar Uriya all ready to take on the promised hills but first the debate about where not to turn like last time.
The route was quite simple, Burma Road and Derech Ha'psalim. These paths, which are now mostly paved, are full of our history, our heritage and our future. Looking out to the horizon, beyond the hills and through the forests are villages. On the other side every so on was a park with benches and jungle gyms. Who would have guessed that this was once just a mountain with a small path that was used wisely to overcome our enemies.
An occasional memorial monument to remember the many who gave their lives so that we can enjoy riding these paths. Uri brought cake and asked us to stop at a park so that we can take a few minutes to remember his father in law Zvi, who originally fought for the Hungarian army in the Second World War and then came to Israel and joined the mule brigade.
I couldn't even begin to imagine how rough the terrain must have been back then and what these courageous men must have gone through. Today a lot of these roads are paved which made it much easier for us to ride but still a climb is a climb and it can get to you some times. While pedalling up all the hills I had many songs playing in my head. Some more obvious than others so please forgive me for quoting Miley Cyrus but I feel the lyrics fit...
"There's always gonna be another mountainWhoever came this morning was not expecting an easy ride and we got what we wanted but we got so much more as well. We got to breath the amazing fresh air, feel the warm spring day. We got to witness this most amazing scenery, stop and smell the flowers. We got to get to spend great quality time with one another. And we definitely got to conquer our own personal challenges on today's ride.
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waitin' on the other side
It's the climb"
Seven of us, "The Magnificient Seven", Ilan, Yvette, Barbara, Frances, Megan, Merrill and yours truly, met at our usual spot at 8am (we got in an extra 30 minutes sleep) and set out on a route that we have traversed many times, via Rishpon, up the hill to the fields of statues, through Shefayim, passed the Sharon Coast nature reserve, onto Gaash, around the golf course and then onto Batzra with a final breakfast stop at Landwers where we were joined by Jules. The weather was perfect and the trail not too muddy after the resent rains.
What was different about today's ride was that after an absence of a good few months Megan was back in the saddle with us and I was riding a new (for me) bike.
For a few years now David has been trying to persuade me to dispose of my bike and upgrade to a carbon framed and I have always resisted, with a, "there's nothing wrong with my bike"!
Well, Michal is obviously a better salesman, because, a few days ago she called to tell me she'd found a "good deal" carbon bike that she was sure would suit me. So, on Thursday, she accompanied me up North to the Krayot just North of Haifa to view the bike and I brought the bike home with me (A Specialised Stumpjumper) and today I "tried it out". My world of cycling has changed! What a difference. Thank you Michal, and to David, I'm sorry I didn't listen to you before!!!!! I cannot believe the difference!
We covered about 30 kms and everyone enjoyed the ride(especially me), the company and the breakfast at the end of the ride.
See you all next week.
I have learned to only trust Google when it comes to the weather forecast. It is extremely accurate even a week before. The entire week I have been saying like a mantra "there will be no rain" partially aggravated with people who go according to other weather reports and partially convincing myself that I will ride regardless!
A dozen courageous Cyclenixers refused to let the weather be an issue! They geared up with rain coats, layers of clothing, long gloves etc. me on the other hand... "There will be no rain!!"
With the confidence that it will get as warm as 18 degrees came as I always do (the grown up in me made sure that I have a long sleeve shirt in my bag just in case. We headed up Ahuza all the way to the park to discover that we had already lost a rider to a puncture. We continued towards Herzelia where David let Ted guide us in a new path to Ramat Hasharon all on pavements and inner roads all to avoid the mud.
Passing the very fancy cemetery, on a bit muddy terrain with a few puddles we got to Cinema City. Sadly we did not stop to catch a movie. All with our bikes in the air we crossed on the bridge over road no. 2 in a nice single line.
John who was like a proud peacock modelling his new haute couture yellow wind breaker brought traffic to a halt when he attempted to take a picture of the oncoming traffic. Luckily the driver only slowed down and he didn't cause an accident.
Bar Refaeli is always the topic of discussion at this point since she usually looks down at us from above. Not today though... but for the record some of the guys missed her presence, the ladies not so much ;-)
We continued to Herzelia all the way to the cliff that is always a pain. Whether it's the strong winds, the long sandy or muddy stretch it always seems to drain me of my energy. The view though is always amazing.
Via the marina, along the beach, and climbing up to Ramat Yam street. This was the moment where we realized that the most important question has not yet been asked or answered! Where are we going to have our breakfast stop?!?! After a quick vote, Aroma Raanana was the choice of the day.
In a long straight path going up and up and up some more on Menachem Begin leading us to Yerushalayim and straight to Aroma at Lev Hapark. John refused to let me pay my share for our breakfast and confiscated my credit card. I joked about it and told Frances that my card was stolen till John returned it to me. We all had a great breakfast stop, enjoyed the quality time together and each continued on their way.
On my way home I discovered that my credit card is missing and had to cancel it and order another one. So I guess the joke was on me after all... we were just shy of 28 km's and guess what... IT DIDNT RAIN!!!!
First you don't succeed...
well we didn't really try last week since the weather brought the management to cancel the ride. In retrospect it seems like it was a smart move since the terrain was still a bit muddy after an entire week of sun.
22 riders all suited up for a cold winter's day. We welcome Tracy who joined us today to get back on the saddle after a riding injury. This ride is exactly as I remembered it from the last time we did it. I recall a lot of trying to find our way, crossing over the main road etc... I guess after repeating all the same wrong turns and blocked off paths the next time we do it will be ice-cream! (Third time ice cream, translated from Hebrew, I know you say third time's a charm but I like ice cream more!)
Not too far into trying to cross over again and again we had a small casualty. Yochi was off her bike and injured her arm, I accompanied her to the nearest petrol station for her husband to come and fetch her. We all wish her a speedy recovery and hope to see her soon! We crossed over road no.4 and finally succeeded in getting into the fields of Geulei Teman. We rode through the tall grass all wet from the dew and built a new single.
I call it the Cyclenix single. Stuart was trying to convince us to try and make crop circles and leave the Cyclenix logo for all alien believers to come and appreciate.
We finally made it to Nahal Alexander!!
Dodging the people who were enjoying the great outing weather, we rode happily along all the way down to the beach. We had a great nice stop and photo opportunity, enjoyed the amazing view, fresh air and company.
On our bikes again we rode alongside the coast. Going up the cliff, constantly pedalling through the sandy sand. We all dropped our gears and gave it our best and I think almost all made it through the very long patch of sand.
After 28 km's we all arrived to our cars all happy that the rain gave us a break for a week so we could enjoy this wonderful easygoing ride. We hope that next time David remembers not to use the same route for this ride so we can skip all the road crossing for next time. On the other hand it gives me stuff to write about...
the majority of the riders all went on to enjoy a nice breakfast stop at Aroma in Rupin.
And last but not least, a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our Rafi :)
Over time was involved in a variety of sports :
The Cyclenix Group
My Away-Away biking history:
My bikes history:
My Happy hobby:
If you have any questions or want to get in touch for any reason, feel free to get in touch with David or John: