This morning twenty riders met at Moshav Elishema, including Sydelle who joined us for the first time (welcome Sydelle). We set off south-westwards, crossing under Route 40 and continuing east of Hod Hasharon. Soon we encountered our first obstacle and the group split into two - those who didn't mind schlepping their bikes through muddy water on unconvincing "stepping-stones", and those who preferred a detour.
I was in the first group, and we continued southwards crossing under Route 5 to the banks of the Yarkon River. We rode alongside the river for a few kilometers, then along the perimeter of Park Afek, meeting up with the rest of the group near just past the disused Rosh Ha'ayin railway station. We skirted the Park, debating whether the ruins in the distance were of Antipatris or Tel Afek.
Crossing under Route 483, we continued southwards alongside Route 6 past Moshav Kfar Sirkin. There were some vespers and ATVs ("trakteronim") that needed avoiding, and also some horse "mines" (sparking a discussion about automated manure clearers in Austria). At some point Merrill and Sydelle headed home, and the rest of us turned eastward across Routes 6 and 444 towards the Nahshonim Forest.
Here we encountered the second obstacle of the day, the climb up Givat Koach. Koach (meaning strength) adds up to 28 according to Gematria, and this hill is named after the 28 soldiers killed there in the War of Independence. The climb itself is steep and rocky, but rewarding to all who manage it without stopping. The spiky ground does however pose a puncture hazard, as Mati discovered the hard way.
After repairing Mati's tyre, we circled Kibbutz Nahshonim and headed north alongside Route 444. We did take time out to enjoy the third obstacle of the day, known as the "ambatiya" (bath). The bath is a concreted section of dry river bed that has steep, irresistible (to some) slopes. One rider almost came off of his bike but was experienced enough to prevent a nasty fall.
We then continued north past Kibbutz Einat, back over Route 6 and past Givat Hashlosha. Crossing Route 483 we passed the entrance to Park Afek (and a huge line of cars waiting to enter the picnic area, thankful that we were not among them), then under Route 5 past the Rosh Ha'ayin North train station. We continued north alongside the railway line, and after a hasty sprint across an open sewer, up the hill to Elishema and back to our cars.
It was an enjoyable and challenging ride of 35 Kilometers in a varied terrain with good weather and great company.
|Participants:||17 mostly regulars but without John who was in Jerusalem for the long weekend|
|Route:||Raanana Northwards: Bazra - Bene Zion - Harutzim Nature Reserve area - Kiryat Shlomo - Dror - Westwards through Tel Itzhak - over the rail bridge - Southwards back to Raanana and to Landwer for coffee: total 35 km|
|Conditions:||Sandy in parts but generally good. Weather warm and according to IMS less than average humidity and light heat stress|
|Bottom Line:||Pleasant XC route/riding conditions.|
|Company:||usual standard of excellence!|
A bunch of us set out to find some hope...
This ride and the vibe of it kind of started a few days before the actual event.
With a WhatsApp group that should have been called WTF or IFTTMM (I forgot to take my meds) and hype about the ride that for some reason I was credited for... we all came with an easy going feeling.
With no organized convoy, some of us coming from other places and Pinocchio who thought the ride was at Latrun, we surprisingly all arrived at the right place! Thanks to modern technology and a few minutes of explanations, we all arrived safe a sound and were rewarded with a cool beverage.
I waited near the starting point with my colourful outfit being a beacon for others to find. It worked well since they all did find me. While David was checking out the horrendous violin sounds that my bike randomly makes, a woman with her helmet on backwards walked by... I am still pondering whether she has eyes in the back of her head, if she did the rides backwards or if my bike will pick up a tune of Mozart's but either way we continued.
The ride started off with us toddling/walking/riding slowly with the mob of so many disabled and their supporters...
the moment we got to the road we could actually continuously pedal and we did so for the next 31-32km (it's debatable). "Continuously" is a generous word taking in consideration that the ride took us 3 hours and my Endomondo only tracked two hours and ten minutes of riding. The route started off as usual, you ride for about 6 km on road and then you turn into the glorious fields of the Emek. The roadies carried on straight to do their 50 km's plus.
Just into the off road route we reached a huge field with hundreds of hay stacks!! Us and many others stopped for a little climb in the hay :) Once again we were off to the cavalry! Blissfully riding along the plains, laughing at the wannabe up hills and down hills, we arrived at a "tremendous" ditch of gushing water about 2 cm's high! While some girl was trying to walk across to the other side without getting her feet wet, the riders including us were riding through while enjoying the ridiculousness of the show.
When we got to Hayogev I realised that the route has been changed and David proved my memory is still functioning with his gps of last year's ride. We didn't go into Hayogev but around it this time to what seemed to be an even easier ride than last years.
There were also three water stops this year unlike previous years which only had two.
At the first stop we enjoyed some of "Rafi's nuts" even though he wasn't with us. The other two stops we just flew by since we were all well prepared and fit enough to take on the challenges of the ride.
Monkey business was the name of the game at almost every photo stop and also during the ride while Stuart got David to show off his fierceness Kodak moment.
The chit chat was so diverse, the cynicism was poetic, and the laughter released all inhibitions while the fresh air and the most beautiful scenery embraced us from around!
Some of us got separated quite early in the route and they also finished it faster since they were busy riding and not hung up on shenanigans. At the end, as usual all rides lead to the coffee shop where we all pitched up in turns. As part of my organizing the logistics for this ride I chose Landwer Ha'emek because it was out of the way of the rest of all the thousands of riders and also because my cousin works there and we all love Landwer!
The food was great! The service was great! The laughs still continued! And I think I can sum it up that we all had a great day!
p.s. we didn't find any hope!
531 Expeditionary Force
Just before moving to Ra'anana in 1971 locals here reassured me that 531 was just about to be constructed. 10 years later local politicians kept making a similar claim but I was wiser by then and dismissed the "imminent threat" and adopted the attitude "not in my lifetime". Despite what I saw today on the ride in the investigative expedition of 521 we conducted I stick to my guns although I admit the optimist in me was sorely tempted to believe I may still drive down 531. The down side is the total destruction of tracts of land and obviously to the eco systems and fauna that existed there until those massive Cats drove them away or killed the poor blighters. The sight of lake "Mousse" was alarming and I wonder if straying kids could fall victim to the idea of dipping in this massive lake of "Choco". Heaven Forbid!!! Easy to see where one billion dollars have gone in constructing 531. The alchemy trade is still going on. Turning gold into concrete. As for the rest of the ride, David chose a resurrected version of an old route and we had a great and uneventful ride or worse my aging memory just fails to think up something of value. Passing Ha'aretz HQ was a reminder that the printed news biz is becoming a thing of the past and will contribute to saving many, many trees .The weather warmed up to remind us that summer is just round the corner but it was not only bearable,,,,, I even enjoyed the light caressing breeze on the faster stretches. Seeing Dina ride towards us on her first attempt at off- roading was a personal pleasure for me and we all hope to see her back riding on her" Light Steed" just as in the past. Landwer is a hard habit to kick so we ended up there for bkfst and Michal made it back from her run in TA in time to share an omelet with JC. Life is gooooooooooooooddddddd!!!!!!!!!!!!
All roads lead to Nahal Alexander
20 of us set of from Netanya northwards, and I am convinced that all roads going north lead to Nahal Alexander. Ably led by Uri, we passed through Kfar Yedidiya - and with some on and off-road slow gradient climbs, we ended up along Nahal Alexander. Here we zoomed towards the sea and enjoyed a quick view of the vibrant blue - but no rest yet! We had to cross a torrent to continue along the beach, with Yael's pink shoe nearly being a casualty - it bobbed in the frothing water and luckily bobbed towards us and David heroically rescued it. One wise person declared the sea and the sand as the "enemy of the bike" and opted to go back another way. But we did meet up again...
With sand in our shoes we continued along the beach (with the cantering horses)- not for the faint-hearted. With the sea lapping at our wheels and the shells crunching at each turn, we slogged along. With the buildings of Netanya in sight, I could almost taste the coffee - but not quite yet. We made a stop at an historical water tower and then coasted along to Uri and Yael's garden where, indeed, the water was boiling and the coffee and some delicious nibbles awaited us.
A BIG thank you to Uri and Yael for leading our about 23 km of interesting riding and for their wonderful hospitality. And a mazal tov to Hilton for his birthday!
With apologies to Pat Boone and Love Letters in the Sand
On a day like today
We pass the time away
Riding our bikes in the sand
How we panted and sighed
Each time we saw the tide
Lap our wheels in the sand
Beautiful warm day. Perfect weather for cycling. 17 riders pitched up at the start. Another led by our David, another 34 km Home Patch ride is under our belts. The route was a familiar one. The company was great and the breakfast stop at Landwers was, as always, excellent. What made the stop even better than usual was that Dina joined us ON HER BIKE! It's her first short ride since her accident and hopefully it won't be long until she's back with us "full time".
Cyclenix fielded TWO rides today. One , for the braver and more adventurous one, an away ride in the North, and the other, for the lazier. Seven of us met at our usual "Home Patch" meeting point. The weather was perfect! Off we went following Merrill Northwards. Most of the route covered by us was a route that we have oft ridden but there were a few detours, some of which led to dead ends and we had to retrace our steps and find an alternative way of reaching out intended finishing point, Landwers. The route had a bit of everything... water, mud, thicker stickier mud, sand, thorny undergrowth, and as a reward, some fruit bearing trees. J At one point Chaim decided to "walk" through a somewhat muddy patch, only to find that his shoes sank into the mud and in extracting his feel he managed to lose one of his shoes. The shoe was rescued by him. All in all we covered approximately 32 kilometres finishing off at one of our favourite places. Landwers, where we are always assured of good service and good food We all enjoyed ourselves and at the same time had some good exercise. If everyone's bike was in the condition that mine was on reaching home then wer all had more good exercise cleaning our bikes!
18 (lucky number chai) of us pitched up for the "harder" away ride this morning. Though we have done this route before, those who remember it, were still brave enough to do it again.
We started off from the same spot in Amikam just like last time and quickly went off road into the mountain. Needless to say mountain = climbing! David's gps decided to play games on him causing us to stop quite often to try and remember where to go. Surprisingly our leaders at Cyclenix don't have typical male egos and do ask for directions when needed. Besides navigating with their memory of the area and asking for directions, we got to witness a moment of pure old school when they pulled a map out of their bag!!!
In spite of the gps mishap we didn't get lost or go up and down aimlessly! (except for those who went ahead of our leader). For many people who have traumatic experiences, their brains usually block out the painful memories... not in my case! For some reason I remembered every spot that we stopped to rest, all jokes made on the ride, the amazing downhills and of course the dreadful uphills!
The rocky uphills got almost all of us off our bikes due to heart rates going high, wheels spinning on empty or just pure need to take it a bit easier. I got a bit of an ego boost when I was asked when did I get so fit while climbing the uphills relatively at ease... I was actually very proud of myself at the end of the ride when I realized that it wasn't too hard for me as I had expected/remembered.
David encouraging Ingride to climb the mountain faster got a sex comment out of her that made us all stop and laugh for a few minutes... and as usual drag the joke out a bit more! (if you want to know what was said you will have to inquire privately) I think they were both extremely glad that John wasn't there to milk the comment even more.
Those who enjoy Rafi's nuts (no pun intended) every week really missed them today! Salt was definitely needed after the uphills. Of course Rafi was also missed and so were the others who did not join us today. According to Ted "a healthy mind makes a healthy body" I challenged him when I asked what if you don't have a healthy mind like in Johns case...
Alex (sasha) was our only injury today, with a nasty cut on his knee. We did just about 20 km's, the weather was perfect! The company was great! The scenery was beautiful! and the ride was superb!
After the ride we all followed Gabi to Yasmin cafe just out of Binyamina where we all enjoyed our coffee stop! Though I think some of our riders are still searching for the wine promised by Ted!!!
Ok, you would think that "someone" would understand that asking the directionally challenged guy to write the ride report would not be a great idea. Now, I am not as bad as some people I know. As far as I am able to remember, we did not cross any borders, so that would indicate to me that we did stay in Israel the whole ride. I did have to verify this with the GPS map that David sent me though! Now being from Colorado and this still being March I thought it was a beautiful day with a great temperature for the ride, but I come from an area that it is possible to get snow every month except August, so consider the source.
We started at our normal location with 18 riders. We do want to give a big welcome to Mike who rode with us for the first time, we look forward to seeing you again soon! We headed north, crossing Weizmann and continuing on the pavement until we took a jog to the left and started on the dirt trail. After following the drainage ditch for a while and still heading north, we were back on pavement for a bit as we rode through Bene Ziyyon. Still going north we made a loop around Udim for the return ride south through the nature reserve, (not sure of the name). This time going south through the bamboo tunnel. For some reason it seemed harder to ride through it going south, but I'm sure it is just me. Remember, I have challenges! Before connecting back up with the drainage ditch that we rode next to on our way north, we discovered our sweeper Ted was missing. Once David called him and they figured out where we each were, Ted joined up with us. As we finished the ride, I noticed the strong smell of the orange blossoms, as we passed through the orchards. We finally ended the 35 km ride at Landwers for good coffee and conversations. All I have to say is the magnum coffee mug, wow! Until next ride. Everyone have a great week and Hag Sameach.
The time was 7:20, and for a change I got there a bit early... seemed as if quite a few of the regulars decided to ditch us this week...
14 of us set off for a nice morning ride!
David led us up, up and away out of Ra'anana towards the Yarkon...
The weather was a bit chilly with hopes of it getting warmer in spite of the rain forecast.
Rain might not be too bad since the paths are beginning to produce sandy sand that we all dread so much; reminding us that it is officially spring and that summer is just around the corner.
The ride today was AMAZING!!!
The paths were nice and easy with an occasional challenge in the form of an uphill, sandy sand, mud and water...
The biggest challenge of them all was to try and keep Ingride's shoes clean!
As I noticed her pretty shoes and complimented her on them, she was in shock that she came with the wrong pair. her cycling shoes were left at home and her pretty running shoes were soon discover that you can get your feet quite dirty without them touching the ground, or just barely.
The ride was relatively clean of mishaps except for me... my bike decided to pick up a string and wrap it around rear derailleur (I googled it) also had to jump off my bike at a part where I had poor judgment on the correct gear for a turn and uphill all in one.
John was trying to convince me to write the ride report and I was trying desperately to sell the gig while we all enjoyed Rafi's nuts (no pun intended, just a regular joke with Cyclenix)
The highlight of the technical riding was Merrill's accomplishment of riding through the Nile after Ted did not succeed in parting it for us. While we all tiptoed on the rocks, some with shoes on feet some in hand, Merrill patiently waited to show us all how it should have been done.
As David said: "it's a lose, lose situation. Either you have wet feet or you are going to have wet feet"
Though my tracker stopped at 5 km's and John's phoned turned off, Alex (Sasha) tracked 42.6 km's.
For breakfast we planned on going to Lola and Kuba but they were closed for a private party... so we went to Landwer Hod Hasharon but they were full and had no intention of trying to find space for 10+ people. So we tried our luck at Arcafe Hod Hasharon but still no cigar.
It kind of took the hype out of such a great ride that we had no place to all sit and unwind... so we all just headed home.
Well John and I went to trusty Landwer Ra'anana where no one else pitched up but we enjoyed our breakfast as usual!
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: