August brings with it the heat waves and impossibility of doing any real away rides. It also
brings the travels for many of the group's riders, but most importantly it brings my birthday!
The first group of Cyclenixers were abroad pedalling along in the pouring rain in Holland. It seemed that not too many would show up for a hot and sticky day in august, but we were about 20+ riders. Surprisingly the weather was quite bearable, especially in comparison to the days prior to it.
We started at Lola and Kuba parking lot in Hod Hasharon where my bike was waiting with a balloon that Yoavi got me for my birthday. The route was a regular one of ours, the Yarkon ride just without the boring part of getting there and back from and to Ra'anana.
The plus side to it as that it has some shade thanks to the bamboo area and it isn't a hard ride. We all rode along happily through it till we reached the famous water crossing. At this spot where we usually take a detour around it we decided to cross through it. As usual watching other courageous riders make poor attempts to ride through it first, while evaluating the situation. I decide to be the first one to try my luck with the wrong speed, wrong gear and wrong choice of where to ride through it. I failed just as miserably as the previous riders. Then Ted tried his luck, or more like his smarts. At such ease with all of us waiting filming and cheering him on, he did it! With no problem what so ever! Perfect on the spot a "douze points"!
We continued much less in the shade heading back to Hod Hasharon. Somewhere on the way, Merrill our trusty leader for the ride, made a booboo and missed a turn. Frances and I took the more mature option and did not make any jokes about it... at least to her face. I'm sure that some others who will not be named had a moment of somewhat childish joy in it.
Kudos to Merrill for leading the ride and actually staying with the whole group and making sure that we were all present. We all know that that was not a simple task to demand from you. ;-)
We all arrived back to Hod Hasharon to enjoy a wonderful breakfast stop at Sydelles house. I knew about the little breakfast and even requested David's famous cheese cake but Sydelle being Sydelle took the food to a different level.
David was making sure Ted and Dina find the place when I blew out my candles and everyone sang happy birthday to me... while he missed out on the show he heard it all the way outside to the entrance of the road and felt the birthday vibe.
We video chatted our touring Cyclenixers in the land of cheese and weed for a couple minutes that I dont really think anyone of the sides could hear or understand what was going on. Blame it on the excitement, the weed, gay parade, the noise, bad connection or faulty hearing aid the moment was still special.
We did 26+ kilometres which were pointless when we all gobbled up the infamous cheese cake but I choose to believe we had a fun day.
I personally would like to thank all who took part and especially to those for preparing things for a delightful day.
14 of us gathered to brave the unusually hot weather and were ably led by David - along the coast to benefit from whatever cool breeze decided to blow. However, we had to curb his enthusiasm to return via the Yarkon and add more kms in what was becoming hot weather!
So (nearly) in the words of Cliff Richard:
We're all going on a summer cycle trip
No more lazing for and hour or two
Fun and laughter on our cycle trip
No worries for me or you
For and hour or two
We finished off at Arc Caffe after a ride of around 30 kms - the barging contingent were missed, but some pictures show that they are having a fine time.
This morning at 7am, twenty-four people met in the parking lot in Ra'anana for a local ride. It was a nice turnout, with people chatting excitedly about their various upcoming cycling trips overseas.
The route was a familiar one - along Weizman Street, past the cemetery and out of Ra'anana, then North in parallel to the railway line, across the bridge over Route 553, and onto Udim. From Udim we turned back, riding south through Yakum and Bnei Tzion into Ra'anana.
It felt like we were riding a fruit trail, as we passed miniature watermelons, passiflora, tangerines, avocados and possibly others. The watermelons had been abandoned, so Michal kindly schlepped one for about five kilometers, until we sat and ate it in the shade.
There were no casualties but one puncture, which unfortunately was mine. There was a bit of sand here and there, but nothing serious. There were plenty of trees for people and bikes to climb. We covered a good 33 kilometers, definitely earning our coffee stop (David's words) at Landver in Ra'anana.
To summarize, it was an enjoyable ride in great company. Thanks to the gallant gentlemen who helped me fix the puncture. To those travelling overseas, have amazing trips!
This ride has been on the Cyclenix's "to do" list since late December.
Tracy volunteered to lead us on the route and assured David that it can be done any time of the year. For numerous reasons it was postponed again and again till today. 21 Cyclenixers pitched up at the entrance to Hazorea for the challenge. With the warning that it is a bit hilly it caused a bit of doubt whether to come, but after a bit of convincing the majority bit the bullet. Merrill threatened my life stating that if the ride is too hard she will kill me. The challenge did bring out some of our occasional riders, who we were glad to have join us.
Being a KKL route it is well marked and is barely technical. Just like Tracy promised it is very user friendly and was shady for the most of it. It seemed like everyone was scared of the dreaded uphill's but when the time came we all did it at our own pace and afterwards there seemed to be approval that it wasn't too bad.
In the first single I went ahead to get into a position to take photos and after getting some nice shots I was told that Uzi had fallen and returned back to the car. I spoke to him and he is feeling fine but will get checked up to be on the safe side. Today I mark the first time I climbed a tree since I fell and broke my collarbone. I was saving it for my upcoming birthday but could not resist with the amazing trees the route had to offer.
I don't know if it was the climb or the different route but I felt carefree today. I found myself singing on a couple occasions.
Whether I was yodelling "The lonely goatherd" or singing "El Hamaayan", I didn't care much about the sun blazing up above or the ascent of the ride. I was focused on getting to the water spring!
The 4X4/road paths were mainly uphill, the singles were nice and flowing but with dusty sand that made you be aware of your speed. The end part leading to the blessed fountain of youth on the other hand brought down the spirit of some of our riders. The real challenge of the day was the open space and desert feeling with the sun giving no mercy on us.
The hope for a water spring was fading away making me think that it is an illusion just like a mirage.
We arrived at the Promised Land! We found the fountain of youth! I don't think anyone skipped the option of at least wetting their neck and face to cool down a bit.
Some of us being more daring stripped... our shoes off and went for a full dip! The stream of water, coming from Nahal Hashofet, was crystal clear and just cold enough to enjoy it.
It rejuvenated us all!
We were all freshened up and ready to get back on our bikes to go back to our cars. All together we covered 22 kilometres with about 500 meters of climbing.
Some of us then continued to Aroma for breakfast while others went home to rest. I would like to thank Tracy for taking the lead on this ride and being an excellent guide.
P.S. I am glad to announce that Merrill has made it public knowledge that I will live for another ride.
In the aftermath of that orgy of festivities yesterday to mark David's birthday I had some serious reflections about the behavior of my fellow riders, and I include myself and Dina in this ridiculous and poorly chosen opportunity to wine and dine.
David certainly did not want any of this nonsense and would have been quite happy to retire to his home and whip up a curry (or something else that one fests on for such occasions) to mark just another day in one's life. It's not that he turned 120 and one cannot really be certain that what he claims is true. None of us were given a chance to see his birth certificate (and even those are often forgeries) .
So behind all this lies a conspiracy that has now become obvious. Those who put this process into motion had only one motive - gluttony and a chance to imbibe the ambrosia or whatever comes to hand. I am appalled at the notion that we took advantage of David who, in his predictable appeasing manner, went along with the charade without even blinking an eyelid, It's in his nature to humor people and the last thing he would do is disappoint his fans who, unlike David, were only too willing to use this questionable event for their own nefarious and selfish ends. On the other hand I recall David standing and looking very pleased on the cliff top and knowing his high intelligence I was sure he knew what was coming down the tube. We thought we fooled him with the route (he hates going to the marina as he rides it daily)and when so many ayes chirped up to sanction the route he wasn't fooled for a bit! The act of Hylton's dramatic refusal to "tapuz" it…..well the orchestrated chorus of "to Landwer" was too obvious but still he has us fooled that we had one over him. And the final act of betrayal was personal. I actually believed he fell for my story that I needed his input for the brake pump. Tongue in cheek he rode alongside without blinking an eyelid. An Oscar performance. And he played it to the end. He hates vegs and fruit and cheeses and quiches and deserts and when we offered Coke and ice to him he downed it as though it was Ambrosia. Boy, were we fooled. What a let down by a dear friend . an absolute betrayal.
As I drove off in the TR4 with my so called friend beside me he offered a smug look of complete satisfaction. Even "M" of James Bond fame could not have pulled off a plot of such perfidy.
And in closing I want you all to know that I have already started to work on a plot to outwit him for his 120th. On the other hand running about serving him drinks from my wheelchair is hardly motivating so maybe I'll give it a miss. And knowing David hell ride up on his bike while I'm in the wheelchair so even more motivation to forget the whole charade. There is a limit!
I have to say that helping behind the scenes is always a fun experience!
I am always blown away when I turn to be out the responsible grown up out of the bunch. One would think that that would happen quite often when dealing with John but much unexpected when David is involved.
David succeeded in pranking me and made me believe that he, Ingride, Ted and Dina will be doing a local ride instead. When John heard about this he retaliated with a little prank of his own. Against my personal beliefs he got David to fall in the trap and convinced him that the ride was cancelled. The thought of David excusing himself from a meeting to figure out the last minute plans was quite funny and gave us all a good laugh. After all the jokes and pranks the ride was on!
25 Cyclenixers pitched up this morning for a different away ride. While most away rides are usually more challenging than the regular home patch, this one was planned to be more leisurely with a stop at the bicycle museum.
Everyone succeeded in arriving without any problems which was surprising since I wrote two left turns that should have been right... another bulletin was sent out to correct my two wongs ;)
First we enjoyed a tour at the bicycle museum.
Alon Wolf, the owner of the museum, explained about the museum, the bikes and the history. I think all were quite fascinated, especially from the fact that he has a huge self built museum, which functions all on donations and it has all been done in a short period of 8 years. So between all the old bikes in the museum the joke was that Alon might start collecting Cyclenixers...
The heat being our enemy of the day made us all hurry out to our ride for the day.
Led by Alon we rode from the museum in Herev Le'et heading south towards Givat Haim.
We then continued to Elyashiv going to Nahal Alexander to the turtle bridge. We had a nice stop there to enjoy the nature, the turtles coming out to say hello, a few photos and quick noshing on all the salty treats.
We got back on our bikes to start heading back. Through Geulei Teman and back to Herev Le'et. The ride back was shorter and all in all the entire ride was shorter than our usual and than what was expected but I didn’t hear any complaints.
When we got to our cars Yoavi proved to be a true Cyclenixer and asked me: "where are we having breakfast?" gotta love the kid! Ted suggested that we go to Mishmar Hasharon to eat because there was a meeting of collectable cars and their owners. Almost all of us followed while some went home for other plans.
It was a great idea and we all enjoyed looking at all the cars. There were a lot of ooh's and ahh's! While Yoavi was amazed with the engines being in the rear end of some of the cars it turns out Ingride prefers the engine in the front. I found this amusing since I couldn’t care where the engine is as long as I have one that works! Can't be too picky now.
We continued to have breakfast at "Masada" where the food was nice and the waiters were great however it took too long for some meals to get out. The problem seemed to be that there weren’t enough waiters for the size and capacity of the place. We didn’t let it bring down the mood though. We only did about 15 kilometres but our day was full fun exciting activities. The vibe was kind of like a fun day when on holiday. So much to see and do that you get back home happily exhausted.
So now if you actually have read this far go into YouTube type in "Queen - Bicycle Race" (or press on the link) and pump up the volume!
22 of us set off in humid but cloudy conditions towards Hod Hasharon and the Yarkon. We went East instead of towards Tel Aviv. What a treat to ride in the bamboo tunnels shaded from the heat.
We headed towards Elishama and home in order to beat to avoid getting caught gasping and wilted....
Of course, the hot topic.... where to stop for coffee. Soooo overheard:
Ingride: where are we stopping for coffee?
David: oh... don't you know? Everybody is coming to us
Ingride: great (giggle giggle) we have nothing!
Michal: oh yes you do.... a headache!
Needless to say we had a great stop at Cup o' Joe in Kfar Saba. They were rubbing the sleep out their eyes and we were jumping up and down for coffee and grub. Good for them - they perked up and we enjoyed a lovely stop.
By the time we got home, we had covered around 30 km in good company.
So in the spirit of the Beatles:
We beat the sun, we beat the sun
And I say its alright.
BACK IN BUSINESS...GREAT!!!
15 cyclenixers met up for the annual wheels of hope ride.
The ride was supposed to have been two weeks ago but was postponed because of the extremely hot weather.
No one was happier than me about the delay. Just two days before the event I received the okay from my doctor to ride... with a list of don'ts to make sure that my collarbone stays relatively in one piece. For some, the day started an hour before the ride. For others, before the crack of dawn.
Some tried to sleep while others felt the need to text with some...
We all managed to get there before the starting time and to find one another in the crowd.
It was the same route as last year, first six kilometres on road till we took a right turn into the fields of the amazing valley. We rode past Balfuria, Hayogev and Kfar Baruch each at their own pace but more or less all together.
The ride is not a hard ride but the weather did make it a bit of a challenge. It was hot and humid! The organizers were smart enough to add on extra water stops to be on the safe side.
The scenery though showing more signs of late summer than late spring was as always beautiful! Sunflowers were in full bloom! The fields have already been harvested but there were a couple of hay stacks left for us to climb!
Being a leaderless ride, every so on our riders in the front would stop and wait for a head count and we would all continue. At one stop as we were just about to continue I realized that John was missing. Stuart and I rode back to search for him and found him and Uri trying to fix his chain that was jumping. With no immediate solution he had to continue the ride without using his highest or lowest gear. Luckily for him you didn't really need to change gears on this ride.
We all enjoyed the easy fun ride and the great company. After approximately 33+ kilometres we all continued to Landwers in Afula for breakfast.
Riding the local area can be tedious as we ride almost the same routes but with slight modifications from time to time. We used to call it variations on a theme as in Paganini etc. When David in recent weeks remarked that he would welcome the idea of different riders leading the rides (changing the routes) it indicated a time for change. So what has that to do with Sat's ride?
If you want to stretch a point this was a ride in the spirit of change. Firstly Shaul for a change. came along for a birthday ride in changing from 85 to 86. David reversed previous week's ride in reverse so that's a change. Then we had Haim taking us on a new route to Green beach with a different routes to and from the Breakfast spot on the beachfront resulting in two changes. And to add to the atmosphere or spirit of change many were quite happy to remain under the canopy in easy chairs for the entire day and leave the riding to others. In the spirit of change I had a beer along with Haim…we were in good" spirits" after that!!!! We toasted Shaul over breakfast (burnt to a birthday crisp) and we look forward to his future rides and birthdays with us and may they be numerous!!!!
Where we ride is not so important as John and I agreed. It is the very ride and the company that is important but we actually ride because we are content with the rides and the company so why change?
The June weather was also uncharacteristic (a change from the norm) with a delightful cooling Southerly breeze and low humidity providing perfect visibility. I could even spot David's orange red riding top from my regular position at the rear end (no dirty minds permitted so stop laughing). We rode almost 40 kls but the weather and the extended breakfast stopover made it feel like20. It did however warm up as we neared Ra'anana but it was bearable?
David and Haim...thanks.
If you have ideas for a ride route or you want to lead the ride simply call David or John. Change is always welcome.
We started at approximately 7.30am
Participants : 10. (it would have been 11, but Uri pitched up just to say he’d already ridden for an hour, and to wish us a good ride!)
Weather Conditions: Hot and getting hotter (in fact, bloody hot!). Probably reached 40deg. No wind (except for the puffing of the riders)
Track conditions: Sandy in parts, but not too sandy!
Distance: From the parking area starting point and back - approximately 20 kms
Accidents: One minor accident when Frances' knee had an unscheduled meeting with the ground resulting in a minor scratch, made to feel far worse after John cleaned it up!
Puncture Stops: None (yayeeeeeeee J)
Breakfast stop: Michal wasn't there so it wasn't a "breakfast stop", just a "snack stop"!!!!
Conclusions: We should have started earlier! Lots of the bike trails are disappearing and being replaced by macadamized roads. Boo hoo L, but that seems to be the price of progress. Despite the bloody hot conditions it was an enjoyable ride and the company (as usual) was great. Here's hoping for slightly cooler weather next week!
If you have any questions or want to get in touch for any reason, feel free to get in touch with David or John: