Thirteen of us met at Kfar Uria, for an 8 O'clock start, at 7:50am, 8am, and 8:10am (someone had to be last), prepared for the sights and smells of a beautiful spring morning, led by David and his trusty GPS. (I said "trusty GPS", not "trusty GPS batteries"... that's a different story... work it out!)
Just before we started pedaling, Ted gave a powerful and appropriate introduction to the ride, dedicating it to the memory of Ronnie Feinberg, who was Cyclenix's leader on most away-rides over the years, and the person who "opened up" many of the trails we ride nowadays, as well as teaching us riding techniques. Today's was one of his favorite rides.
Today's ride unintentionally announced spring. The weather was perfect, for riding. Clean air, bright sun, not too hot, not too cold, slight breeze. Another way to measure it... "No coats, rain or wind jackets needed; short sleeves only".
The ride was based around the Burma Road, a path of Israeli history, that kept access to Jerusalem open, when the main highways were temporarily, not an option. With all the huffing and puffing riding up some reasonably steep climbs, there was time to reflect what this route must have been like in a war situation, several decades ago.
Still, back to 2014, the route and views were exceptionally breathtaking. Etched on my brain are fields that were beautiful shades of green, ("50 shades of green?"), captured perfectly in the ride's online photo album.
When we realized we were 13, at the start, after the predictable comments about the implications of the number, itself, so many of the group gave reasons why 13 is actually a lucky number. Seems most were (suddenly) born on the 13th, or (suddenly) had some mathematical way of demonstrating they were nearly born on the 13th, so all must be OK. About 20km away, most families have at least 13 kids. Also another good sign.
Talking of numbers, there was a time when the lucky 13 group became 12. "Where's Ingride?". Hmm... No Ingride. And this didn't happen at any random time of the ride, but instead, at the top of the "final climb".
(This was David's 5th "final climb of the day"... was he Max in disguise?).
Hmmm... So having ripped his emergency Scott Tracy uniform from his backpack, Stuart jumped into Thunderbird 1 (for speed), followed by Matty in Thunderbird 2, in case any heavy duty extraction would be required. Still fresh in his Virgil Tracy uniform from Purim, Matty lost no time in getting airborne.
With the International Rescue team deployed, husband David could relax, and return to worrying only about his GPS batteries.
(If you don't "get it", http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbirds_machines).
Thankfully, no drama... Ingrid was simply lost and thankfully unpunctured and uninjured, suffering only from picking too many flowers when she should have been keeping an eye on the departing group. So the final climb turned out to be the final-but-one climb for Scott and Virgil, who welcomed (yeah!) the extra pain to make them fitter for their next Thunderbirds rescue mission. No pain, no gain, when you're in charge of saving the world.
Noticeable about this ride, that the ups and downs were split about 50/50, and in that order. So, at a certain point, we faced many kilometers of downhill only, across varied surfaces and scenery, and once again giving Scott and Virgil the opportunity to dance with death, which came closest when Scott realized Thunderbird 2 didn't have any brake lights, and forced Thunderbirds 1 onto the ground, to prevent a collision.
Finally, I'm so annoyed. A 27km ride in the hills of Jerusalem, (about 30km for the 2 rescuers), with some challenging ascents, eventually followed by memorable and exhilarating descents, and my trusty Endomondo recorded a maximum speed of 49.4 km per hour. It doesn't take much explaining that 50.0 kph sounds so much faster and a real achievement. I mean, I paid for the Endomondo software. Wouldn't you think the programmers could have rounded up?
I didn't personally know the late Ronnie Feinberg. Ted said that today's was one of his favorite rides. I understand why!
(Cyclenix Note: This ride was dedicated to the memory of Ronnie Feinberg who was Cyclenix's leader on most away- rides over the years and the person who "opened up" many of the trails we ride nowadays as well as teaching us riding techniques. Today's was one of his favorite rides.)
To expect no mud after a week of heavy rains is somewhat optimistic. But Cyclenix guys & gals are optimists by nature so shortly after taking the 531 route and hitting mud some groans were forthcoming but nothing serious. We picked up Dr. Shmuel on the way and he took the mud" in his stride" literally as he tiptoed over, in his words, "refesh". By the time we hit Rishpon it was all behind us (and everywhere else). Mud on shoes, bikes, clothing but in all honesty , nothing to brag about. Further down behind Herzel hill we hit more mud of a different colour and texture but it too was soon forgotten as we scaled the steps over road 2 near Cinema City. The weather was perfect and we stripped to a comfortable level and started to make our way back to Hezeliya . By then Udi had joined us and it was like old times except we were a little older. An uneventful ride to Tapuz near the magnificent Herzeliya Park was in order and so we basked in bits of sunshine peeking thru the Eucalyptus trees as we dined on an array of goodies while Purim costumed kids ran in the background. It was relaxing and enjoyable and in the spirit of good festive fun I recited my favorite Limerick which had been triggered by the discussion on the pronunciation of Titus but was really about Titian.
"While Titian was mixing rose madder,(look up rose madder if you are not familiar with it)
His model was poised on a ladder,
The position to Titian suggested fruition
So he mounted the ladder and had her".
Today's report is short and sweet. Thirteen (lucky number for some) of us met at the Ramat Gan Stadium at 7.30am and set off South through the Yarkon Park. It was a warm but cloudy day and there was a strong head wind that did it's best to blow us backwards. The plan was to tide to Rishon Le Zion. As we progressed through the park and onto the Tel Aviv Beach front the wind increased in strength to such an extent that we decided to cycle only to Bat Yam and then return. The weather seriously reduced the usual number of people out enjoying an early morning outing. That, together with the cycle path that was now a reality along the beach front, made dodging walkers and runners almost non-existent. Except for the wind the ride to Bat Yam was very pleasant, A short rest on the pier at Bat Yam and we made an about turn and headed back to the cars, with the wind now behind us... what a pleasure. Our breakfast stop saw us at a new venue... Max Brenner's at the Tel Aviv Port. There was an excellent selection on the menu at very reasonable prices and the food and drink was top class. 37 kms in all was added to our odometers and, despite the wind on the outward bound leg of our tide. all enjoyed the experience.
On our bikes having a ball,
Warm summer weather, sun on our backs,
Helmets on heads, following tracks.
It was 7.30 when we got on our way,
It really was a beautiful day.
We welcomed Uzi, new to our group,
It was great having him riding our loop.
A well-worn route was this Home Patch Ride,
At Arsuf we stopped and watched the tide,
Then Shefayim and Gaash with no delay
Heading for breakfast along the way.
Our refuelling stop at Gaash was nice,
Breakfast, coffee or a coke with ice.
And then we were back on our bikes again,
Heading for home through field and glen.
There were thirty-four kilometres under the belt,
By the time we reached where we dwelt.
Thank you all for a fun-filled ride;
And to David our very own faithful guide.
In the words of Blood Sweat and Tears - Spining Wheel:
What goes up must come down
Spinnin' wheel got to go 'round
Well that was us going up and down with the wheels spinning - albeit not the same kind of wheel....
Twenty-one of us gathered near the entrance of kibbutz Gvar'am with a lot of other enthusiasts. The parking area under the trees was already full by the time we got there. We set off in the cool morning air (16 deg to start) with the promise of a hot day (30 deg when we finished).
David lead us along the around 20 km route of roller-coaster singles - thrilling to bump and fly over. It may seem a short distance, but it required a lot of concentration through the more technical bits. There were some short steep declines followed by steep inclines - so the muscles were pumping! The flowers - bright red and yellow - were out and there was a lot of green, thanks to the recent rains. We did have a few stops - people getting lost, huffing and puffing up the hills and returning to the car, but we all got back having had a great ride with some wonderful scenery and exciting singles with lots of unexpected bumps along the way.
The weather forecast said "Rain" in the area of our proposed ride and this was what kept a few of our regulars to play truant!!! Well, as it turned out the 11 riders who thumbed their noses at the weatherman's report did the right thing. The weather was sunny and not cold. The route was not muddy and apart from a head wind that we encountered on the route back home, the weather conditions were near perfect. The route we took was our usual "Home Patch" route minus the Udim loop. We covered 25 kms. in all.
To sum up the ride...Fewer participants; shorter route; great weather.If you were one of those that played truant...you missed out on a nice ride.
19 of us gathered on a really cold morning to enjoy a 34 km ride on one of our regular routes. There were a few different twists and turns - but the upside of the whole ride was very little sand. Considering the lack of rain, this is indeed a bonus. Everything looked crisp in the cold morning light, with lots of greenery about. We weren't the only ones mad enough to brave the cold - we saw quite a few groups and lots of people hiking with their children. I even saw some trees in flower - they seem to be confused about the seasons...
When I woke up I wondered why we do this to ourselves - getting up in the cold and dark to suffer with blue finges and frozen feet - but of course, once you are out wheeling along enjoying the (eventual) sunshine and the company of like-minded people, it is all worthwhile. We stopped off at the cafe at the lake - I don't think they will be enjoying our patronage again. Gabi is still waiting for what he ordered....
Sixteen cyclists met at 8am at the entrance to Kibbutz Ha'Zorea in the Carmel region. The
kibbutz, whose name means "Planter/Sower", was founded by a German Jewish youth
movement prior to WWII. Its members and those of the neighboring kibbutzim planted the
forests through which we were to ride.
I was surprised to be the first to arrive, and tried phoning Ted, only to receive two automated responses from him - "I'm in a meeting" and "I'm in class". But then Michal arrived (having stayed overnight at her grandmothers nearby), followed by Haim and gradually everyone else. There was one new face, so welcome Ilan and we hope you enjoyed the ride. After the usual discussion about how cold it was and how many layers we were each wearing, we set off.
The route, as I learned later, was a circular one through the Ramot Menashe park. We would head southwards from Ha'Zorea - passing Emek Hashalom, Ein Rahania, and Givat Juara (where the Hagana organization secretly trained its troops during the British Mandate) - until we reached the park's southern tip. From there we would turn north again, past Beit Ra'as with its beautiful lookout point, and back to the cars.
The ride proceeded in stops and starts, but gradually gaining momentum. There was a puncture quite early on, from which I learned that there are two types of bicycle valves - "Presta" (or "French") and "Shrader" - and that damaged inner tubes can be cut to make excellent rubber bands. Another point of interest was a paper note folded under a rock, which as Avi explained was probably a sign left by soldiers for their officer during a navigation mission.
There was also some uncertainty about whether the initial Ein Rahania section of the route was suitable for riding, until it became clear that it was not. By then several of us were already half way across it, some climbing up rocks (with bikes in tow), and others wading through water (with bikes, shoes and socks in tow). Those who welcomed neither course managed to find a third, and detoured their way out of trouble, meeting us on the other side.
The rest of the ride continued without mishap, flawlessly navigated by David. There were however more streams to cross, targeted at those whose feet were still dry. There were also a very large number of long, steep climbs. Some were some graveled, some rocky (being the remains of Roman roads) and some muddy, but all extremely challenging and eliciting an "I- should-have-stayed-in-bed" from Michal. Some people rode up while others walked, but neither way was easy. However, the down-hills were exhilarating, and the scenery stunning, comprising hills, fields, forests, and lanes, with the Sea of Galilee in the distance.
The perfect ride ended with the perfect meal. The waiters at the El Adwi restaurant laid out a spread of kubbeh, falafel, various hummus dishes, and other delicacies such as baklava.
To summarize, we rode an exhilarating 25 kilometers in approximately four hours. According to David, the total elevation gain was 484 meters, with minimum elevation of 50 meters and maximum elevation of 305 meters above sea level. It was a lovely morning in beautiful scenery and with great company.
An enthusiastic group of 19 riders set off eastwards up Ahuza Street and off into Givat
Chen. Riding out through the fields towards Hod Hasharon, it was a wonderful ride.
We crossed the bridge over Geha rode on headed on towards the Yarkon.
Reaching the river, we turned eastwards riding along the banks of the river.
I don't recall exactly where the first large puddle of water (or should I say mini-lake?
) was that had to be crossed but I know that it was the first of several, some of them
deeper and some of them shallower. Some people road through quickly, others were
more hesitant but we all made it in the end, one way or another. There wasn't a dry
foot to be seen and some riders were even wet up to their knees. Ingrid rode through a
really deep puddle with style, inspiring all and showing us how it should be done.
There was also an incident with some intellectually impaired people in jeeps who didn't
realise that driving through water would make it move, causing all in its path to get even
wetter feet! It was a pleasure to see a large group of children from the "Noar Oved" out
on a day's walking trip, enjoying the joys of nature.
The Yarkon River ride is always lovely, this time especially so, being such a lovely day, with the blue sky and shining sun. We rode along the banks, through Neve Yarak and Givat Ha'Shlosha and on to familiar paths through Elishema on to a well deserved breakfast stop in Kfar Saba at Demo and Cuba (I think). From here the ride home was a little tiring, back through Hod Hasharon and Givat Chen and finally back to Raanana.
This ride was a little longer than usual, just over 40 km but definitely one to be remembered!
7.30am...a chilly morning but the sun was shining, when 23 of us met at our usual meeting place all raring to go just so we could warm up. Amongst the 23 riders were three newcomers. A big welcome to Nicole and her husband Yoav and Aldo. I hope that you enjoyed riding with the group and that we will see you often in the future
With our usual pathfinder David in the lead we headed off to Givat Chen, riding South through the fields. Lots of new crops; lots of green; not too much sand and by the time we reached the bridge just to the East of the arms and ammunition industries, we had warmed up. Just a comment, one or two little falls took place on the sandy patches leading to the bridge, fortunately without any injuries and each fall was caused by Pedal Cleats. Draw your own conclusions!
We travelled on to Ramat Hadar to the banks of the Yarkon River following it down to Ramat Hahayal. There were a few really rocky patches, but all of us negotiated them without mishap. The rest of the route took us through the fields south of the Ramat Hasharon Tennis Centre to our breakfast stop at a lovely café in Ramat Hasharon, Assaf Artisanal... good service, good food and excellent company. Thereafter we headed for home through Hertzliya. Total distance covered, 34 kms. Another great ride, great company and great weather
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: