|CLICK HERE for the photo album for this ride|
Post Script: Special thanks to Haim who looked after our bikes while we climbed up to the top of Tel Azeka to enjoy the magnificent view - David
Mud on your face, big disgrace! all of us laughing all over the place!
A bunch of laid back easy goers who didn't feel like a long drive and a hard ride, pitched up for a couple hours of fun! None of us had expectations for what was to happen...
To tell you the truth, I have no idea where we rode. I only know we went towards Tel Yitzhak, you can check my endomondo for the map.
All jolly riding through the fields some damp, some a bit muddy, we came across horses and goats and a $#1T load of mud!
Our ride came to a halt as we approached deep mud with a ditch on its side and a narrow muddy path that Merrill and I believed was possible to walk through slowly and steadily. The safe riders wanted to take the short detour through the field like the previous riders before us.
John on the other hand is special! He decided to go ahead before all with so little thought put into his action...
I don't think I have the words to describe these next few moments!
Stupid is as stupid does
one step, two step, three step, DUNK!
HYSTERICAL LAUGHTER, TAKE A PHOTO, "JOHN I'M COMING TO SAVE YOU"!
I don't think Mel Brooks could have written a scene as funny as this one, it took us a while to get over it and pull John out of the mud.
When I mentioned before "a $#1T load of mud"(ibid) John being the one who went for a mud slide slim dip will verify that the mud had a oh so slight smell of kak...
We all got through it as we planned and wanted to continue but was a bit harder now for John being a dipped flake. All for one and one for all, except one who wanted to continue but reluctantly came along with us to head home. Somewhere on the side of the orchids we found a hose to hose John and his bike down. I kind of had a sense that Ilan was enjoying the job a bit too much but on the other hand so was the crowd while continuously joking about the situation.
Now being mud free but "farting bubbles" (his term not mine) we continued our ride. Another stop for John to change his attire and feel a bit better, thanks to Merrill and her multiple layers who saved the day. Though after the amount of jokes she made, she needed the mitzvah.
Still farting bubbles, laughing and enjoying the ride we rode off to our favorite Landwer where Megan and Kim joined in for breakfast and more laughing (still at John).
We only did about 20 km's but where funniest 20 km's ever!
The rains have stopped (for the time being) and a sunny, cool and windless day welcomed 19 of us to our usual meeting place. Whatever our determined leader had planned was not to be, because, the road building works going on in our area have drastically altered in one way or another the usual paths taken by us in this area and on more than one occasion we had to turn back because of mud, or new canals filled with rainwater or simply piles of sand that blocked the way.
The highlight of our ride was the magnificient view from the top of the cliffs overlooking the sea at Arsuf
We had a lot of fun and although we cut the "UDIM" section off our usual route, because of the riding back and forth due to man-made and nature-made obstructions we did end up covering well over 30kms.
After a long absence we returned to an old "watering hole", the Si Service Station at Gaash for a welcome breakfast stop and then made our way back home.
I am certain that all enjoyed the ride and am equally certain that everyone's bike was in need of a good cleaning.
The day started with an SMS from our David (today he was "Lazy David") to inform me that he'd give the wind a miss and sleep in. How wise he was! I looked out the window, saw the swaying trees and the wet roads and seriously thought about following our David's example. However, foolhardiness persuaded me to get dressed and face the consequences. Six of us, Dina, Talia, Chaim, Uri, Ted and yours truly met at the windy starting point and, on Ted's wise advice, decided to ride to the Herzliya and avoid off-road routs which were sure to be muddy.
The first 100 metres told me that I should have stayed in bed. A strong head wind tried to stop us riding West along along Ahuza but we battled on, Dina in the lead on her feather light new bike and me in the rear cursing the wind!!!! Anyway, the other weather conditions were great... not too hot, sunny and clear skies.
We rode through the Herzliya Park and on the way discovered a rain-made lake, complete with ducks (see photo) that had not been there a few days previously
We eventually made it to the Marina, to find that the pier along which we usually ride had been closed off (Read the notice in the pics from today) The photos of the sea will show you just how windy it was! Lots of crazy surfers were out taking advantage of waves rarely seen in the Mediterranean and there were also some crazies on surfboards being towed by giant kites!
As we changed direction and headed for home the enjoyment level of the ride rose considerably as we were now being pushed home by that same terrible head wind that was now a friendly tail wind! Whew! What a pleasure!
The six of us made a breatfast stop at Tapuzim, Herzliya where the food and service was great and having satisfies our thirsts and hunger we headed for home.
Another 27 kms (shorter than usual) under our belts in very good company, was behind us!
The annual Kinneret Ride took place and some of us were there. Report coming soon hopefully, meanwhile, here are some images from the ride.
Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer true,
I'm all crazy all for the love of you,
It won't be a stylish marriage;
I can't afford a carriage,
But you look sweet upon the seat
Of a bicycle made with full carbon fiber frame / dual suspension / full XTR / tubeless tires / Fox shocks / disc brakes etc. etc.
(This modern version of the classic song updated by Shimanus Rockshox in honour of Sasha's birthday today)
'Twas 7.30 in the morning when the group of approximately fourteen Cyclenix Flying Foxes congregated in our hallowed assembly ground in Raanana. Ably led by our birthday boy, under the eagle eye of Big John and with our ever caring Ted as sweeper, we roared up the hill to the park, crossed the road and hit the dirt track on our way to Rishpon. Unfortunately, in our absence, the road works authority had inconsiderately continued constructing the highway with the result that we were forced to clamber through a series of deep muddy ditches before reaching the railway line.
Undaunted by this obstacle course, we arrived at the railroad crossing and continued northwards parallel to the tracks. The previous sunny days had not succeeded in drying up all the muddy patches and there were a few along the way which we easily managed to bypass. Our Frances, being an adventurous and enterprising soul (not like the rest of us fuddie - duddies!) was particularly attracted to a long watery one and decided to try her hand at mud larking. Unfortunately, waterlogged clayey soil can be a formidable opponent and a short time after ploughing into the puddle, she quickly and literally became a real stick in the mud. Our Council of Cycling Sages (John and Ted) came to her rescue: helped extricate her and after lengthy and deep deliberations, solved her bike's mechanical problems.
Apart from a muddy culvert to cross, the rest of the way was uneventful. There, the more enterprising ones among us got their feet wet while we chicken hearts preferred to climb up and walk on the railway bridge - taking care to stay on the right side of the tracks!
November is a great month for off - road. The weather is still moderate and balmy and the rains have dampened, tamped down and made passable many sandy stretches that were only walkable a month or two previously. Even mud patches are still small enough to circumvent. In the cool morning air with the sun warming your back, it is impossible not to feel the joy of being alive and feeling blessed and grateful for the privileged experience of enjoying nature whilst riding in good company.
Crossing over eastwards over a railway bridge, our group transversed citrus and persimmon orchards and climbed up a hill, passing an educational institution and a petrol station along the way. Briefly stopping at the top under twin mobile phone towers for a short breather and to collect the stragglers, we admired the vista and also managed to get a short dose of micro wave radiation. From then on, there was a series of lovely sweeping down hills on dirt tracks mostly running between hothouses. We continued until a kilometer or two behind the Sharon prison, forgoing the privilege of visiting a politician sitting there. Turning southwards, the tarred road to Bnei Zion was long and monotonous and soon thankfully gave way to the final stretch through the orchards on a sandy track that terminated close behind the Renanin Mall. It was but a short hop to Café Landwehr where a small group of us willfully wended our way (kindly note the intentional use of alliteration!) for breakfast, coffee, socializing and schmoozing; a pleasing and appropriate ending to a most pleasant morning's ride! Once more, thanks to Sasha for leading us and to Ted for always being there to make sure that nobody got lost.
A time of new and renewal is reflected in today's ride. A couple of riders arrived with new (second-hand purchased) bikes namely Dina and Yochi who displayed their new "steeds" and Talya, on her borrowed Stumpjumper. It really was a "something new and something borrowed" kind of ride. But it was also a renewal ride as we renewed our previous encounters with John's favorite terrain... MUD! David was hell bent to ride the Yarkon so we all followed in earnest. John, feeling off colour , took off even before we hit brown mud. With more delay we roamed suburban Hod Hasharon in search of the path to the holy grail of mud!. Regrettably we did locate the trail and already at the outset it was there as an omen which we ignored!!!!!!!!!!BEWARE! MUD UP AHEAD as small patches came into view. Talya's bike breakdowns only helped to stall the inevitable encounter with the dreaded mud and as we finally hit the Yarkon trail it was everywhere and gathering momentum. David at some point was heard to call it a MUD-HIM ride. MUD I know but who is HIM? Mudhim it was, as we retreated back to dry ground of HH only to meet up with another obstacle. The seasonal Hikers of Hod Hasharon event was on, with the local myriads out for a stroll, whom David did manage to quickly circumvent. To appease the masses he led us uphill to the lofty heights of the former HH rubbish tip, now a great lookout point. We reached the top for a magnificent view of a perfect Autumn day. The mud, now forgotten, was replaced by oohs and ahs and a memorial photo was shot to mark the historic return to the lofty point. Yes, another renewal after a decade and a reminder that it's worth mounting more often. At some point on our return home, Yona took the reins and steered us to a new watering hole in HH. The gallery photos tell the story but unless you look for it, there's little mud to be seen! Did I dream a dream or was it a Mudhim ride in fact? Talya won the prize of most muddied rider "hands down". Or should I say "feet up". Going by the state of her shoes it was the latter.
A wonderful ride as usual with moments of drama and amazing weather. If you think this is muddy just think... we have three months of rain up ahead! Rumour has it that David is plotting another Yarkon winter ride so don't rush to clean your bikes just yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Two south Africans, a Hungarian, a Brit and a nut job meet up at 07:30 am...
The weather forecast promised storms that would be appropriate for the Mayans predictions of December 2012... All suited up with rain coats we rode off to the unknown.
It didn't take long to realize that the raincoats were kind of useless and those who were scared of the rain missed out on a great ride.
The route was quite routine but the company had a different vibe than usual... A bag of worms was open when I decided to quote Bibi's new nickname (chicken sh** for those who don't listen to the news). The rest of the ride had become a political one with John continuing endlessly as only he can on the subject. A little break from politics was due to David, who stopped a random kid and his mother as he noticed that the child's tire needed air. A job and a mitzvah well done and we were back on our bikes just to find some graffiti to ignite John back to BIbi...
My ADD and the lack of trees had me staring at the skies, mesmerized by mother nature and the amazing cloud formation.
A few puddles, on the way near cinema city, if puddles is the correct term for the water reaching just above our pedals... At this point i noticed that John had caught some "sea weed" on his chain. Talia rode ahead to tell David and Anna to stop and wait while we treated his bike. We did not smoke the weed but were "high" for most of the ride so who knows...
Up the stairs over the bridge and down the other side to discover that Bar Refaeli, a constant at this place, has moved, leaving some advertising space for whoever is interested.
Anna leading us to a new path taking us to the view of Herzelia beach from above, where John brought politics back to the table as he took a photo of some "big pricks".
For the rest of our ride John and i were yanking Talia's chains, figuratively, not literally for a change all the way to breakfast and a bit after...
At this point the clouds started to shift, making us think that we might actually see the wrath that was promised. I personally felt like we were in a scene from "Twister" looking straight into the black clouds thinking that no storm is too strong for our crew...
A great breakfast at "Tapuz", only after a few raindrops made us move inside...
The vibe was cynical and whimsical... So much fun for a ride that was supposed to be wet and challenging.
To all the lazy bums and scaredy cats who stayed in bed, you really did miss out on a fun ride!
BEN SHEMEN FOREST - At 06:45 on a Saturday morning, the main Tel-Aviv / Jerusalem highway, is populated mainly with cars with bicycles attached from both above and behind. Best to keep your distance from anyone else, as they return from the all night parties I wasn't invited to.
As the sun peeped through the Jerusalem hills, 90% of the cars indicated right, towards Ben Shemen Forest, famous for its singles; the type of singles that have nothing to do with marital status, nor with all the all night parties. Five minutes later, we arrived at one of Israel's largest display of empty, lonely bicycle carriers, with hundreds of cars already squeezed in between the trees.
Everything related to bikes, and more, was on sale, whilst dozens of cyclists oiled their chains and optimized their tyre pressure, in preparation for the unknown challenges ahead.
Now neatly parked, 10 of us pedaled off into the forest. It's 7:30am, and the first downhill was a rapid reminder that the sun still hadn't blessed the forest with its warm rays. As the words "wind chill factor" came to mind, I admit wishing for a short break. Didn't need to wait long. On the first uphill, the chain snapped on one of the guy's bikes, and 3 bike surgeons, predictably led by David, our leader, put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
It wasn't too long before the individual chain links became a functional chain again, the sun was up, and the real cycling began.
There are a couple of reasons why hundreds of cyclists flood to Ben Shemen Forest every Saturday. Firstly, there's the macho brigade, wearing full (cycling) body armour, attacking, or being attacked by, the singles. And then there's us. Enjoying a "respectable" 20km of "medium" ups and downs, including a couple of challenging, yet non-suicidal singles, whilst enjoying some breathtaking scenery.
15km into the ride, we found a "picnic" type spot, ideal for refreshments and deep discussions as to whether or no "Radio Days" really was Woody Allen's best film. Yet even a short rest has its price; in this case measured in reduced concentration. With our wheels once again rotating, and with my right hand bus" off handle bars", when I needed to brake, contrary to experience and education, I squeezed only the left brake lever. I knew it was an error well before I went over the handlebars, but the brain refused to authorize the hand to release, turning me into an instant circus act for all to see. With the bike seemingly OK, one of the group reminded me to check my body, too. Oh, yeah!
It wasn't long before we rode into the buzzing car park area, wher" war stories" of the last hours were being exchanged by the masses, and where the lonely bike carriers were re-populated with their best friends. The bike cleaning service, which, with the help of soap, water, oil and a toothbrush, returned the bikes to their pre-7am glory seemed very popular. I spoke to th" dentist"; only NIS 30 for a full bike make-over. Next time.
What an excellent morning! What did you do today?
...14 of us pitched up for our weekly ride. It wouldn't be a Cyclenix ride without my bike needing attention...(or myself that is)! A cry out to David, our faithful leader and handyman, who as always solved the problem.
Off we went out of Ra'anana toward Kfar Shmaryahu, trying new paths, looking for a way to Arsuf. As usual a short refreshing stop for all our senses... high up above, from the sandy cliff, is the most amazing view of the Mediterranean sea, and of some people camping and fishing below. Sitting on the edge of the cliff, inhaling the fresh sea air and enjoying a few laughs and of course photos taken for our web site.
Recharged and back on our bikes riding...skirting Hof Hasharon Nature Reserve, we headed toward Gaash and Yakum. At our usual water stop at Café Buono Yakum, once again the Harley Davidson gang also had their stop. I personally was admiring their bikes while riding through the mass of bikes. At this point some decided to take the shorter way home, some took that path and returned to find the majority who stuck with the long way. Seemed to me that some paths were new and some were known, but just done backwards for a change.
The weather was great except for the head wind that loves joining us for the end of our rides. The ride wasn't hard, but was longer than usual, and the company, as usual always great!
For breakfast we went to Landwers, where the service and food has not yet failed! Although my Endomondo only tracked 28 km's I was told that we did over 35 km's.
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: