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!
Ideal cycling weather greeted the riders who pitched up to enjoy what was to be a great ride with top-class friends and a good "breakfast" at the end. Of the riders that pitched up over 40% of the riders were new to Cyclenix! Yep, three of the seven riders that showed up were newcomers. Welcome to Meir, Yael and Uri ( a new Uri).
We set off at just after 7.30 am, riding down to Weitzman Street in Ra'anana and then made our way West. We rode towards Rishpon via the Ra'anana cemetery (No need to stop there as we all felt well!) , where we had a view of the new Highway 531 which is under construction. Every route in the vicinity of this construction changes weekly and many of our old track are no longer.
At the Rishpon level crossing we headed North and here to the scenery is changing fast. In fact, on the way North alongside the Tel Aviv - Haifa Railway line we came upon a couple of surveyors marking out the land , and they told us that the track on which we have been riding for many years woulkd soon be a thing of the past!!! Shame. But, that's the price of progress.
We headed towards Yaqum where we spied a large group of motor cyclists also heading North and presumes that they were on their way to their "breakfast stop" at the Yaqum service station. We weren't wrong as we saw when we arrived there. (see the photos of two of these motor cycles that probably caost more than an average family car!!!
We crossed the bridge over the Coastal Highway and headed back South towards home and a welcome stop at one of our favourite "watering holes", Landwers who, once again didn't disappoint us with their good food and friendly efficient service.
Another very pleasant 32 km Home Patch Ride had come to an end.
19 of us set off from our meeting point towards Hod Hasharon, where we joined the 531 - the part that is still under construction. The route shows the devastation that the building of the road has wrought - but considering the traffic problems, there seems to be no other choice. But all is not bleak - we saw some lovely greenery along the way. We joined our familiar route along Bnei Tzion and onwards. All in all, we cycled around 31 km in unusual heat for spring.
Merrill was atop her brand new gleaming red bike (found with Stuart's aid) and rather unusually for her, cycled with great caution! She is getting used to the new dynamics and each time she got off, bumped her.... whatsit. So, some adjustments are needed...
It was a great cycle (despite the heat) and we refueled at Landver. Near the end of the ride Jose and Carla stopped to fix a puncture and were last seen in Uri's garden. Well, for those who haven't experienced Uri's garden and hospitality.... you are in for a treat.
Sadly, no song springs to mind, but since it is the 50th (or something like that) anniversary of the Sound of Music, here goes (to the tune of the Hills are Alive):
The Shfela is alive
with the sound of panting
with gasps that are heard
for many a mile
The paths fill my heart
with the sound of beating
my heart wants to sing
with every breath it has
Oh well, as I was the one who suggested a Tel Aviv ride, I suppose I'd better do the obligatory write-up.
Ten of us met at the back of the Ramat Gan stadium this morning, ready to roll. However someone, possibly me or David or Ingride made a comment on current politics, and so a verbal "exchange of views" ensued, loosely based; although on second thoughts, not so loosely based, on the recent political debate among the various parties, sans the two main rivals. In the end I suggested that we put "the cat among the pigeons" by asking Richard to moderate as he "had no real axe to grind". Naturally Richard was having none of that, so" it was all over, bar the shouting" as they say, and we got on with the original business of the day and set off.
We followed our regular route along the right bank of the Yarkon River until we arrived at the large lake in the middle of the park, and instead of continuing on, we detoured towards the " Sheva Tachanot" or Seven Mills These old flour mills on the banks of the Yarkon River are located within Yarkon Park (Gannei Yehoshua) in Tel Aviv. Until the late 1920s, some of them had worked for centuries. One can take a breather from bustling Tel Aviv to walk the landscaped paths with their views of the mills, and cross a gently flowing stream via a picturesque wooden bridge and the old dam that provided the water pressure that once operated the mills.
From there we followed the left bank of the river and on to the boardwalk along the seafront in Tel Aviv. We rode through Jaffa port an towards Bat Yam, but decided to turn back early, to look for a watering hole. We made a bee line for one of my favorite restaurants called "Puaa", which is situated in the Flea Market and found it open for business, which never seemed to be the case on previous TA rides. Five of the original ten decided to carry on to the parking lot in Ramat Gan, and the remaining ones enjoyed a good chat and refreshments. Then it was back to Ramat Gan Stadium. All told, I hope, a very pleasant and interesting morning.
If you have any questions or want to get in touch for any reason, feel free to get in touch with David or John: