Great Expectations: My thoughts at the start - great expectations of an interesting and different ride! Our last few rides in Ben Shemen had been more or less similar so I thought it was time for a change. Six years ago Ben Shemen Fundi, Herzl Ushah, led us on a "different" Ben Shemen ride (a great ride even without the watermelon which he so generously provided!). Dennis was on that ride and tracked the route with his GPS. My intention was to follow the same route.
How the Dickens Can We: All went well until we left Kerem Ben Shemen (what a beautiful little village - so much character). The GPS, as well as my memory, led us to the location where 6 years ago we had gone under Road 443 in order to make our way eastwards then southwards up to Tel Hadid, and then beyond. But despite all our efforts, there was no access to the underpass (which was frustratingly visible from where we were) thanks to a stout fence, healthy vegetation and an impassable drainage system between us and our objective. So after traversing the length and breadth of the area for some time/distance to find an alternative crossing, "retreat" was the only option.
Reality: Our "intended" route was about 23 km. As it turned out, we covered just on 22 km, which included a visit to the elusive (for us) Tel Hadid and a singles section (for those who dared not leave Ben Shemen without having done at least one!) . Its great biking country with something for everyone, and I guess all 17 of us had a taste of the pie, added to which near perfect weather conditions, and as usual great company! But I believe the "Herzl's Route" would have been better... I'll work on it!
As the years pass it is an inevitable reality that fewer and fewer of our regular Cyclenix riders would have
known the late Ronnie and participated in his rides. But it was these few of us who, after our regular
Home Patch ride today, made our way to the Landwer Coffee Shop in Ra'anana to join up with Ronnie's
family, closest "roadie" friends and riding companions to mark the 5th anniversary of his sudden and untimely passing.
Before Ronnie became a dedicated road rider he often participated in Cyclenix rides. His knowledge of off road trails was extensive and added a new dimension to our activities at that time by arranging and leading us on "away rides" throughout the length and breadth of Israel. In fact many of our current away rides have a strong basis in "Ronnie's Rides".
But Ronnie's impact on us went further, as Hilliard put it at this morning's get-together: Ronnie is fondly remembered in promoting a cycling culture of camaraderie and friendship, courtesy towards fellow cyclists, setting a good example to others, safety and adherence to the "rules of the road" whether onroad or offroad.
And In the words of Ronnie's brother Alon: "In the spirit of Ronnie, enjoy and ride carefully".
Back to our regular summer meeting time, 7:00 AM (G-d help us), a group of twenty something early birds hit the trails.
Down Ahuza into the fields, through Rishpon where John got a taste of his own medicine for a change, when I was quiet enough (that's a first) to rub my front tire with his back tire! It is quite sad the amount of pleasure that Frances and I got out of it and more the fear of retaliation for the rest of the ride.
At Shfayim ignoring the danger signs as usual, we climbed over the wooden fences, with the help our chivalrous men of the group. At our usual cliff we had a short stop with the always amazing view of the sea! Back on our bikes we rode to Hof Hashoron nature reserve where I discovered a cultural difference between American and South African English. If you grew up on American English and think you know what a wet willy is don't use that term near any South African... especially if they are over the age of 50, their faces of shock were priceless though!
Riding on towards Yakum it seemed that we had lost over half of the group but they found us quite easily. Some people go through paths of no return... on todays ride we did the rode that all returned!
Quite a few had to leave early at this point, but being the united group that we are (or cowards to scared to carry on without our fearless leader) in unison we all turned around to finish the ride together.
Thanks to an abandoned white frame we stopped for a quick photo opp and some political jokes.
Full speed ahead all the way to our finish line, some went home and the rest went to Landwer for a breakfast memorial for their dear friend Ronnie.
27 km's, the weather was hot but not too hot, all in all it was a great ride with great company!
25 of us gathered with quite a few faces we haven't seen in a while. We set off with the intention on missing mud and sandy bits - so David led us west and then through Gan Rachel, Herzeliya and along the coast where we turned east to return to Tapuz in the Herzeliya park for refreshments. The weather was perfect for cycling and we completed around 28 km in good company.
Excerpts from Go West (Pet Shop Boys) explains it all:
We will go our way
We will fly so high
In the open air
Where the skies are blue
There where the air is free
this is what we're gonna do, Go West
come on, come on, come on
And look at some of the views look at;
Today was almost a record!!! The ride started only 2 minutes after the scheduled starting time. We have on many occasions ridden this route, albeit that the sections we rode were put together is a different order.Ra'anana Industrial area, the fields of Batzra and Bnei Tzion, Udim, Yaqum, back to Ra'anana and to what has become our favourite "Breakfast" stop, Café Landwer in the industrial area of Ra'anana, where the service and the food are excellent.
The weather was hot, but not too hot. Sandy patches did confront us from time to time, but not too many of them. All in all it was a very pleasant ride, and the company was more than pleasant.
Three "highlights" of the ride were:
Meeting Place and Time: Moshav Elishema, 7:15am sharp (give or take twenty minutes).
Route: (Courtesy of David and Google Earth) We left kibbutz Elishema and headed south-west through the fields in parallel to Route 40. Crossing under Route 5, we continued past the Baptist Village towards the source of the Yarkon River. We rode along the river banks on the shady Israel National Trail, passing under the railway tracks and alongside Park Afek (on the wrong side of the fence) with its impressive fort. We then crossed Route 483 and headed south-west by Kibbutz Givat Hashlosha, eventually turning eastward towards Route 6. We continued east crossing both Route 6 and Route 444, gradually encountering the more rocky terrain of the Nachshonim Forest. We circled the forest from south to north on its eastern side, and from there started northwards again, passing Kibbutz Nachshonim to our east. We reached and rode through Kibbutz Einat (where we didn't stop for coffee), and then north next to Route 6 till our cars and the "Lula and Kuba Restaurant" in Hod Hasharon (where we did).
Distance: An impressive 37 km. And kudos to the people who cycled to the meeting point from Kfar Saba (Ingride, David and Rafi), Ra'anana (Anna) and Ramat Ha'Sharon (Dennis), and then back home again at the end.
Participants: 14 (with one minor fluctuation - details to follow).
Highlights, Lowlights and Miscellaneous: 1. There were a couple of shallow ponds to cross, the first of which proved extremely muddy. Two people decided against it and parted from the group, only to accidentally (but gladly, we hope) bump into us again later. 2. There was mention of a difficult climb, which we finally encountered at Nachshonim. However, despite the fact that it was indeed steep and very rocky, we all tackled it with relative ease. 3. People broke out into song here and there along the route. (And for those in doubt, this is a highlight.) 4. There were various sudden dips under roads and railway lines, but they just added to the spice. 5. Unfortunately Richard was not around this week to give us a guided tour of the Baptist Village. 6. There were lots of thistles. 7. The city of Antipatris was built by Herod the Great, in honor of his father. The fortress however is from the Ottoman period and was called Ras al-Ayn. Now, does that not have an uncanny resemblance to the nearby town of Rosh Ha'Ayin? (Yes, it does!) 8. Dates come in various genres - there are those that walk and talk; those that get you out of the house looking your best; those that frequent calendars and diaries; and those that grow on trees.
The ones offered around on the ride were of the kind that grows on trees!
Summary: It was an even-paced yet diverse ride in ideal weather conditions (i.e., cool and partly cloudy). There were no technical issues (just a passing biker borrowing a spanner), no lost or injured riders (just a couple of independent spirits), and most important of all, NO SAND!
Route: From Ra'anana down to the cliff-tops at Arsouf overlooking a calm sea
and clear coastline, then north through the Sharon Beach Nature Reserve,
through Kibbutz Ga'ash, to the southern boundary of Wingate, then back south
and over the Coastal Road to Yakum, past Europark, and back home via Café
Landwer in the Ra'anana Industrial Area for a refreshment stop.
Distance: 32 km
Participants: At the start 23, which gradually diminished to 9 by the time we reached Landwer, due mainly to family commitments (a short ride is better than no ride at all!) and the unseasonal heat (which continued to intensify as the ride progressed). Welcome to newcomers Ian, Yona and Dani. Hope to see each of you riding with Cyclenix again soon.
Riding Conditions: Warm at first, then hot, then very hot!!
Sandy? - no more, no less than one would expect at this time of the year.
Wind - Contrary to Murphy's Law, the northerly wind began to strengthen significantly towards our turn southward at Wingate, so we enjoyed some "tail" relief all the way back.
Bottom Line: Enjoyable ride over a familiar route, topped with the usual ingredient of Good Company!
History: 52 weeks ago (on 20 April 2013 to be exact) the heavens opened their sluice-gates as we were nearing the end of a Home Patch ride and it was an "each to his own" scramble to escape the wet (which of course nobody did!!). As Rafi, Ingride and I were making our way back to Kfar Saba we stopped to investigate a weak and rather pathetic "meeeoooowwww"-ing at the side of our path. The rescue operation was swift. Rafi stuffed this frightened rain-soaked kitten into his rain jacket and we rode on homewards. So for one tiny creature it was the start of a "heaven on earth" life with the Landsman Family. And what did Rafi and Nava call this now 1 year old feline? GESHEM of course!!!!!
Sixteen enthusiastic riders met at the usual meeting point on Saturday morning.
Our trusty leader David was unfortunately suffering from a knee injury and unable to ride.
Warm wishes from the Cyclenix gang for a speedy recovery , David! You and Ingride were missed.
Although it was a little chilly in the beginning, the sun was shining with a promise of a beautiful day. We started out on one of the regular routes heading northwards out of Raanana. Turning west on Weizman we then rode on towards Kfar Nachman. Rumour had it that we were going to be testing our fitness by riding up "Har Ha'Zevel" (the old rubbish hill) but a left turn at the wrong junction had us all heading down towards Kiriat Sharett and out through Rishpon. Up over the bridge and into the nature reserve at Shfayim. The flowers were beautiful, out in their full glory. Up on to Gaash we rode and headed further north, past the golf course and reaching the borders of Wingate. We crossed over the bridge by Cafe Buono and followed a familiar route back through the Industrial Park of Yakum, through the fields and out on the road by Tel Itzhak. Here we turned southwards back into the orange groves of Harutzim and Bnei Zion and out the other side through Bazra. A brief stop was made for an orange break before moving on to the promise of another great breakfast at Landwer coffee shop in the Industrial area of Raanana. We weren't disappointed.
A big thank you goes to Merrill for leading us so well, with stops to check that no one was lost! Well done Merrill! An uneventful ride with no punctures, injuries or lost riders, another 31.2 lm was covered with good company and wonderful weather.
Seventeen cyclists met at our regular meeting place. After suitable adjustments were made to David's brakes, we set off into the fields. We cycled through the upper part of Bnei Tziyon and headed towards Udim. The weather was cold at the start, but the day warmed up and soon most of us stripped off our warmer clothing. We cycled through some patches of soft sand, but most of the time David was able to lead us to paths that were easy to negotiate. As Ted had leave of absence, his usual position of sweep was capably performed by Steven during the early part of the ride, and later Candy, then Hylton and others swapped with him. Some of the cyclists left early, missing the glorious fields of flowers (just see the great photos). The group ended the ride at a great coffee place in the Ra'anana industrial area. After cycling 36 km in good company, a great morning was had by all. Thanks go to Avraham for sending in most of the photos.
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: