The first ride of the new year reminded me to make a new year's resolution. Don't ride up to Tzuba again!. (John's resolution maybe). And if you do, take lots of spare fresh inner tubes. Talk about searching for inner peace atop a mountain and finding instead pieces of inner tube. "lots I got yesterday" as one would declare in Brooklyn. Climbing several hundreds of meters by bike to get inner peace is a case of human endeavour going wrong. So, what was so terrible you ask?. Vell ,ere r sum raisens.
We BRRRRRRRRRRRRR froze our "Fannies" off (more Brooklyn-isms) to begin with (and to end with). The inners kept blowing. The wind also was blowing. The ascent went on forever. The trail was at times rockier than the Rockies. The jeeps kept getting in the way. We spent almost an hour of lost time replacing inners. We broke a Cyclenix record with one bike blowing 2 inners simultaneously, a record claimed by Barbara. Uri tried to match but managed to blow only one which we could not inflate until Fredrick came to the rescue with a diminutive road bike pump and succeeded. No one rode the dreaded Tzuba incline approach path and now we all understand where the origin of the expression "pushing s---- uphill" . It was however assailed by all and even the bikes were puffing at the top. And to think we had this ride for Andy to "show off" the JRS hills which he had never ridden. What a faux pas. We could have ridden up with him to Napolean Hill in Ramat Gan for a real memorable 100m uphill climb and grand vistas. Instead we worked his A—off and all he could to was " Snicker" at us, ha ha ha. Ein Limon where we stopped to gather strength in our bruised loins retains it's rustic Mid East charms if you manage to overlook the 4 wheel drives assembled below. But seriously, what a great ride it was and I do believe Andy appreciated our effort to make his last Cyclenix ride a memorable one particularly when we commenced the everlasting hairy thrilling downhill back to the cars. An ongoing rush of Adrenalin which leaves you with a smile for hours. To top it off we had brunch in Latrun at a great spot.
A special mention for David and Fredrick who rode up and down back and forth to assist in rescue operations.
Lastly a farewell to Andy not only from the 15 who rode yesterday but from all the C. Mob. Looking forward to riding with you in sunny CA but please, no uphills!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Today in `Arugot, Hamerkaz, Israel:
"THE BATTLE OF THE CELLPHONES" - This 30km ride, with all its beautiful weather, scenery and people, could turn out to influence the global buying decisions of consumers, related to preferred choice of cellphones.
It was perhaps the end-December sun that went to the heads of a few, that in turn, triggered some "Grand National" type sprints, with the traditional 4 galloping legs replaced by 2 spinning wheels. With only 5km left to the finishing line, some still had too much energy, releasing it for some memorable sprints along the "home straight". But the commentator, riding on Carbon White, and whipping it to its limits, battled to stay ahead of the Black Knight on his left and the "American 29er" on his right. But this wasn't about the best bike. Not even about egos. On the contrary, it was about ... cellphones. Let's start again. As the trio topped 40kph, the iPhone5 nosed ahead of the Samsung S3, with the previously unheard of Samsung Ace Plus rapidly fading, despite a last-gasp bid to place the stars and stripes higher on the virtual podium. With the finish line in sight, the last hurdle behind them, the iPhone 5 and the Samsung S3 crossed the line nearly together. Who came first? Miss CameraPro hadn't entered the picture yet, as she was too far behind to capture the photo finish, but if you're an iPhone user, you'll know.
But it didn't end there. As all the riders slowly returned to their respective stables, 3 friends, connected also by Endomondo tracking software, posted their respective ride results of the SAME ride, on the web. Carbon White and Miss CameraPro had each enjoyed using an iPhone, whilst the Black Knight thought he enjoyed his Samsung S3. Whilst all 3, who started and finished the ride more or less together, recorded a distance of nearly precisely 30km, Endomonso reported Carbon White took 1hr 55m, Miss CameraPro took 2hr 19m, whilst Black Knight took a remarkable 3hr 22m.
Carbon White and Black Knight rode the whole ride together, but having returned to the start point together (after 1hr 55m and 3hr 22m, respectively!), 30km on, Carbon White ended up 20m higher than his starting point, whilst Black Knight ended up nearly 10m lower that when he started. Miss CameraPro ended a full 20m lower than her (same) start point, making finding her car a 3-dimensional challenge. Still, Miss CameraPro was able to travel lighter than her 3 friends, as Endomondo reported she only needed to drink 1.19 liters of water, whilst Carbon White needed 1.47 liters and Black Knight, who is renowned for drinking the minimum, should have sunk a full 4.16 liters; an amount backpacks have not yet been designed for.
But this is all detail. Let's get on to what's important. Out trusty Endomono reported that Miss CameraPro burned only 909 calories, whilst Carbon White left 1,520 calories behind. Probably an OK ratio given this boy/gal thing. But the surprise was Black Knight, who it seems lost a massive 2,748 calories, perhaps due to the "ball and chain" 4.16 liters of water he was supposed to have made disappear.
In conclusion, and without giving the result away, whilst Steve Jobs would have been proud of the "nearly photo finish" Grand National sprint, if all you want is to lose weight, the Samsung S3 is the one for you.
What did you do today?
(Editors Note: this entire post was updated using an iPhone5, so we know where I stand on this issue)
After the wild weather of late, 22 gathered to get a bit of morning chill, warm sunshine, sand, mud and lots of good cheer. We covered around 34 km on a route that took us to Arsuf (with glorious views of blue water and white sails), along "Dina's Way" to the Sharon Park and home to the Raanana lake.
The mood was high with everyone enjoying the views and sunshine. At Cafe Buono we split - some die-hards went on to Udim while the rest of us turned towards the smell of coffee and breakfast. Along the way we managed to free an avocado or two and lose one or two people as well. Luckily Merrill knows her way home, so arrived back safely ...
We refueled at the lake cafe where the Udim clan joined us. Andy will soon be going back to the US, so we hope to enjoy the last rides with him.
In the words of Bob Marley (yes, you can bounce around and sing along....)
Sun is shining, the weather is sweet
Make you want to move your dancing feet
To the rescue, here i am
Want you to know, y'all, where i stand
P.S. The diehards who did the "extra bit" covered aprox. 45 kms.
Will it or won't it rain? That was the question that must have crossed the minds (since yesterday) of all those Cyclenix contemplating cycling this morning. At 5.15am I peeped out of the window. It was raining! I had already decided that rain or no rain, I was going to ride. Within 30 minutes the rain had stopped and from 5.45am messages commenced via cell phones enquiring whether it was raining in Ra'anana and who was and was not cycling.
7.30am arrived. The rain had stopped and 14 riders were assembled at thje usual starting point and raring to go. We strated off riding West down Ahuza Street and carrying on down The Park road with the intention of going North parallel to the construction site of the new 531 Highway. We did in fact turn North as intended and immediately entered the mud fields which had resulted from the rains during the night. Rishpon/Ra'anana railway crossing was reached and then turned South cycling to the Herzliya level crossing and making our way to the Herzliya Park. From there we headed for the Herzliya Marina but before entering it we turned South cycling along the top of the cliffs between Herzliya and the Mandarin Beach. At the Mandarin we headed East towards the Coastal Highway, then headed North again; crossed over the bridge at Cinema City, and headed for the fields of Ramat Hasharon, eventually landing up at Tapuz, Herzliya where we enjoyed a welcome brunch break. The food and service at Tapuz was first class. Up until then the weather had been perfect but, as we began paying for our easts and drinks the rain started . Those who had rain gear donned the gear and we headed for home with the rain increasing in intensity all the way to Ra'anana. We reached home, muddy, wet and happy after great +/- 28 km ride.
There is nothing as refreshing as a good ride in the rain, with a bit of mud added for fun!
Elishama and back:
16 of us started in the cool morning air from Elishama (for those that don't know, the moshav was formed in 1950 by a group from Tripoli) en route to the climb of the day, Nachshonim Forest. We started on a scenic route along the Yarkon and then past Rosh Hayin and at Afeka national park, a cyclist (on a wide track) went into the back of one of our group. This was the first stop of what turned out to be a day with a few puncture stops.
The climb at Nachshomim did not disappoint: uphill over very stony terrain with a downhill to compensate. We made detour to the "basin" where the child in everbody emerges - whoooshing up and down the steep inclines.
Einat was the refuelling stop - and then the long (well for me, it always seems so long) ride back to the cars. Around 37.5km of fun in the sun, with good company.
To be sung to the Beatles tune of Its been a Hard Day's Night (apologies for the not-so-good rhyming)
It's been a hard day's ride
And I've been peddaling like a pro
It's been a hard day's slog
And I will be sleeping like a log
But when I get to Einat
And drink and sit and talk
I will feel alright.
The Indian Summer conditions are not unusual for November but they do provide great riding conditions . Unfortunately the little rain that has fallen so far has not created sand-free trails but David did come up with a relatively sand- free ride. I will not bother you with the details of where we rode because if you were there you know the route and if you were not, why bother to find out. Its history. But we did reach Udim and we did have breakfast and we did over 30 kls. And we did have 23 riders and we did have a good time.
I forgot to mention we had several falls and the med kids did come out to provide first-aid. My point is... Always keep a first aid kit in your bags as you never know when they will be needed and keep the contents up to date as some of these items age quickly.
They say, you can't explain Jerusalem to people who've never visited. The same applies to our moonlit ride, in the desert, last night. 12 "insane" cyclists drove about 175 km to get to the start point for 5:30pm. After a meticulous briefing by Avi (you don’t want to get lost in the desert at night!), we set off. For at least 50% of the ride, we rode with no lights, trusting the full moon to show us the way and protect us from harm. There was something magical and mystical about the whole experience. Now and again, between the "bursts" of adrenalin driven (often female) voices (no names), we heard the desert silence. To recalibrate our ear-drums, a few fighter jets flew just over our helmets, increasing the adrenalin, and predictably, the volume of the voices; in turn, re-confirming the 80/20 rule. (Work it out). Cycling up a dry river bed, across a plain covered in powder that I'm still digesting, and winding down a long, cliff clad, dry river bed at the other end. A healthy "clear the moon dust out of your lungs" sprint got us back to the cars for 10:15pm; plenty of time for a quick Red Bull in anticipation of the 175km homeward journey.
Thanks to Megan Cohen Kaddouch for dreaming up this ride, to Avi for organising it so well, and to Michal Cahn and Ilan Hirschowitz for taking professional cameras with, to challenge the dark; and in some cases, as you'll see, turning night into day!
7.30am saw 20 riders gather at our usual Home Patch starting point ready for another fun outing.....except for Michal....she didn't read her notice and was there 30 minutes early!!!! Moral of the story....Bulletins and notices on our website are there for a purpose....TO BE READ!
Anyway, off we went in the direction of Batzra and at the Batzra T-Junction we turned East towards Highway 4, went under the the Highway via the pedestrian subway and proceeded East in what I think were the fields of Sde Warburg. Then the fun (did I say fun????) started. We hit the sand!! A few of us had done this ride last week after a wee bit of rain and then, the ground was firmer and the sand wasn't too much of a problem, but this Saturday.....whew!!! We all did a fair bit of walking! We pushed on, sometimes on the bike, sometimes on foot, through the fields of Kibbutz Mishmeret, throught the Kibbutz itself and then on to the new Highway not yet in use, I have never been so pleased to get onto a hard road We cycled as far a Tsomet Dror. Then it was South along Highway 4. Soon after we passed the Sharon Prison we headed East towards Yaqum up until the railway line going off road as we approached the line. Then it was South as we made our way to Central cafe at the Ra'anana Lake..........another 30 odd kilometres under our belt and a great time had by all (despite the sand)!
Such a feelin's comin' over me
There is wonder in most everything I see
Not a cloud in the sky
Got the sun in my eyes
And I won't be surprised if it's a dream
There is cycling life for those who chose not to zoom around the Kinneret... 11 of us set off in perfect cycling weather to enjoy a 31km ride on a partially new route!
Ilan started us off and Merrill took over and we pedalled along paths new to almost all of us. We headed north through Bene Tsion where we crossed Route 4 in a graffiti-enhanced tunnel to the east side of the road. We then headed east up to Sde Warburg, north to Tsommet Dror area where we crossed back again on the newly finished road (not open to traffic yet) and headed south past the prison.
Unfortunately, John wasn't able to set the Hasharon prison alarm off (we managed to restrain him) and we headed back to Raanana to refuel. And what a lovely surprise! Uri invited us to his house where we sat in the garden and his wife Eti (with very little warning) produced a feast. It was lovely to sit in his quiet garden and enjoy his and Eti's company. Merrill and I stayed a bit longer and were lucky to get to taste the delicious cake that Eti whipped up for us. Thank you Uri and Eti, and mazal tov for your birthday last week, Uri!
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: