Six of us gathered to cycle in the welcome sunshine after all the wild weather we have been experiencing. The NINNIES stayed at home and missed a water- and mud-filled day! Some of the excuses: sick (naaah!), swollen fingers and visiting son in the army (come ON! ) and the best, lock on the shed jammed and couldn't get the bike out (yea - and the dog ate my homework!!).
The first evidence of the devastation the heavy rain caused was a huge donga (ditch for those not from the southern hemisphere) as we started our ride. We had to make a muddy detour in the pardesim - see the results of the glue-like mud on our bikes and shoes. We trundled along, spraying mud as we went. It made me think of the chorus of the Flanders and Swann Hippopotamus song:
Mud, mud, glorious mud
Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood
So follow me follow, down to the hollow
And there let me wallow in glorious mud
We did resist and tried to avoid more mud by going on the road. Rafi was disappointed as he just came to play in the mud puddles... We turned back onto the gravel, only to discover that there was a river to cross. John thought we should all become Mudskippers and bounce along the mud and water. They are rather like walking fish, but we managed to resist that too.
We made our way, mostly by road, to the gas station where Ted, having arisen from his sick bed came to join us. His vintage car attracted a lot of attention. I tried to drape myself over the car but no offers came my way (or his), so I guess the next Tel Aviv car show is not waiting for me to help sell!
We rode about 25 km in perfect weather with good company as usual.
As the weatherman had predicted, it was raining when I woke up, but I promised myself (and others) that I would ride so, up I got and all dressed up in my cycling gear (including my rain suit) off I set to the meeting point where I was met by Megan we were joined by Ilan. Yvette, Rafi and Frederic. That was it. All the other regulars had chickened out or were away or had other "plans".
The route we did was one that we have done many times. There is no doubt about it that the scenery in winter is far prettier than in the hotter seasons. We came across numerous "temporary" lakes and pools that had attracted various species of water birds. We had our fair share of rain and mud. On the trip home Rafi and I separated from the other four who, when they were near |Ra'anana had to cross a "river" and then found themselves "fenced off" but with the help of Frederic the bikes were lifted over the fence and they then scaled the fence ( see the photos) and met up with me and Rafi and we all headed for home having covered 34+ kilometres. Another really enjoyable ride with great company was under our belts!
"Everything has its season, and there is a time for everything under the heaven. A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot the planted." (Ecclesiastes 3:1,2).
In Canada there is an expression "There are two reasons NOT to live in Canada, one is December and the other January and sometimes February and March too.
In Israel it is the exact opposite. Our winters are superb. Not too cold with rainy and sometime stormy days inter-spursed with days of brilliant, blue skies. Just look at the photos of the blue sky, the healthy fields, green natural grass, the winter leaves. Compare these photographs of Cyclenix summer rides in the same area north of Ra'anana towards Udim, when the countryside is brown, golden, sandy and dusty.
This year Israel has received so far, well over average rainfall to compensate for the 7-years of drought. The rivers are flowing and the Kinneret rising daily. The previous two Saturday rides were canceled/poorly attended due to the rain and mud.
"When you come to the land you shall plant any food tree." (Leviticus 19:23).
The 13 Cyclenix riders set out in the early morning mist. The temperature gauge on my bicycle showed 11 degrees. From Ra'anana we rode northwards through agricultural lands producing citrus and field crops. The sun rose higher, warming to over 20 degrees as we all removed our outer jackets. This area of the Sharon Plain continuing through Emek Hefer is one of the most fertile region's of the country (which are very few). The rich brown soil has been cultivated for winter wheat and potatoes, which are beginning to sprout. All looking very healthy.
This ride has been taken by Cyclenix many times, nevertheless the winter beauty gave the impression of 'new brush' has painted the landscape a different color.
For those who did not participate and were worried about the puddles, lakes and mud. Well, David choose a route which was definitely ridable and required very little dodging the muddy trail.
As usual, all the participants are pleasant, happy people and it is a pleasure to ride with Cyclenix.
As most of you woke up to rain, turned over and went back to sleep, a quick text message to Megan confirmed she would be riding no matter what the weather!
Seven thirty, the regular meeting place was strangely quiet. Megan and Frederic were riding to keep warm while waiting for others when Ilan and I arrived.
We realised that no-one else was coming and quickly decided to head off towards the Hertzalia Marina. The rain had mostly stopped but while riding over the bridge above the railway lines in Herzlia, Frederic's bike skidded and he came off. By the time we had come around the corner he was up on his feet although still in pain and managed to show us how to put a bike chain back into place without getting dirty hands! Well done Frederic.
We quickly arrived at the Marina and without much effort convinced by Frederic to manouver our way around the "mini lake" to head along the cliffs towards Tel Baruch. Once there, another detour was made around another "lake" and onto the Tel Aviv port . Some pictures were take to show how stormy the sea was and on to Aroma for a well-earned coffee while it began to rain again. We were soon back on our bikes and headed off to the Yarkon Park, out by Maoz Aviv and onto Hadar Yosef. We were "led" by Frederic on his regular "home ride" from the office which took us then from Hadar Yosef to Zahala, Ramat HaSharon and onto Herzlia. It was around there that the second accident of the day happened when I went into a lam post! A quick check to the bike and myself and we were off again with a promise of only another 4 km to go. We arrived back in Ra'anana after an enjoyable 40 km ride with not too much rain. A speedy recovery to Frederic for his broken rib! Frederic, you will be missed on the next few rides! Hurry back!
Beautiful weather greeted the 10 riders who pitched up to another local Home Patch ride. Our ride this week took as along the same route that we traversed last week with one small exception.
Instead of riding along to our normal lookout point in the Nature reserve we took a path to a view point just to the south of it and were suitably rewarded by some magnificent views.
Then, we detoured from the path that runs between the Sharon Coast National Park and the fields immediate to the East of the park that goes to Wingate, and entered the Park near Gaash, making our way through a section of the park and exiting at the Southern boundary of Wingate. Once again scenery was outstanding. (A word of warning to those that would like to bike through this Nature reserve. There are signs at the entrances prohibiting cycling in the reserve, except along the "black" colour-coded path. There are sometimes inspectors in the park and anyone caught cycling on the other paths is liable to a heavy fine! So beware! You have been warned)
From there on it was plain sailing to our usual "breakfast stop" at the Si Service Station at Gaash and then, after satisfying our thirst and hunger it was, Ra'anana here we come!
Another 34 kilometres of very pleasant riding in very pleasant weather and with very pleasant company was under our belts.
The sky was overcast and it definitely looked like rain was about to fall. Nevertheless 11 Cyclenix stalwarts pitched up at the starting point. It was great to have Abraham and Uri back with us.
The route we followed was one we have traversed many times - Ra'anana - Herzilya, Nof Yam, on to Yakum via "Dina's route", on to the view site at the Sharon Nature Reserve, around the Ga'ash Golf Course and then onto our usual breakfast stop at the Ga'ash Service station and then home.
Along the way we had a wee bit of rain and mud (nothing too bad). There were two unusual sights on the ride... a very pretty rainbow (no one found the pot of gold, and a brown greyhound!!!(That doesn't sound right! )
We all arrived home safe a sound, (some a little wetter than when we set off) after covering a very pleasant 34 kilometres with very pleasant company.
Happy Hannuka to you all.
It was a perfect day for a ride and 18 of us met at our usual starting point for what we thought would be a regular Home Patch Ride. Included in the 18 was newcomer, Shula. Welcome and I hope we will see you regularly in the future. There were lots of "oooohs and aaaahs" when Megan rolled up on her brand new red and white bike. We wish you many hours of happy and safe riding.
As I said earlier, we were all expecting our usual regular ride but David had other ideas as he led us off towards Givat Chen. We rode South through the fields of Givat Chen and the plan was to cross Highway 4 and head off to ride along the HaYarkon. We headed for the bridge that crosses the highway encountering a wee bit of mud on the way.
After turning towards the river, we learnt what mud was all about!!!! In fact, at one point we met some riders going in the opposite direction and they advised us to turn back and find another route!!! We did but the mud was waiting for us there as well. Luckily the river was flowing quite strongly and some of us managed to "sort of" wash our bikes down.
Unfortunately as we approached Elishema, Shula's bike suffered a major breakdown, but as always, Ted, Rafi, David and Frederic were there to perform their magic and managed to get the bike mobile, but not for too long as shortly thereafter the chain broke, fortunately only a short distance from our scheduled breakfast stop.
Eventually we arrived at a relatively new "watering hole" in Hod Hasharon and after taking off our muddied shoes, we entered, sat down to a very tasty breakfast and enjoyed a well deserved rest. After satisfying our hunger, Rafi headed to his home, not too far away, fetched his "rescue" vehicle and took Shula and her "injured" bike home. Thank you Rafi! The rest of us made our way back home after an enjoyable if not uneventful ride. Another 34 kilometres of fun-filled, energy sapping and muddy ride was under our belts.
THANK YOU DAVID for a well-chosen route!!!!!!
Well, despite the weather forecast (90 to 100% chance of rain) eight of us showed up at the starting point (and the didn't include the Lewis and Silverman families who obviously preferred to believe the weather forecast)...and it DIDN'T rain during the ride. The one way of ensuring that it won't rain is if I wear my rain suit...and I did!!!!
The route we followed was almost our usual home patch route with one or two small detours and without the Udim loop. The few detours we did were not done to avoid the mud, they were to enable a few riders to stock up!!!!! The weather was perfect riding weather. We had our fair share of mud (but not too much) and we stopped at our usual breakfast stop (The Service station at Gaash).
All in all, a very pleasant 27 km ride.
My advice to you all is, never mind the weather, as long as we're together! (extract from an old university song!!!)
As I was the one who suggested a Tel Aviv ride this Saturday, November 17, 2012, John insisted that I be the one to do the write-up.
Well, OK then, we met at the assigned starting place opposite Ramat Gan Stadium, and at the outset 15 souls arrived; a good start. We got going and rode through Park Hayarkon and on to the Tayelet at Tel Aviv Port. At this stage Adrian and Stephen left us (why I ax myself; too slow for you guys???) and we continued along the Tel Aviv beachfront with a few stops here and there to let the stragglers catch up.
Then it was on through Jaffa and towards Bat Yam. But as we sighted the beach front Tayelet here, we decided it was too congested and did an about turn (not a retreat Megan!!) and started making our way back via a stop at "Puah", one of my favorite restaurants, and my first suggestion to the group for a coffee stop. They were not to open for another half hour, so we left via a short ride through the deserted Flea Market and on towards the "Tachana" ( old and totally revamped train station), my second suggestion. However, here we were told that we were not allowed to bring our bikes into the pedestrian area but instead, could chain or lock them up outside. No Way Jose. This was my second suggested stop for coffee.
So onward we went through Neve Tzedek with a stop at another favourite, "Susanna", but here they told us another 15 to 20 minutes before they open. Third suggested stop went by the wayside. By this stage the Motley Crew were getting a little thirsty and hungry, and I got the feeling that I was about to have a "revolt" on my hands!!!! However, I promised that as soon as we hit Rothschild Blvd. all would be OK.
We entered the southern end of the Blvd. and I began by recommending coffee place after coffee place; all of them already tried and tested by moi, but to no avail; either too crowded or too small for a group of thirteen. Finally we ended up at Landweer coffee shop on the Blvd. where we persuaded the waitress to arrange 13 chairs and four small round tables to accommodate us. Actually it was rather nice. However I, of course, informed the group that this would not have been my choice, as it was the only establishment with whom I had not previously arranged a "kickback"!!!!!
Thirteen of us gathered at our starting point - those of us that elected not to whizz around the Kinneret. Jules (a confirmed roadie) joined us and although our route was a familiar one, it was new to him and he enjoyed the change - we may convert him yet.
We set off in ideal weather and despite the recent rain, there was not much mud and not much sand - so we were able to enjoy all the paths. We passed many persimmon trees and Shaul told me that they underwent a process to ripen them. Our resident thieves (they won't be named and shamed here) have tried picking some and ripening them at home, to no avail. The persimmon strain in this area is referred the Sharon Fruit and it is ripened off the tree by exposing it to carbon dioxide. So I suppose we could pick them and breath on them to ripen them, but it may take a while....
Along the route we bumped into quite a few familiar faces. We covered around 32 km with a stop at our Ga'ash gas station to fuel up. It was a lovely ride in perfect conditions with a great group.
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: