19 of us gathered on a really cold morning to enjoy a 34 km ride on one of our regular routes. There were a few different twists and turns - but the upside of the whole ride was very little sand. Considering the lack of rain, this is indeed a bonus. Everything looked crisp in the cold morning light, with lots of greenery about. We weren't the only ones mad enough to brave the cold - we saw quite a few groups and lots of people hiking with their children. I even saw some trees in flower - they seem to be confused about the seasons...
When I woke up I wondered why we do this to ourselves - getting up in the cold and dark to suffer with blue finges and frozen feet - but of course, once you are out wheeling along enjoying the (eventual) sunshine and the company of like-minded people, it is all worthwhile. We stopped off at the cafe at the lake - I don't think they will be enjoying our patronage again. Gabi is still waiting for what he ordered....
Sixteen cyclists met at 8am at the entrance to Kibbutz Ha'Zorea in the Carmel region. The
kibbutz, whose name means "Planter/Sower", was founded by a German Jewish youth
movement prior to WWII. Its members and those of the neighboring kibbutzim planted the
forests through which we were to ride.
I was surprised to be the first to arrive, and tried phoning Ted, only to receive two automated responses from him - "I'm in a meeting" and "I'm in class". But then Michal arrived (having stayed overnight at her grandmothers nearby), followed by Haim and gradually everyone else. There was one new face, so welcome Ilan and we hope you enjoyed the ride. After the usual discussion about how cold it was and how many layers we were each wearing, we set off.
The route, as I learned later, was a circular one through the Ramot Menashe park. We would head southwards from Ha'Zorea - passing Emek Hashalom, Ein Rahania, and Givat Juara (where the Hagana organization secretly trained its troops during the British Mandate) - until we reached the park's southern tip. From there we would turn north again, past Beit Ra'as with its beautiful lookout point, and back to the cars.
The ride proceeded in stops and starts, but gradually gaining momentum. There was a puncture quite early on, from which I learned that there are two types of bicycle valves - "Presta" (or "French") and "Shrader" - and that damaged inner tubes can be cut to make excellent rubber bands. Another point of interest was a paper note folded under a rock, which as Avi explained was probably a sign left by soldiers for their officer during a navigation mission.
There was also some uncertainty about whether the initial Ein Rahania section of the route was suitable for riding, until it became clear that it was not. By then several of us were already half way across it, some climbing up rocks (with bikes in tow), and others wading through water (with bikes, shoes and socks in tow). Those who welcomed neither course managed to find a third, and detoured their way out of trouble, meeting us on the other side.
The rest of the ride continued without mishap, flawlessly navigated by David. There were however more streams to cross, targeted at those whose feet were still dry. There were also a very large number of long, steep climbs. Some were some graveled, some rocky (being the remains of Roman roads) and some muddy, but all extremely challenging and eliciting an "I- should-have-stayed-in-bed" from Michal. Some people rode up while others walked, but neither way was easy. However, the down-hills were exhilarating, and the scenery stunning, comprising hills, fields, forests, and lanes, with the Sea of Galilee in the distance.
The perfect ride ended with the perfect meal. The waiters at the El Adwi restaurant laid out a spread of kubbeh, falafel, various hummus dishes, and other delicacies such as baklava.
To summarize, we rode an exhilarating 25 kilometers in approximately four hours. According to David, the total elevation gain was 484 meters, with minimum elevation of 50 meters and maximum elevation of 305 meters above sea level. It was a lovely morning in beautiful scenery and with great company.
An enthusiastic group of 19 riders set off eastwards up Ahuza Street and off into Givat
Chen. Riding out through the fields towards Hod Hasharon, it was a wonderful ride.
We crossed the bridge over Geha rode on headed on towards the Yarkon.
Reaching the river, we turned eastwards riding along the banks of the river.
I don't recall exactly where the first large puddle of water (or should I say mini-lake?
) was that had to be crossed but I know that it was the first of several, some of them
deeper and some of them shallower. Some people road through quickly, others were
more hesitant but we all made it in the end, one way or another. There wasn't a dry
foot to be seen and some riders were even wet up to their knees. Ingrid rode through a
really deep puddle with style, inspiring all and showing us how it should be done.
There was also an incident with some intellectually impaired people in jeeps who didn't
realise that driving through water would make it move, causing all in its path to get even
wetter feet! It was a pleasure to see a large group of children from the "Noar Oved" out
on a day's walking trip, enjoying the joys of nature.
The Yarkon River ride is always lovely, this time especially so, being such a lovely day, with the blue sky and shining sun. We rode along the banks, through Neve Yarak and Givat Ha'Shlosha and on to familiar paths through Elishema on to a well deserved breakfast stop in Kfar Saba at Demo and Cuba (I think). From here the ride home was a little tiring, back through Hod Hasharon and Givat Chen and finally back to Raanana.
This ride was a little longer than usual, just over 40 km but definitely one to be remembered!
7.30am...a chilly morning but the sun was shining, when 23 of us met at our usual meeting place all raring to go just so we could warm up. Amongst the 23 riders were three newcomers. A big welcome to Nicole and her husband Yoav and Aldo. I hope that you enjoyed riding with the group and that we will see you often in the future
With our usual pathfinder David in the lead we headed off to Givat Chen, riding South through the fields. Lots of new crops; lots of green; not too much sand and by the time we reached the bridge just to the East of the arms and ammunition industries, we had warmed up. Just a comment, one or two little falls took place on the sandy patches leading to the bridge, fortunately without any injuries and each fall was caused by Pedal Cleats. Draw your own conclusions!
We travelled on to Ramat Hadar to the banks of the Yarkon River following it down to Ramat Hahayal. There were a few really rocky patches, but all of us negotiated them without mishap. The rest of the route took us through the fields south of the Ramat Hasharon Tennis Centre to our breakfast stop at a lovely café in Ramat Hasharon, Assaf Artisanal... good service, good food and excellent company. Thereafter we headed for home through Hertzliya. Total distance covered, 34 kms. Another great ride, great company and great weather
To be sung to the tune of "Let's go fly a kite" from Mary Poppins:
Let's go ride our bikes,Out in the countryside
Let's go ride our bikes, Friends riding side by side
Out in the fields of green, Where nature's sights are seen
Oh what a great delight, Let's go ride our bikes !
Some 20 of us met at the usual meeting point bright and early yesterday morning. It was a little chilly as we headed out northwards on the familiar route out of the Ra'anana industrial area and into the orchards towards Batsra and Bnei Zion and on into the Bnei Zion nature reserve.
The chain of events that unraveled just around here will be remembered for quite some time. After waiting while Ted rode back to find Chaim who had lost the group, it was around this time that Barbara realised the importance of oiling a chain! Chaim was brought back into the flock and as we started off again, a loud noise was heard from Barbara's bike and she discovered that her chain had completely snapped. It was here that the legendary skills of Cyclenix member Rafi and newcomer Motti, together pieced back the chain that saved Barbara a long walk home! Thanks also to Ted for pointing out to the group that a chain is not oiled in vain but is an important part of looking after your bike. We carried on a very familiar route through Harutzim, Tel Itzhak, the nature reserve of Udim and onto Yakum. Luckily the sand was down to a minimum, the water had subsided in many places and the weather was sufficiantly warm to make it an enjoyable ride, Heading back through Rishpon and back for coffee and breakfast at the regular "Park Central" another 34 km's were covered in good company for another lovely "homepatch" ride.
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.
If you have any questions or want to get in touch for any reason, feel free to get in touch with David or John: