It was already more than hot when 13 (lucky number!) of us met at the usual spot at 7am for our weekly bike jaunt. We tentatively agreed between us that because of the heat, we'd make it a shorter than usual bike ride and only stop at the end for refreshments. Well, true, the ride turned out to be shorter, but NOT by much! Perhaps our leader forgot!
We headed towards the Industrial area of Ra'anana and then through the fields onto Batzra, making our way along a well worn route towards Yaqum, crossing the bridge over the Tel Aviv/Haifa railway line and on towards Café Buono at the Yaqum turn off from the coastal road. Instead of crossing the coastal road we went East to make our way back to Ra'anana and on the stretch parallel to the Railway line between the industrial complex of Yaqum and Shefayim railway siding Ted (he hasn't done this for a long time) had a puncture!
A few stayed with Ted, Merrill and Frances decided to head for home and Barbara went racing off in the distance trying to catch up to David who was one of those who had remained with Ted!!!!! By the time she caught up to "David" and realized it wasn't David and I had caught up to her we had lost contact with the rest of the group... BUT, thanks to the invention of the cellular phone we made contact and learnt that they were heading to the "Lake" in Ra'anana for a refreshment stop. So, eventually we met up and had a well deserved rest at "Gam Café" at the lake... good food and drink and good service and a change from our regular "watering hole". All in all, we covered some 25 kms in record time and despite the heat I think we all enjoyed the ride and the company. "Thanks David" for another well led ride. See you all next week.
The clever people stayed at home fanning themselves today.... 8 not-so-clever enthusiasts gathered at the gas station near to Kibbutz Hazorea to start our day of ups and downs that took us along old Roman roads, tree-lined paths, singles and past some waterfalls and small rivers. All this in the blazing heat dappled now and then by the welcome shade of the trees.
We climed up Nahal Ha Shofet up to Emek Ha Shalom. We made a kind of detour (I think David's GPS went on strike) that took us past a lovely waterfall where we caught our breath, only to continue along (uphill) through thorns and bushes until we found an actual path. Eventually we returned to the Roman road which gave us another bumpy climb - these roads were the arteries connecting the coastal plains to the inland areas.
As we know, all that goes up must come down, so we also enjoyed some lovely downhill rides. Even me who is a bit of a downhill ninny managed to "let go"! Merrill, who usually jumps delightedly at the thought of singles gave them a miss along the way. Frederic was the only one who enjoyed them. The rest of us slogged along the wider path. The views and the forested areas made all the sweating and exertion worthwhile.
Towards the end, in the area of Nahal Mishmar Ha Emek, we met a lone cyclist who said she would lead us back to Mishmar Ha Emek on the shortest route. Well, off she went with Ingride plaintively calling out Leat leat! Well, Frederic went in hot pursuit with the rest of us trundling along behind on the singles. We made our way to the main road while Frederic was led down the garden path - or rather, up another hill to the cyclist's waiting companions. See, that what comes from following a blonde!!
At Mishmar Haemek we rode back to Hazorea parallel to the main road. We covered around 25 km in some lovely terrain, boiling heat and good company.
18 of us gathered at Beit Labanim - starting earlier now in an attempt to beat the heat. We had a new rider join us - welcome to Ori.
We followed our usual route, trying to avoid the sand - and largely succeeded in doing so. We bumped into friends along the way and at our lookout over the sea, we saw some yoga enthusiasts in action. Megan executed a marvellously impressive headstand. Merrill tried too, but has a way to go yet ...!
John waited at our watering hole while we did an extra turn - all looking very familiar, but backwards. With the sun beating down, a few of us skipped the drink and went on home. We covered 32 km on a tried but enjoyable route in good company, as always.
Japanese Haiku poetry is an art. Here is one for us in the heat and dust (typically a poem of 17 syllables that reveals or shows something to the reader):
I walk across sand|
And find myself blistering
In the hot, hot heat
Another Saturday ride ,
We left with a usual 10 minute delay , unlike last weeks away ride , where, strangely, we were all early!
Our ride was planned to go through Givat Chen ,....then along the banks of theYarkon River and return via Ramat Hasharon . Due to the weather , too hot,our Leader decided to change it. , But, no worries, David didn't want is to miss out on the sandy part of givat Chen , and believe me , it was sandy! Thank you David :)
Merrill , the lucky one ,who forgot the ride started at 7am joined us on the bridge between Givat Chen and Hod Hasharon ..... Meaning No sand for her!
From there we rode through Hod Hasharon fields and got to the Yarkon . Got to the water crossing and were trying to decide if we should cross or stay on the left side .... At this point the only three, including me, that like a good challenge and still have things to prove to ourselves crossed the river successfully while the rest waited patiently for us .so I'd like to thank you all on behalf of Frederic , Merrill and myself. We carried on from there towards Elishema then to Hod Hasharon where we found a nice place for our coffee break, Lola and Kuba....
While we were having fun on our ride we must have been receiving positive vibes of love and Energy some from Herzelia beach where Ingride was meditating in her Yoga workshop and the other from John who spent Shabbat in Zfat amongst the Habadnikim .
Honestly I think Talia got most the vibes because her riding seems to be getting better and better, Bravo Talia!
A big thank you to David , who once again led us through a lovely ride with great company as usual.
Well done Cyclenix
Our weekly email bulletin stated:
Saturday, 16th June, 2012 - AWAY RIDE - Ben Shemen ForestYes, the convoy left on time, and yes, this ride was definitely NOT for beginners.
We will meet on the South Bound side of Highway 4 (Kvish Geha) at he Trampiada immediately to the South of Ra'anana Junction. We will be leaving from the meeting point at 6.30am SHARP so for those of view who wish to have a little chat first, be there by 6.25am the latest! This ride is NOT for beginners!
Having just returned from visiting HM Lizzie who is marking her 60th yrs of useless reign over a weakened UK, I had visions of the generations of school boys and girls at the UK boarding schools having to eat porridge (gruel) YUKS every morning. What's the connection? The home patch! How many times have we ridden on this well - worn path or paths?
So, surprisingly after an absence of 4 weeks it looked and tasted better than porridge. It really was nice to see all the gang and the route was made more interesting because of David's (as suggested by Dennis) adventurous exploratory deviation near Udim. The ride weather was near perfect and apart from losing Rafi momentarily we had no mishaps. Breakfast at our favourite watering hole was as good as ever as was the clowning. There must be something wrong so the only negative is summer sand and even that we received in small doses. A great ride but excuse me... I must be off to finish my porridge. Maybe I should take more trips in order to return and enjoy the home patch porridge routes!? Interestingly on the subject of subjects and royalty, the three greatest and longest reigning Monarchs of GB have been women so what must we learn from that. Open to discussion at next week's Home Patch ride or elsewhere and no take-away porridge permitted.
Eighteen of us gathered at the Hadera train station - an auspicious number in Judaism. So, we could only have a successful ride, couldn't we?
Some trivia about Hadera: the land was purchased from a Christian effendi by Hankin (the notable figure in the area) towards the end of the 19th century. It was the largest parcel of land bought by Zionists in Palestine at the time. Now there is some useful cocktail chatter....
We set off with great enthusiasm through the Hadera forest until we encountered our first patch of sand around Emek Hefer. We weathered this and after about 10km came to Nahal Alexander. We stopped to peer at the turtles - they obligingly popped up to say hello. From here it was plain sailing until we came to the sea. We took a break to enjoy the view, eat our healthy snacks and skim stones - Barbara and Jerry are the champions.
We then went north up to Givat Olga once again encountering a rather sandy route. A few rebellious sorts did not FOLLOW OUR LEADER and claim they found a sand-free route. Well, they repented and came back and suffered with us! The compensation was David taking us off the track right along the cliffs with magnificent views of the sea and some hairy dongas (a gulley for those that don't know) that provided some excitement.
By the time we came back to the cars, we covered 27 km - it may have been a tad sandy, but the weather was kind and the company good.
On this date, 10 of us showed up for the customary Saturday ride.
We have made a breakthrough this time - new routes, both away and back. I believe it was a welcome change from the somewhat chewed-over much-trodden paths we usually ride.
On the away section, we rode via Givat-Chen, starting behind "Chendale" restaurant, which helped us avoid a long, deep, sandy section. The rest of the path till the bridge over Highway-4 was in a surprisingly ridable condition, owing to having been recently watered by the farmers. From there we cut across directly to the Yarkon River and followed the familiar path along the river till the Ayalon shopping center.
Having been in somewhat shortage of time, instead of continuing to the Tel Aviv Harbour, we consignated David, the human GPS, to lead us back home via Ramat Hasharon. As it goes, David led us through a maze of backstreets - where nobody except him would have found their way - straight to a path that cut through the fields and ended at the pedestrian bridge over Highway-5 near the Tennis Center. And to top it off, after some street riding in Ramat Hasharon, Frederick showed us a path near the fence of Taas, which took us to the southern end of Sderot Yerushalaim. From there it was a breeze to Arcafe in Raanana and the end of a pleasant 34 km. ride.
7.30 am, and there were a fair number of regulars at the starting point ready for our Saturday exercise. The route we chose was one that we have traversed many times but this time we were in for a surprise. We headed West along Ahuza Street, continuing down HaPark Street and turning off to the left as usual about 300 metres from the Ahuza/Yerushalaim junction only to find that our usual path along this section had been blocked! Undaunted we got over the first sand barrier and headed West looking for another way out. What we discovered was that the construction of Highway 531 has begun!!!!!After making our way across some extremely sandy patches (ably led by our leader, David)we joined up to the route that we should have been on and from there it was plain "sailing", or should I say plain biking. We rode via Rishpon, Shefayim, Gaash, the Gaash Golf course, passing Wingate on its Southern boundary and then on to our " watering hole" for a well-earned refreshment stop. From there it was homeward bound. Because of the detour a few kilometres were added and we ended up riding about 35 kms. As usual, the company was good and the ride was very enjoyable.
We met in the school parking lot at Kfar Menachem where Anna presented her new bike to us, bought, in her words, in honour of her husband's birthday! Mazaltov Anna!!! This time David was riding a borrowed bike, and finally 11 riders were ready to set off to conquer the brave (for us) unknown. Ted gave us an orientation and history briefing and then straight away proceeded to lead us up to the conquest of our first hill. The climb was exhausting but we managed (on foot too) to reach the summit, but not before passing by some rather nervy dogs and one snake, all of which demonstrated to Merrill "who's the boss around here!"
From the lookout we headed towards an interesting single-track in the Haruvit Forest, a part of which we were forced to traverse on foot, finally reaching a more comfortable path which led us to paved road and from there to a shaded parking area at the edge of a wood to take a break and refresh.
Continuing on, we climbed a moderate but seemingly endless uphill, passing Tel Zafit and riding through agricultural land and open scenic countryside. At the top of the Tel we reached the vineyards, from where we continued on our way on a path leading to Road 6 en route back to the vehicle parking lot.
We arrived exhausted but happy. In total we rode about 28 kilometers, but this fails to convey the considerable effort invested. The landscape was beautiful, the company pleasant and the'weather considerate to us to an extent. As usual according to David's GPS (http://connect.garmin.com/activity/177271000 ) we ended the ride buried about 12 meters underground...
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: