Considering the heat and the time of year it was another good turn out for the local morning ride. Welcome to Kinga and Nir, two new riders who joined for the first time and a warm welcome back to Frederique who lately has been road riding more than off road.
Seventeen of us headed northwards out of Raanana towards the industrial area and out on the familiar route by the orange groves.
We reached Bazra and carried on through Bnei Zion eventually hitting the groves of Tel Itzhak.
A sharp turn left and up a steep incline caused quite a few of us to stop midway to gain our breath before carrying on to reach the top. From here we had a fast ride down, past the petrol station and through the fields to come out by the familiar bridge crossing of Tel Itzhak. Carrying on we rode a familiar route, sandier than the last time, making our way through Udim and stopping at the circle by Yakum to regroup. From here we rode through Yakum's orange and avocado groves and out along by the railway tracks. It was around here that the first puncture of the day delayed half of the riders, whilst David and Avi helped to fix Yossi's punctured tire.
By the time Yossi had caught up the "lone rider" waiting for them, it was here that I discovered that I also had a puncture. It was quickly dealt with by the capable hands of David and Avi. We continued on to find the leaders of the pack picking pasiflora at the famous "pasiflora junction" and from here we all moved on closer to Ranaana and the coffee that keeps us all going! Enjoying the food and the good service at the Park Cafe, I later found my tire was once again flat. An expert lesson by David and Ted on how to change it in less than 5 minutes left me thankful that I hadn't been on my own when this had happened! I am eternally grateful and hope that Ilan was listening and watching carefully! Another great ride, just over 33 km were covered.
See you all next week :)
Har Horshan Reserve is one of those unique regions that remain in the realm of "top secret" because the public in general is not aware of its existence nor its potential.
Cyclenix has been close to the reserve in the past and even rode various sections but this is the first and probably not the last time we have circumnavigated the reserve. The route is well marked by the SPNI signs and we followed the recommended route as described by Eli Seth in his cycling route guide. Our problem was getting to the start point at Amikam (my people have risen?) a quaint Moshav tucked in by the gentle slopes of lower Horshan. We arrived late because David, a lover of classical music, leading the convoy, was in total distraction at the hands of Tchaikovsky. But we did arrive and found several more of the group waiting impatiently.
By the time we departed we numbered 16 (17 see below) in all including Boaz's wife Naomi who rode her inaugural ride with Cyclenix today. Welcome and hope to see you in future rides. We set of passing park Alona an archeological mini wonderland dating from Roman times and we were able to follow (but could not see) the ancient hill carved limestone aqueduct with its modern counterpart laying alongside. We then followed the path of Nachal Snunit northwards before commencing the climb to the top of Horshan at apprx 220 meters. The initial climb section was technically demanding as it was rock lined and the pattern continued for 2-3 kms proving to be quite challenging for several who rightly so walked in some sections. The paths were bordered by brush and miniature oaks. This was the hottest part but it included several scenic panoramas as we stopped to refill our lungs. It was there that we realized our numbering attendees system included number 10 who was non existing and that we were actually 16 not 17 riders. So much for organization!!!
The weather became more acceptable as cloud cover provided shelter from the July sun and we continued our upward motion interspersed with several pleasant down-hills. We met riders overtaking us and some coming from the opposite direction and I made mental note to look at doing this ride in the reverse next time. We rested twice, the final time being in the junction that includes the route to Bat Shlomo. We had a fress-up and then set off downhill to Amikam. The way down included a chalky powdery section which was quite challenging in parts and some smelly cow dung littered sections but before long we were in Amikam.
Some complained that 17 kls was too short and perhaps we cud have included several more paths but we leave that for our next ride. There are rumours in Amikam of a ghost rider bearing the number 10 on his back who joins groups and then disappears only to reappear later with another group. We drove off to have breakfast at Hadera in order to discuss "is there or isn't there a ghost rider".
Thanks to David for a job well done.
Ground Control to Major Tom
Your circuit's dead, there's something wrong
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Participants: Another good turnout for a Home Patch ride - 20 7.00am "beat-the-heat" starters is a clear enough statement that Cyclenix is getting it right!
Route: Gabi was charged with the task of giving us something different, and being Gabi, he duly delivered. In brief: from Ra'anana down to Rishpon via a sand-free section of Road 531 in the making, then south (with a detour to enjoy some "micro-Be'eri" fun), through the Herzliya Park, continuing south to Cinema City, across the foot bridge over the Coastal Highway and back north at first above the coastline, then onto an almost sand-free track, into Herzliya Pituach (Wingate St), then back off-road to Rishpon and finally to Ra'anana Park's "The Lake" restaurant to replace lost calories!
Bottom Line: About 32 km of enjoyable riding, with the usual brand of Cyclenix good company, and finishing early enough to be able to say: "We beat the heat"!
Five cars pulled into the meeting place, the Alonim car park at 7:05 on Saturday morning. Ten riders in all, we greeted one another cheerfully whilst getting our bikes ready for the ride.
David led the way out of the center and we were soon on our way off road in fields.
We were warned of the steep incline that was waiting for us not too soon into the ride but we still reached it unprepared. Ingrid was still riding when everyone else had dismounted and we were happy for a rest and some snacks when we reached the top.
Reaching Kiryat Tivon we enjoyed the road ride passing beautiful homes only to be directed once again off road by David. This time we had a steep descent heading towards Nachal Zippori. We reached the old mill that had been renovated and stopped for a photo and drink before moving on. The scenery was lovely although there wasn't much of a breeze. We rode on further, trying to find a place to cross the river which was quite high for this time of year. After managing to find a place to cross on stepping stones using our bikes to balance ourselves, we moved on to a lovely resting place next to a large pool. From here on we rode on, up hills and down, through pomegranate groves and once again up another steepish hill. We moved on, reaching Bet Lechem HaGlalit after a steepish climb. The view here of the beautiful houses was most refreshing and it was also here that those who needed, refilled their water bottles. From here it was a down hill ride, back into the fields and a short ride until we could see the familiar sight of the car park where our cars where waiting. Some 30 kilometers were covered and we were a little more tired than when we started but once again, a great ride in good company. The milkshake and diet coke that we drank also added to our good mood as we faced the journey home.
I am also happy to report that not one puncture and bike repair was reported on this lovely ride!
To see David's GPS data for this ride you can go here: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/334702739
Twenty-two, yes, twenty-two riders met at 7am for the ride, an almost record attendance for a home patch ride. Even at 7am, the weather was already hot and sticky!!!! The path we took was one that we have traversed many times, but today, there were patches that were sandier than usual.
I have quite a few announcements to make concerning the participants of today's excursion. Firstly, welcome to Michal who joined us for her first ride with the group, and thank you Yvette for introducing her to us. I hope that you enjoyed the ride and that we will see you often on our future rides. Secondly, welcome back after a long absence to Shaul, who chose this way to celebrate his 83rd birthday...ad 120! It was also nice to have Megan (who has been travelling all over the world working) back after a good few weeks.
David, our leader, today showed his prowess as a slave-driver, refusing all pleas to reduce the distance of the planned route. Eventually we reached our breakfast stop at the Lake in Ra'anana and I can safely say that everyone, without exception welcomed the stop and the opportunity to "refuel".
We covered +/- 34 kms in hot, hot weather and in very pleasant company.
The drive to the Ben Shemen forest was filled with anticipation as the 8 car convoy wound it's way up thru the foothills. The weather was perfect and already at the entrance we were greeted by the multitudes or armored riders about to careen down the hills and thru the single tracks. There is a special undeniable quality to riding in this area. We departed without Tali and even now I have no idea if she even left home. But off we went with David and his new Garmin to show us which way.
The fact that we were off the beaten path at times did not detract in any way from the thoroughly enjoyable times we had. After all, what can beat a nice climb followed by a swooping downhill with the wind rushing by. And it was just that and lots of it.
That is the special quality I mentioned. The ups and downs just keep coming. At our lookout point which we approached from an unorthodox (Jewish religious Moshav) direction we took in the amazing scenery of the coastal plain spreading out from N to S.
At some point when we were unsure of our location and trying to figure out NSEW, I thought about my scouts learning that NESW is followed clockwise. The new generation would have trouble as they see clocks digitally!? We also walked at times, mainly up. If it's a sharp incline it is almost a requirement. The terrain sometimes put us off on the downs so getting off the bike is simply prudence.
Several attempts by Anna to lose us failed and she even loosened her saddle to improve her chances but we fixed her and the saddle and there she was with us at the finish. Or was it finished. Some went home after we found ourselves back at the car-park while several chose to explore the north side.
The ride was approx KLS20 and 16 riders were there at the start. Nobody counted at the finish but so far no calls of help have been heard from BS forest. Thanks to all for good company and a lovely ride.(Editor:[sic])
Well, I was volunteered to report our Saturday ride.
15 of us gathered at our usual meeting place at seven o'clock. The weather was surprisingly pleasant. We headed off to Rishpon following Gabi and continued next to the railway towards Yakum. On our way to Yakum the misfortune of bikers: a puncture, hit Ted's bike. He decided to deal with it by himself waving away helpful hands, even some riders who were just looking for a good excuse to stop for a rest, till he realized he had multiple punctures. Even though, he got to Europark before us waiting in the shade. At Yakum Gabi decided to return home to exercise his right as a grandparent. The rest of us headed back to Raanana through Rishpon before having a well-deserved rest munching on our nuts and fruit at Harsuf with a great view of the sea. By this time it was getting very warm so we decided to return to Raanana without stopping at Gaash. (Anyway it is not so pleasant to stop there since it changed hands) From Rishpon to Raanana Avi tried to ride on our usual route (Ingrid tried it as well) only to discover that it is completely blocked with construction. So they followed me through the pardes ending up at "Park Central" at the lake in Ra'anana, where we made our refreshment stop. As we sat down we realized that Talia was missing. Ted's instructions on the phone brought Talia back to civilization after some frightening lonely moments for her.
All together we had a very pleasant ride, and I hope everybody got home before the big heat fell on us.
A large group of 17 started the ride by heading out on the familiar route northwards to the industrial area and on through the orange groves of Batzra and Bnei Tzion. It was round about here that the first event of the day happened when Frances had the metal part holding her back derailer in place completely snap off (apparently this is why it is there!) Once again, a resourceful David came to the rescue with help from Uri ,he supplied the spare part, while a group of us watched closely. No one was happier than Frances who had been saved a long walk home!
We continued on through the groves on a well ridden route alongside the dried out river bed of Poleg river and up the hill to the railway bridge by Tel Itzhak.
From here we were led by Dennis on a detour heading towards moshav Bet Yoshua and onto the pedestrian bridge crossing the railway lines. From here we continued back onto our familiar route through moshav Udim and through the nature reserve. It was about here that coffee came up in the conversation and by consensus agreed that a coffee stop at Buono was in order. The second and "special" event of the day was celebrating John's birthday. A delicious cake was ordered (as well as other things) and we all tucked in after a round of "happy birthday" to the birthday boy - wishing you many more John! We all struggled to get on our bikes again and head off over the bridge and on to the way home except for Ingrid who was seen zooming off with a cloud of smoke behind her. Unfortunately, the third event of the day occurred when we found Ingrid and her bike on the ground, Ingrid with a few scrapes and scratches which were soon washed off and cleaned up. Sasha helpfully had plaster spray to cover the scrapes.
Moving along and homewards it was around Rishpon that the fourth event happened, when an insect flew into Uri's eye causing him to stop to remove it. We waited until he was able to continue and carried on towards the finish post of another wonderful ride with great people company.
If you have any questions or want to get in touch for any reason, feel free to get in touch with David or John: