We had this great 36km ride today. At 7:30 we gathered at the entrance to Moshav Elishema. It was nice to see some new faces and some "haven't been there for a while" faces. The weather was beautiful, but there was a promise of soon to be heat in the air. Welcome to Woody. Glad to have you with us and hope that we will see you on many of our future rides
19 of us took off together with our fierce leader, David, forging ahead.We cycled to the source of the Yarkon River from Moshav Elishema and then continued past the lily ponds and along bamboo covered paths along the ruins of Antipatros. We detoured for a wild stunt ride in the concrete "basin". Everyone tried a few curves on the walls, but Frederic and I went for the big down and up. For the first time ever, I managed to bottom out my back shock absorber!!!! From there, we continued through the fields and then made a loop around Einat in order to cover a little more territory. We encountered the steep up and down that was made famous on a Spokes ride when Itzik cycled down the steep incline backwards after faltering when he almost reached the top. It was something that you can never forget!
We continued on from there to Kibbutz Einat for a much needed coffee break.The ride back to Elishema was more direct, along the railroad line. Beautiful weather, great company and a lovely ride. There were a few falls, but no broken bones and not a drop of blood was shed. Have to do this ride again soon.
Well, Passover had passed us over and there was an above average number of riders (18) at the start. The larger number of riders was probably due to some of us having realised that we had a little excess weight due to overeating and matzah that had accumulated of the week of Pesach that had to be worked off !!!
With the exception of one new detour on the approach to Udim, we followed an often ridden route through Batzra, Bnei Tzion, and onto Udim, Yaqum, Gaash and home with our usual stop at the Gaash Service Station to "refuel". It was a very pleasant ride in pleasant weather and, as usual, the company was great. The distance covered was approximately 34 kms.
It looks as thought the rains have stopped for the time being so we can expect a few more sandy patches than usual on our rides for the next few months, so, be prepared!
Well, it has indeed been some time since I last did a write-up for the Cyclenix, and as John vehemently informed me, I am always responsible for the last Saturday's write-up before Pesach. I think he actually made that up.
OK, so some of the "usual suspects" turned up at the start in Ra'anana although I must say that many seemed to be somehow unaccounted for. Megan, Friedreich and Merrill went to Be'eri as they missed our last ride there a short while back, and were informed that the flowers were still in bloom. We missed Ingride and Ted, and wish them a speedy recovery from what currently ails them.
I am not going to go through the details of the route as it was a very regularly ridden one from Ra'anana, through the pardessim and in the direction of the Tel Aviv Haifa coastal road with a short stop at Bueno. We then crossed over the highway and continued on to our "watering hole" at the garage not far from Gaash where the sun was shining, my coffee was hot and strong and my croissant warm and delicious!!
Avraham (Avinu) told the gathered company that he wished to read us something which turned to be the "Bike Rider's Haggada for Pesach" in Hebrew (see the photo John took of the front page) which was highly amusing, and even attracted a couple of other riders from another group who came to listen. Nice touch Avraham.
After this frivolity; yes John and Barbara, it really does exist as a word; we headed home with 29 kms under our belt from the start point.
It remains for me to wish all our members, regulars and otherwise, a Chag Sameach, a kosher Pesach, and go easy on your Balls!!!!! I'm talking Matza here!!
If you look into Cyclenix archives you will find my ride report from 2006 starting with:
"Oh! What a beautiful morning, Oh! What a beautiful day" -that's what we felt...Today I had the same feeling. A beautiful, sunny, a bit chilly morning at quiet Burgata.
Nine regulars pitched up at the start but not David and Ted who are still nuring injuries and hopefully will be back with us for our next ride on the 24th March. The route we took today was almost the same as last week's except that we added a small loop by going through Udim as well. The weather was great (no wind despite the weather forecast) and so was the company. We covered 32 kms. No GPS report today as our trusty leader, David, was on "sick" leave. We wish both David and Ted a speedy recovery and hope to see them next week.
Route: Through the Industrial Area of Ra'anana; Bazra; BeniTzion; Yaqum; Gaash Service station "Breakfast stop"; Rishpon;
Grenadilla harvesting time (for those who don't know what a Grenadilla is...Passion Fruit) and home!
Distance: 30 kms
-Welcome back to Frederic, Megan and Larry. whom we have not seen for some time.
-We missed two of our regulars who were out ouf action, David still recovering from an injured knee (work accident (what was he doing at work???) and Ted who fell off a ladder!!!! Both should be back on their bikes for the next ride.
Hope to see you at next week's ride.
When I arrived at the meeting place the sky was overcast and within a minute or two a light rain started to fall. Noone else was there and I had visions of riding alone.
However within a short time, Merrill, Rafi, Barbara, Ted, Dina, Uri and Talia arrived and the eight of us set out, some of us vowing to turn back if the rain got any harder! By the time we had reached the Western end of Ahuza Street the rain had stopped and the sun was peeping out. We continued our ride along wellworn route passed the Herzliya airport and then North alongside the Tel Aviv - Haifa railway line to Kfar Shmaryahu, Herzliya Pituach and on towards a lookout point in the Sharon Coast Nature reserve which gave us a great view of the Mediterranean. By the time we reached Herzliya Pituach it had turned into a lovely sunny day (not hot), perfect cycling weather.There were many patches of the rare Black Iris that this area is famous for which will soon disappear until next season.
From there we rode through Gaash and around the Western side of the golf course to Yaqum.
After stopping at one of out favourite breakfast places (the Service Station at Gaash) we headed for home. Another 32 kms of enjoyable cycling with great company had come to an end.
Certain Cyclenix rides should be compulsory. Anyone who misses this ride should be condemned for being unaware/insensitive/apathetic of nature, colors, natural beauty, Israel's pioneering spirt, companionship and the technical ability to come through unscathed!!!!
Kibbutz Be'eri, named after the Histadrut leader Berl Katzenelson, founded in 1946, was constructed overnight as one of the 11 outposts, to define the future border of Israel. During the War of Independence in 1948, the settlement was heavily attacked by the Egyptians forces stationed in Gaza forcing the settlers to live for many months in underground bunkers, until their liberation in October 1948 by the IDF in Operation Yoav (10 Plagues). Today the kibbutz has close to 1000 inhabitants working in agriculture (wheat), printing, garage etc.
The drive from Ra'anana is 100 kilometers southwards along the coastal road. Arriving early has the advantage of available parking on a Saturday during the poppy-season. Towards late morning when we drove home against the traffic, new visitors had serious problems to crawl along 5+ kilometers backlog and very limited parking space available.
The kibbutz is situated in arid, semi-desert conditions where the annual average rainfall is under 250 mm. After seven years of drought, fortunately this year has proved, so far, to be above average as we see the increased height of the wheat and quantity of wild flowers, red poppies and yellow common fennel and rock rose, more prevalent than previous years rides. The flowers have a very short 4-6 week span from mid-January to mid/end February. We were fortunate to see a few very large flocks of buzzards (a median-sized raptor with wide-wings).
The 30 kilometer, three-hour ride took us through the kibbutz lands exposing for us, the visitor, to examine the results of many years of hard labour to create economic agricultural subsistence in a dry climate with very poor soil conditions. Wheat fields are grown in sand (virtually no soil), the stones have been pushed aside, trees grown (JNF forests) on the hill slopes where the natural exposed rocky face is not favorable for farming. Unfortunately the qassem rockets and mortars fired from Gaza (which borders the fields of Be'eri) have caused serious crop damage in pervious years, as we the riders, could witness the evidence of burnt eucalyptus forests everywhere (see photos).
We visited the ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) monument in memory of the Australian and New Zealand troops who conquered this area from the Ottoman Turks during World War 1 in 1917 (see photo). We rode along a 'concrete road' constructed by the British in the 1930's to transport sulphur from the local quarry to Gaza (sulphur was used as an antiseptic, insecticide, fungicide, pesticide, bactericide, fertilizer, match-heads).
The single tracks were almost always down-hill, riding through the forests is always very pleasant, with a few serious short descents and 'wall' on the other side. Fortunately no rider was injured.
See you next year...
For details of the route and other GPS data see: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/148709846
An elastic 15 (we grew and shrank during the ride) started off from our usual meeting point. We headed off on our familiar route to the lookout over the blue, sparkling sea.
In the words of Johnny Nash:
"I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
It's gonna be a bright bright bright bright sun shiny day"
The only obstacles we had were a few muddy spots, but they were easily navigated. There were lots of cyclists out enjoying the excellent weather and we were lucky enough to see a number of the black Iris that blooms at this time of the year. For those that like trivia, a strain of the iris, the Iris nigricans is the national flower of Jordan. We went on past the golf course and then headed to our watering hole at the gas station. We tanked up, enjoying the sunshine. Congratulations to Barbara, who has a new grandson in Australia and to Menachem who was riding before going out to celebrate his birthday with his family. We cycled a very pleasant 29 km with very few splashes of mud to bring home.
Two rider....yes, only two! What happened to the rest of you? True, it was raing and also hailing at our starting point, but that was before Hylton and I set out. Hylton actually unloaded his bike twice this morning. After the first time, and before I arrived, it started hailing so he put the bike back in the van and seriously considered abandoning his cycling plans!
However, a short while later, I arrived and the hail had stopped and the sun was peeping through so, off we went heading for the Herzliya Marina, having decided between us that we would avoid mud.
We headed for the Marina traveling West along Ahuza and then turning South at Reh. Yerushalaim, our aim being to reach the Marina via the Herzliya Park and Herzliya Industrial area. We made it to the Marina and then made our way along the pier to the very end. Believe it or not (see the photos) there were surfers braving the rough seas. Both Hylton and I took a few showers (not by choice) now and then (again, look at the photos), before making our way to Cafe Neto on the Marina where the two of us had a great breakfast before heading back to Ra'anana. One thing is certain, the rain suits that we were wearing passed their test with flying colours!!!!
90% of the ride was in cool sunny weather and we covered in all, 30 kms. Those who stayed in bed, missed a good and enjoyable ride which was relatively "mudless".
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: