The pros and cons on whether to ride in Hof Hacarmel were quickly forgotten as soon as we set off from Ein Harcarmel. Even the parking area was reserved for us. The trail conditions were fine and the breeze was more than welcomed.
We passed by the beautiful cemetery (no joke) of Neveh Yam and then another down the trail but not before passing the huge natural pumice limestone storage tanks on our left, now abandoned. We struggled thru the hot houses at Zrufah and than gazed at amazement at the graffiti lining the underpass to road 2 followed by another struggle up steep culvert sides before hitting Habonim where we missed the ancient castle ruins (sorry, I forgot to remind David).
Now heating up we finally reached Nachsholim rushing past the Rothschild Glass Museum (see photos) where bottles were manufactured for the fledgling sacramental wine industry 150 years ago located at Zichron Ya'acov. An amazing fill-your-battery stop and a dip in the beach for some at Nachsholim beach preceded a scale-the-hill by foot adventure on the path northwards to the ancient ruins at Dor (One of civilization's oldest inhabited spots) where we took in the breathtaking scenery of the rocky shoreline which is still a nature Reserve (hopefully for years to come).
Riding along the beach in parts and on the upper slopes along the seafront, we finally reached the Para training aerodrome at Habonim in time to see several paras swooping down from the heavens. Very hot by now, we made the final charge back to the cars followed by a breakfast at the mall near Zichron Junction. All 14 riders agreed it was one of the best and who am I to disagree (for once!) and guess what...on the beach and where's the sand?
The instructor at the school gym class:
Lie flat on your backs, class, and circle your feet in the air as if you were riding your bikes, said the gym teacher. "Fred! What are you doing? Move your feet, boy." "I am freewheeling, sir."
14 of us gathered and set off on a 33 km ride, despite the heat (welcome back John, from your adventures in Holland). But there was not much freewheeling. We started the ride by going up the Ra'anana rubbish dump. The path seems to be in a better condition than it was the last time I was there. The view, of course, is always worthwhile. While we made our way up and down, there was a cyclist who went up and down 5 times - obviously an enthusiast of sorts.
We headed off towards the coast and along the way Megan had a blow-out - I even heard the air escaping as I went by. While the puncture was being sorted a few of us managed to find a wonderful crop of Passiflora. A delicious respite! We followed the regular Thursday night route to the Herzelia Marina, where we didn't stop but pedaled on despite the growing heat. Merrill went off towards the Mandarin hotel (having being told we are going there). Unfortunately her efforts were in vain as the majority decided to stand on their pedals and insist that we don't make the trip so long. Poor Merrill had to double back - the rest went on and Merrill and I took a shorter route back to Ra'anana. Moral of the wasted kms in the heat: speak up when not wanting to go on and don't go on until you actually see the intrepid leader heading off....!
We enjoyed coffee and other snacks at Arcaffe - a great ride despite the growing heat and not much freewheeling....
Overshadowed by the events in Syria, the London Olympics and a cloudy overcast morning we gathered at the start point with a faint hope that the weather would be kind this morning and so it was. We nevertheless left hurriedly towards the sea and later ended up on the railway bridge on the approaches to Udim. We were all twelve of us still relatively cool and decided once we arrived at Udim to continue northwards on the bypass path that took us eventually back to the Yakum nature reserve. Fredrik by then had insisted that his front tyre was low only because he had to try out his new diminutive pump that did the job admirably. Shaul was in good form having just returned from gay Paris (not that gay) but Megan was sorely in need of a tonic (not gin) but having said all that I confess that all performed extremely well. And then there was the surprise of meeting Izik near Udim and that was not all. A little later on the singles at Yakum we ran into Amon and Jr. (Omer) and at Bueno we also met up with Clara. It was great to have a mini reunion and I for one am certain that they miss us as much as we miss them but timing and other issue preclude their regular participation. So we must do with the occasional encounters of a biking kind. We eventually reached Ga'sh our favourite watering hole from where it was hard to return to ride taking into account the company, the ambiance and the refreshing breeze. Our run home was disrupted only by Passion as some stopped to pick the dregs off the granadilla, passion fruit or Pasiflora or whatever else you care to call it, bush.
It was a routine but also a reunion ride enjoyable and sufficiently challenging for August and you may not believe it but we saw little sand. Congrats to our navigation team.
We met at the Old Rosh Ha'ayin train station in order to ride and finish before the heavy heat descended upon us. We were an even group of 4 men and 4 women. Welcome to Tova, a new rider who came with Woody and welcome back to Martin, who has not ridden with us in many moons. We rode along the fields to the Einat bridge and went right along the highway until we reached Ya'ar Nachshonim. The weather was pleasant and we made the climb to the top of the mountain at a decent pace. From there, we had the fun ride DOWN the mountain. David took us on a small detour to the "basin", which turned out to be mostly for my benefit. I enjoyed 3 adrenalin filled rides back and forth across the sloping concrete and filled my batteries for the rest of the ride.
From there, we continued on to the Coffee Shop at the gas station (petrol station for the non US dialect) and enjoyed a nice respite. Please remember - DO NOT lean your bicycles on the flower pots, as the owner said it ruins the flowers. He is getting us a bike stand! After quenching our thirst, we rode back to the cars and found that we had only traveled about 19-20km, so most of us continued onward to the Lily ponds and the Yarkon River Source to round out the ride.
It was a very pleasant ride and the heat was not unbearable. A very enjoyable route and I would be pleased to do it again.
Today's ride was a quiet and pleasant ride ,and we had newcomers ! We would like to welcome Steve who joined us today and we hope he will continue riding with us. The other newcomers were two of John's grandchildren ,Kim and Dan (my children!) and their cousin from San Diego, Josh Lurie!
Our ride started, as usual, from the car park , riding through the industrial area of Ra'anana into the orchards (pardesim) where Merrill rode into a branch. Although she did injure her shoulder, she got up and rode along as if nothing had happened . Rafi tried to copy her, but he only hit the branch , fell off and unlike last week, no injuries for him this week!
We rode through Yakum all the way back into Raanana once again where we had snacks and drinks at Agam café. Service was very slow!
All in all, we covered 28 km despite the humidity and heat. Once again, our ride was enjoyable and the company as good as it can get ..... nearly. After all, we did have a few regular riders missing - our French Frederic who is riding in France and Frances, who is marching in TLV....
Shabbat shalom and Shavua tov to you all until our next ride!
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!
Over time was involved in a variety of sports :
The Cyclenix Group
My Away-Away biking history:
My bikes history:
My Happy hobby:
If you have any questions or want to get in touch for any reason, feel free to get in touch with David or John: