The Magnificent 6 by Ted
While some chose to forgo the opportunity to ride in a new region (for various reason) and the last for 2011 five of us did not want to miss out and at 0800 (plus a few minutes) set out from Arugot with Hagai at the helm. The air was crisp (and the wind cold) but a surprising sunny morning gave added value and warmed the charged atmosphere already loaded with anticipation at what was in store. New territory brings new challenges.
We travelled east and stopped for fresh figs (we pigged or figged...ask Merril) and took in the amazing vistas of agricultural landscapes with many types of crops. Browning grape vines, sunflower, field crops, grain and others, stretching for miles (unusual in Israel unless you move southwards from the narrow coastal plain). We reached route six and veered south travelling gradually upwards over rolling hills running along route 6.
Just as we turned eastwards a car bearing my grandkids came along and Itai my 5yr old g/son removed a bike from the car boot and joined in on the ride. His dad Eyal and sister Emma followed in the car until we had completed the climb to the highest point in the region where we stopped for hot herb tea provide by Hagai and Eyal. There we sat atop a lofty lookout where we took in the Toscana -like breathtaking vistas. The wind tore through our bike-ware so after a hasty munch and sipping we took off for one long thrilling descent passing by various villages and settlements. Too much to take in on one ride.
The hazy but blue sunny conditions helped to make this a brilliant ride and our thanks go to Hagai (Eyal's brother) and Eyal for planning a fabulous route and a great ride. Deserves a return ride!!!!!!!!!
If we'd lost our way or started off in the wrong direction, one could say the "we blew it"! But, that was not the case today. WE were blown! There were lots of the usual pluses....nice crowd of riders; sunny weather; not too hot; good food at our "breakfast" stop.......but there were a few minuses! First of all, we missed the presence of David and Ingride who decided to give today's ride a miss ( I think they knew what was in store for us!) and the BIG minus was the VERY strong headwind that we faced when we turned for home. This was definitely one of the strongest winds we have faced for a long time.
As soon as Ted had fixed a puncture, (this should have been a sign to us that there was trouble ahead!) 13 of us set off on our ride with a nice strong tail wind pushing us West along Ahuza Street and then on one of our usual routes towards the Tel Aviv - Haifa railway line where we made our way North towards Yaqum. Ted wisely suggested that in view of the strong wind that had sprung up soon after we left the starting point, and at the stage was behind us, we should cut the ride short and turn back at Yaqum (which we did). As we turned South and headed for our breakfast stop the battle began. The strong head wind was relentless and I reckon that we used a good 30% more energy than we usually needed.
Our "breakfast stop" was a welcome relief and thereafter we headed for home battling against the wind all the way until we turned East towards Ra'anana. The ride was 32 kms but at the end of the ride it felt as though we have ridden 50kms!!!! Despite the wind I think we all had a good time and there will be plenty more good rides ahead of us.
OK, here it comes:
Surprisingly, after the large turnout of the past few rides, only 9 of the usual crew showed up for today's ride, which took place in perfect weather - cool but sunny, and gradually warmed up.
We started out northwards towards the usual Udim-Yakum-Gaash track, but here I introduced a small twist which I learned a few days ago. After exiting from the pardessim of Bnei Zion, near the Ultralight landing field, we crossed over to the North side of the Poleg stream ("puddle" is a more appropriate description) and turned eastwards after the large water reservoir. We continued in an interesting agricultural path among newly planted fields. Near Dror junction we turned sharply westward and after a quite long climb reached Tel Itzhak. Continuing from there westward we reached the railway bridge which we frequent in every ride towards Udim. Here we also met Avi Tsaban, who betrayed our friendship and continued on a different direction with other people.
Here Ingride picked up the glove of innovation, and decided to continue by herself in a different direction from the rest of the group, notwithstanding vocal warnings to the effect that she would lose her way.... And lo and behold, the entire group gradually turned back and gallantly followed her. This turned out to be a good move, since her path led us to the familiar bridge over the Poleg near Udim, but from the southern direction. Here we ran across a large group of horseback riders who dared their horses to ford the knee-high waters (that is horse knee). Some of the horses liked the idea, some did not, but in the end all crossed, under not so gentle persuasion from their riders. Everybody got thru this experience dry, except the horses.
From here it was the usual route thru Udim, Yakum and the traditional slow-service gas station cafe in Gaash. After filling our bellies, and with nobody splitting and going home the fast way, we innovated once more, turning at the shopping mall westward instead of along the heavily congested service road. We cycled around kibbutz Shafyim and reached the waterpark from the west. From here, across the fields and the Rishpon bridge, it was the usual route again, nice and uneventful. For those who care to know, the passiflora fruits are already on the trees, but they are not ripe yet.
Having prolonged the usual trip by a couple of miles due to the detours, we all returned home after a pleasant and a bit tiring ride. See you all next week.
Well, at last the postponed ride took place. At least 13 Cyclenix riders were at the start of what was a well prepared and organised ride. "Well done" to the organisers!
A desert has often been described as "miles and miles of nothing". It has also be written on more that one ocassion that "Israel made the desert bloom".......and this is what we saw yesterday. The photos show it all. If we get a little more rain then I am sure the "desert" will become a carpet of green. Despite what many think, I think that the desert can be (and yesterday it was) beautiful.
The route was some 6 kilometres shorter than advertised but this was probably because it was revised because probably recent rains had made parts of the original route somewhat muddy. There were lots of uphills (none too strenuous or long) which were always followed by a reasonable lengthy downhill to give tired legs a chance to recover. Megan and Frederic set off at a blazing pace and they finished almost an hour ahead of the other Cyclenix participants. Well done! At the end of the ride we rested a short while and then some of us set off to a well derserved "brunch" stop.
There is one small mystery that we can't seem to solve. Gabi pointed out that according to David's trusty GPS ..." we gained 1,222 feet in elevation but lost only 1,146 feet.That means we were left some 60 feet up in the air." !!!
You can see the GPS data of the ride at http://connect.garmin.com/activity/133641152
7.30am, cold but sunny and where was I? With about 19 other cyclenix riders of who 3 were "newies" Welcome to Yvette and Ilan who hail from Tel Mond, and Menachem who have joined our ranks. Hope to see all of you many more times in the future and hope that you enjoyed today's outing.
Our regular sweep, Ted was not with us today (he had Grandfather duties to perform) and so yours truly assumed the duty. However, after reaching the entrance to Bnei Tzion the sweep was swept away for reasons that will not be expanded upon. Yes, I lost the major part of the group and remained with four others. The larger group took the high road and I took the low road with my four stragglers and we did meet up some 20 kms later at one of our regular breakfast stops, the gas (petrol for those who are not Americans) station at Gaash. David who lead the larger group reported on a very pleasant and somewhat different route from the time I lost them. My little group rode on to Udim. The route David took was at least 7 kms longer than my route to Gaash. Having satisfied our thirst and hunger we moved on to home base (Ra'anana). All in all we rode at least 32 kms in great weather and excellent company.
Question: How far away from home may a Home Patch Ride get? Check with the
Cyclenix lawyer for an authoritative opinion. Irrespective of the answer,
the riders, or at least those of the 18 at the starting line who didn't
break away early for obscure reasons, made it all the way to Reading, and
had recorded about 43 km on their odometers by the time they got home.
The morning began cold. How cold? Brass monkey cold? And the wind chill made it even colder. But as the sun rose higher in the sky the riders stripped off their outer layers, and it became a perfect day for a little peddling. And, given the foresight of our leaders, we were able to stay well away from anything mudlike.
So off to the very new paths on the west side of Herzlia Park we went - a place needing more exploration. Then over the stony, bumpy bits at Tel Michal, a stop at North Tsuk Beach for some puncture repairs and a lesson not to carry prepunctured spares, some pedestrian dodging on and around the Reading Tayelet, up the Yarqon, around Rosh Zipor and a visit to the duck pond, and via the just-reopened underpass to Ramat Hahayal for refreshments. After caffeine replenishment, a swift return through Tsahala and over the Tennis Center bridge, etc., etc..
For the writer of these lines today is an anniversary - one year since the Wounded Knee incident (or, as some might say, accident). Great to be on two wheels again, and especially with what is arguably the largest group of English speaking mountain bikers between the Suez and the Euphrates. Any disputes over the previous sentence should be referred to the aforementioned Cyclenix lawyer. It is also the 4th anniversary of my first ride with Cyclenix - long may we continue to pump the pedals.
Participants: Thirteen including first time rider with Cyclenix Nirit - welcome and we look forward to having you ride with us again soon. Also good to see Raanan on his brand new bike -! Behatzlacha (Ed. Note: sorry the Hebrew originally included here isn't playing nice with the web site)
New Bridge: Not far from our usual Yarkon crossing point there is now a sturdy bridge (thank you KKL for your on-going improvement of our biking/hiking trails). Therefore none of us got his/her feet wet, and therefore others of us missed out on the customary laughs at those who customarily did!!!
Route: From Elishema down to the Yarkon where we largely followed the familiar blue white orange markings of the Shvil Israel. Just before the Highway Six crossing the Group split - some taking the shorter route straight to the Einat refreshment stop off Highway 444 while others opted for the additional 10 or so kilometer loop southwards to Nachshonim/Elad and back to Einat via the "Ambatiya". For GPS details including the longer route but excluding the section from Einat to our coffee-shop-stop go to: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/128069563
Bottom Line: Enjoyable ride, perfect weather, excellent company.
Riding on the Home Patch after so many years can be boring but when ridden after the first rains each year it takes on a new dimension. The air is crisp with little or no little haze. The clouds are distinct and greyish fluff-like and the sky is a true sky blue. The plants are vibrant greens and colourful with the copious quantity of falling rain and the trails are packed hard (some were not!). The mud was there but we were able to circumnavigate the pools and muddy patches. A fresh SW breeze made the ride painful at times but the otherwise ideal conditions with perfect temperatures made up for the disagreeable wind. We were reduced in numbers as some of the riders were on the Kinneret ride but we managed quite nicely all 10 of us. Uri left early for his 60th birthday party thinking he had seen the last of us. His wife Etti made sure that we would shortly follow him (after a drink at Gaash) so we gladly rode to Uri's home and joined in the celebration. It was a heart- warming event and apart from David's nuisance flat tyre we can honestly state that it was a great ride. Mazal Tov again to Uri and his tribe.
Perfect cycling weather greeted 5 oif us the our usual starting point for what turned out to be a great ride. The ride started at 8am and that extra hour's sleep did us the world of good!
Weclome to Irit who had her first ride with the group. We hoipe to see you often on out future rides.
The route took us to the top of the Ra'anana "Rubbish Dump" and after surveying the magnificient view of the surrounding areas we descended and headed off to Yakum, the Gaash Si Service station where we stopped for breakfast and then home. The comapny, food and weather all helped make this a perfect 32 km ride.
Participants: Nine Cyclenix members participated in this Spokes organized ride to close the Gilat Shalit circle of biking events during the years of Gilat's captivity.
"Tekes": During the course of the ride near Mitzpe Hila we all "formally" removed the yellow ribbons on our bikes following Nurit's appropriate words of closureof this Saga
Route: For GPS details of the ride go to: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/125000376 Bottom Line: Great ride, perfect weather, excellent company amid superb biking country.
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: