Back to our regular summer meeting time, 7:00 AM (G-d help us), a group of twenty something early birds hit the trails.
Down Ahuza into the fields, through Rishpon where John got a taste of his own medicine for a change, when I was quiet enough (that's a first) to rub my front tire with his back tire! It is quite sad the amount of pleasure that Frances and I got out of it and more the fear of retaliation for the rest of the ride.
At Shfayim ignoring the danger signs as usual, we climbed over the wooden fences, with the help our chivalrous men of the group. At our usual cliff we had a short stop with the always amazing view of the sea! Back on our bikes we rode to Hof Hashoron nature reserve where I discovered a cultural difference between American and South African English. If you grew up on American English and think you know what a wet willy is don't use that term near any South African... especially if they are over the age of 50, their faces of shock were priceless though!
Riding on towards Yakum it seemed that we had lost over half of the group but they found us quite easily. Some people go through paths of no return... on todays ride we did the rode that all returned!
Quite a few had to leave early at this point, but being the united group that we are (or cowards to scared to carry on without our fearless leader) in unison we all turned around to finish the ride together.
Thanks to an abandoned white frame we stopped for a quick photo opp and some political jokes.
Full speed ahead all the way to our finish line, some went home and the rest went to Landwer for a breakfast memorial for their dear friend Ronnie.
27 km's, the weather was hot but not too hot, all in all it was a great ride with great company!
25 of us gathered with quite a few faces we haven't seen in a while. We set off with the intention on missing mud and sandy bits - so David led us west and then through Gan Rachel, Herzeliya and along the coast where we turned east to return to Tapuz in the Herzeliya park for refreshments. The weather was perfect for cycling and we completed around 28 km in good company.
Excerpts from Go West (Pet Shop Boys) explains it all:
We will go our way
We will fly so high
In the open air
Where the skies are blue
There where the air is free
this is what we're gonna do, Go West
come on, come on, come on
And look at some of the views look at;
Today was almost a record!!! The ride started only 2 minutes after the scheduled starting time. We have on many occasions ridden this route, albeit that the sections we rode were put together is a different order.Ra'anana Industrial area, the fields of Batzra and Bnei Tzion, Udim, Yaqum, back to Ra'anana and to what has become our favourite "Breakfast" stop, Café Landwer in the industrial area of Ra'anana, where the service and the food are excellent.
The weather was hot, but not too hot. Sandy patches did confront us from time to time, but not too many of them. All in all it was a very pleasant ride, and the company was more than pleasant.
Three "highlights" of the ride were:
Meeting Place and Time: Moshav Elishema, 7:15am sharp (give or take twenty minutes).
Route: (Courtesy of David and Google Earth) We left kibbutz Elishema and headed south-west through the fields in parallel to Route 40. Crossing under Route 5, we continued past the Baptist Village towards the source of the Yarkon River. We rode along the river banks on the shady Israel National Trail, passing under the railway tracks and alongside Park Afek (on the wrong side of the fence) with its impressive fort. We then crossed Route 483 and headed south-west by Kibbutz Givat Hashlosha, eventually turning eastward towards Route 6. We continued east crossing both Route 6 and Route 444, gradually encountering the more rocky terrain of the Nachshonim Forest. We circled the forest from south to north on its eastern side, and from there started northwards again, passing Kibbutz Nachshonim to our east. We reached and rode through Kibbutz Einat (where we didn't stop for coffee), and then north next to Route 6 till our cars and the "Lula and Kuba Restaurant" in Hod Hasharon (where we did).
Distance: An impressive 37 km. And kudos to the people who cycled to the meeting point from Kfar Saba (Ingride, David and Rafi), Ra'anana (Anna) and Ramat Ha'Sharon (Dennis), and then back home again at the end.
Participants: 14 (with one minor fluctuation - details to follow).
Highlights, Lowlights and Miscellaneous: 1. There were a couple of shallow ponds to cross, the first of which proved extremely muddy. Two people decided against it and parted from the group, only to accidentally (but gladly, we hope) bump into us again later. 2. There was mention of a difficult climb, which we finally encountered at Nachshonim. However, despite the fact that it was indeed steep and very rocky, we all tackled it with relative ease. 3. People broke out into song here and there along the route. (And for those in doubt, this is a highlight.) 4. There were various sudden dips under roads and railway lines, but they just added to the spice. 5. Unfortunately Richard was not around this week to give us a guided tour of the Baptist Village. 6. There were lots of thistles. 7. The city of Antipatris was built by Herod the Great, in honor of his father. The fortress however is from the Ottoman period and was called Ras al-Ayn. Now, does that not have an uncanny resemblance to the nearby town of Rosh Ha'Ayin? (Yes, it does!) 8. Dates come in various genres - there are those that walk and talk; those that get you out of the house looking your best; those that frequent calendars and diaries; and those that grow on trees.
The ones offered around on the ride were of the kind that grows on trees!
Summary: It was an even-paced yet diverse ride in ideal weather conditions (i.e., cool and partly cloudy). There were no technical issues (just a passing biker borrowing a spanner), no lost or injured riders (just a couple of independent spirits), and most important of all, NO SAND!
Route: From Ra'anana down to the cliff-tops at Arsouf overlooking a calm sea
and clear coastline, then north through the Sharon Beach Nature Reserve,
through Kibbutz Ga'ash, to the southern boundary of Wingate, then back south
and over the Coastal Road to Yakum, past Europark, and back home via Café
Landwer in the Ra'anana Industrial Area for a refreshment stop.
Distance: 32 km
Participants: At the start 23, which gradually diminished to 9 by the time we reached Landwer, due mainly to family commitments (a short ride is better than no ride at all!) and the unseasonal heat (which continued to intensify as the ride progressed). Welcome to newcomers Ian, Yona and Dani. Hope to see each of you riding with Cyclenix again soon.
Riding Conditions: Warm at first, then hot, then very hot!!
Sandy? - no more, no less than one would expect at this time of the year.
Wind - Contrary to Murphy's Law, the northerly wind began to strengthen significantly towards our turn southward at Wingate, so we enjoyed some "tail" relief all the way back.
Bottom Line: Enjoyable ride over a familiar route, topped with the usual ingredient of Good Company!
History: 52 weeks ago (on 20 April 2013 to be exact) the heavens opened their sluice-gates as we were nearing the end of a Home Patch ride and it was an "each to his own" scramble to escape the wet (which of course nobody did!!). As Rafi, Ingride and I were making our way back to Kfar Saba we stopped to investigate a weak and rather pathetic "meeeoooowwww"-ing at the side of our path. The rescue operation was swift. Rafi stuffed this frightened rain-soaked kitten into his rain jacket and we rode on homewards. So for one tiny creature it was the start of a "heaven on earth" life with the Landsman Family. And what did Rafi and Nava call this now 1 year old feline? GESHEM of course!!!!!
Sixteen enthusiastic riders met at the usual meeting point on Saturday morning.
Our trusty leader David was unfortunately suffering from a knee injury and unable to ride.
Warm wishes from the Cyclenix gang for a speedy recovery , David! You and Ingride were missed.
Although it was a little chilly in the beginning, the sun was shining with a promise of a beautiful day. We started out on one of the regular routes heading northwards out of Raanana. Turning west on Weizman we then rode on towards Kfar Nachman. Rumour had it that we were going to be testing our fitness by riding up "Har Ha'Zevel" (the old rubbish hill) but a left turn at the wrong junction had us all heading down towards Kiriat Sharett and out through Rishpon. Up over the bridge and into the nature reserve at Shfayim. The flowers were beautiful, out in their full glory. Up on to Gaash we rode and headed further north, past the golf course and reaching the borders of Wingate. We crossed over the bridge by Cafe Buono and followed a familiar route back through the Industrial Park of Yakum, through the fields and out on the road by Tel Itzhak. Here we turned southwards back into the orange groves of Harutzim and Bnei Zion and out the other side through Bazra. A brief stop was made for an orange break before moving on to the promise of another great breakfast at Landwer coffee shop in the Industrial area of Raanana. We weren't disappointed.
A big thank you goes to Merrill for leading us so well, with stops to check that no one was lost! Well done Merrill! An uneventful ride with no punctures, injuries or lost riders, another 31.2 lm was covered with good company and wonderful weather.
Seventeen cyclists met at our regular meeting place. After suitable adjustments were made to David's brakes, we set off into the fields. We cycled through the upper part of Bnei Tziyon and headed towards Udim. The weather was cold at the start, but the day warmed up and soon most of us stripped off our warmer clothing. We cycled through some patches of soft sand, but most of the time David was able to lead us to paths that were easy to negotiate. As Ted had leave of absence, his usual position of sweep was capably performed by Steven during the early part of the ride, and later Candy, then Hylton and others swapped with him. Some of the cyclists left early, missing the glorious fields of flowers (just see the great photos). The group ended the ride at a great coffee place in the Ra'anana industrial area. After cycling 36 km in good company, a great morning was had by all. Thanks go to Avraham for sending in most of the photos.
Thirteen of us met at Kfar Uria, for an 8 O'clock start, at 7:50am, 8am, and 8:10am (someone had to be last), prepared for the sights and smells of a beautiful spring morning, led by David and his trusty GPS. (I said "trusty GPS", not "trusty GPS batteries"... that's a different story... work it out!)
Just before we started pedaling, Ted gave a powerful and appropriate introduction to the ride, dedicating it to the memory of Ronnie Feinberg, who was Cyclenix's leader on most away-rides over the years, and the person who "opened up" many of the trails we ride nowadays, as well as teaching us riding techniques. Today's was one of his favorite rides.
Today's ride unintentionally announced spring. The weather was perfect, for riding. Clean air, bright sun, not too hot, not too cold, slight breeze. Another way to measure it... "No coats, rain or wind jackets needed; short sleeves only".
The ride was based around the Burma Road, a path of Israeli history, that kept access to Jerusalem open, when the main highways were temporarily, not an option. With all the huffing and puffing riding up some reasonably steep climbs, there was time to reflect what this route must have been like in a war situation, several decades ago.
Still, back to 2014, the route and views were exceptionally breathtaking. Etched on my brain are fields that were beautiful shades of green, ("50 shades of green?"), captured perfectly in the ride's online photo album.
When we realized we were 13, at the start, after the predictable comments about the implications of the number, itself, so many of the group gave reasons why 13 is actually a lucky number. Seems most were (suddenly) born on the 13th, or (suddenly) had some mathematical way of demonstrating they were nearly born on the 13th, so all must be OK. About 20km away, most families have at least 13 kids. Also another good sign.
Talking of numbers, there was a time when the lucky 13 group became 12. "Where's Ingride?". Hmm... No Ingride. And this didn't happen at any random time of the ride, but instead, at the top of the "final climb".
(This was David's 5th "final climb of the day"... was he Max in disguise?).
Hmmm... So having ripped his emergency Scott Tracy uniform from his backpack, Stuart jumped into Thunderbird 1 (for speed), followed by Matty in Thunderbird 2, in case any heavy duty extraction would be required. Still fresh in his Virgil Tracy uniform from Purim, Matty lost no time in getting airborne.
With the International Rescue team deployed, husband David could relax, and return to worrying only about his GPS batteries.
(If you don't "get it", http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbirds_machines).
Thankfully, no drama... Ingrid was simply lost and thankfully unpunctured and uninjured, suffering only from picking too many flowers when she should have been keeping an eye on the departing group. So the final climb turned out to be the final-but-one climb for Scott and Virgil, who welcomed (yeah!) the extra pain to make them fitter for their next Thunderbirds rescue mission. No pain, no gain, when you're in charge of saving the world.
Noticeable about this ride, that the ups and downs were split about 50/50, and in that order. So, at a certain point, we faced many kilometers of downhill only, across varied surfaces and scenery, and once again giving Scott and Virgil the opportunity to dance with death, which came closest when Scott realized Thunderbird 2 didn't have any brake lights, and forced Thunderbirds 1 onto the ground, to prevent a collision.
Finally, I'm so annoyed. A 27km ride in the hills of Jerusalem, (about 30km for the 2 rescuers), with some challenging ascents, eventually followed by memorable and exhilarating descents, and my trusty Endomondo recorded a maximum speed of 49.4 km per hour. It doesn't take much explaining that 50.0 kph sounds so much faster and a real achievement. I mean, I paid for the Endomondo software. Wouldn't you think the programmers could have rounded up?
I didn't personally know the late Ronnie Feinberg. Ted said that today's was one of his favorite rides. I understand why!
(Cyclenix Note: This ride was dedicated to the memory of Ronnie Feinberg who was Cyclenix's leader on most away- rides over the years and the person who "opened up" many of the trails we ride nowadays as well as teaching us riding techniques. Today's was one of his favorite rides.)
To expect no mud after a week of heavy rains is somewhat optimistic. But Cyclenix guys & gals are optimists by nature so shortly after taking the 531 route and hitting mud some groans were forthcoming but nothing serious. We picked up Dr. Shmuel on the way and he took the mud" in his stride" literally as he tiptoed over, in his words, "refesh". By the time we hit Rishpon it was all behind us (and everywhere else). Mud on shoes, bikes, clothing but in all honesty , nothing to brag about. Further down behind Herzel hill we hit more mud of a different colour and texture but it too was soon forgotten as we scaled the steps over road 2 near Cinema City. The weather was perfect and we stripped to a comfortable level and started to make our way back to Hezeliya . By then Udi had joined us and it was like old times except we were a little older. An uneventful ride to Tapuz near the magnificent Herzeliya Park was in order and so we basked in bits of sunshine peeking thru the Eucalyptus trees as we dined on an array of goodies while Purim costumed kids ran in the background. It was relaxing and enjoyable and in the spirit of good festive fun I recited my favorite Limerick which had been triggered by the discussion on the pronunciation of Titus but was really about Titian.
"While Titian was mixing rose madder,(look up rose madder if you are not familiar with it)
His model was poised on a ladder,
The position to Titian suggested fruition
So he mounted the ladder and had her".
If you have any questions or want to get in touch for any reason, feel free to get in touch with David or John: