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!
Having just returned from visiting HM Lizzie who is marking her 60th yrs of useless reign over a weakened UK, I had visions of the generations of school boys and girls at the UK boarding schools having to eat porridge (gruel) YUKS every morning. What's the connection? The home patch! How many times have we ridden on this well - worn path or paths?
So, surprisingly after an absence of 4 weeks it looked and tasted better than porridge. It really was nice to see all the gang and the route was made more interesting because of David's (as suggested by Dennis) adventurous exploratory deviation near Udim. The ride weather was near perfect and apart from losing Rafi momentarily we had no mishaps. Breakfast at our favourite watering hole was as good as ever as was the clowning. There must be something wrong so the only negative is summer sand and even that we received in small doses. A great ride but excuse me... I must be off to finish my porridge. Maybe I should take more trips in order to return and enjoy the home patch porridge routes!? Interestingly on the subject of subjects and royalty, the three greatest and longest reigning Monarchs of GB have been women so what must we learn from that. Open to discussion at next week's Home Patch ride or elsewhere and no take-away porridge permitted.
Eighteen of us gathered at the Hadera train station - an auspicious number in Judaism. So, we could only have a successful ride, couldn't we?
Some trivia about Hadera: the land was purchased from a Christian effendi by Hankin (the notable figure in the area) towards the end of the 19th century. It was the largest parcel of land bought by Zionists in Palestine at the time. Now there is some useful cocktail chatter....
We set off with great enthusiasm through the Hadera forest until we encountered our first patch of sand around Emek Hefer. We weathered this and after about 10km came to Nahal Alexander. We stopped to peer at the turtles - they obligingly popped up to say hello. From here it was plain sailing until we came to the sea. We took a break to enjoy the view, eat our healthy snacks and skim stones - Barbara and Jerry are the champions.
We then went north up to Givat Olga once again encountering a rather sandy route. A few rebellious sorts did not FOLLOW OUR LEADER and claim they found a sand-free route. Well, they repented and came back and suffered with us! The compensation was David taking us off the track right along the cliffs with magnificent views of the sea and some hairy dongas (a gulley for those that don't know) that provided some excitement.
By the time we came back to the cars, we covered 27 km - it may have been a tad sandy, but the weather was kind and the company good.
On this date, 10 of us showed up for the customary Saturday ride.
We have made a breakthrough this time - new routes, both away and back. I believe it was a welcome change from the somewhat chewed-over much-trodden paths we usually ride.
On the away section, we rode via Givat-Chen, starting behind "Chendale" restaurant, which helped us avoid a long, deep, sandy section. The rest of the path till the bridge over Highway-4 was in a surprisingly ridable condition, owing to having been recently watered by the farmers. From there we cut across directly to the Yarkon River and followed the familiar path along the river till the Ayalon shopping center.
Having been in somewhat shortage of time, instead of continuing to the Tel Aviv Harbour, we consignated David, the human GPS, to lead us back home via Ramat Hasharon. As it goes, David led us through a maze of backstreets - where nobody except him would have found their way - straight to a path that cut through the fields and ended at the pedestrian bridge over Highway-5 near the Tennis Center. And to top it off, after some street riding in Ramat Hasharon, Frederick showed us a path near the fence of Taas, which took us to the southern end of Sderot Yerushalaim. From there it was a breeze to Arcafe in Raanana and the end of a pleasant 34 km. ride.
7.30 am, and there were a fair number of regulars at the starting point ready for our Saturday exercise. The route we chose was one that we have traversed many times but this time we were in for a surprise. We headed West along Ahuza Street, continuing down HaPark Street and turning off to the left as usual about 300 metres from the Ahuza/Yerushalaim junction only to find that our usual path along this section had been blocked! Undaunted we got over the first sand barrier and headed West looking for another way out. What we discovered was that the construction of Highway 531 has begun!!!!!After making our way across some extremely sandy patches (ably led by our leader, David)we joined up to the route that we should have been on and from there it was plain "sailing", or should I say plain biking. We rode via Rishpon, Shefayim, Gaash, the Gaash Golf course, passing Wingate on its Southern boundary and then on to our " watering hole" for a well-earned refreshment stop. From there it was homeward bound. Because of the detour a few kilometres were added and we ended up riding about 35 kms. As usual, the company was good and the ride was very enjoyable.
We met in the school parking lot at Kfar Menachem where Anna presented her new bike to us, bought, in her words, in honour of her husband's birthday! Mazaltov Anna!!! This time David was riding a borrowed bike, and finally 11 riders were ready to set off to conquer the brave (for us) unknown. Ted gave us an orientation and history briefing and then straight away proceeded to lead us up to the conquest of our first hill. The climb was exhausting but we managed (on foot too) to reach the summit, but not before passing by some rather nervy dogs and one snake, all of which demonstrated to Merrill "who's the boss around here!"
From the lookout we headed towards an interesting single-track in the Haruvit Forest, a part of which we were forced to traverse on foot, finally reaching a more comfortable path which led us to paved road and from there to a shaded parking area at the edge of a wood to take a break and refresh.
Continuing on, we climbed a moderate but seemingly endless uphill, passing Tel Zafit and riding through agricultural land and open scenic countryside. At the top of the Tel we reached the vineyards, from where we continued on our way on a path leading to Road 6 en route back to the vehicle parking lot.
We arrived exhausted but happy. In total we rode about 28 kilometers, but this fails to convey the considerable effort invested. The landscape was beautiful, the company pleasant and the'weather considerate to us to an extent. As usual according to David's GPS (http://connect.garmin.com/activity/177271000 ) we ended the ride buried about 12 meters underground...
A smaller number than usual showed up at the start! The others were probably frightened away by the forecast of a "Hamsin" (which didn't materialise during our ride) and which was the cause of our postponing our scheduled away ride in the South. One of those who showed up for the first time in ages was Shaul, sporting a new Bike, new car and new bike carrier. It was great seeing him again. Welcome back Shaul. It was good to have you with us. Another unusual sight at the start was Megan's clean bike. No one recognised it!!! After inspecting Shaul's new bike and making a "shehecheyanu" we were off on one of our usual routes (with a tiny variation now and then) that took us through the industrial area of Ra'anana, Bazra, Bnei Tzion and Udim.
But, this ride was tinged with a bit of sadness! On our approach towards the fields of Udim, Megan and Merrill heard the plaintiff very weak cries of what sounded like a puppy. Megan and Merrill descended a steep bank and started looking for the source of the noise. It wasn't long before they found the puppy in a state of dehydration. A few phone calls were made and Simone, David and Ingride's daughter, agreed to come and fetch the puppy and take the puppy to a vet to be treated. David, Ingride and Merrill took the puppy and left the group in order to meet Simone and the rest of us rode on. It wasn't too long before we received a call from David telling us the the poor puppy had died!
We met up with David, Merrill and Ingride at the Euro Park at Yaqum. From there, David led us on a new path avoiding the sandy patches (well done David!) to the Gas Station at Gaash for our breakfast stop and home (32 kms in all).
The weather was great and so was the company, and the fact that the Hamsin didn't materialize was an added bonus.
Participants: 12 riders including Moshe for the second successive week! Good to see you again Moshe - a ride with us this coming Saturday will put you back into "regular" status! For those of you who don't know (and that's probably most of you) Moshe started riding with John, Hylton and myself way back in the latter 1990s and was responsible for launching the Group into Cyberspace and onto the Israel biking scene when he created our very own Internet website!
Route: From Ra'anana down to the view site in the Sharon Beach Nature Reserve, then north to the southern end of Wingate, over the Coastal Road to Yakum, southwards past Europark and a new variation beyond, back under the Coastal Road to Ga'ash for refreshments, and home - total 34 kms.
Bottom Line: Enjoyable ride, great weather, excellent company
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!
If you have any questions or want to get in touch for any reason, feel free to get in touch with David or John: