21 of us gathered to set off in the light of day - the clocks have now gone back an hour which means lighter earlier from next week.
I think we climbed what seemed to me to be all the possible hills on a home-patch ride!
Beth, visiting from Nottingham, came back again this week - she is leaving on Sunday - and if she came back for more, it means she must have enjoyed it! So, Bon Voyage to Beth and we hope you will bring your cycling enthusiast friends to visit too. We meandered along through Batzra and Rishpon, enjoying the mild morning. All was well until Uri had a puncture on the way back. Well, I think history was made in Cyclenix - the longest time ever to fix a puncture. Some of us set off home - me included as my energy was seeping away just about at the pace of the air from my tube (I think a valve problem) - so I decided it was prudent to head off before another tube had to be fixed...
Eventually, the group enjoyed a well-earned break and refueling at Landwer. Thanks to David for leading us up and down and through the sand....
Now, imagine Julie Andrews singing:
The hills are alive
with the sound of panting
With sighs they have heard for many years
The hills fill my heart with the sound of beating
My heart wants to beat with every pant it hears
My heart want to beat
like the wings of the birds that rise from the path to the trees.
The Yarkon river ride is for me a recurring traumatic experience because it was my first bike 18 years ago after 40 years of abstaining from that wonderous opiate of biking. I eventually finished that ride, a Ronny Green Wheeler event (the only one I ever paid for) and even Magen Davids efforts to resuscitate me barley succeeded. But the next week I shrugged it all off and Dina and I both bought our first bikes, the infamous Raleigh. My recollection of that first Yarkon bike ride is dust, wheezing and more dust and more wheezing, gasping for air, dodging ruts and toppling over into the cane face forward, still clad in my regular sloppy shorts and oversized helmet and then being rescued with my face red not only from the burning sun. So when David suggested on Sat that we head for the Yarkon I broke out in rashes, flipped over and frothed at the mouth and even the presence of 25 other riders did little to reassure me and return my composure. David's calming voice and explanation of a recently discovered route finally brought down my 220 pulse to a normal 130 and off we went.
Shaul's presence and our visiting rider Beth together with Prodigal Denis who popped over to see whose still alive inspired me to focus on the task ahead. Herding the riders from the rear with my two alternating Sweepers, Uri and Sasha. The latter always updates me on his latest cooking journeys into the culinary so my grumbling stomach ignited by his detailed description of the delightful dishes is a wonderful distracter and very soon I started to enjoy the ride. I also rode alongside Beth briefly and gave her a run down on the citrus grove and our past illustrious history as the Citrus capital of Europe and the origins of the Jaffa Brand,( the Jaffa port in Mandate times) now disgracefully sold to some outfit whose real owners are probably some Sheiks in the Gulf. Munching on barely ripe souring Grapefruit was indeed an embarrassing reminder of our past glory as leaders in Agriculture and one wonders why the Govt is systematically destroying Ag., this vital part of our economy.
The route was amazingly clear of the post winter ruts (soon to come upon us) and were in no time on the return portion via the southern bank of the Yarkon which also enabled us to ride thru some cane tunnels. Weather was autumn perfect and in no time we were in Hod Hasharon where we stopped over at CafeCafe for a great breakfast. The beer swill mob were in full form while others opted for the mundane but delicious fare the place offers. A place worth recommending!!!
Thanks David... and I won't be needing my Prozac after the Yarkon ride (at least not this Time)... but why am I breaking out in sweat every time I type "YYYYAAAARRRRRKKKOONNN"
Incidentally Dina who also dislikes that ride send her love and Shana Tova to all!!!
This morning we enjoyed the later and far more agreeable start time of 7:30 am, in anticipation of winter. There were twenty-one of us, including a few who had participated in the Sweet Future ride for diabetes just the day before, which was impressive. Ingride and David arrived with the exciting news that their daughter Simone had just given birth to a baby boy, so congratulations and enjoy! Furthermore, a warm welcome to Lester who joined us for the first time.
The route was a circular one through fields, villages and nature reserves. With David in the lead, we set off along Weitzman street, cycling downhill past the cemetery and out of Ra’anana. We headed north-west, passing Kfar Nachman and Yakum, and crossing the Poleg river near Udim. From there we turned south-east, continuing through the nature reserve to Tel Itzhak. After Tel Itzhak we rode south past Haruzim and Batzra, and back into Ra'anana.
The scenery was varied and picturesque. There were a few challenges, including a fair amount sand, some dips and bumps, and a water crossing. The group also experienced various "splits and mergers", with subgroups of Cyclenixers coming and going and getting lost all over the place. Nobody was particularly perturbed, however, because we know that all roads inevitably lead to Landver Ra'anana, which is where people met at the end for coffee.
To summarize, it was a very enjoyable ride of approximately 30 kilometers, in good company and with lots of laughs.
|Oct. 8, 2016: Horshim Forest|
|Oct. 8, 2016: Bamboo Ladies Ride|
After three years of riding with Cyclenix I finally succeeded in doing the Horshim ride! I don't know why, but every time it was in the planning, it just didn't fit with me... Together with another 18 brave riders we all met up just near the kibbutz. Relatively a nice turn up for an away ride; I guess it helps that the away ride is not more than a 15 minute drive.
While we were about to take on the challenge, the majority of chickens, I mean women of Cyclenix, decided to do a more familiar route through the shady bamboo near the Yarkon.
Abraham was our leader for the day and camera man as usual. It was supposed to be a climbing route, however we did just less than 300 meter of total climbing, which isn't too shabby for only 14 kilometers of pedaling.
Leisure was the vibe of the day as we stopped numerous times and for quite long periods. Our stops included, view points, recovery from the climbs, historical knowledge and singing happy birthday to a 4 year old in Hebrew and in cat tongue. Don't ask it was a "you had to be there" moment.
The terrain was quite rocky just like the Zichron Yaakov area. Climbing was a fun challenge of the correct gear, steering, persistence and not getting stuck behind someone who just happens to stop. A huge KUDOS to Ingride on staying on her bike, for the long stretch, that got almost all of us, off our bikes.
And then came the single!
"It’s a flowing single" he said... so he said!
From my experience never trust the leader on:
1. how long you still have to go.
2. How hard it's going to be.
The small rocks that decorated the climb covered the single like white on rice! Except for a couple of braved men (including Abraham) all of us got off our bikes. I waited at a small, relatively clear path; I got a few Cyclenixers back on their bike for an awesome photo opp. Indeed as someone mumbled the single only flows when it rains there.
Just before the last climb a bunch of us ladies decided to take the chicken line. They hated me calling it that but sorry that is the technical term and I am the reigning Queen of the chicken line!
We got back to our cars to look for Ingride who had wandered off. Eventually she returned. We discussed our breakfast options and while the majority went home, 7 of us went to landwer at the new oshi oshi land mall.
It was a great day for riding with great company!
On 1st of October 20 of us turned up to our usual Saturday ride. It was the last Saturday of תשע"ו.
We did more or less our usual home patch route, about 30 km, Raanana- Hertzelia-Rishpon- Arsuf - Gaash-Bnei Zion-Bazra- Raanana. We started in excellent weather that became rather hot by the end. However this spectacle never breaks our spirit. We welcomed our "lost lamb", Zachi, who joined us again after a long time of absence. Hope to see you more during the next year.
At Rishpon, Shaul showed up with his friend Shlomo (both at one time regular Cyclenix riders) and joined us for a short ride on their way back to Hertzelia.
At Arsuf we toasted the New Year, תשע"ז, with tirosh, and cake. After the toast we managed to ride straight on. Our compliments to Michal who thinks of everything and carried on her back the bottle, the cake and the accessories, cups and knife for most of us surprise. Hip-hip hurray!
On our way back to Raanana we couldn't miss picking up some samples in the avocado groves.
Only 15 of us reached Landwers as the rest were eager getting home.
Shana Tova to all members of Cyclenix, hope to see you in the New Year.
Three cyclenixers too many to call this ride Joseph and his brothers... you do the math.
We all gathered on this lovely morning to follow Joseph's tracks. For him this is basically his home patch ride, for us it was a new and exciting away ride.
We started at Ramat Hanadiv where very fast we started climbing. Though we were warned that the area is not level plains like the Sharon area the climb were not too steep and at the end of the ride we discovered that we had less than 300 meters of elevation gain.
Though no too bad in climbing terms, it was quite a challenge due to the rockiness of the trails. Very soon we got to our first stop where we all got off our bikes to see the vultures. Wild vultures can come and go as they please to this huge cage on the mountain cliff. Three vultures were happily resting while we were observing and discussing the topic. Funnily enough, I was not the only one that had the Jungle book pop to mind.
Watch the link and maybe the whole movie if you have time... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZDo-udXmgQ
We continued on riding still going in the general up direction on rocks of different shapes and sizes. Some succeeding, some not so much, and some getting stuck behind the not so much. It was a constant fun challenge of skill rhythm and correct choices.
At our second stop, we reached ruins from the second temple period or in David's words "from before my time". According to the signs it was what I summed up as the old school life styles of the rich and famous. It seems that the area that was built by the Baron Rothschild and his family was a wealthy area way before his and David's time.
We stood on a view point which looks over the sea, from Hadera on our south and stretching all the way up north to the Carmel.
Dina and Abraham danced on the benches while my bike and I climbed a tree. On our way again this time enjoying soaring downwards, all letting go of our inhibitions.
We arrived at another stop. This stop didn't seem to have any intentions except for a nice sweet resting spot under some trees and a place to sit. A few people got there before us but we didn't mind. We all stood and watched the strangers while they were rock climbing. Two men, a woman and a child who were all enjoying their Shabbat recreation.
Abraham swung from one of the ropes, the strapping stranger asked if anyone would like to try... my name was thrown around and I think it might have brought upon his enquiring.
It was an offer that I couldn't refuse! He quickly climbed up the side of the wall without being secured with any means except for his hands, feet and skills. He attached me to a harness and held the rope that secured me. While he constantly gave me advice and encouragement, from down below I succeeded in reaching the top! It was an amazing, fun and random experience! It also gave me answers about how much weight can my recently healed collar bone carry... as I got down my arm muscle started to cramp up but that was solved with some of Raffi's nuts and a salt capsule.
We got back on our bikes to start the last two climbs for the day, I was quite drained from the wall climbing and the rocky terrain was not helping anyone at this part.
When we finally reached Zichron Yaacov we decide to have our breakfast stop at a nice coffee shop on the boardwalk there. It was a lovely idea and was welcomed by all who decided to stay for breakfast. We covered about 20 kilometres with just less than 300 meters of total ascent but the stats in this ride were besides the point...
the company, the vibe, the views, the experiences and even the challenges were what made this ride great!
A big thank you to Joseph for taking on the lead today!
And so it came to pass that once more the Cyclenix Flying Phalanx assembled at our predestined place at 0700 hrs. on this fine balmy Sabbath morn. David, (Our Fearless Leader) had promised that our route would be refreshingly different from the usual ho-hum Sharon jaunts and verily it was.
Wending our way, we turned right at Ahuza, left Raanana and ascended to Moshav Givat Chen. Leaving the hothouses behind, a great treat awaited us - the sands of the Sahara as even the hardiest and most nimble of us were forced many times to dismount and push their steeds both uphill and down dale. As all good things have to come to an end, so did the sandy tracks when the path led us to Magdiel and from there onto the path along the Yarkon river.
It was good making a reacquaince with this route. It is varied and undulating with many dips and rises, twists and turns and the pleasure of having the greenery of the river alongside you. Its popularity is justified and we met many other riders going in both directions. Approaching Ramat Chayal, we halted and after learned counsel it was decided to change course and not return the same way but to ride on the opposite bank as the sun was getting high in the heavens and more shade was promised. Ultimately, after traversing a fair number of open paths the promise was kept and we entered a lovely patch of single track bordered by overhanging reeds which often formed a complete archway.
Let it be noted that at one stage we all waited patiently as Michal and Uri disappeared into the distant undergrowth together. After a few minutes of waving arms, the couple emerged and we were informed that they had been on a mission of mercy and had unsuccessfully attempted to extricate a recalcitrant canine from the river. Someone remarked that this was the most original excuse they had ever heard!!
Upon exiting the reeds, we found ourselves in Hod Hasharon opposite the big Chetsii Chinam mall. From then on it was all asphalt (John had sworn he would not return via the sandy trails and not a few of us felt the same!) and the road led to the nearest oasis which happened to be the Hod Hasharon Café Landwer. We sat in the garden under a vine covered pergola, enjoying the pleasant atmosphere and the absence of the omnipresent piped caf´ musak! After the usual palate tingling repast, we bade our farewells and set out for home.
0nce more, a most pleasant ride in the best Cyclenix tradition - good route, good company and thank you David for leading us.
7.am saw 14 "raring-to-go" Cyclenixers at our regular starting point in what was, for this time of the year, an above average hot day. Our ever-faithful pathfinder, David, led us over paths that we have travelled many times So as far as the scenery is concerned, there's nothing really to report, except that on the approach to Kibbutz Yaqum, the cotton fields on both sides of the track are blooming.
The new section of the 531 highway is progressing at a reasonably fast rate. That's a plus for motorists but a minus for nature lovers as many of the paths along which we used to ride are now part of history.
There was only one minor injury on the ride, Barbara’s arm, and that was ably attended to by "Dr" Rafi.
The "Piece de Resistance" of the ride was our "breakfast stop" at the home of Uri, whose wife Etti provided us with excellent, healthy and tasty fare. Thank you Etti from all of us who had the good fortune to be there.
What better way can there be than to start the day with a 29km bike ride in Nature, with great company and finishing off with a feast at the Sa'ar residence?
Twenty two gathered to brave the sunshine to complete a good ride of just over 30 kms. While the main cats were away (David, John and Ted), Rafi kept us under control..... with a team of leaders - Meir, Merrill and Anna. We rode on familiar routes lengthened a bit by a quick sighting of the sea at Poleg. I didn't realise the beach was so close.. but since most of the time I don't really know where I am, it is not surprising!
On the way back we lost part of the crowd - but they found their way home as all roads lead to Lanndwer. Not everybody stopped for breakfast - 6 of us stopped at Arcaffe, while others continued home to Kfar Saba and Hod Hasharon to beat the heat. It was Haim's actual birthday today - so Mazal Tov to Haim. We actually started the day with a tot of his Lemon liquer. That certainly got the blood pumping....
Thanks to Rafi and co. for a lovely ride to start the day.
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: