There was a great number of cyclists at the meeting point this morning - far too many to count, so we didn't. I did get one or two disapproving comments about my bike, which was still filthy from last week's ride, but most people were too busy chatting to notice.
At some point, someone yelled "People, we're going" and off we set. We cycled along Ahuza, into the fields behind the Park Mall, over Route 5 and through Gan Rashal and Nachalat Ada. Crossing the railway line, we turned north along the Israel Route with its outdoor statues. One statue in particular, got our attention, with people volunteering names such as "Erectile Dysfunction" and "After" for it.
We continued in the general direction of Rishpon, Arsuf, Shfa'im, and Ga'ash - crossing Route 2 after Rishpon and skirting the Ga'ash golf course - until we neared the southern border of Wingate. Taking a break at Yakum to catch our breaths, we couldn't help admiring two stunning white vintage Cadillacs basking in the sun. From Yakum we followed the railway line southwards, turning east through the fields near Route 531. We passed the now fruitless avocado orchards, continued onwards through Kfar Nachman and the Lev Ha'Park neighborhood in Ra'anana, and as usual ended the ride at Landver. We were joined by Dina, Michal and Yoav, who hadn't ridden with us today.
The breakfast conversation was varied, jumping from the quietest room in the world to whether accidently putting money in the washing machine could be considered as money laundering. There were also some jokes that I won't repeat here.
To summarize, it was a fast and challenging ride of 31km, with a fair amount of sand but in weather conditions that were still bearable, and with the usual good company and laughs.
Editors Note: Talia gets douze points from the UK judge for this report!
The Carmel Coast offers more than a physical riding experience . It's a ride through history as it is located in what is known geographically and historically as the Cradle of Civilization. If you were under the impression that the Cradle was in the region of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers you are misinformed. The cradle stretches all the way from Mesopotamia where the rivers flow and even encompasses the coast of ancient Canaan. Where we rode is at the heart of the western part of the Cradle. It is also commonly believed that the Cradle was the location of the Garden of Eden but where exactly is firstly a matter of whether you are a true believer or a skeptic.
As for Mesopotamia all that's left is a mess and no "potamia", a battle ground for Shiites and Sunnis and drug war lords is all that remains.
Just a couple of KL's from where we began our ride at Ein Carmel runs Cave Creek, flowing from Daliyat El Carmel westwards to the sea. At its widest point near Road 40 are located four large caves which historians, anthropologists and archeologists have excavated for almost a century and is now a recognized Unesco Historical site. The excavators who commenced work on the caves in the 1920's eventually realized that the region was inhabited for almost half a million years of continuous prehistoric and historic primate groups including eventually those of the homo sapiens, our own forefathers. The reason for this ongoing presence were the ideal conditions which included water from the creek, abundant animals to hunt (coming to from the creek) and the nearby sea which provided fishing opportunities. Last but not least were the caves themselves which offered shelter. And over the centuries these "cavemen" also developed into omnivorous societies eventually cultivating their own crops. An ideal place and what some scholars believe is the perfect description of the Garden of Eden.
We departed from Ein Hacrmel to the south and passed by the ancient abandoned quarry which had been used for centuries as a water storage facility and is fed by the very Cave Creek mentioned above.
We passed Ein Ayala where delicious peppers are grown (Uri tested one to be certain) and rode up the hill to Habonim for a brief description on the history of the area including the ruins of the Crusader castle. The trail led us southwards to Nachsholim Dor where we started to ride along the sandy beach northwards to the climb to ancient Dor, one of the oldest cities in the world and a site of great scenic views. A brief description was delivered on the use of sand and how Dor and the region are connected to modern day Israel and off we rode into the sandy tails of the Hof Carmel Nature Reserve. We later veered slightly eastwards to cross the railway line at the tragic crossing where 22 persons lost their lives in 1985 as a bus stalled on the lines. From there we rode towards the Para Dive centre and viewed the parachutes falling like feathers initially and towards the end picking up speed on the "final approach".
The favourable weather enabled us to "breeze" along and in no time we were back to the parking area. Some of us had a breakfast at the Zichron Mall where I couldn't help but reflect on how we had advanced since the early caveman….although there are moments when I am in doubt if to judge by the ongoing conflicts in the region and elsewhere.
Our mascot, brave young Yoav. riding like an adult also put a smile on all our faces. Keep up the good work Michal!! A great ride with great company in great weather and super scenery.
On a clear, cool morning we all set forth,
Twenty two members were counted.
We gazed towards the sunrise instead of the north,
and at 7:40 AM we had mounted.
We pedaled with force through the Givat Chen sand,
Towards the shining star of the Sharon,
We savored the dew on the glistening land,
As the glare from the bright sun shown.
Into the fields through the bamboo arches,
We rode in a steady line.
Reminiscent of the army that marches,
Avoiding the prickly vines.
The weather was perfect for this early ride,
And we continued at a leisurely pace.
So no matter how much I valiantly tried,
I couldn’t turn it into a race.
We made a short stop at the green lily ponds,
Though water there was scarce.
Then we rode back off through the feathery fronds.
No friggin’ rhyme for scarce.
Park Afek was our goal for the day,
From there we made our way back.
Feeling the heat along the way,
And the weight of the water in our packs.
Through Neve Yarak, Yarkona and Adanim,
To Café Café in the center of the city.
Refreshments and breakfast for the entire team,
Just hope you all enjoyed my ditty.
I went off to this ride at Hazorea not in the best condition, with a bit of a cold and sore throat, but I couldn't miss out this great ride. So I would like to apologize for holding you up and thanking your patient. (sic)
Special thanks for the others that kept riding with me in my speed and of course Tracy that led us on the right track and let David enjoy himself without worrying about directions.
14 of us started off at 8 am (Welcome back Arik, you still know how to ride!) on this very hot day, but the route was so beautiful through the forest above the kibbutz. Actually we didn't feel the heat as we were riding in the shade on tricky singles up and down. Only on the way down on the open field did we feel the heat. The elevation by some was 390m at others 470m. Take your pick. We did altogether 19 km but it was worth it. We finished up at Yankele's Coffee for refreshments next to the parking lot and I hope all of you enjoyed the lovely breeze and scenery.
Then we all went home tired and satisfied.
Today's ride is worth two titles:
"Hasharon Haadom", as we rode through carpets of poppy flowers that painted the fields RED. Nothing to be ashamed compared to "Hadarom Haadom" . The second title
"The Rally", (Yohi's initiative) as we sacrificed time and effort, going out of our trail, to sign a petition against the destruction of the Harutsim Nature Reserve by building an airfield. That would make the first title obsolete.
And in between the 18 lucky riders enjoyed a wonderful spring day interwoven with beautiful colors (mostly red, but not only), smells of blossoming citruses, birds and... stories. Yes, this is part of this social riding/gathering. While riding side by side you exchange stories, sayings, anecdotes, make a pause when passing a single or climbing breathless a steep hill, and continue afterwards. Michal described the Mud Day competition she and Megan participated in yesterday, Haim about his upcoming ride in southern Poland... some stories are confidential J.
Yes, and there was the path (as I report it from my Endomondo application), led by our best navigator, David, who knows the area as his own and Ingrid's palm.
We started northbound, past Kiryat Rasko, turned west along Har Hazevel and then through fields and orchards to Nachal Poleg and to west outskirts of Udim. There was our turning point back home, along Nahal Rishpon, Harucim Reserve, protest Signing point, Bnei Zion, Batsra, Landwer's, food and more stories. We stopped at countless points to enjoy the flowers, photograph each other taking pictures and climb electric poles. What a Day!
(Editors' Note: I saw at least 3 Cyclenixers with cameras out in todays pictures - well done. Could be a photo group as well as a cycle group. Check out the gallery for some great images, makes me very jealous - joe)
Due to very weird weather for Israel in March our away rides were constantly postponed. At some point the home patch rides just becomes a bit too much of a routine for some of us.
A different local ride was needed to give us a feeling that we had an away ride. The Netanya area was suggested to give us just a bit of different scenery in the Sharon and to let David relax and lower his guards in the leading department.
Two new comers joined to practice for their upcoming bike packing trips and the rest of us were all just "regulars". We headed off on a semi pavement semi off road route, part of it being on "Shvil Yisrael" alongside the sea heading south.
We all the way to Poleg to "Shmurat hawirusim" which was sadly as bare as old mother Hubbard's cupboard… we did take a small walk to try and find a couple irises and that is about all we found.
We continued through Shlulit Ha'horef Park and back towards the eastern side of Netanya. With a fun stop at the bicycle park and a few rounds on the pump track and BMX track we all had some fun.
From there the intentions were to go to Beit Yitzhak for coffee at one of the nicer coffee shop in the area... but they were closed.
I on the other hand chose to turn back with Yoavi so he would actually live to tell about the ride. Tal and Dafna chose to join us turning back to the cars. As we were about to drive away everyone pitched up from their coffee less adventure, to Yoavi excitement that after all he will dine with the gang!
The weather was great and it was a fun and easygoing ride. A nice change to the regular home patch ride that we are so used to. To all who would like to lead occasionally, especially on a different local ride and also away rides, just give a shout out to David and he will gladly take the day off...
The elements are a riders main considerations and none is more dreaded than the diabolical wind. Wind comes in all shapes and sizes as well as directions. Including Bise. A cold, dry wind from the north or northeast funneled over the Alps into southern France and Switzerland by pressure differences.
Among others: the Mistral; Bora; Brickfielder; Southerly Buster; Buran; Sirocco; etc., etc., as spoken by the King of Siam. And even in lowly indiscernible off beat obscure tiny Israel we have our Sharav (Khamseen).
So last Saturday in true spring fashion the wind obliged us to cancel our southbound ride at Ofakim (or Ofakher to those who feel discriminated by 'IM' and not ER) and instead we chose "David's Birthday Route". The idea was to enjoy riding against the wind by riding to the south first and returning to Ra'anana with the wind pushing us from behind.
I am careful to point out the the use of the words "wind" and "behind" have varying connotations, but one cannot ignore the fact that riding is linked to the posterior as we sit on saddles in order to pedal as standing up while riding would be quite a challenge. So my point is that even on non windy days wind is part of the riders lot and who knows better than me as I am always the last or to put it succinctly, behind the other riders.
Leaving the subject of wind behind (oops there I go again) we 15 or so set off in good spirits (wind and spirit are synonymous) and reached Herzeliya via the rear (oops again) of the airport where we rode along the cliff top in order to see the sea (Intended play on words). The waves were magnificent as were the wind kites. But the cliff ride southward to Sea and Sun required 1st gear effort as we rode straight into the wind almost akin to an upward hill climb (our experts suggested a 15 deg incline).
The return ride was literally a breeze (get it!) as the 35k/hr wind shoved us along. When it hit us at 90 deg we experienced a broadside (not to be confused with backside) sensation of being blown away (blown, wind, behind oy,oy oy). The mob reached Landver slightly "winded" but the Purim costumes of the diners and staff were an added bonus to a great socially tinted experience enhanced by the costumed appearance of Megan and Michal who joined us for breakfast... exclusive of Haman Tashen.
Phew, I'm breathless just by writing this drivel(Editors Note: and my fingers are cramped from fixing all the grammar errors). By the way this report is dedicated to John who just loves winds.
There were fifteen riders at the meeting point this morning, including special guest rider, Dennis. Spring was in the air, and it was high time to pay a visit to the beautiful rare Black Irises. Because I never know where I am, below is the route that certain members of the group dictated to me, with their comments in parenthesis.
We set off along Weizman, turning left towards Herzlia and then North out of Ra'anana ('with a heavy heart because we love Ra'anana) into the fields and towards Herzlia airport. ('The route was clockwise but why do you need to write the route, we know where we were!'). We cycled north along the railway line until we reached the Euro Park area of Yakum. From there we rode slightly east of Yakum ('in fact, east west east west to avoid the puddles') and climbed a steep hill to admire the Black Irises. We rode back through the Udim nature reserve with its beautiful ravine ('that is man-made and thousands of years old'), and from there continued east past Tel Itzhak ('where they print Ha'Aretz'). From Tel Itzhak we rode south through Batzra, and back into Ra'anana.
We ended the ride at the Landver coffee shop, and the puns started flying. I don't know whether it was the beer or just good coffee, but everyone was in top form.
The ride was unusual in that it was a combination of a leisurely pace with plenty of flower stops on the one hand, and then two tough uphills and one very steep downhill single on the other hand. David promised us the Black Irises, and unlike 'The Castle' by Franz Kafka, we did actually get to see tens of them and in all their glory. We also stumbled up some other floral gems, including what looked like miniature wild tulips. What we unfortunately did not get to experience (although we were extremely close) was my favorite place in the world, Ikea.
It was a great ride of about 34 kilometers with very little mud, no punctures, good company and lots of laughs.
Only 9 Cyclenixers pitched up on this heavenly morning. It was definitely heavenly as the heavens decided to descend upon us. No one could miss the mist (or the puns) smothering the horizon. In fact it was even visible on the hair of my arms. The temperature was low but my optimism of the sun coming up wasn't far from an Annie song away.
We haven't been such a small group in quite some time. I'm not sure if it was because of previous experiences from this area, the hours' drive or Yom hamishpacha celebrations but it made the ride smoother in the singles.
I was warned that many cyclenixers do not like the Be'eri ride because of its technicality and the massive amount of riders during this season. I made sure that Anat, my friend and leader for the day, knew exactly what we want and don't want out of this ride. She assured me that we will enjoy a nice tranquil ride around the area and will not encounter the masses or technical parts.
After a short introduction we headed off into the mist...
The kalaniot (Anemone coronaria) which are the main reason to come to Be'eri this time of year, were all closed and waiting for the warm sun, just like us on our bikes. Unlike the flowers we couldn't wait and had to ride on hoping the cycling will warm us up.
Ingride had to ride without her glasses since she couldn't see through them with them misting up. On the other hand she couldn't see much without them so it was a lose-lose situation... especially for David who had to hear about his promises of a sunny day.
The route was described as a mish mash of the area and indeed was so. We did parts of different singles, stopped for many photos, visited a few historical sites and heard explanations. It seemed that the history knowledge of the members of the group was quite extensive. I think it is because for some of the members it isn't necessarily history but memory lane... we discovered that Dinas uncle was a major in the Australian New Zealand army corps (Anzac). We visited the monument and got to see the view of Gaza for those who could figure out which way to look.
The sun by this time had come out to defrost us all. The flowers opened up welcoming us, Ingride had her glasses on and the day was just perfect.
The ride was exactly what we had ordered and Anat delivered 100%.
The cyclenixers who were hesitant about riding Be'eri got to create a good memory for next year when Be'eri is suggested.
At the end the day indeed was heavenly with no puns intended! We will definitely be going back to Be'eri and also will be in touch with Anat to lead us again since she did such an amazing job and seemed to tolerate us doing so.
We rode 22.5 kilometers of our mish mash and afterwards most went home but David, Ingride, Ted and Dina had a double date at the entrance to Ashdod
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: