Participants: 13 which included Eddie (a pleasant surprise after a long absence), and Joseph (a welcome "now and again" rider with the Group). Good to see you both. Also a big welcome to 2 squeaky clean and shiny newcomers to Cyclenix - Ted's Giant and Ilan's Bergamont. Great bikes and their performance today often under somewhat testing conditions served only to reinforce the wise choices of their owners!
Route: A slight variation of the route we did just over a year ago. Unfortunately my Google Earth and Amud Anan maps don't show all possible obstacles so in plotting the changes I didn't bargain for our having to crawl through and/or under gates!! Thanks Joseph for your input on the route. Click HERE to see the GPS data.
Weather: Pleasantly warm and sunny, getting warmer as the ride progressed, but hardly an issue thanks to a low humidity factor.
Bottom Line: A ride in the Horshan area is always enjoyable with some challenges on the way, just enough to remind us why we ride off-road, and on mountain bikes!!! Great company (Cyclenix's greatest asset!) and happily no human or mechanical breakdowns. Most of us stopped off after the ride to refuel at Landwer Binyamina.
Post Script: Today's ride was suggested to me by Michal (was it in anticipation of so many trees to climb??!!). Unfortunately a nasty biking accident a few days earlier put her out of action.
Michal, we wish you a speedy (figuratively speaking of course) and full recovery, back on your bikes, and not the least writing our reports!!
Participants: 15, but reduced to 13 en route when Barbara needed to "fast forward" to be on time for another commitment later that morning, with John as escort to ensure that she didn't loose her way home (from what I subsequently heard, things didn't turn out quite that way!).
Route: From Ranana through Givat Chen, across the bridge over Road 4 into Neve Hadar (Hod HaSharon) and down to Nahal Yarkon, then following the river westwards, at Kiryat Atidim northwards to the Tennis Center, over the footbridge into Ramat HaSharon, through Herzliya and back to Ranana - approximately 34 km.
Riding Conditions: Despite the 2 days of rain earlier in the week, riding conditions, particularly along the Yarkon, were (surprisingly for me) excellent. We did encounter a few small patches of mud which for the most part we were able to detour around.
Weather: Ideal throughout
Bottom Line: An enjoyable ride with, as usual, great company.
At the start of the ride, and with the best intention [insert smiley!], John led us to the Ben Gurion / Road 531 interchange from where, as he thought, we could fast track up to Givat Chen. But alas there were commando-style obstacles which can best be described, in the spirit of the upcoming Pesach Seder, as follows:
Even if we had found a crossing to the track, it would not have been enough
Even if we had made it down a steep bank to a storm-water channel below, it would not have been enough
Even if we had made it across the channel, it would not have been enough
Even if we had made it up the steep bank on the other side, it would not have been enough
Even if we had made it over a 2 meter high fence to get to the "promised" track, it would all have been just too much!!!
CHAG PESACH SAMEACH TO ALL
The weather forecasts all reported a heat wave from hell, which could explain the small turn up for today's ride.
Only 10 Cyclenixers were crazy enough to take on the pre Pessach weather. Luckily for us it seems that the satellites and predictions were all bonkers and not us!
The humidity that was supposed to be 35% but felt like the 80% we have in august. The temperature felt more like 26, instead of 36. The sun was hiding behind heavy clouds and we even had an extremely light drizzle.
So with a bit of a wet feeling we peddled happily and easily along the Sharon area.
Our wise leader decided that we should try and dodge the front winds on our way back so we rode up Weizmann and out of Raanana heading north towards Yakum.
This brought on a backwards ride. A route that we all are quite used to was done anti clockwise which spiced it up a bit.
Ingride and I enjoyed going speeding down the road surrounding the cemetery while Rafi, who passed us was singing along "anything you can do I can do better..."
His attempts to antagonise us were brushed off with the conversation on age and getting the reference. I proved them wrong explaining that you don't necessarily need to be old but do need to hang with old people.
And then there are times where the youngsters should learn to keep their mouths shut!
A cynical question from me made David stop the group all to let me climb a steep hill to time my efforts. Full gear ahead I pushed my way up and conquered the hill to come speeding down it. He tried to get me to improve his false timing but instead we all continued.
The single before Yakum was full of thorns, but all ten of us managed to get through it without any injuries.
From Yakum we crossed the bridge over road number 2, where we encountered a bit of cycling traffic going up.
All good chickens succeeded in crossing the road. The question as always is why? Well in this case it was literally to get to the other side. Heading south alongside the road passing Gaash, Shfayim and around Rishpon we rode happily back to Raanana for our breakfast stop at Landwer. So at the end the weather was in our favour and the ride was a great one.
We tracked 31 kilometres of easy-going, fun quality time.
Twenty of us met at 7.30am at the entrance to Elishema. Welcome to a new rider Gidon. Hope you enjoyed the ride and that we will see more of you in the future.
The weather was HOT! It looks as though summer is here with a vengeance and soon we will probably need to starty our rides earlier to beat the heat!
The Route: From Elishema South, following Nahal Kane down to the Yarkon River then East along the Northern side of the river crossing over to the opposite side at Abu Rabah. Then East under Road 40 then Road 5. From there we continued East and South (partly along Shvil Israel). We passed the Baptist Village, the Yarkon Nation Park, the source of the Yarkon and then further South passed Park Afek. A little further South we crossed under Road 483 and then over Highway 6 to Einat, where we made our "breakfast" stop at the gas station situate on the side of Road 444. Perhaps because of the hot weather only 7 of us made the "breakfast" stop , the rest having decided to head back to our cars at Elishema. The total distance cycled was 33kms.
We had our fair share of mud along the way (see the photographs) and at one poing had to cross a somewhat very muddy stream. Our brave leader David went first and found himself ankle deep in thick black mud! So, the rest of us decided that a bridge needed to be built!! Avraham started piling vegetation across the obstacle and a few others added stones and flat rocks and "hey presto" Cyclenix built its first pedestrian "bridge" and the remaining rider made a "clean" crossing!
Along the route we passed quite a few historical sites. Explanations of the various sites were photographed and make very interesting reading (enlarge the relevant photos and read these).
So, that's another enjoyable ride under our belts.
"Come Fairies; take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!" William Butler Yeats8 courageous riders were ready to take on the dodgy weather. An additional two got cold feet from seeing it rain on the way to Beit Shemesh and turned around to join the more promising Sharon area.
The one that left us breathless in every meaning possible.
20 brave Cyclenixers met up at the beginning of the Givat Hamoreh single. Though the starting time was supposed to have been at 8:00, due to delays we started pedalling at 8:30.
Lately I have been helping David in finding interesting away rides and because of summer rapidly approaching and the wild flowers disappearing from the scene we made a choice to do the Givat Hamoreh single while it is still at its finest.
I took on the task of leading the group. Being the only one who has done it before and knowing that it is marked for dummies and you can't go wrong, I assumed it would all be just fine.
We set off, all in a single line into the single. It started off very pretty and fairly level. Everyone was mesmerized with the beauty of the area. Quite fast, the level plain turned into an ascent. A constant one of 13 km's! That's when the difference in ability really made leading a group a bit of a challenge. It is quite hard leading 19 riders when you can't keep track of them because they stretch out way far behind you. The moment the climb got the slower riders, even slower and the faster ones got a bit frustrated and I told them to go ahead and just follow the yellow markings. From this point my job wasn't as much leading as it was herding. Ride ahead and every so often making sure that the remaining followers are still with you. I believe Ted being the sweep had a harder job.
The climb was continuous and so were the complaints/questions about when it would end.
My response was it can only get better.
The only thing that distracted everyone from it was the view. But then we got word from a few of our strays...
Alex had fallen and injured his arm. Apparently he had a deep cut. While we got the phone call about it, two young doctors happened to be around to hear about it and were sent to try and find him down the path. But not before Ingride tried to fix me up with one of them. Talk about Jewish mother syndrome!
We stopped quite often whether it was to catch our breath or to have it taken away once again by the scenery. The wild flowers around us, the green and brown fields carpeting the valley way down below, the Hermon and Tavor mountains majestically standing in the back of it all and the perfect weather accompanying us the entire way of our journey.
We continued on, climbing all the way to the top of the mountain to finally reach the part where from here it is all downhill.
The pace changed drastically! Going down the mountain was an adrenalin rush for quite a few of us. At a couple parts some even had pale faces of fear. Just before the end we found Raffi loyally staying with Haim who was seriously injured when he fell. The two bachelor doctors happened to find them before us and diagnosed him with a dislocated shoulder.
Talia and Meir were sent with his car keys back to the cars but did not know that they can cut at this point and didn't have to continue on the single for another 3 km's. Eventually Uri made it to us with his car to fetch Haim.
After 26 km's for some and 29 km's for others and an elevation gain of 635 meters, we all rode back with the two bachelor doctors to our cars. The battle was not easy and we must mention our fallen members:
(Note: Mobile users may need to rotate their device to see the complete report)
(Editor's Note: Our database doesn't like Hebrew and English living together, so the above report is actually an image. If you would like the report in an actual text version you can get the Word Doc HERE)
And Check out the exemplary "Cyclebury Tales" by Stephen Schulman. An epic tale of excitement, trials, trails, verbal dilly dallying, and all that sort of thing.
My blissful sleep was interrupted at 05:30 am by my annoying but trustworthy alarm. Just a few minutes after, my other trust worthy alarm sends me a morning message: "Rise and shine" with me replying to John asking if he ever sleeps and it snowballing into a cynical chat there was nothing to do but get up and get ready.
From this point it was all a bit foggy (all puns intended)
OMG! I thought the clouds were supposed to be in the sky! The scene would have been perfect for filming a great thriller.
Bike on the carrier and we were on our way for a nice drive down south. We happened to find Yochi and Anna waiting at the wrong bus station for the convoy so we started our own two car convoy.
The fog accompanied us all the way and well into later hours of the day, but somehow all 17 of us managed to make it to Beit Kama, our starting point. Due to the lack of modern technology and the new junction some made it after a little detour.
It was already after 8:00 and the fog was still chillin' with us (or chilling us) but we were pedaling along. We made sure not to pass the 10 km speed limit because of the low visibility, but being the only one not wearing a rain coat or any coat in that matter it was sufficient to warm up. We started off going north and then east towards Ruhama. The fog really added some mist to the vibe and the photos. It also added some dew drops to my hair on my arms. Along the way Ingride's gears were giving her hassles, but like any good machine would only perform when the mechanic was not around. This was mainly a concern on the uphills, which were not too few on this ride. Though they weren't too hard they did seem to drain a few of us from our energy.
The blessed rain that the area had this winter caused the various terrain changes. Some muddy patches that for some reason my bike tends to choose to go through as if it has a mind of its own, dry cracked grounds causing bumpy and harder to ride tracks and dry skidish sand with many rocks of all sizes. Somewhere on the way I heard a noise from behind me and just after that someone called out to raise our attention. I quickly turned around to witness a deer run across our path so swiftly in escape of the human presence threatening its being. We were all in awe of it amazing beauty, speed and wonderful being.
The bees on the other hand did not get such awe but constant complaints about the hives lurking our route. I defended their honor by explaining how the lack of bees in the world is causing much more damage than the lack of people... those who were stung did not find the facts convincing. (Whoever would like to learn more on the subject watch the movie "Bee movie")
We stopped at a couple view points. The first one we got to hear about the history of the area and at the second Ingride and I had a great laugh when john wanted to do the thing with the soap in the shower. Needless to say that both of us being out of his intended context and him speaking too vaguely brought on hysterical laughter and my imagination running wild with prison scenes from movies. My advice to him was: do not pick up the soap! After he gave us his intended context to a shampoo prank at the expense of people showering at the beach we calmed down. He then discovered that his back wheel was not tightened properly. Thank god we realized it before something had happened to him or even worse to his new bike.
At some point the fog just disappeared and the day was hot and sunny. The flowers were blooming all around; the colours of the ground had the strongest were like and abstract painting with the desert being bright green of wheat fields. Stripes of yellow, red and white flowers with paths in different shades of brown, to remind us that this still is the desert.
We were a bit off our track and were trying to find our way back; it makes sense when fields grew on what was the original route on the GPS. A few calculations on David's behalf and we were back on our track all the way to the car park. All in all we did approximately 37 km's with a total ascent of about 500+ meters. We then dined at Aroma at Beit Kama and all headed home.
We wandered happily in a group,
cycling through fields and up small hills when all at once we saw a crowd a host of .... black irises beside the sea beneath the trees fluttering and dancing in the breeze
Well, there wasn't much of a breeze, but the weather was excellent for cycling. 18 of us started out from Raanana and completed around 32 km that took us along the coast to the lookout at Arsuf, through the nature reserve where we frolicked among the black irises, and further north along familiar routes (except doing it backwards) and home again to refuel at Landver.
The route was colourful - very green after the rains, the last of the oranges and grapefruit and of course, the deep purple/black of the irises.
We say farewell to Richard - a safe trip back to Colorado. It was a pleasure to have you along on our rides and we hope that you continue riding in Colorado (it may be a tad more challenging with the hills....). All the very best to you and your family.
If you have any questions or want to get in touch for any reason, feel free to get in touch with David or John: