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Friday, November 10, 2006

Photo Friday (vol. LXXXIII) [bike edition]

I had to run down to Kfar Bilu (near Rehovot) this morning to see my beekeeper mentor about some medication for my bees.  Honeybee colonies can sometimes be infested by tracheal mites which can decimate them over the winter, so there is a medication that needs to go into each hive before the cold weather starts.

The fastest way for me to get to Kfar Bilu is to take a route down from Gush Etzion down a winding mountain road in the direction of Beit Shemesh.  This road, called 'Nes Harim', is extremely popular with cyclists because of its beauty and challenging elevation.  Today being a gorgeous fall day, the cyclists were out in droves.

The first hint that this might be a popular bike route is the following sign.  I've always wondered if the person who made this sign had ever actually seen a bicycle... or if someone simply described one to him over the phone.
Bikesign

A little further along is a fork in the road with a bunch of signs... one of which is the bike route (as well as mine):
Signs

It is worth pointing out that most of the cyclists come from the direction of Beit Shemesh... meaning they are  going up the hill and then turning around at the top for a nice reward in the form of a fast  coast towards the Elah Valley below.  However one doesn't want to go too fast because the drop off can be, um, a bit unforgiving:
Drop

OK, so where are all the cyclists you ask?  Here are a couple.  You can see that road and mountain bikes are both popular:
Roadmountain

Here is a fairly well-developed specimen of the Israeli cyclist:
Bike1
I can't imagine why they needed to carry backpacks, but here are a couple of mountain bikers on their way up the hill (I spotted them on my way back up towards the Gush):
Mountainbikes
I count among my friends many avid cyclists.  A couple of blogger friends recently took part in the 7th Annual International Alyn Charity Bike Ride from Jerusalem to Eilat.  This is a ride for charity that benefits the children of Alyn Hospital in Jerusalem.   Kol HaKavod to MoChassid and Devrei Moshe!  You guys (and all the other people who finished this incredible ride) are my heroes. 

All this talk of cycling has me itching to dust off my own Gary Fisher mountain bike and put in some miles.

Shabbat Shalom
221_16_64

Posted by David Bogner on November 10, 2006 | Permalink

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Nice pics! (And by that I mean more of the #5 type) ;-)
Looks like you are having beautiful weather.
Shabbat Shalom!

Posted by: Essie | Nov 10, 2006 3:14:55 PM

Yes, #5 is my favorite ;)

Shabbat Shalom

Posted by: Sandra (AR) | Nov 10, 2006 3:38:26 PM

Didn't know you had amongst the biggest cave in the world (Stalactite Cave). You should have a Stalactite Edition man. :-)

Have a good weekend.


Posted by: Rami | Nov 10, 2006 3:41:38 PM

Nice pics... Shabbat Shalom.

Posted by: val | Nov 10, 2006 3:43:21 PM

David

The Nes Harim/Ramat Raziel circuit is one of my favorite training grounds when I am in Israel. I have climbed the hill from Beit Shemesh to Nes Harim many times. A real brutal climb of about 5.5 kilometers (although I usually start at nes Harim and do the crazy descent first; it is one of the coolest descents around; you can easily reach speeds of 40+ mph)

What's also nice is that you can park your car and have a cold (or hot) drink at the end of your ride at the top of Nes Harim. On Friday mornings you are likely to see scores of riders indulging.

Ah, such nice memories. I hope to be climbing Nes harim again in March.

I

Posted by: mochassid | Nov 10, 2006 3:53:55 PM

The fellows with the backpacks might actually be carrying hydration packs -- hard to tell from the photo whether they have water bottles on the bikes or not.

Posted by: Talmida | Nov 10, 2006 4:32:34 PM

David
Is this the road that goes past Kibbutz Zova? I would love to bring my Seven Elium to Israel, but would probably change my gearing first. I am set up for New Jersey.
As far as the backpacks are concerned...sandvichim laderech.

Posted by: Alan | Nov 10, 2006 8:28:22 PM

My brother in law did the Alyn ride. I rode from Jerusalem to Hashmonaim with him over the summer - straight down 443. Not as scenic as your route!

Shabbat shalom.

Posted by: gilly | Nov 10, 2006 10:21:35 PM

Very uplifting photos! ; )

Posted by: Irina | Nov 10, 2006 11:06:13 PM

David,
Ari's ride was his 41st birthday present to himself. Remember what you did for your 40th?! You guys are just one big testasterone ball! :) You're not that old yet, if Ari can do it, anyone can!!

Posted by: sarahb | Nov 12, 2006 12:21:56 AM

My vote: bike drawing guy is either a fan of whimsy or Buster Keaton films...or else he was flat-out plastered...perhaps all three...

Posted by: mcaryeh | Nov 28, 2006 4:11:36 AM

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