The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Friday, December 09, 2005

The Ride, Day Four: Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv...

We interupt the series on the Baby to continue the Alyn Ride series. Those of you who have absolutely no interest in this will only have to endure (or skip) two more posts after this. Since you still may be interested in the Baby, I can tell you that the arrival of the Baby completely wrecked my summer and fall outdoor training schedule but I don't hold it against her. That's saying a lot!

I was not looking forward to this day's ride. It was basically 40 flat miles, south from Zichron Yaakov to Tel Aviv on major highways. No hills, no climbs, no nice scenary, dangerous clogging (all 325 riders were going on road today) and lots of waiting again.

Well, I was very pleasantly surprised. It turned out to be a delightful day. 75 degrees, not a cloud in the sky, the roads were bearable and there were a couple of nice surprises.

We left Zichron Yaakov at about 8:30, an hour later than the other days. I stayed near the front of the pack all day, just behind the testosterone teens. That is the safest place to ride because the slower riders tend to be more dangerous, particularly when riding bunched up. We had a nice tailwind all day so it was very easy riding at a fairly decent pace.

The first rest stop was at a gas station - mini shopping area. I was able to nail both a Magnum ice cream bar and, more importantly, my first decent cup of coffee all week, a large cappucino. Gevalt! I was also able to work on my tan (a biker's tan; very goofy. Head and neck, arms and legs from just above the knee to just above the ankle).

The closer we got to T.A. the wider the highways. By the end we were riding on the shoulders of major roads. It's not my idea of the ideal ride but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I managed to avoid getting clipped by an 18 wheeler. Thankfully, there was an area where we road on backroads through nice farm lands.

Lunch was at a very lovely park just outside downtown Tel Aviv. The mayor of Tel Aviv met us there and made a presentation. It was pretty silly but the press was there so the hospital got some good pub. Lunch lasted a good hour longer than it needed to but we were used to that by now.

Finally, we made our way into downtown T.A. This was the coolest part of the day. The police closed off all the streets so we were able to fly down Hayarkon to the hotel. Wild.

We got to the Dan Panorama early in the afternoon and were able to really relax before dinner. I hung out in the lobby, mellowed out with a couple of glasses of red wine, had a very nice dinner and went to sleep.

All in all, a surprisingly pleasant day.

Only one more day left. The climb to Yerushalayim, including the ridiculously difficult ascent of Ramat Raziel; the hardest climb yet.


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