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

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ode to Ramat Raziel

Besides getting to see my sons, HDIL and grandchildren, I got to ride my bike a bunch of times during our recent trip to Israel.

OOS rented me a very nice carbon bike from the wonderful bike store in Har Nof (on Kanfei Nesharim). We rode on the first Friday and then on Sunday in the Nes Harim area, doing the nasty 3.5 mile climb and descent. On Wednesday, I rode by myself, doing the Nes Harim thing and adding climb up from the Stalactite Caves (another 2.5 miles).

This past Friday, OOS and I did the climb up Ramat Raziel. I had done this climb twice before but hadn't done it in about four years. The ride is about 5.5 miles, about 5 of which are uphill with some very tough gradients. As usual, OOS, with his inferior bike (but superior legs) smoked me and left me in the dust. (He kept climbing towards Ein Karem until I called him when I got to the top of Ramat Raziel; it's good to be 26).

I may not be particularly fast up the hills but at least I get up the hills. It was especially tough since I was riding without my shoes and pedals (I was too busy and too lazy to remove my pedals from my bike and take them with me; big mistake in light of all the riding I did) and the fact that I was riding a bike with a compact double with only a standard 12-25 in the back (rather than the 12-27 I use on my bike).

It's amazing how one remembers these hills so well. It was like I had climbed it last week rather than 4 years ago. I guess pain will do that to you.

The biggest hoot of the week (riding-wise) was the descent down Ramat Raziel, which I had never done before. (We didn't have time to do a sivuv up to Ein Karem, Nes Harim and then down back to Ramat Shiloh; that's a fabulous ride but takes about three hours). I'm not one who usually likes to descend but, for whatever reason, I really enjoyed it. Not for the feint of heart and, in one really scary section where the road narrows to one lane, freezing to boot. It was good for a couple of primal screams.

If there aren't enough reasons to live in Israel, living 10k from Ramat Raziel ought to clinch the deal.



  • At 11:03 PM, Blogger PsycleSteve said…

    Fabulous. Glad to hear you sound so nice and healthy. Tough climbs-not clipped in (mistake!) and a 12-25 (I'm using a 12-28).

    Just got back from 5 days skiing with the family in Utah. Despite my years of skiing and superior cycling legs, was smoked by OOS who only wanted to ski black/double black trails. Good to be 16 (I guess he gets his leg strength from the constant squats being a high school goalie).

    Does your son know of a place to rent decent mountain bikes? Our apt in Israel is surrounded by some great off road trails (ben-shemen forest, park canada) with trails that lead all the way to the childrens zoo in J-M. I keep a mtn bike in our apt but can't seem to find a place to rent (won't let the kids ride on road there). The bike shops I spoke with tell me that they don't rent quality stuff because the Israeli's trash the bikes and then put up a fight about paying for damages (what a suprise!). Any leads would be appreciated.

  • At 1:45 AM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    the guy, Moshe, in Har Nof, is a very erliche guy. I would try him. The only other place I know is rock n' road at the Latrun gas station.

  • At 6:36 AM, Blogger OOS said…

    The place on Kanfei Nesharim St. is called Derech Ha'ophnayim. call 144 to get the number

  • At 2:18 PM, Blogger RaggedyMom said…

    Svivah (surroundings) or sivuv?

  • At 7:55 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…


    That's what happens when you post on no sleep after a 21 hour trip.


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