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.
Labels: Riding My Bike