Thursday, November 08, 2007


The Alyn Ride, Day Two: Waiting In The Sun

Waiting in the Sun

Today's ride, 67.5 miles and 2400 feet of climbing took us all the way around the Kinneret (with a climb to the Golan Heights in the middle). B'H, my day was flat free and cramp free. In fact, it was one of the strongest days of riding I've ever had.

The "only" problem was that there are some truly dreadful riders among the 200 road riders and the police wouldnt allow the ride to string out more than a certain amount. That meant waiting - lots of waiting - in the hot sun.

The ride started out the same as Sunday; heading south along the Kinneret. I went right to the front and rode right behind the lead car for 10 flat miles. It was a lot of fun and I felt like Lance Armstrong - not.

Instead of continuing south we headed east and rode another 8 miles until we reached the foot of the southern edge of the Golan Heights base. This part of the ride was particularly beautiful with the heights in front of us and the kinneret on our left.

The easy part of the ride was officially over. Next came a very intense 1500 foot, 5-mile, climb up to the top of the Golan. I had been concerned about this climb because of the possible after effects of yesterday's cramp. But I felt very strong and was in the top 15 up the hill.

Our climbing, however, had just begun. We climbed for the next 25 miles across the Golan into strong headwinds. Wind is not my strength. In fact I don't mind climbing all day but I hate riding into headwinds. Nevertheless, I did reasonably well.

We were about a mile from lunch when we were inexplicably stopped and made to wait a full half hour until everyone caught up. We baked on the road instead of pulling into the rest stop. Bizarre. We didn't get to lunch until 1:45 by which time most of us were famished. (Lunch was nasty and I ended up eating a peanut butter sandwich).

After lunch we descended back down to the Kinneret at about 30 mph. This was the most breathtaking part of the day with the lake and the mountains on the west side of the kinneret in view. (I've taken many pictures while riding the bike but even I'm not dumb enough to take pictures while going 30 mph).

The rest of the ride was relatively flat going west then south until we reached Tiveria. (Of course the police stopped us 2 miles from the hotel to wait for the slower riders. I don't get it). This, too, was a very pretty part of the ride.

After a nice hot shower and a good hot meal I'm ready for tomorrow. We finally leave Tiveria and head towards the very cool town (not weatherwise) of Zichron Yaakov.

Tomorrow's ride is about 55 miles and 2800 feet of climbing spread out among five relatively short but nasty climbs.


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