Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ride4Reform: Day 3

We stopped near collapsed train tracks for a pit stop

The morning of the third day of the ride we were confronted with a lot of long rolling hills and they were mostly off-road. We were on the sides of farms that kept trying to steer us off to towards the left. It was still an adjustment trying to stay on course while dodging rocks and loose patches throughout the morning, all the time leading up towards a nice little climb on gravel.

I must admit that I wasn’t completely adjusted riding on this type and after a few minutes of climbing this hill, my legs were burning with lactic acid. When I get to the top of a hill, I like to just go down again. I can keep churning my legs without working that hard down a hill and try to clear some of that out. We stopped.

Rather annoyed, I hopped off my bike to look around the beginning of this forest. I found an incredible ancient well and cave site that we stopped near. The views were incredible, even though at times I didn’t always have the chance to look around because I was working on the paths.

We left the forest by descending through it. It was incredible!

Quickly down the hill with a little bit of skidding around the corners I got to the bottom safely. Being the third day, they had told us to be careful since most people started to feel comfortable on their bikes and they start to take risks that they don’t really need to. I have to admit, I may have fallen into that trap. But I was safe the whole way down.

After waiting for the rest of the group to meet us at the bottom of the forest, we crossed onto the road. I was really happy to be back climbing on pavement until Itay, our leader, said that we were turning off to head up another hill, a pretty good sized one.

It wasn’t terribly challenging, but I was starving and had way too much water. I worked so hard to get to lunch.

At the top of the hill the wind was whipping around and it was cold, really cold. But our hosts for lunch had a Bedowin style building set up that shielded us from the wind. They were fantastic and had prepared some fresh Lavinah for us. Lavinah is a warm Laffa (large pita that is similar to a Chipotle wrap) filled with Zatar, fresh Goat Cheese and Oil. Amazing!

Most people went on a tour of the Winery, located below us, but I decided to stay above and stretch out. My legs were getting tired. But once everyone came back topside we hopped back on our bikes and started towards another long climb to finish off the day (this was in preparation for the wicked climb we would have on Wednesday).

On the way down from lunch I started to feel that my front tire was low. I kept checking the level from the top of my bike and it didn’t look that bad. Then I made a wide left turn. I needed to stop and fix it.

We filled it with air and I started our climb. I love climbing!

I caught a good chunk of the group, but by the time I got to the top of the hill I was just about riding on the rims again (riding on the rims: a tire that is so low that the metal structure of the rim is almost touching the ground).

A puncture. Ugh. Luckily the support staff pulled up behind me to lend me a bike to finish the day. It was mostly a long descent towards our Kibbutz, Kibbutz Kramim,

After fighting with my bike all day on Monday, I missed it at the end of the day on Tuesday. There was something different about the balance, the shifters, the shock-absorbers and the handlebars. Something just didn’t really feel good about it. I only had 3km to finish, most of it downhill. But I was really happy to finish and not get picked up by the support truck.

After some long stretching, I was glad to go to bed early. Wednesday was going to be a tough day.

Wednesday, Day 4, is coming soon.

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