On Friday morning, Shosh introduced Susan and I to the cycle routes at Kibbutz Ruhama. This is located on Road 334, just east of Sderot, and features long, straightforward, flowing, and enjoyable singletrack.
There are two circuits; we rode the shorter 21 kilometer loop, but there’s a longer one that we have put on our to-do list. The weather was perfect, and the route added a bit of spice – but not too much – because the recent rain had let to some deterioration in the paths, and there were holes in the ground to keep you on your toes. We had to walk through a couple of overly muddy areas, but most of the time it was just ride, ride, ride. We managed to take in the scenery which was beautiful. There was lots of greenery, some chunky wooded areas, and bright buttons of flowers popping up all around us. It’s not what you might expect in Israel. Indeed, in places it was reminiscent of riding in Scotland.
A couple of weeks ago we had ridden a new route at Ben Shemen. That was too dangerous for my tastes, and a whole lot less fun. However, it had been good to get out and get some time on my bike. Ruhama was a much more pleasant, easy experience, and highly recommended for those just starting out in mountain biking. Unfortunately, there are no resources there, such as food, drink, or bike supplies. That’s probably one reason it was quiet. Another, is that many riders prefer Be’eri (which is just to the south of Sderot, off Road 25). Be’eri is much more rocky, and for my tastes is too dangerous to be enjoyable. So, nice and relatively easy was fine by me.
Susan rightly points out that the routes we used to ride in Scotland were harder, but we got used to them after riding them again, and again, and again. Maybe I’m getting old, but I just don’t fancy the Be’eri experience. Hopefully we will find something else that has an edge, but isn’t too much of dicing with death.