|Bet Keshet singles 31 Jan|
Did I tell you about the mud? Ever since man invented (or perhaps discovered) the wheel, mud has proved a worthy opponent. This has been going on for a very long time, and when man invented the bicycle (which has two wheels) mud really started having fun. Mud finds so many places in a bicycle into which it can insert its oozy self and so bring movement to a very definite stop.
And that is just what happened today. After paying their respects at the Ben-Zvi hut (originally from Rehavia, but moved here as a memorial), six hardy Spokesfolk set off on a beautiful day, with sun shining in a blue sky and a cool refreshing breeze, looking forward to 20km of fast and furious fun along the singles and trails of the Bet-Keshet forest. At some point dark clouds started to appear, but the bookies rated the odds of rain as low, so on we pressed. Lovely zigzagging tracks, up and down, with flowers of many colors, across open spaces and through the woods, even cows and sheep.
Then a light rain began to fall. That was all it took for our comfortably soft trail to turn to mud; mud of the most vicious, viscous kind. Progress in any direction became almost impossible, neither forwards nor backwards, as mud, sticks and stones jammed wheels, gears and chains. Bikes could not be pushed, nor could they be carried as the mud weighed more than the bike. Much cleaning was undertaken, over and over again. Slowly we progressed and eventually reached a gravel path; no more singles today - we had done about half the route.
Time for a feed before heading back along gravel paths and a real road. But the weather had not finished with us and the serious rain started, the kind that makes you wish there were wipers on your goggles. But finally we made it home to the starting point and it was time for a feast in an establishment with a nice view of Tel Megiddo and good shakshuka. Then home for some heavy-duty cleaning. Overall a great day - but next time it will be sans mud.