Last Thursday we rode in Yitti area – we had initially 9 riders but later Biagio joined us. I was staying in Shangri-La (thanks to Peter) so I just cycled to meeting spot. I slightly underestimated distance (it is 7 kilometers!) so I arrived just in time to be 1 minute late. In few minutes we set of (Paul, Simon, Jean-Philip, Gilles, Shukri, Sarath, Robin and Michel) on tarmac direction Yitti village. We had tail wind so we pedaled easily and maintained speed just above 20km/h. We quickly passed Galfar camp and village.
On graded road we stilled kept speed 20km/h what is slightly faster then usually – thanks to wind. As Paul – today riding with his daughter’s pink helmet (usually he has his son’s skate boarding helmet!) - described it “I remember you riding slower”. The middle of the graded road was bumpy (e-e-e-e-e) we split and rode in 2 lines on both sides of the road even using slipstream “like Trans Hajar” (Sarath’s pearl).
Wide wadi splits and we took right turn on Y turn and road led us to narrow valley (nice rock formations), we were watched just by goats with their loud kids “baaa”-ing away. The wind was pushing us but that also meant there was no air circulation (understand cooling) around our bodies – so it felt quite hot and some of us (no names!) were sweating like pedophiles on school trip. From time to time we stopped for regrouping, Michel was in his element because Yitti ride is basically road ride on graded road, so he was all the time ahead stretching the group – and I was pushing too because I got permition for ride only after I solemnly swore to minister of family affairs I will be back at 5. In relatively short time we reached “the hill” – short but steep climb with dusty surface. The King of Mountain polka dot jersey went to Robin who rhythmically grinded his way up, then me (I am not very good in climbs but I just wanted to take pics of others), then Simon (he did not need any jersey as he had his neon yellow football t-shirt) and next was World Champion Shukri (see his jersey on photos) – well done guys.
We had short stop enjoying the views and then we enjoyed free wheeling on the other side – ‘cause what goes up, must go down, right?
This leg was again quite fast because it is rolling slightly down hill in spite wind blowing to our faces. Again Michel was shooting ahead proving his road skills and it was quite difficult to catch his rear wheel and for some time we were doing almost 30 km/h – and I am still speaking about riding mountain bikes on graded road.
We regrouped 1 kilometer before village (guys coming 1-by-1 and after while Sarath and Gil) and to village we rode in nice small pack. We stopped for mandatory soft drinks in coffee shop, sitting on the steps, we took the guy polishing the toilet in front of his shop as live entertainment, heheh.
We attracted attention of local race boys in their lifted jeeps with loud exhausts (and even louder music systems) revving up their engines (apparently there is direct relation between maximum level of noise and size of d… ) – well – u can’t do it with mountain bike – so, yes, u won guys.
The last few kilometers passed by quickly and we were back to cars around 5pm (I had even average 21 km/h – ok-ish avg for social ride) so I was still on the target and managed to return relatively early. Aaaaaanyway – good ride, 25 km in good average.
You can see more photos on usual link in 2012 MTB rides photos (just scroll to the end) on mtb_oman on flickr.com Resp. here is search which brings you only photos from this ride http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=MTB+ride+Yitti+29.03.2012