Last MTB ride was in BT race track area – this area provides wide variety of single tracks and graded roads for mountain biker to play on. This time we did not ride usual race track but opted to do longer ride. First good news was that they finally opened new road from Hatat House which now leads over spectacular bridge over the wadi. And if we did not have enough news – there is another good one – Bob came on brand new Explorer – congrats!
We set of in the group of 9 – Bob, Michel, Hassan, Ingmar, Simon, Tom, Paul, Peter T (long time no see). We headed to single track which after few hundred meters connected to race track. We rode on it for few hundred meters and then took track leading up the hill full of loose big rocks. Riding on them - they were doing strange ringing noises so it was like riding on china-ware.
We surprised group of 3 donkeys which ran away from us but all the time chose same track as we tended to ride so it looked like we were chasing them. After steep climb full of loose rocks (and small encounter with bush – bush won as the new scratches on my arm proved) we had short pause, enjoyed the views and rolled on the other side.
Bob decided to do own thing as old knees were protesting again. We hit graded road and after while we found ourselves riding on open gravel plane (so it was “bumpy ride”). In one point we hit narrow wadi/ditch with approx. 30 cm high eroded bank. I readied my camera (because somebody will fall here). And Paul did! Unfortunately – stupid camera – till it saved previous photo Paul managed cover all evidence of his face plant and refused to repeat it – so maybe next time!
We crossed another (dry) wadi and climbed on opposite bank and found welcomed shade to rest. We had only 7 km on the clock which (with several regroupings and waiting) took us almost 1 hour (!) so we pressed on – found our track between new houses and were again riding between the jebels, no civilization seen anywhere around so we felt like in the middle of nowhere.
The track was getting worse and worse (as result of new roads people stopped using these old ones) with slight incline it tested our legs – in spite of relatively lovely temperature some of us were again red faced and again metaphor “sweating like pedophile on school trip” spring to the mind (but no names!). Track eventually brought us to tarmac, where Michel jumped off the bike, knelt down, started kissing it (‘cause that’s his love for life), hands up in the sky. We kept on the tarmac for kilometer or so, Michel’s prayers were probably heard up there because Almighty gave power to his legs and he again showed us where is his power.
The rest of the group was cruising comfortably, some of us entertaining ourselves riding “hands free” which almost resulted in me buried below the group which consisted of Ingmar (but almost does not count so it was only near miss). We turned off the black top just when the guys started to ask “are we there yet” (liiiike little children).
After while we hit (not again!) brand new black top from which we again deviated to dual track – but for Michel it was enough and he refused to leave smooth surface while the group of deviants continued enjoying them-/our-selves by more and more vibrations coming via our wheels to our bodies.
But all good things have to finish once so after while we found ourselves on tarmac just few km from cars (“are we there yet”). The group headed to cars (it was only 17:30-ish! so wt-ef) but I accompanied with Tom and Hassan turned to graded road, took pics with camels and enjoyed last kilometers of tracks. Few more pics from ride are below.
Arrived to cars just in time to watch sunset and guys finishing their energy drinks in blue cans with big cat on them which made them feel like tigers (than I understood attraction of last kilometers of blacktop!) with number of empty cans equal number of riders who took last kms off road. We did 32 km, tigers only 29, still departed from the area in same time. Yep some drinks can cause time dilatation.
Photos will be uploaded on facebook later today - I will update link later