Mountain Bike ride 24.05.2012 Al Ansab
This weekend ride was in Ansab area which is now developing quickly. Just few years back the area (apart of small village)
was completely empty and we used to meet by 1 of 4 houses “in the middle of nowhere” something like 3 kilometers
from village. Now the area is densely inhabited, new houses mushrooming everywhere and even between the school where
we parked and petrol station next door is the brand new building (what confused some of us, huh Sarath?).
I went to check the track before ride so my 4x4 got quite amount of abuse as area near dam is full of holes. But it looked
like we will have fun there. We set off (Frans, Gilles and Gilles, John – new comer (welcome!) and apparently friend of
Kenny Belaey and doing same trial stunts, Robin, Hassan, Aldo and Sarath) direction dam slightly late but found our way
to concrete channel – “half pipe” as Frans called it – so we were riding from one side to other enjoying it and riding
like skateboarders on U-ramp. Only Gilles rode on the side claiming “this is not for my age” but after small encouragement
he tried and apparently he enjoyed it too and I saw even smile on his face! John was doing various tricks, wheelies,
stoppies and jumping on front wheel – obviously happy to be on bike after few weeks over here.
Sarath and Aldo in half pipe
But all good things must end so after something like 100m we came to the end of “half pipe”, climbed on the dam
(what is just rock enforced heap of soil 20m above the valley floor) and enjoyed views over valley with quite
several pools and greenery around them close to dam wall.
Robin, in the back John enjoying his rented bike
The group enjoing the view(l-r) Aldo, Robin, Sarath, Hassan, Frans and Gilles
Then we found our way via dried wadi, mud crust crunching below our wheels. We passed the valley from where probably
gravel is taken out to be used for house building so it looked really desolate like Mordor – just grey gravel with
small “islands” with individual trees on them which for unknown reason were not bulldozed. On other side of valley
we crossed small stream and picked dusty trail - after rains this area is usually flooded because it is part of dam
flood protection so when water dries out everything is covered by thick mud, now dry with smooth tracks on it.
We found our way via dried wadi, mud crust crunching below our wheels
Crossing the "stream"
Chasing the camel
We chased some camels and watched for red flags and quickly passed firing range. The graded track was quite soft
(probably due to April rains) and in combination with small incline our legs had good workout, but we ploughed thru a
nd regrouped regularly. The temperature was quite pleasant and soon rode from between jebels to open plain – on the way
Aldo recognized place where he lost his pedal and whole bunch of us were not able to find it (if u believe it or not!)
on the ride here last year.
Mountainbiking is dangerous sport
The graded track was quite soft with small incline - our legs had good workout
Frans had no lunch so that gravel sapped all his energy so he opted to return to cars by wadi. We were more-less
cruising now and after few kilometers hit main black top road and stopped by “TOP UP” shop to – surprise, surprise –
top up our energy levels guzzling on soft drinks (thanks to Hassan). We picked up our usual track to the foothill
of mountains (now partly black topped), enjoyed short downhill to hot springs wadi and than put granny rings on
and grinded our way to the top of the hill. I raced Gill, after us came John with truck load of excuses why he walked
it, than Hassan and Robin bravely spinning light gears and than pufftas walking with their bikes
(hill is really steep so don’t feel bad). Gill nr. 2 hit soft patch and did not manage to disengage his spd-s so
opted for short relax on the ground.
"Bibsi" from TOP UP shop
Steep climb from hot springs wadi
We had short break on the top and then stopped by watch tower for group photo. We stopped in Hamam village under palm trees,
replenished water in our camel backs from mosque water cooler and enjoyed single track via green gardens. It is nice and
technical, just spin little bit and build momentum, then use small concrete path over falaj as ramp and enjoy small
The stop near watch tower for group photo
The single track via green gardens
Aldo, Sarath and Robin on single track
I almost got myself pinned by metal rods laying on the road ready for some construction. From here we rode on undulating
black top till we picked up our trail thru jebels just to end up in another being developed quickly area
full of new house. We found our way thru houses to graded track along main road just 2 km from cars.
Unfortunately we did wrong turn and ended up in wadi, so we had to walk thru it, but it was close to houses and in
matter of minutes we were back to cars, where Frans was waiting for us (and especially for John who rented
bike from him) with bottle of cold coke, tasted better then beer… or maybe not. 26 km done and we had some fun,
so successful ride then! ;))
More photos on flickr MTB rides 2012
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