I am an MTB enthusiast. I love mountain biking. I love that I can be on my bike following whichever direction takes my fancy. I’m not constrained by road signs, other road users and the direction of the roads.
Over in Shahaniya, there is a cycle track – and yes the usual constraints come in to play again in that you have to follow a particular direction, and observe the usual safety rules (which is not a bad thing). But this is one of the too few cycle lanes/tracks in Qatar, and what I like about it is that it is a loooong track; approximately 30k in each direction, stretching from Al Sheehaniya to Al Jumaliyah.
It looks a bit lonely and desolate – because it is! But if you remember that the fun is in conquering all obstacles and barriers (mental as well as physical), then this is a worthwhile ride.
The first landmark you will come across is the Dosari family farm/zoo. I didn’t have the time or inclination to visit on this occasion but maybe will do with the family next week.
Due to its location close to the Camel Race Track, there is a Camel Crossing a bit further along from the Dosari Zoo! A Camel Crossing! You have to see it to believe it, but then considering we are in The Gulf then we shouldn’t really be too surprised (still a bit of a giggle though)!
There is an old Mosque about 12k into the ride, which has a functional and clean water chiller thank God! And you don’t have to be a Muslim to go inside and make use of it!
Surely enough you will find a couple of people using it during prayer times, so as long as you don’t get too nosey while people are praying you’ll be fine. But if you do want to stray some limits and take pictures of the inside, then do it at non-prayer times and remember to take your shoes off!
What makes this ride particularly daunting is the heat. I arrived at 8 am and by 9:30 am I was pretty much drained and only 20k into the ride! I know some people who claim to have completed the ride in the evening, which sounds a bit more sensible, but I do like to see where I am even though there is not much to see!
The owner of a large farm and horse ranch, that i passed, was curious enough to stop me and ask what I was doing. He then offered lots advice about bikes as it turned out he was a cycling enthusiast too! He also invited me to his farm to ride his horses! Nice and very hospitable people these Qataris!
So eventually, I managed to hit my target of 25k and decided to head back. You can check out the Strava stats by clicking the map above.
Next time, I think I’ll be starting out a lot earlier, or risk an evening ride. I’ll blog it again when i do.
Video below for my good friends Richard and Phil! 🙂