Fat-Skeptic to Fat-Evangilist in just one bike

In May last year (2012) I had a go on the fatbike that Andy had brought to try on the sand. I was very fat-skeptic.

“Of course a bike wont work on the deserts soft sand”, I thought.

Oh how wrong I was. From that brief play on a small dune just outside Arabian Ranches I almost ran home and started googling everything  could about fatbikes. There wasnt much about using them on sand, most of it was about snow biking and the growing interest around the world in riding the 82mm rim / 4 inch tyre combinations on trails.

I came to the conclusion Continue reading “Fat-Skeptic to Fat-Evangilist in just one bike”

12/10/2012 Showka Descents Video + Wadi Racer Strava Segment

Had a great ride yesterday. I’ve quickly put together some of the chest mounted GoPro footage edited to include some of the key descents of the area and posted it on my vimeo account

It includes a full un edited run of Wadi Racer which is in my opinion the definitive Hot Cog track. I’ve set up a Strava segment called “Wadi Racer Short TT” that can be found at http://app.strava.com/segments/2559689

So lets see who is quickest along this very gradually descending fast and technical boulder fest. If your going to play make sure your bike is feeling strong 😉



First ride at Showka on the BMC Trail Fox (inc Video)

On Thursday I received a BMC Trail Fox TR02 from Adventure HQ in Times Square, Dubai. I’ve set up a page under “My Bikes” to post detailed information about it. You can find the page at https://ianganderton.wordpress.com/my-bikes/bmc-trail-fox-tr02/

Here is a youtube video I’ve put together using footage from a chest mounted Gopro camera I was wearing on the bikes inaugral / shakedown ride at Showka on Friday morning.

The first outing and shake down ride for the BMC Trail Fox. Out from the roundabout Weaved our way up to and through Lisa’s Gash to the top of the bridge descent. The descent from the bridge is feeling great ATM! Then through and up to Wadi Racer. From the top of the steep gully across the ‘plain’ and then down the wadi to the resting tree by the farm took about 9:51. This should be clocked on Strava as the short Wadi Racer time trial. There needs to be a longer one that includes the ascent. From there it was over and round Gregors Mount (pause for face plant incident) before heading home. Just over 30km I believe. Top ride. New bike was tested on some of the best and toughest that Showka has to offer and I’ve got to say I’m pretty damn impressed! Great ride folks, shukkran

Music Rolling in the Deep by Adele. Taken From The Brand New Album 21. No Copywright Intended. Always Support the Artist. Order/Download from Amazon- http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004AB2JVI Hmv- http://hmv.com/hmvweb/displayProductDetails.do?sku=262343 or iTunes- http://itunes.apple.com/gb/preorder/21/id405295714

For more information on mountain biking in the UAE check out the UAE Mountain Biking page on my blog at https://ianganderton.wordpress.com/uae-mountain-biking/

Event- 10th May 2012 UAE Adventure Racing and Adventure HQ Desert Adventure Hike or Run

Kevin West is putting together what sounds like a fantastic and inovative adventure race

Click on the image to go to the Premiere Marathons Event Page

Information taken from the UAE Adventure Racing Facebook Page

Event Overview:  18km (4 checkpoints) or 37km (6 checkpoints) over red dunes on 3/4 moonlit night. Start between 7 and 9pm. Teams of 2 (experienced) or 3.

Social-so just come and camp.

Mandatory Equipment list
1. GPS per team (Running GPS okay)
2. Camelpac/backpack/per person
3. Headtorch per person
4. Mobile per team
5. Energy food and hydration per person
6. 1st Aid Kit per team
7. Whistle per team

Start Times:  07:00 am Cut Off Time:  08:00 am Start

Location:  Nazwa off Dubai/Hatta Road (approx 60 min from most locations in Dubai.

Finish Location:  Same as start location Course

Highlights: Red Dunes, Moonlight, Manned Checkpoints, Challenging though attainable course.

Support Stations: Each Checkpoint will have water, other drinks.

Timing: Manual Timing Registration Fee Includes:

Event T Shirt – available in Med or Large only.

Adventure HQ discounts on equipment on Event’s Equipment List GPS and course overview sessions at Adventure HQ from 7:30pm on May 1st and May 8th.

Registration Fee

Refund Policy: None, but you can transfer the registration – up to 24 hours before event starts. Please contact the event director for this.

Race Pack Collection: From Adventure HQ between May 1st and May 9th. Please try to combine this with the information sessions on May 1st or May 8th at 7:30pm if at all possible.

Outdoor UAE Beach Party – Special deal for this blogs readers

Outdoor UAE is organising a beach party at Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa. There are heaps of activities to ‘have a go’ at and then a party into the night. For readers of this blog there is a deal. Advance tickets are 100aed, on the door its 120aed, for you reading this its 75aed!!! Check out the details below.

Get ready to enjoy the last days of the spring sun as one of the best outdoor events this year comes your way with the Outdoor UAE Beach Festival, taking place at the Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa – Joumana Club on Friday March 30th from 1pm until Midnight.

Enjoy a great day out with friends and family on the beach with tons of free-to-do activities offered including: wall climbing, kayaking, stand-up paddling, long boarding, beach football, volleyball, skim boarding, fitness pursuits, slack lining, and much more.

The fun won’t stop there; as the evening settles we will be bringing in summer beats and partying towards the midnight hour with our live DJ’s: Daniel Vitellaro and Cheriana, who will perform during the event. Amongst all that, there have even been rumors about some fire performers!

Worried about getting there? We’ve got you covered! FREE Bus rides are prepared to ferry you and your group from the Mall of the Emirates to the venue and vice versa to ensure that you won’t miss out on partying with us!

Tickets cost 100 AED and kids under 10 can go in for half the price. Tickets can be purchased on http://www.boxofficeme.com. Other venues you can buy tickets at are: Adventure HQ, Go Sport The Dubai Mall, Go Sport MOE, IBN Battuta, Du Plays Office, Leisure Marine (Beach St. JBR Walk)

Tickets that will be available at the door of the venue will be priced at 120 AED. Valid ID’s are required on the door.

Our main sponsors for this event are Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa and Adventure HQ. Other sponsors include Julbo, Al Yousuf Motors and Wadi Adventure who will offer some of the free activities and loads of prizes.

For more details and other questions about the event, visit our website at http://www.outdooruae.com or contact us at 04-4472-030. You can also ‘like’ us on Facebook to get updates about the party.

For the ‘special price‘ of 75aed contact 04-4472-030during office hours and say you’ve read my blog.

The 2012 Hot 6 Mountain Bike Endurance Event – Friday 23rd March 2012

Organised by the Hot Cog MTB Club this 6 hr endurance event promises to be something special

Click the image to download the pdf flyer

 The event will take place on a specially laid out course at Showka. Each lap will be around 10km and participants can compete either as solo riders or as teams of 2. The aim will be to cover the most laps during the 6 hrs.

Showka is now the premiere destination in the UAE for mountain bikers with it’s fantastic flowing singletrack and rocky technical test pieces.

The course will take in some new bits and some old favourites.

Click the image to download a kml (google earth) file of the route

The aim of the event is to have fun in which ever way floats your boat. If your a racing snake and out to win then great bring it on against some of the best in the region. If your more keen to just challenge yourself or even really along just to hang out and chat then thats just as great too.

The mountain bike community will be there, we’ve got great support from the trade side of things with retailers Adventure HQ, Ride Bike Shops, Micahs Bike Shop and Wolfi’s Bike shop all having a presence along with clothing brands Endura and Buff  also supporting the event.

The event is free, all we ask is you ensure your properly prepared with plenty of water and food along with a bike properly kitted out for an endurance event on ‘proper’ mountain bike trails (see pdf flyer for our suggestions on this) as well as bringing plenty of mountain biking Joie de vivre.

We’ll be camping out the night before to prepare for the event and also enjoying refreshment and socialising afterwards so please join us.

We still need some marshalls, time keepers and helpers for the event, please contact us on https://www.facebook.com/groups/hotcogmtb/ if you can or know someone who can help out.

Its gonna be great 😀

Thursday 15th March 2012 – Arabian Outdoor Social Evening

Please come and join us and the outdoor community for a social evening organised by Simon Cahill of Arabia Outdoors. Mike Nott is speaking about his extensive 4×4 adventures in the region and launching his new advanced offroading book. I’ll be warming up for him talking about my Musendam Circumnavigation Adventure that was, I believe, the first complete Khasab to Khasab circuit including the portage over the isthmus. It didnt go entirely to plan, 4 of us started and I ended up doing the journey solo due to a mild issue with deportation. Come along to the evening and I’ll tell you the whole story along with giving a guide to kayaking in this world class paddling destination.

click on the image to download the pdf



Is there a new hope on social media for UAE climbers?

For UAE based climbers social media has been a tale of woe for a while now. Firstly the old UAEclimbing.com forum died a slow quiet death when its owner left the region. Then the UAE Rock Climbing facebook group turned into an badly moderated and spam ridden bitch fest. The only reason to continue membership of it seemed to be to watch with sick fascination as the community seemed to tear itself apart. For an outsider or newbie looking in it certainly didn’t paint the community in a positive light. For me it just made me angry and generated a strong desire to punch the screen in the way that the worst of reality TV does.

The reality is that the climbing community is actually very strong here in the UAE and I enjoy being party of it a lot.

Well maybe a new group that has been set up brings with it some hope at last. If your a climber based here in the region or are someone who wants to be a climber based here I suggest you join the Real UAE Rock Climbers Facebook Group and see if it can turn the situation around.

Here’s the blurb that outlines the ethos:

A Groucho Club for UAE climbers, a digital camp fire for genuine rock climbers with an interest in UAE climbing to meet without bringing their commercial spam and alternative agendas with them.

As per the Groucho Club, membership is by invite. Membership is predominately for rock climbers with an interest in UAE Rock Climbing. The group is Spam free.

There are no restrictions on subjects discussed but members will behave like mature adults. In the event of a member’s behavior degenerating to the point that other members are offended Das Scruitinizer will intervene. The reaction of members will determine what is acceptable in the circumstances and context that it occurs. The test of acceptable conduct is simply, how would reasonable, mature adults behave if they were sat round a camp fire with family, friends and fellow climbers.

There is no aspiration to build any “community” or club. This will be a place to share chat and experiences; make recommendations for areas, routes etc, swap beta (what ever that may be) so that people that want to get out climbing in the UAE have the opportunity to share information.

Who is running the show? Effectively the people on it and if they object to other people’s behavior then I will intervene with the remit that I will apply: what is reasonable? would you say this if you were standing next to the person? is this how mature adults would behave/interact?

Its a bit of a mystery at the moment who Das Scruitinizer is!! I do hope that who ever it is quickly puts together a sensible group of admins though to keep things in line on in the group to prevent the ridiculous malarky found elsewhere.



15th March – A date for your UAE outdoor diaries

On the 15th of March Arabia outdoors are holding “An Evening of Entertainment for Outdoor Enthusiasts”. Mike Nott and myself will be speaking.

Previous social events Simon has organised have gathered together a great group of people and this evening should be no different.

Mike Nott is a regional 4×4 authority, is the author of a soon to be published Outdoor UAE Advanced Offroad Guide and has had many adventures in the region and elsewhere. He’s a great guy Mike and his stories could lead you into some great off road adventures while his advice is likely to help you come through them in one piece.

I’ll be telling the story of our mildly epic initial attempt at circumnavigating the Musendam Penninsular including its untimely end along with the successful solo mission I completed immediataly afterwards. It is a fantastic world class sea paddlers destination and as well as telling the story I hope to provide racks of information on paddling in the area along with some top tips and handy hints.

Please help us provide a successful evening by sharing this post via facebook, twitter and other social media as well as doing the analogue version of sharing information by printing off the flyer below (click on the image) and sticking it on notice boards as well as telling your mates too.

click the image to download the pdf flyer

Tickets are available from myself or contact Simon by email on simon.cahill@arabiaoutdoors.com or by phone at 055 9556209

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑