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 😉

Enjoy

Ian

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

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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/

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 😀

Several New Bike Shops Opening in the UAE

The cranks are very much turning at the moment in the regions cycle retail industry. To my knowledge there are at least 4 significant new stores due to open in the next couple of months. I’ll go through them in the order I think they will open:

I think first will be Micah’s Bike Shop in the area of Al Quoz, Dubai, behind the Oasis Centre. The store is already fitted out and products are on the shelf. Not only do these guys seem to be the undisputed “Kings Of Bling” (check out the range of anodized bling products in glass cabinets) they are also the first store, to the best of my knowledge, specializing in mountain biking. The store is born from a collective from inside the local mountain biking community itself and brands include Ellesworth, Intense, Loaded and Fox. They have a spacious workshop, proven mechanical expertise, free coffee and a very social outlook. Contact them on micahsbikeshop@gmail.com or via their facebook page

Next I think it will be Revolution Cycles based out at Motor City, Dubai. A project set up by Stewart Howison of Cycle Safe Dubai fame, this store will also have a strong community base in the road scene. I don’t know yet what they’ll have in store for the mountain bikers. Stewart is a committed cyclist’s cyclist so there will be no shortage of specialist knowledge and expertise. The best way to follow this project is to ‘like’ their facebook page HERE.

Following hot on the heels of these 2 ‘independent’ are 2 from the big guns of Go Sport and Ride.

I think Go Sport will be first and this is hot news for Adu Dhabi based cyclists. Opening in the brand new Bawabat Al Sharq Mall. Ranging is likely to be similar to the Dubai Mall Go Sports with its pretty even mix of road, mountain and recreational bikes and accessories. Mid to late March 2012 is the expected opening date but I’m afraid I haven’t got any store specific contact details for you at this point in time.

Ride’s new store is likely to be last but by absolutely no means least as it is being touted as what will be the largest bike store in the GCC! This will see a big change in strategy for the Ride Bike stores as they move out of relatively small mall based stores and into some space on the Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. This will give them room to display their extensive brand line up including Giant, Santa Cruz, Top Peak and Mavic as well as decent workshop space to. All they need is a decent clothing brand to go with their Buff offering and it will be a very complete range 😉 . Ride are very active on facebook making this the best way to keep up to date with their offering and their group can be found HERE.

So times they certainly are changing in the regions very active cycle scene. To my mind its all very very +ve and exciting.

Hopefully catch at a trail head or in a bunch soon

Ian

Slopes of Jebel Yibir Ride 12th Feb 2012

Jaakko has been exploring the slopes of Jebel Yibir for a while now running and mountain biking up there on a regular basis. Despite it being kind of on my doorstep I didn’t realise there was rideable terrain up there until I saw a video (see here) posted on the Hot Cog MTB Facebook group. It looked awesome and straight away I asked Jaakko when he was next planning to ride up there. 1 week later and we were shouldering bikes to carry them up the first 200m of ascent.

Jaakko is putting together a map of his explorations

Map showing Jaakko's explorations so far. Our intended route is in orange
Our intended route in orange

The route wasn’t long, we only covered just over 10km in total, and it involved lots of pushing and carrying. The riding was tough and technical, the trail was often very rocky and sections were loose headsized rocks. It never ceases to amaze me what modern bikes can cope with though and I love this kind of biking.

Here’s Jaakkos helmet cam footage

There is racks of exploring to do up there. I have a feeling I’m going to be shouldering my bike quite a lot.

A Mountain Bike Lap at Shawka (PHOTOS)

Look at that single track flowing down the wadi! I’d say 75% of todays ride was on single track

The trail pixies leave their little secret signs here and there to help out those that know to look for them

Got to love that you cycle past camels all the time when your out mountain biking here

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