MTB ride Thursday 24.2.2011 - Just get out and ride - from Muscat Private Hospital MPH

Hi all, We had 13 riders and out of them 2 newbie’s – Chris and Greg – welcome, guys.
Shortly after 3 o’clock we set of towards old village and found our way to old mud blocks fortress:
fortress
l-r: Tom, Alex, Mrs. Alex, Lorretta, Beate, Tim, Biagio, Johnny, Paul, Chris, Greg and Andree
We continued on graded road and blacktop to another fortress – which is now completely obscured by newly built houses – before this area was almost empty. From there we continued to village and picked narrow lines thru back gardens, passing “motorbike garden” (garden with several rusty motorbikes covered with vegetation). This single track are nice, technical and in shadow of palm trees.
fortress
I really don’t know why all of u look like bunch of booored tw.... !!!
Track brought us to wadi which we had to carry bikes thru (remember this as NOTE1 – you will see why later ;) ) regrouped below big tree and continued on singletrack which eventually brought us to mosque. Chris had flat tire so why listening to mosque chanting invitation for prayers we discussed Tour of Oman, Biagio’s head gear and fixed that flat (as I resigned from providing my own spare tubes – I have all the times 2 new tubes with me and selling them for same price I got it from Frans (5 rats) – just let u know).
mosque
Stop by mosque
Then we again picked a bit of technical single track – which ends over heap of soil so it is quite challenge to make it – and well done Johnny to manage. We continued thru Bowshar village and some of narrow lines to ride below “Arc de Triumphe” (ruin of some mud block house arch) to mosque with hot water falaj. Here I emphasized challenges which laid in front of us but nobody got scared so we continued in original set up. Over the wadi and up the “camel road”, ancient road built from rocks glued to side of the mountain. It is quite challenging climb with deep drop on the side plus some nasty bushes just in the middle so you have to decide if to avoid it from right (and risk fall) or left and conquer all the rocks. When we (Tim and me) were half way up I heard shouts so I quickly downhilled back checking for some dead corpses with broken neck in the wadi below the road but fortunately nothing was there, however, it was Alex who wanted to try if he can use his bike as parachute and ended up with nasty cuts on his limbs. As soon as I arrived I start to open my backpack. Shaken Lorretta asked if I have something. “Yes, photo camera!” But I am sure she was asking about 1st aid kit ;) so here we go – photo evidence:
mosque
Alex trying to bail out from his massage duties for Mrs. Alex after her MTB ride
“Oui, Alex, looking on nr. one italian fashionable Biagio’s head gear will stop bleeding”
Blood wiped out, Alex just boldly picked his bike (few blood drops can’t stop all that mtb pleasure, can they!) and we continued over the hill (enjoyed The View) and down to Ghala village (hot springs nr.2) passing badly eroded road with only 20 cm path on side of rock and 1m drop so we all carried our bikes (remember this as NOTE2 – you will see why later ;) ). Highlight of the ride for Lorretta (and that is why also for Paul) was that she (by who knows what miracle) spotted Paul’s Camelbak blue mouth piece (unfortunately badly chewed by some goat) lost there few months back. In Ghala I tried again to encourage people to take shortcut back to cars but my threats were dismissed. We continued on undulating graded road with several short but steep hills so some of people started to look tired.
mosque
...undulating graded road with several short but steep hills...
We had flat nr. 2 – Greg. So group continued and Tim and me stayed with Greg to fix it. Then only in 3 we continued to Ansab village but opted for pipeline road and newly built road where (if not warnings from workers) we almost fell into deep excavation. Arrived to cars just after dark, enjoying new pavement as pump track making jumps from each ramp… well done everybody, only 25 kms but thru challenging single tracks!!!

If you think that was all mountainbiking for me for the weekend … think again! Read my next mail – Riding with World cycle trial Champ !!!! ;)

More pics are here