MTB ride 25.2.2011 - Riding with World cycle trial Champ - from Muscat Private Hospital MPH

Hi all MTB folk,

Who came to Tour of Oman inevitably had to be attracted to wigwam of Red Bull with exhibition of 3 guys – one of them World Champion in cycle trial, Belgium guy Kenny Belaey (trial and free style), his brother Wesley and Spaniard Viki Gomez (BMX Flat Land). This guys are like little oh’ my gods of biking – doing amazing tricks, jumping on back / front wheels, jumping on really high obstacles, riding without front wheel, you name it. Viki G. was doing something like figure skating – just on his bmx bike! – pirouettes, riding on back wheel but with bike upside down (really!) – it is indescribable… in 1 word – amaAAAAAAAaazing. Just see this few pics):

Link to ToO website: here
Link to Kenny’s website

Name Kenny B. was completely unknown to me as british mags we have here just cover UK scene – it took me quite time to find in some of previous issues tiny little news about last World Championship in Canada:

… and this is video made in LA just before he came to Oman

Of course, I spoke with guys, lied to them that I am the most important mtb guy in Oman and blah blah, described them our mtb scene here till they started drooling, well ok, not really but I wanted them to come to some of our rides, which due to them being really tight with their schedule (as highly paid pro’s they must perform as paying Red Bull is commanding, understandably) but eventually on the day of last stage of Tour of Oman in Mutrah, Kenny took my gsm number and we agreed on Friday ride (his last exhibition was on Thu for Extreme sailing in The Wave, so Fri he was free and his personal trainer scheduled him mtb ride).
“I will call you on Thursday evening”, oh’my god of biking said.
Frankly, I did not expect to hear any more from him, trying to convince myself that it will never materialize so I kept my expectation l ow (as unfulfilled expectations are the only source of unhappiness/disappointment), but arranged the bike from Frans.

Thursday evening, tired after Muscat-private mtb ride, lying on sofa – my phone rang and I felt like all that crazy young teens must feel when their idol (some vip actor in some of that non-sense movies about vampires) wave on them. I kept my voice “cool” (huge effort) and indeed – tomorrow I’ll go riding with World Champ, picking him at 2pm from his hotel. I tried to behave like it is quite normal for me to go biking with World Champ, every day matter, right? But I am sure my face must be like child’s face in candy shop with huge xmas tree (imagine that scene from Notting hill movie when Huge Grant with Julia Roberts leave and his friends just scream and he just commented “They do that all the time when I leave, awful habit”). Just face it – where on Earth you can go riding with World Champ?

So on the day I picked oh’my god of biking from hotel and we headed to MPH park place where we ended our previous day ride just less then 24 hours ago (not before he signed cycling hat for my son). We set off in relaxed pace to both fortresses and then to narrow pathways thru palm tree gardens. As he said after all that exhibitions and performances he was quite fed up with Oman but this changed his perception. Track brought us to wadi which we had to carry bikes thru the day before (remember my NOTE1?!?!?) but Kelly just slowly hopped thru it, the big boulder stopped him so he cycled backwards 1.5 m and picked different line, not putting foot down for a single time… we continued to hot springs and to wadi behind Bowshar village.

Kenny Belaey on hot spring falaj, UNIVEGA bike courtesy of Fran’s bike shop

Wadi is very rough but again Kenny just nicely hopped thru it, I took him to green pool just 100m behind the bend and he seeing all that rock formations said that we can have here even World Championship in trial. Then we climbed that steep road where Alex fell the day before (Kenny’s comment: “How he could do that?”, … oh, well). I felt a bit tired after previous day ride so I told him to go ahead, apologized for status of my energy, but he just said – “You still kicking, man” so I took it as compliment ;) We downhilled on other side and this is how World Champ conquered that narrow eroded path on the bottom of it which all of us just walk (NOTE2 from my yesterday mail!):
click here to see video

From Ghala village we continued on graded road going in relaxing but fast pace. Just speaking with him was amazing – this guy is really like from different planet, he travels around the world with his exhibitions, have track load of ideas what to do, having own Extreme sports program on TV channel, organizing cycling holidays (and maybe once also to Oman) etc. etc. We continued to Ansab village where we picked pipeline road and over the hill back to Bowshar and to Muscat Private. As this took us good hour less then previous day ride I took him on Bowshar dune where we watched guys wracking their modified FJ Cruisers and Jeeps (plus zillion quads).

On Bowshar dune

… and that was it. Great ride. Pity that only one… ;) Next year he is planning to bring his own mt bike so maybe… ;)