One day left of my spring cycling break in Dubai and the objectice could not have been simpler; cycle to the top of the highest peak in the UAE and then back down again. The mighty Jebel Jais – an engineering marvel – 25k of the of super smooth road that just keeps going up, and up and up and up. and up.
I was learning that the trick to cycling in Dubai is to start early to avoid the worst of the heat – and so even though we made it to the ride start by 8am i had an inkling that in a couple of hours i would be cursing the hot sun and that a snickers in my back pocket would be a mistake.
It’s 10k ride into the canyons before the climb proper starts – and my word it’s beautiful. Rocks of reds and browns tower above you and add to the sense of anticipation. The first views of to the top of the mountain and the very faintest of outlines high and far away of where the road goes is both awe-inspiring and bowel-movingly alarming.
The climb itself is never especially steep – just very, very long. at 25k and approx 1600m of climbing – with lots of hairpins and incredible views back down the mountain. We were lucky enough to have a support vehicle with us but there are plenty of places to stop off and fill up the water bottles. and also goats, curious, hungry goats that like jelly babies.
It was a hard going and the heat took it’s toll – but the views from the top were amazing, the beer and pizza in the UAE’s highest restuarant delicious, and the descent was great fun. All in all – a really top day out on the bikes. Thanks to all @cyclists.com for making it happen!
A few photos taken during this ride;