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Bikepacking Oman

Is this the jewel of Arabia? Shimano Rider Daniel Hughes discovered Oman during a 5 day Bikepacking trip.

It’s Day 3, and we’ve begun our descent. 2000 glorious vertical meters of gravel and alpine style switchbacks. No cars, 26 degrees and huge grins, but this wasn’t to be the highlight of the trip. The highlight was to come, but with a fair amount of pain before hand.

What goes down, in Oman must go up and then go down! We had to regain those 2000 meters on endless switchbacks and in just 30km. My Dura-ace power meter was invaluable to pace myself and to keep myself in my sweetspot. Having seen barely a soul for hours it was surprising to see a cluster of cars at the top, and the road to seemingly end. Once we began our descent over the other side, we could see why they were there.

Biblical, that’s how i’d describe the views and descent from there. Stunning reveals and hugely technical descending. This was a place to hone in your descending skills. Gravel, rock and 2 inch deep sand, caution was definitely needed to stop yourself doing a BASE jump without a parachute. What i was envisaging taking an hour, took 3 and when we were at the bottom we were in a sandy Wadi (dried river bed) called Snakes Pass and at times it was completely un-rideable.

But how did we get here? Near every week I pack up my bike to go ride somewhere around the world, and Oman is nestled in between Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the United Emirates. For this trip we flew to Abu Dhabi then drove across the border. As soon as the sun rose in Oman, we knew this was going to be an epic trip, and that it was.

A self supported ride in the Al Hajar mountains where Strava routes didn’t exist and where we constructed a four day loop. On Day 1 hundreds of local Omani’s came out of their houses to see us off (I think they were confused what we were doing!) to be greeted by isolated single track, epic deserted mountain roads and 3000 vertical meters of climbing in 32 degree heat.. Day 2 was a rest day and Day 3 well you’ve heard me sing the praises of Day 3.

Day 4? Well that sandy Wadi came back to bite us an we had to push our bikes up 400 vertical meters until it became rideable. The sand so loose and the gradients so steep, even with a 50T I think there was no chance. But push we did and then rode the remain 600 vertical meters to get out of the valley again. More single track down the narrowest of Wadis, ducking and diving through the rocks with a gentle descent. Super fun and the pace was on. 20..15...10.. 0km to go. Before we knew it the trip was over.

I could write for pages about gearing ratios, the riding and the route, but what I have to share with you before I go, is just how safe we felt, how epic the riding was and how warm the people were. I’ve never ridden in a place like it.

Is Oman the jewel of Arabia. Absolutely. Get out there.

Oh and…

No Technicals

No Punctures

No Dramas!