Saudi Arabia?

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Rasta
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Saudi Arabia?

Post by Rasta » Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:50 am

Opening soon.

Anyone?

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In Reverse
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Re: Saudi Arabia?

Post by In Reverse » Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:16 am

Theoretically at least it should be one of the safer middle east countries to go wandering in.

I like my foreign trips to include the drinking of copious amounts of booze though so I suppose I'll be waiting for a more liberal regime.

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ScotRoutes
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Re: Saudi Arabia?

Post by ScotRoutes » Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:23 am

Will this be in the "ride from your door" thread? :lol:

Lazarus
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Re: Saudi Arabia?

Post by Lazarus » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:08 pm

I like my foreign trips to include the drinking of copious amounts of booze though so I suppose I'll be waiting for a more liberal regime.
I like my regimes to be liberal in terms of how they treat women, homosexuals, voteing , neighbouring countires and tend to not like the ones who assisinate journalists whilst bombing their neighbours.
these things matter much more to me than availability of booze
YMMV

redefined_cycles
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Re: Saudi Arabia?

Post by redefined_cycles » Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:01 pm

Plus, I don't reckon the roads (if you happen to go down one) are very safe at all. Apparently them drivers don't treat cyclists with much respect either and its a scary experience (apparently)...

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In Reverse
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Re: Saudi Arabia?

Post by In Reverse » Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:41 pm

Lazarus wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:08 pm
I like my foreign trips to include the drinking of copious amounts of booze though so I suppose I'll be waiting for a more liberal regime.
I like my regimes to be liberal in terms of how they treat women, homosexuals, voteing , neighbouring countires and tend to not like the ones who assisinate journalists whilst bombing their neighbours.
these things matter much more to me than availability of booze
YMMV
I mean there is all that, but I do really like a pint when it's warm...

PaulB2
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Re: Saudi Arabia?

Post by PaulB2 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:40 pm

Saudi looks as though it as a surprising range of terrain. You have flat desert, desert dunes, hilly desert and even mountainous desert. :grin:

Rasta
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Re: Saudi Arabia?

Post by Rasta » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:13 pm

If the roads are dangerous, then more incentive to find trails.

Desert riding can be very rewarding with some amazing views, sunsets and stars. I've done a lot of desert riding, so I'm interested.

If you are looking at the bad/political side of a country then that's the Tour Divide out. :cool:

redefined_cycles
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Re: Saudi Arabia?

Post by redefined_cycles » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:34 pm

Rasta wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:13 pm
If the roads are dangerous, then more incentive to find trails.

Desert riding can be very rewarding with some amazing views, sunsets and stars. I've done a lot if desert riding, so I'm interested.

If you are looking at the bad/political side of a country then that's the Tour Divide out. :cool:
Well in that case, I can safely (almost guarantee) that the desert people of Saudi would be (although somewhat a bit more straightforward) some of the most hospitable people quite possibly in the world :-bd

Bob would possibly know more...

Rasta
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Re: Saudi Arabia?

Post by Rasta » Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:29 pm

Bob?

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whitestone
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Re: Saudi Arabia?

Post by whitestone » Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:57 pm

I've not been to Saudi, I've been to Oman several times due to work but the following regarding climate and terrain is probably pertinent.

Don't go in summer, it's chuffin' hot, like 55C* hot :shock: November to around February would be fine, it's still generally warm but not silly warm, 25C with occasional days in the mid 30s. I'd take a CCF mat with me because if you are injured and have to lie on the ground you'll roast - I've still got scars from 25 years ago just from being cut and the skin around the cut being burnt by the rocks. Coastal areas can be very, very humid, but get inland and though the temperatures are higher the humidity is very low and it's much more manageable.

Terrain wise, loose, shifting sand isn't the dominant surface as you'd imagine, most deserts, including the Arabian peninsula, are "rocky" in that the general surface is littered with small stones and any elevated features are bare rock. Less beach and more building site! The notable exception is the "Empty Quarter" on the Saudi/Oman border which is a huge area of shifting sand dunes. If you want to know more about that do a search for Wilfred Thesiger who was the first westerner to cross it. I'm sure there are other areas of dunes within SA.

The "rocky" surface is pretty good to ride on unless the surface crust has been cut up by vehicles which turns it to a fine dust. It's generally hard enough you wouldn't have trouble riding a CX bike on. The other surface you might come across is "Sabkha" which are salt flats. Some are ancient and permanent, others are more "seasonal" where the season might be a decade, and the surface is a bit like windslab on snow - fine until you break through.

*We were fairly certain that day got to 55C as when it had been 51/52C the authorities would declare it as "50C" so that the service planes could fly in and out as that was the maximum temperature rating for the aircraft hot air being thinner than cold air. Obviously at 55C there was too much "fudge factor" and flights were suspended!
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Rasta
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Re: Saudi Arabia?

Post by Rasta » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:58 pm

Oman would be the easier option and there are already some good routes.

Riding in the Empty Quarter would be something new. But I would assume that they would be after 'resort' $$.
Not much money to be made from a guy on a bike who likes wild camping. Also the issues with roaming about without the police knowing your location at all times. This is now becoming a problem in Morocco.

Lazarus
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Re: Saudi Arabia?

Post by Lazarus » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:42 pm

I mean there is all that, but I do really like a pint when it's warm...
Chuckles

jameso
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Re: Saudi Arabia?

Post by jameso » Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:44 am

Political concerns aside, if you're looking for great riding and deserts then Israel is worth a look. The HLC route in the Negev desert was some of the hardest and best riding I've ever done. Trails were so much fun, at the same time it was worryingly hot and remote at times. Great riding scene over there and everyone was friendly, apart from the security services and the stone-throwing Bedouin kids : )

https://www.israeltrail.net/ - this is a large part of the HLC route we took. Some additional singletrack in the north and central areas. Seriously, the singletracks they maintain there are perfect. Flowy, interesting but rarely OTT-tech, perfect bikepacking terrain really.

Mrhoppy
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Re: Saudi Arabia?

Post by Mrhoppy » Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:32 pm

There are some lovely looking mountains out near Yanbu on the red sea coast, look like they should have some potential but I just don't think there is much in the way of walking or riding (of any form) to have put much in the way of trails in. And it's really hot and the driving is properly terrifying.

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