Get inspired to pedal and make new friends along the ride
Cycling has seen a surge in popularity in the past 12 months, with more and more of the city’s residents hopping into the saddle. From top tracks to try, to where to pick up your kit and which clubs to join, we reveal everything you need to know to join in with Dubai’s new favourite pastime.
The freedom to go where you want and feel the wind on your cheeks is part of the joy of cycling. Biking around town is an increasingly popular way to spend the weekend and events like the Dubai Tour (February 5-8) are wheeling in a new wave of enthusiasm for the sport. In the past 12 months, Dubai’s government has invested millions of dirhams into new cycle tracks and new bike shops such as The Cycle Hub in Motor City are reporting an upward trend in their sales. Of course, the roads in this city were built for the vehicles that run on gas rather than pedal power, but bands of determined two-wheel lovers are making tracks into the heart of the city and helping cycling become more accessible for everyone. We’ve spoken to the cycling community to find out all you need to know to get on your bike.
Top local cycling clubs If you’re new to cycling in the city, joining a club helps you to discover the safest spots to ride, which allows you to explore different routes and learn from some of the more experienced riders, as well as practise riding in a group before you enter a big event. All of these groups have a strict no helmet, no ride policy.
Puma Fishtail Rides The Fishtail Rides are a monthly series of rides on ‘fixies’ – fixed gear bikes (bikes with no brakes). It’s a social group for people that like to ride, and want to engage with their community. The group is free but by invitation only, so to get involved you have to register on the Fishtail Rides Facebook page, or at the Puma store in The Dubai Mall. The location of the events and the route are revealed on the day to invited riders. You don’t need to be super fit, but should be capable of riding a standard pushbike. The next event is February 7. Free. Monthly until March. Various locations across Dubai, register online to join www.facebook.com/FishtailRides.
Dubai Roadsters This group is organised and managed by Wolfi’s Bike Shop, the longest running bike shop in the city. This group caters for all abilities, from newbies right through to advanced level cyclists. The group organises weekly rides, training sessions and trips abroad for its members. The weekly rides take routes around Nad al Sheba and out to Al Awir. Joining this group is free but regular riders will be asked for a small donation to help support the follow cars and safety equipment. Riders will need to have a road bike, a helmet and lights, and fitness appropriate to the pace group you choose to join. Free to new members. Beginners meet on Sunday and Tuesday nights, at 7.30pm, advanced group on meet on Sunday and Tuesday nights, at 6pm and Friday mornings at 6am. All groups meet at the Nad al Sheba Cycle Park. www.dubairoadsters.ae (04 339 4453), Wolfi’s Bike Shop, Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Quoz. www.wbs.ae (04 339 4453).
Cycle Safe Dubai
This community of cyclists share information on safe cycling and organises regular rides. Cycle Safe Dubai hosts Revolution Nights at the Dubai Autodrome at Motor City, meaning there’s no obstructions or traffic to hamper your ride. Cycle Safe Dubai rides are weekly, and as well as the Dubai Autodrome, it also organises longer sessions. Cycle Safe Dubai Outride Fridays are particularly popular as they’re open to all abilities and cover distances from 35km to 135km. The 35km ride on Friday is especially good for beginners or those getting back into the sport and the Saturday Coffee Run is a great social ride. Free. Outrides Fridays, 6.30am-10am, Dubai Cycling Course, Al Qudra Road. Saturday Coffee Run, Dhs40, 6.30am, meet at the start of Dubai Cycling Course, Al Qudra Road, open to all as long as you can do 30km with an average pace of 25km per hour (ride to Bab Al Shams for a light breakfast, then 30km back again). www.cyclesafedubai.com (050 680 4528).
Revolution Cycles Dubai Revolution Cycles not only sells a range of bikes and equipment but also hosts more events than any other bike shop in the UAE, giving cyclists more reasons to peddle. Free. Wednesdays, 6pm-9pm, Dubai Autodrome, Emirates Road (this is an open session for public use so users can run walk or jog as well as cycle around the track). Free. Mondays, 7pm, Nad Al Sheba Cycle Park, opposite The Meydan. Open to all abilities, lights are advisable www.rcdxb.com (04 369 7441).
The Cycle Hub
More than just a bike shop, The Cycle Hub is a meeting place for cyclists and also has an in-shop bistro serving a full organic Paleo menu (no processed carbs or dairy) a diet that’s favoured by some the world’s best cyclists. Riders meet here weekly for treks on the open roads and spaces around Motor City. If you don’t have your own bike and want to try cycling out, you can borrow one for the ride. Routes vary and rides can be up to 25km off road. Free. Mondays, 7pm. The Cycle Hub, Motor City, www.thecyclehub.com (04 425 6555).
Wolfi’s Bike Shop Wolfi’s is the longest running bike shop in Dubai, the team here have been supplying cycling related kit in the Middle East since 2002, and organise a host of cycling events www.wbs.ae (04 339 4453).