Abu Dhabi: An Irish expat in Abu Dhabi has broken her own record by cycling through all seven emirates in less than 15 hours.
Last month Roisin Thomas, 28, completed the arduous 467-km journey for the second year in a row, but this time the remarkable feat took her just 14 hours and 41 minutes, compared to 16 hours last year.
Thomas, the only woman to cycle across the UAE, was joined by four fellow male cyclists - Raslan Abbadi from Jordan, Rainier Clauna from Philippines, Andrew Laity from England and Emirati Ahmad Al Haj.
The quintet, who have formed a team called 7Emirates 24Hours, started from Abu Dhabi and finished the ride in Dubai, clocking an average speed of 32km/h.
“We set off from the capital at 5.30am, riding east to Fujairah, before pedalling into Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) via Dibba and then to Umm Al Quwain, Ajman, Sharjah, eventually reaching our final destination - Nad Al Sheba - in Dubai,” recalled Thomas as she retraced her route.
“In Dibba, we faced heavy rain while in Ras Al Khaimah we had to battle strong winds. It was quite challenging, yet we fared better than last year when we averaged around 29km/h,” she added. The cyclists stopped every 50km during the journey to refuel.
Thomas, who won the Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge last year, said she has been approached by several women who have expressed willingness to be part of their group. “Of late, many have shown interest and if all goes well we may soon have a women’s-only cycling group,” she said.
Thomas said she wants to raise awareness about cycling as she felt it was one of the best full-body workouts.
“Among other things, cycling increases muscle strength and flexibility, improves joint mobility and also helps in losing weight,” she added.
A passionate sportswoman, Thomas cycles nearly 500km every week and is always ready for a new challenge. “For me summer is the best time for a cross-ride challenge because the hot weather conditions really test your character and commitment,” she said.