Inspired by the UAE Tour that recently took place? You too can get a feel of cycling across Dubai on a mountain trail.
As part of the Dubai Destinations campaign, the Emirate is promoting various leisure spots residents and tourists can enjoy. Recently, Gulf News got a chance to try out Mushrif Park’s Mountain Bike Trail and I, along with our Senior Visual Journalist, Ahmed Ramzan, geared up and headed to the location.
As I am someone who has visited Mushrif Park practically since I was an infant, it wasn’t a new sight as we approached the park’s entrance. The bike track’s gate is hard to miss as it’s located right close to the park’s main entrance.
Once you get there, you will see a parking lot full of cycling enthusiasts – with not one car missing a bicycle rack attached to its trunk. A café full of cyclists having their post-ride smoothies also adds to the atmosphere.
Once you get there, organisers and rescue staff are quick to answer any questions you have about the track. They will even help you read a map of the whole track, which is given at the start line.
Visitors' personal bikes are welcomed and an option to rent a bicycle with a helmet is also available. Renting a cycle will cost you around Dh55-65 depending on the type.
Once you’re in your gear, the track currently offers visitors three routes – green, blue and red. And yes, these are divided in terms of difficulty levels, so there’s something for everyone at the 20-kilometre-long track. The trail is currently under construction to be expanded to 50 kilometres long.
As a cycling novice, I chose to go for the green track. This sandy path was generally flat with scattered climbs and turns. The red track is for advanced cyclists who enjoy tougher trails with higher climbs and leaps.
With few cyclists zooming past me, unlike at the red track, I also got a chance to enjoy the silence and Nature around me. The track circles the park, which is home to 70,000 trees belonging to UAE’s native species. The sunset was also the perfect background for the various birds found flying in the park and around the track.
The track is lined with signs, which guide riders, helping them follow their route and giving them information on how long is left till the end of the trail.
With various selfie breaks and few short breaks to 'catch my breath', thanks to my unfit self, I finished the route in a little over an hour. I was informed that I didn't do that badly in terms of time.
At the end of the trail I met Vijaya Kumar, a Sri Lankan expat working with the Dubai Municipality as an organiser and rescuer at the track.
Kumar has been working at the track for six months and said that his colleagues and him are prepared to help all cyclists who come there.
“We get new people every day but I’ve also seen regulars come daily since the day I joined [the job],” he said.
Speaking about how the weekends are the most popular, Kumar added: “On the weekends, people come in groups. I see many of the same faces on Saturdays, this track is very popular.”
How to get there?
Located less than 20 kilometres from the city centre and 10 kilometres from Dubai International Airport, Mushrif National Park is one of Dubai’s oldest and most popular family-oriented parks.
The track is open daily from 6am to 5pm.
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