FunRideSports had four counters along the 8km stretch of Abu Dhabi corniche Image Credit: GN Archive

ABU DHABI: Cycling enthusiasts in Abu Dhabi are saddened by the recent closure of a popular bike rental service at the corniche.

FunRideSports, the company that was renting bikes on an hourly basis along the corniche, shut down in the first week of April after their contract with the Abu Dhabi Municipality reportedly expired. “We are waiting to hear from the authorities on whether we can resume the service this month. As of now, our contract has expired,” said an employee of the company who does not want to be named.

Residents said they are sad to see the service wind up, putting an end to one of their favourite recreational and sporting activities along the corniche.

“Cycling along the corniche in the evenings was my favourite pastime. I am sad to see that all the bikes are gone now,” said Mariam Azoulay, a Syrian expat.

Azoulay said she and her sister Shyma do not own bikes and used to rent them out on most weekends.

FunRideSports had four counters along the 8km stretch of Abu Dhabi corniche, where residents could rent bikes for Dh30 an hour. A deposit of Dh50 was also charged. “It was affordable and fun, and also close to the city centre,” said Mustafa AlKindi, a father of two.

“We used to come here on weekends as my daughters love cycling. It is not practical for us to go all the way to Yas Marina Circuit to hit the pedal,” said AlKindi.

However, it is only bikes that have disappeared from the corniche. One, two and three-seater pedalling carts are available for rent at the corniche from Byky Sports and Leisure Equipment.

“Many people who used to prefer cycles have switched to renting carts from us. This also involves pedalling and people are not complaining,” said a staff at Byky.