Well, thankfully the TP race that ran all last week gave me an excuse to run the only card I had up my sleeve for good post material, the downside is that I am now all tapped out of goodness… I have a few ideas for this week, but that was my reserves vaporised essentially!
So, back in the real world where I have been watching the TP race videos and pining for French mountain goodness, what has been going down? No much to be honest! There seems to have been a lot of that thing called ‘work’, a few days in the past week it felt like I had teleported back to my robotic late 20’s/early 30’s with these things that they call “back to back meetings”, WTF? Tuesday night was the usual smashfest interval session at the F1 track again, 80km’s or so going around in circles, there is a video to come, but oh man, can you imagine how fun that will be to watch?!
First up however – A MASSIVE Dirty shout out and congratulations to our Cannasia Road Team Captain, Snozza, who pulled of a legendary road race victory in Malaysia on Sunday, winning the Desaru 160km road race. Its been a while since the team captured a major road win like this, so great to see and an epic effort to win solo in the fashion he did, recognise:
So, to the weekend then and how did it roll here in the UAE? Well, let me give a sermon on dedication! No rest around here.
Ride start on Friday morning (which is the UAE version of Saturday) was 5.30am. Start point was 30 mins drive away and I really had to be there at 5.20am apparently. I need a minimum of 45 mins to prep for a ride (must eat, must crap, must get dressed in a certain sequence – OCD), so it was a 4am alarm going down for me… Arghhhhh… awful.
I turned up to find all the fast guys had gone to Dubai for a race, so it was to be a 110km ride at a comfortable pace. Ok… Just how comfortable? Well, at my first turn on the front doing 34kph, we accidentally split the group and got told to slow down. Yeah… Alrighty… But that wasn’t really what was bothering me to be honest, it was the fog that was of more concern! I had never experienced anything quite like it – Anyone know there was fog in the desert? For real:
Literally couldn’t see anything… Was disconcerting, mainly due to how some of the driving is around here. The only thing in our favour was we had a support vehicle with flashing lights behind us (a must have here), but everyone was pretty “things that make you go hmmmm” about it all. Eventually after about 60km’s or so, it burnt off, so we could take in the fabulous views… Er… You know:
Oddly, my legs felt a bit rubbish on this ride… I couldn’t figure out why either, until the end. With about 10km’s to go someone finally put the hammer down. I duly obliged and started to smash it and finally after a bit of this I felt normal again. Turns out riding around slowly is shit for you after all… Thanks to the Raha riders for letting me tag along on their ride and for being good sorts when I was integral to shredding the bunch to fuck at the end. Clearly I deserved some beach time after all that, so it was time to hit the beach/business park:
Saturday (which is the UAE version of Sunday) was a chance for a sleep in. Ride started at 6am instead, so had the luxury of the alarm going off at 4.30am instead. Awesome. Same drill, into the cab to drive out to the meet point… Yay. Today’s ride was billed as a recovery ride… Which actually meant it was an ‘ex-pat recovery ride’.
Translation? Well, I was in the ‘fast group’, so we covered the first hour in an average speed of 39kph… I suspect this is known as active recovery then? It did occur to me when we were doing 50kph on the flat and people were disappearing out the ass that there was a false advertising claim to be had in here somewhere. I didn’t mind though, I have races to prepare for after all, so I got right in there and stirred it up as much as I could (always show great respect when you’re a guest on other’s rides). Eventually we split the group and a break away of 4 of us went up the road (what good guys…).
It was going bananas, and it eventually occurred to me that there must be a sprint point coming up? I saw some signs up the road as people started to drop down gears and get out of the saddle, so duly got involved and managed to get over the top of my breakaway hombres. Given the amount of sweat tsunaming out of everyone it was time to refuel:
A word on kit here – Seems that having Oil close by translates into a LOT of seriously nice bike gear. I’m talking Lightweight wheels, SRM’s, Electronic gears all round and a lot of Dogma’s and high end Colanagos doing the rounds. Singapore has a lot of bling, but this place is massively up there for sure.
Turns out that the first half of the ride was the same as the day before, but due to the fog it was all new for me seeing it today, so not a lot of repetition. No more pics I am afraid, as the second half of the ride was the same as the day before, just a LOT of sand… Have to say that the roads were very quiet and smooth, with massive shoulders, so whilst I have never felt that safe riding here, in reality its more of a perception I think. There were a lot of stories about how dodgy it can be and I think that put me on edge, but its been all good.
It descended into another hammerfest on the way home, which I was grateful for. In lieu of any races, I need some hammer sessions like this before 5 Passes. It felt like race pace a lot today, so happy with that!
Thanks to the local boys for another good ride. Its been a unique riding experience here, all the rides have been quite different and I just have one more session at the F1 track next week before heading back to the Dirty Nomad Global hub of SIngapore!