Fatbike Ride in Dahab – Part 1 (Abu Galum Protectorate)
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” ― Helen Keller,
Three weeks after I received my new fatbike, I was thrilled to try it at Dahab City.My target was to ride on every possible trail around the city. My first ride was to pedal to a protectorate called “Abu Galum” which was around 16 Km from Dahab. First, I need to pedal to a famous diving spot called “The Blue hole“ for 11 km on a paved road then continue on pedaling on a rocky/sandy beach for 5 km to reach Abu Galum. The last 5 Km was my aim to test the performance of the bike on such hard trails. I convinced myself the 11 km will be a piece of cake. Again I was Wrong !!!
After a long 8-hour bus ride to Dahab, I went under the burning Sun of 40 degrees and started pedaling my new bike. I fixed my GoPro HERO4 Silver using a helmet mount on my head. The first thing I noticed was the tremendous friction force that the fatbike tires exert on a paved road. It is nearly twice the effort of a normal mountain bike. I admit pedaling was hard and I was dehydrating fast because of the weather, but the scene of the stretched blue sea was mesmerizing. You forget all the pain, get lost of time and pedal forever.
After an hour of paved hills and some off road riding, I reached the famous Blue hole but I was exhausted. My heart rate rose above 170 bpm. I took a rest for some time at one of the cafes with a big glass of Vitamine C. You can see the first part of my ride to Blue hole on ‘Strava”.
My body and my muscles were aching in pain as if they were shouting at me. I was having thoughts not to continue to Abu Galum. I convinced myself in my subconscious that I didn’t come all the way here just to drink juice and enjoy watching the sea from a chair. I should have gone to the Blue hole by car then start my ride from their. I convinced to continue on.
The trail to Abu Galum is accessible only either by foot or by camels. No car can go to that trail. I kept pedaling but slowly in order to reserve some energy for my way back. First, you pedal uphill then down again into a small trail which can fit for two persons only. You can see at the end the blue sea. It’s like entering the gates of heaven. You can have that feeling when you watch the video that I captured during my ride at minute (1:45).
That great feeling vanished when I reached the end of the gates of heaven (minute 2:10). I found myself on slippery rocks with 90 degrees curve downhill. I was afraid of falling from the bike. I knew how did it feel from the MTB race. In the video, it can look easy to pedal on but it is not. I hopped off my bike and walked part of it.
My motivation was getting higher with each pedal I make on this trail. The blue sea was on my right and the mountains were on my left. The fatbike was really durable. I thought I’ll get a flat tire from the first rock I ride on. I wasn’t that confident that it will be able to crush these rocks. The 4″ inch tires can act as natural suspensions but I must admit that the vibration was high and that is very noticeable in my video below.
It was nearly 2 pm. The weather was very hot. My hands started to get boiled since the handlebar and the whole bike is in black color, which absorbs sun rays easily. The bike seat was the same. Even my head was burning inside my black MTB helmet. The GoPro camera was getting heavier on my head I could bearly lift it up. With all these mixed feelings, some Camels came crossing by. One of them was just looking at me as if it was saying “Good Job, Keep on Going”.
I pushed myself too far until Abu Galum was nearly 2 km away from me. I couldn’t continue on. I took a decision to stop my ride and go back.
I stopped for quite some time to catch my breath. I was tired, sad, anxious and happy all at the same time. First, I was sad that I could not continue until the end. Second, I was anxious. I had doubts that I won’t be able to pedal back to Dahab. I was happy that I pushed myself to the limits to pedal this far. I couldn’t believe that one day I could pedal on such terrain with my fatbike.
My ride to Abu Galum can be viewed on ‘Strava’ below.
In my opinion, fabikes were not meant to be ridden on paved roads. They are very durable bicycles on sandy and rocky terrains. This was a very successful ride with my fatbike and actually, it is a new beginning for a lot of exciting rides.
I took a long good night sleep that night and took a rest in the morning all day. In the afternoon, I went to ride on the famous blue lagoon Dahab.