MTBing on “Wadi Degla”
I took a long rest after the MTB race I made with MTB Egypt. My knee took a long time to heel from the last fall. During this heeling period, I searched online on how to master some MTB skills before I can hit the mountains again. On May 2015, I found an event created by MTB Egypt under the name Beginners Ride. It was a great opportunity to learn practically on how to master essential MTB skills so I decided to give it a try.
On 8th May 2015 in the morning, I took my bike to Wadi degla. I met two riders from MTB Egypt who were going to coordinate the ride. There were beginner riders as well with me, one of them was in his mid 40’s. I started to talk with him a bit and to my surprise, I knew from him that this ride was his first since he was a child. He didn’t actually got the chance to cycle on paved road before going MTBing.
We started our ride and went on the same track like the MTB race. I was actually holding up and I didn’t panic like I did in the race. I started to have fun, the trail was not that difficult as I expected. Below is a picture of one decent from a hill.
Suddenly, we drifted into a different route than the race. The trail was getting more tougher than the race. I found myself pedaling on very thin trail which can fit the bike only, no room to place my feet on the ground and beside me was a cliff. One wrong move can actually kill you !!! I couldn’t even hop off my bike and walk, it was more risky to walk than to pedal on this thin trail. I think we pedaled for around 15 mins on thin trail. I felt the adrenaline pumping so strong in my chest.
To make things worse, we found ourselves between two cliffs and we had to cross from one side to the other through a small rocky bride. I didn’t get the chance to take a photo of the cliff but it is very similar to the picture below but thinner.
The bridge can barely fit a 3″ tires. The two organizers passed smoothly with their ‘Santa Cruze‘ bikes and told us just don’t look down and pass. I stopped my bike at the edge of the cliff. I didn’t like what is going on. I doubt crossing a thin bridge like that should be in a beginners ride. The race was easier than this route. I thought that I’ll get some practice from these guys before going on tough trails like this one. I thought of going back but I didn’t know my way back. I had no option to do but I didn’t. I hopped off my bike and walked through the small bridge very slowly until I crossed it. I continued on trail with these guys until we went back to the race track.
We continued to pedaled until we have reached a hill. We climbed the hill using our bikes and saw this amazing view from above. Having a look at this view drew my smile on my face again.
After pedaling for an hour, we made it back to ‘Wadi degla‘ gates. You can view my ride on Strave below. Quite a lot of calories have been burnt during this ride.
After this ride, I found myself not a big fan of MTBing. I had some fun during the race and beginner’s ride but not that much. To be frank, MTB is not for everyone. I started learning wrong by going into a race first and the beginners ride did not make things better. I decided to leave the high adrenaline trails at ‘Wadi degla‘ and go for the quite and calm trails. I tried MTBing one more time after I bought my Fatbike in October 2015 but that ride did not change my mind to leave MTBing for good.
It was summer time after the beginner’s ride and it was hard to go to ‘Wadi degla‘ in these hot weather. Temperature can reach 40 C in the afternoon in Cairo. This gave me plenty of time to search for a Fatbike and buy one.
All the details on how I bought my fatbike and shipped it from USA to Egypt at no cost, is in my next post – Going Fat!!