Makes Bill a Dull Boy!
Since the fall of last year, I have been spending way too much time working in the island country of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf. I certainly can’t complain about the accommodations.
It has been virtually one project right after the other and I am looking forward to getting it all of done.
The work is certainly rewarding but I am ready to get back home to be with family and friends and back on some dirt.
Not this kind of dirt.
This kind of dirt!
So with all of this time I have had over here to pour through all of the MTB resources over here, I have boiled down things into my number one tip for planning a mountain biking trip to Bahrain…..
DON’T! This place sucks for mountain biking!
I’m sure you could make some kind of lemonade with the bitter lemons of this place. Maybe with a Fatbike and riding at night when its only like 95 but really try Death Valley in summer first.
I spent the tail end of July and most of August working in Bahrain. For those who have never heard of the place it is an island in the Persian Gulf east of Saudi Arabia. The maximum elevation is maybe 100 feet and pretty much everything is sand so the mountain biking opportunities are mighty freaking limited. Of course a Surly Moonlander would help a little in that department. Hmmm I wonder if I could get one with some S&S couplings on the frame?
Even with a bike, I would have a hard time getting motivated to get out in the heat and ride. Everyday it was over 100 by 10AM. Several days in particular it was 108 with 74% humidity.
I did manage to get out and grab some sights while I was over there including the Grand Mosque
I took a tour of the Al-Fateh Grand Mosque on one of their “open houses” for non-Muslims. [aka Infidel Outreach Day :-)] Work involved a lot going back and forth between an office and the outside. After a few weeks of the cycling in and out of the heat and AC I came down with some chest and sinus crud that required some antibiotics to knock down. The project I’m working has several phases to it so I was able to come home for a couple of weeks in between one of the phases.
I was still not completely over the crud when I got home so I refrained getting back on the bike and potentially backsliding with the crud. My girlfriend and I did make a trip up to Palomar mountain for a bit of mild hiking. It was really nice to see some greenery in mild temps.
One of the locals we saw along the trail.
By this past Friday I was feeling well again so a dawn patrol ride out at Mission Trail Regional Park was in order. There was some weather moving through the area which made some cool rainbows. I had ridden on the west side of the park in quite sometime. So I hit up the Jackson, the Rim trail, S-turns and the Soycott trails. I had not checked out North Fortuna from the north slope so I looped back around and when up North Fortuna from the north slope. I had my long-legged bike so it was overwhelming a hike-a-bike in that direction but would be a very techy ride on the descent.
After getting up to the North Fortuna peak, I descended the south slope to the saddle and then continued on up to South Fortuna. It had also been a long time since I had taken the South Fortuna staircase. I knew there were many spots were you had to pick and choose your battles but there were quite a few more than I remembered from my last go at this trail. I want to say that the techy sections were in worse shape than before, but it is more likely that my skills and/or nerves have slackened up some.
Either way it was great to be back on the bike and again. I’m heading back to Bahrain tomorrow and I’m not looking forward to another stint of being off the bike. Work can be so pesky sometimes!