Kaushalendra Singh –
Salalah, JAN 27 –
Winter is the best time for cycling in Oman and a group of cyclists under the banner of Muscat Cycling seems warmed up fully after this season’s Time Trial (TT) event concluded recently in Al Amerat.
A group of 48 participants took part in the event. TT or Time Trial is only cycling event in which riders leave the starting point one by one. They are timed and after all riders finish, the time is compared, as the start and finish points are the same.
The event had seven categories Juniors All (JA), Female General (FG), Female Veteran (FV), Men Senior (MS), Men Amature (MA), Men Senior (MS), and Men Veteran (MV) with criterion of laps or rounds. One lap meant one round of 23 km. Similarly, two laps stood for 46 km.
The winners of the self organised fun event were — Anton Philips (Junior all, 0.5 lap); Sally Hart (Female General, 1 lap); Rosie Kolster (Female Veteran, 1 lap); Moosa al Rawahi (Men Seniors, 1 lap); Talalal al Maskari (Men Amature, 1 lap), Jonathan Shubert (Men Seniors, 2 laps); and Chris Reijmer (Men Veterans, 2 laps).
“The event was a beautiful combination of participants from Oman, Australia, India, Italy, Portugal, Britain, etc, while five friends of cyclists came to help out with the timing, start, photographs and light post ride,” said the cyclists’ team leader Randall GA Bernard.
“The event is catching up the imagination of Omani nationals also as there were Omani riders from Muscat, Nizwa and Ibri. It shows that cycling is becoming popular among the local people. Salalah and Sohar has good cycling interest as we have heard of riders from there coming to Muscat to buy racing cycle parts,” he said.
The event showcased great team spirit. Saud al Rawahi was a key man with the start off timings and Randall Bernard for the finish timings. Hans took all the beautiful pictures. A few locals from the area came to watch.
Cycling, according to Randall, is a great sport, which is also a sanctuary sport for footballers and runners, who are asked not to play or run anymore by their doctor because of joint injuries. “Casual Cycling is a not impact sport, as long as you are on the bike,” he quipped.
Rosy, a participating cyclist with her son said, “We loved the event and we will go back there to ride on our own, as Al Amerat village has less houses for now. It is a beautiful location for cycling.
The Muscat Cyclists gather every Friday morning at Qurum at 6 am and do casual cycling on regular basis. “Our regular Friday morning rides attract about 30 riders. We organise cycling events inside and outside of Oman. Besides events in Muscat, Nizwa, Salalah and Sur we have participated in France also,” said Bernard.
The idea behind organising Muscat Cycling event is to spread the message of ‘do cycling, be healthy and be a partner in conserving the environment.’ The group members take pride in calling themselves ‘the hottest cyclists on the Earth’. This does not seem to be an exaggeration when the latest trend of cycling is observed on Omani roads. The group claims to have more than 450 members in the age group of 18-61 years.