There is one sport that took centre stage for many individuals in Oman during the pandemic- cycling.
Cycling has known benefits for fitness. So how many calories can we burn while cycling? According to Mohammed al Hashmi, a staunch promoter of cycling in Oman, “The amount of calories you want to burn depends on the speed you maintain.” Cycling is proven to burn more calories compared to walking.
Cycles got so popular during the peak pandemic that there was shortage of cycles at one point in time. A person who knows the value of cycling as a sport as well as for individual fitness regime, is Mohammed al Hashmi, who out of his passion for cycling opened his first shop in Izki and has now successfully opened his second outlet in Maabela. He is also the founder of Gulf Cycles and creates events for cyclists that are frequented by both nationals and expatriates.
“I started with a small shop in Izki and this year I have expanded to Muscat because I want to create a different experience. Cycling was a hobby for me but I wanted other people to benefit from it too because so many people suffered from high blood pressure and sugar. Cycling can keep you fit. When I first started people weren’t too keen. I started organising events and showed how to ride the bicycle in the right method. I go to schools to give talks and also to villages and towns in different wilayats’’, explained Mohammed.
“I do not want anyone to ride without helmets. It is an extremely important safety measure to protect your head in case of a mishap’’, pointed out Mohammed. There are many safety steps a cyclist must keep in mind because a lot of time they are cycling on main roads. Many individuals also use it as a means of transportation.
In Oman the neon jackets are required if one is cycling on the main road. The longest distance Mohammed has travelled in his cycle is 100 km.
“It all depends on the type of cycle one chooses and that requires an understanding of where you want to cycle. For example, with your gravel bike you can cycle on road or off road and this is what we would use for travelling. The mountain bikes have thicker and bigger tyres and the cycle frame is also different. The cycles are made of aluminium, steel and carbon. The carbon is the lightest. The road bikes are made for speed and they are also made from aluminium, steel and carbon’’, explained.
Carbon cycles are apt for climbing and often used in races because it is not heavy.
Mohammed is currently developing another concept with cycling and that is a studio to work out on a cycle. The stationary bike with a screen on front will take the rider through the terrain he/she wants and accordingly one gets the work out too.
Places to go cycling
“There are quiet a few places to go cycling and we have some tracks at Bausher, Maabela’’, he said. In 2017 Mohammed started with the concept of Gulf Bicycles, a brand that has become popular now in Oman. It has its own group of cyclists who compete in races.
“We have six members and in the current season we are in third place. The Oman Cycling Federation organises the races and this season we have done seven races. March 26, will see the last race’’, noted Mohammed.