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Blog 51 Abu Dhabi to Dubai

7th November

I've arrived in Dubai and what an entrance! The E11 turns into a full blown 6 lane motorway on which I found one small sign restricting access to bicycles. Given that the United Arab Emirates sponsor the best cycling team in the world with team leader Tadej Podačar having twice won the Tour de France before the age of 23, there was not another cyclist on the road. There were plenty of trucks and they passed me with a frequency of around one every 5 seconds for most of the day. I rode on the hard shoulder and it was now obvious I was time-trialling across this flat desert terrain to close down what is the major second leg of my 8 leg world ride. I was neither happy nor sad, physically not flailing, working well within my comfortable limits, just happy to progress the job I been given to do. to ride Yamaha's flagship electric bicycle around the world.

Nothing happened on the road. If the eskimos have 33 words for the way they say 'snow' I have run out of them for a road that is 'long' and 'straight'. And then I arrived on the outskirts of Dubai I spotted a lesser known species of cycle path which I didn't think had a habitat in such an automobile obsessed culture.

The Motorway and the Dubai Cycle Path

Thinking back to when I was last in the area I rode around the world on my Yamaha Ténéré 700 between November 2019 and April 2021, either side of the Covid pandemic. Saudi Arabia had just opened up to travellers and I was one of the first of a few bikers then who rode across the Middle East as well as the new road across the Empty Quarter, the Rub al Khali. Touratech are an accessories company fitting out and primping adventure bikes and I am an ambassador for their own branded clothing, the Campanero suit. I stopped by in Dubai back then to make my acquaintance with Salah Sharif the co-owner of this esteemed company. Then and now it has become a home from home.

Salah booked me into a rather special kind of accommodation, a hotel unlike any other with a remarkable place in maritime history and moored in the port of Dubai HMS Queen Elizabeth 2. A new friend of mine John Chillingworth was Chief Engineer for at least 12 of her world cruises and crossed the Atlantic innumerable times in charge of her engine room and all things technical. So for the boat buffs, this is one of the main men who crewed one of the greatest and prettiest cruise ships ever built.

John Chillingworth, Cheif Engineer QE2

That night I was to give a talk about motorbiking around the world for my friends at Touratech Middle East in Dubai - The Final Ride is my 68 minute feature film I filmed and edited about that journey. Here's the trailer.

Map of the Day

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