TABA-SHARM REVIEW (March, 2010) Over Due!

Ride Participants: Pat, Luis, Pascal, Jose, Erika, Marc, Michael, Mohamed, Daniel and Myself (am I missing anyone?)

The evening prior to the ride upon arrival into Taba began Egyptian style as per usual with the last arrival, Pascal, being stopped by the police and his license held because he mentioned that we would be commencing a bike ride the next morning down the coast. Well they said this would not be possible and told him to return later that evening to pick up his license and they would decide what could be done. Our ride almost ended before it started but El-humdulillah they gave us the go ahead with a support vehicle of officers to follow along (more to come on this).

Due to some road work on the way to Taba most of us arrived with black tar covering our vehicles and for those of us with bikes on a rack (myself) had a thick layer of tar covering my rear wheel, brake caliper and derailleur, which I had to spend the evening cleaning with gasoline.

The morning of started without a hitch and looked to be a beautiful day with a slightly ominous breeze and a tinge of warmth for that time of day and time of year. We arrived at the first police check point in Taba where we were all stopped initially but amazingly enough they were prepared for us and let us proceed without too many hassles. Now about that support vehicle, they started with us and as usual they left us within the first 20 minutes of the ride due to boredom, so much for that.

The ride from Taba to Nuweiba was fantastic and beautiful with a slight headwind but very manageable rolling hills and amazing scenery. Then we hit the Wall (18km up to just over 800m) which we typically will stop prior to commencing at the base of the climb in Nuweiba. This year there was no stop as few in the lead decided to continue and not get off their bikes which started a chain reaction and therefore very few if any actually took a break at that point. Well, as it turns out during that portion of the ride it was a boiling 38 degrees with no breeze and I personally started the climb a little dehydrated with no breaks and at one point even went blind momentarily due to excessive sweating and burning eyeballs. Riding with my eyes closed proved challenging but I pressed on and said to myself, this year I will complete this damn climb!!!!!! 5 minutes later I got my second wind and started catching on riders ahead of me, I was really moving and moving fast. Cant remember my speed but I will have to ask my driver how fast he was driving up the hill with me attached to the car. On the way to the top I saw looks of anguish and desperation, some riders pulled over and were folded over their bikes in exhaustion and others took A/C breaks in their support vehicles before continuing on until of course I reached Jose and Erika near the top who were all smiles and thumbs up the whole way!!

All in all I believe about half of us used a support vehicle at some point in the climb to complete it, I wont mention any names here. The descent from the top into Dahab was quite windy making it a challenge to descend after a grueling climb. Upon arrival into Dahab we were greeted with fresh juices at the entrance of the hotel and later that evening complimentary Heineken thanks to Marc. The next day from Dahab to Sharm began with a long 20 km climb as well which I personally bowed out of after spending the evening up all night vomiting from heat stroke and dehydration I presume. Everyone else continued as planned. At the top I couldn’t resist and got into my riding gear and hoped on the bike for the long fast descent which was fantastic! Everyone made it to Sharm one way or another for a relaxing afternoon on the beach!

A big thank you to Pat and his wonderful administrative assistant for organizing the logistics of this ride and all our hotel arrangements.

Once again a terrific weekend for all on a truly amazing ride which I am sure we all look forward to next year in which I will tell myself once again, I will complete this damn climb!!!! See you on the road



1 Response to “TABA-SHARM REVIEW (March, 2010) Over Due!”

  1. 1 Luis April 29, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Great chronicle, Rob
    Thanks for the contribution

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