Archive for the 'Ex CCC Riders abroad' Category

Tobin Munn from Trinidad

I started riding with the CCC team in the summer of 2011 after moving from Houston to Cairo.  The thought of riding around the streets of Cairo was daunting, and I still recall how nervous I was the morning of my first ride.  I thought that this group had to be collectively insane, and I was sure of it when we first turned onto the infamous Ring Road!  After I passed through this apprehensive stage, I began to discover actually how pleasant, peaceful, enjoyable the riding was outside the city – on the highway to Suhkna, in the hilly streets of Kattemeya, or Mt Makkatem, and of course the epic rides to Porto Suhkna and the Observatory.  Everyone in the club is friendly – I really miss the camaraderie and post-ride coffee at Greco’s.  Unfortunately we were moved quickly out of Egypt (during our vacation)!  So I didn’t get a chance to say farewell. 

 I am now here in warm, humid, and rainy Trinidad.  There are only two seasons in Trinidad – wet and dry – so I needed to acclimatize a bit coming from hot and dusty Egypt.  Mostly I have been doing short rides (30 – 40 miles) out around the Chagauramas park in the northwest side of the island.  They have several competitive cycling clubs here, but a little bit more extreme than CCC so I don’t think I am keen on joining any..  I recently completed the “Around de Island” ride, which recorded at about 135 miles on Strava if you want to check it out.  I was a little nervous before the ride because I have done no significant distance riding since my abrupt departure from Egypt, other than a few mountain stages in the French Alps this past August.  I think my previous PR was ~110 miles solo ride (in sneakers on a rental bike) around Lake Geneva a couple of years ago.  With a very large peloton ~80 riders and a pretty slow average pace of 27 km, I was surprised how relatively easy it was to conserve energy and just keep pedaling along.  The weather also cooperated, somewhat… it was cloudy/rainy most of the time so the temperature was pleasant. 

 The picture is at the second stop in a little village of Mayaro on the southeast coast, with me proudly donning my CCC jersey.   The other riders nicknamed me “Egypt boy”.  The last two hours was difficult as we had to slog through torrential rain coming back to Port of Spain, but I think this was probably a blessing helped keep the fatigue, dehydration, cramping, etc. at bay.   Almost 7-1/2 hours on the saddle!

 Take care everyone, ride safe, and have fun.

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Dominic Paisley from the UK

I left Egypt after 5½ very happy years living in Maadi.  Some of my best memories from Egypt involve cycling, including the super-competitive-but-super-friendly Friday morning road rides … mountain biking in the Wadi before work (and getting chased a few times by the Egyptian army when we ventured too close to their camp) … cycling to Ain Soukhna for a long weekend … cycling to the Saqqara pyramid and racing back along the Corniche … the mega 4-day trip to Sharm via Ain Soukhna, the Suez Canal, Moon Beach and St Catherine’s … the CCC-Chili-Cook-off … all the great characters and great conversations in the CCC … and many, many more great memories.  Breaking my collarbone at the far end of the corporate loop wasn’t one of the great memories though…

I am now living in Crowthorne, a small town about 30 miles west of London.  Unfortunately my cycling has dropped off since I returned to the UK due to the amount of travel my current job requires (I am currently in Iraq).  I have therefore taken up running again after a break of nearly 10 years and done a few half marathons.  I do cycle when I can, occasionally commuting the 46 mile round trip to work on a fixed gear bike or mountain biking in the local forest; my beloved Cervelo isn’t getting as much use as it did in Cairo!  I do go cycling with a couple of ex-CCC riders, Neil Davis and Tim Evans.  One of the pictures is me (left) with Neil (far right) at the top of Col de la Bonette in France in 2011 – check out the altitude, 2,802 metres.  If you look closely, you will see my CCC shirt under my jacket.  We are planning a trip along the length of the Pyrenees next Summer, from Biarritz to Barcelona.  The other picture is me and Tim after a local mountain bike race last weekend.  We had just cycled 6 miles from the race so most of the mud had fallen off the bikes but there was still plenty attached to us. We were both entered under the team name of Cairo Cyclists, displaying our CCC shirts with pride.

My tool collection has continued to grow and I have got into wheel building.  Those mountain bike wheels in the picture were the second set I built and they seem to have survived the race. They may not cope with the Egyptian roads though!

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Dani-el Weiss from Brussels in Belgium

Strangely my CCC “career” has started in Eilat, Israel in 2010 where I’ve met two CCC triathletes Jose and Erica – we were doing a half Ironman there. Until that day I though that I was the only idiot riding on the Egyptian roads, but as it turned out that there were quite a few other idiots I joined them 😉 I’ve left Egypt during the summer of 2012 and still miss the group rides on the Ain Sukhna road and the coffees afterwards, not to mention the rides on the Sinai like this: http://www.strava.com/activities/712737. I hope one day these rides will be possible again without police escort and risks of being blown up or kidnapped.
Now I am riding solo in Belgium around Brussels. It’s mainly flat and half of the time I am forced to ride on the bumpy cycle paths as the drivers here can be much nastier than in Egypt, but the scenery is nice: we have all 4 seasons – during the wet and cold days Rule #9 gives me some comfort. And at the same time from here we have the possibility to jump on Ryanair with the bike and ride in Morocco or Mallorca for example. Or put my bike on my car and ride in the Alps, like with did with other CCC riders this summer, when we finished the Etape, see the photo. My plan for 2014 is to discover a bit more the cobbles, either as a spectator (Tour of Flanders, etc) or as a rider. Who wants to join?
Keep riding,
Dani-el
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James Williamson from Bratislava

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I started riding with the CCC about four months after getting my 1st road bike and stayed in the group until I left Egypt a couple of years later. Not knowing anything about cycling I was quickly brought upto speed by everyone in the group and introduced to the ways of the velominati!

I now own five bikes ranging from a 1961 ferry Dusika vintage racer to a full carbon road bike and yes the n+1 #rule applies. Moving to Slovakia was a shock to my legs as I’d never cycled outside of Cairo and so wasn’t prepared for the Mountains, or the European weather, last winter my water bottles froze during a ride!! But then the bikini clad inline skaters on the cycle paths in the summer make up for the harsh winter months. Cycling here in Europe is great but the CCC really is something special and it will always be where my passion for all things cycling started. Here is a photo of me at the start of a race in the Tatra mountains, I wasn’t in a fit state for photos at the end, and also one of me with Greame Obree in Scotland.

Best wishes to all the Cairo cyclists.

James
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Timo Gossman from Arizona

Hello CCC,
after riding for some month with you and enjoying the spirit of riding on hot and sandy roads next to desperate truck and car drivers, I had to leave earlier than expected because my company requested me to take another job opportunity in Arizona, USA.
Fortunately I could get a CCC jersey before I left, which now remembers me on the time spent with you and which I carry on my rides here.
Conditions are quite similar by the way, even higher temperatures, dust storms, endless roads – and similar number of punctures / mile… I’ll spot for some liners for the tyres now, but they will add some weigth to the bike at the most unpractical position – for the technicians: moment of inertia, you know… but continous repairing sucks and average speed drops even more.
Currently I’m running out of tubes for my racebike, so take at least a Arizona-picture from me and my MTB in cross-country race trim after climbing one of the local mountains here – of course proudly wearing CCC!
Good luck to all of you, keep on going!
Best regards,
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|imo Gossmann

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