START CY­CLING OUT­DOORS

Rid­ing a bi­cy­cle is one of the first recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties that we learnt when we were chil­dren, and cy­cling was al­ways fun with friends. A sig­nif­i­cant sport that con­trib­utes to a bet­ter and health­ier life­style, there’s no bet­ter way to en­joy this twowh

HI Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - STORY SALEM AFIFI —salim@time­so­fo­man.com

If you want a good way to in­cor­po­rate ex­er­cise into your daily rou­tine, go cy­cling and burn the ex­tra fat.

How did this ac­tiv­ity come to ex­is­tence? Well, it all started in the 19th cen­tury when bi­cy­cles were made us­ing ma­te­rial such as wood. The first bike with ped­als was made in Scot­land, fol­lowed by other in­ven­tors and de­vel­op­ers in Paris. It started off as a toy for the rich, then be­came a com­mon means of transport and then to more com­fort­able rides. Today, bi­cy­cles have evolved and have be­come more aero­dy­namic with safety breaks and hel­mets, which have made peo­ple from all walks of life en­joy this recre­ational ac­tiv­ity, and most im­por­tantly has be­come a sport in it­self.

Here in the Sul­tanate we have some of the best streets where you can have the ride of your life. You can ride while en­joy­ing moun­tain­ous views of Qantab or on the busy streets of Qu­rum, ei­ther way you are guar­an­teed a dose of fat-burn­ing fun.

If you hap­pen to have no bud­dies to join you for a ride in the city, we got you cov­ered. There are a few lo­cal clubs ded­i­cated to cy­cling afi­ciona­dos. My favourite is the Mus­cat Cy­cling, as they do many trips around the city and be­yond. You’ll not only get to ex­plore in­ter­est­ing places but also meet cool peo­ple in a com­mu­nity.

But if cy­cling with strangers isn’t your cup of tea then grab your bike and join your friends. Here are some favourite spots to pedal away the week­end.

1. Mut­trah Cor­niche

Start­ing at Bait Al Baranda Mu­seum, ride up to the Mut­trah Cor­niche, all the way to Al Alam Palace in Old Mus­cat. This ride has chal­leng­ing hills and beau­ti­ful ocean­front views.

2. Qantab Road

Qantab has one of the best and most chal­leng­ing bik­ing spots, thanks to the steep hills that re­quire great stamina. From Wadi Kabir, start off on Al Bus­tan Street head­ing to­wards the Al Bus­tan Palace round­about; turn to take Qantab road just be­fore the round­about. Ride straight up and down the moun­tains, pass­ing a cou­ple of roundabouts, un­til you reach the Shangri-La Barr Al Jis­sah en­trance.

3. Shatti Street

Hit Shatti Street in Qu­rum for a lively sea­side ride. Start off at the Crowne Plaza and head down the hill, past the cof­fee shops on Love Street, and con­tinue to­wards the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs round­about. Go left at the round about and turn right at the traf­fic light to get on Al Khar­i­jiya Street. Ride past Ba­reeq Al Shatti and Al Masa Mall un­til you reach the Al Saroj petrol sta­tion.

4. Al Khoudh Street

The roads near Sul­tan Qa­boos Univer­sity are a pop­u­lar route for an afternoon cy­cling ses­sion. Start off at the Ma­zoon Round­about at Al Khoudh Street; pass the “book round­about,” and ride all the way to the next and last round­about, just be­fore the Ex­press­way. A left from there, leads you down an­other long road wind­ing back to the SQU en­trance num­ber two, and con­tin­ues to the Armed Forces Hos­pi­tal.

5. 18 Novem­ber Street

This long, straight, rel­a­tively flat street is pop­u­lar among cy­clists in Oman. Start at the Al­mouj round­about in Al Hail and ride all the way to The Chedi Ho­tel in Al Ghubra. If you love pure, long dis­tance bik­ing, and don’t mind shar­ing the road with pass­ing cars, then this is the best route in the city for work­ing on speed.

Join Mus­cat Cy­cling:

mus­cat­cy­clingc@gmail.com

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