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GeoCyclist
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife had a conference to attend at the Shangri-La resort just south of Muscat, Oman. Fortunately her conference was just prior to her school’s Spring Break, so a two day conference dovetailed into an eight day cycling holiday.
This first series of photos (one borrowed) starts with pic’s of the Shangri-la Resort in Barr Al Jissah that is located just South of Muscat. There are three separate hotels in this resort; the Al Waha, Al Bandar, and Al Husn that are 3, 5, and 6 star hotels. The resort was located in a good place for cycling, as it was outside the city with great cycling routes from the hotel. The staff was super accommodating with regards to providing storage for my bike. My wife and I stayed at the Al Bandar hotel; second pic shows the entrance to the hotel, followed by photos of the lobby and luggage storage room. I spent a few hours in the luggage storage room during my stay. The hotel let me build my bike, store my bike, and disassemble my bike in the luggage room.
In the past I’ve posted a few tandem ride reports, but I’ve never gone into any detail about travelling with my tandem bike. During the Oman trip I took a few photos while putting the bike together, and packing the bike into the travel cases. This was the second trip that my wife and I travelled separate routes, and I had to bring the tandem as my only luggage. Business class travel, and frequent flier status luggage allowance, allowed for 45 kg of checked luggage. I managed to sneak by with 50 kg of checked baggage. My tandem is pretty heavy, but it was all the cycling clothes, helmets, shoes, and other accessories that really add the weight. The last series of photos shows my tandem in various stages of assembly.
 

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GeoCyclist
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
My stoker and I had several days of cycling, so I thought I would just segregate our photos into separate categories; cycling the Cornish of old Muscat, cycling new wide roads, cycling old narrow roads, scenic photos, and tandem team photos.
This series of photos I snapped while cycling along the Cornish in old Muscat or Mutrah. My first two days of cycling were done solo, as my stoker was attending a conference. The local people were pretty surprised to see a tandem bicycle, and with only one rider. I had some contact with the Muscat Cycling club prior to my visit, and was informed there was one tandem team that cycled with their club. One day while out driving I saw a touring tandem team cycling from Nezwa to Muscat; this team must have had some real fun climbing the mountains with a loaded tandem.
 

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GeoCyclist
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This series of photos shows the new wide roads that can be found between Muscat, Al Bustan, and Barr Al Jissah. Some of these roads are so new they are not yet visible on Google Earth maps. My stoker took a lot of the photos while we were cycling, so please excuse the pilot helmet infringements. I guess when my stoker said “duck”, I should have leaned down further instead of making quacking noises!
 

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GeoCyclist
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This series of photos shows the narrow roads between Barr Al Jissah and Al Seifa. The majority of our rides were in this area, and we never cycled more than 80 kms during a single ride. This was my stoker’s first week of cycling this year, and the temperature was over 100F by late morning. We also wanted to spend the afternoons enjoying other activities; SCUBA diving, desert driving, and exploring Muscat. On most days we were lucky if we set off by 08:00, as the buffet breakfast was just too good to rush.
 

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GeoCyclist
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The following photos show various scenery that we passed while cycling. The geology was really interesting in this part of Oman.
 

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GeoCyclist
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Of course you need the bike photos to complete any ride report. I thought the last photo was required, as it explains why a sock was rapped around the shifting cable in the fourth photo. Yes, we had a mechanical failure during ride three; the front DR cable broke just below the DR. My wife had the brilliant idea to route the DR cable straight back to the back bottom bracket; as the broken cable was too short to reach the DR if routed under the pilot’s BB. This routing worked really well; only had to remove the front water bottle and cadence sensor. The cadence sensor pad and sock stopped the shifter cable from rubbing the frame. Good enough to get 40 km back to the hotel, where I had a new shifter cable in my travel spares.
I hope you enjoyed the photos! I would highly recommend Oman for cycling, or a non cycling vacation. The Omani are quite friendly, the food was good, and Oman has a lot to offer for vacation adventure.
 

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Oh, man!

(Someone had to say it and that someone might as well be me!).
 

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BTW that is the most amazingly exotic route I think I have ever seen.

BTW2 are you running your cranks 1 tooth out of phase there?

BTW3 Your new carbon tandem is going to feel so fast........
 

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GeoCyclist
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks!

MB1 said:
BTW that is the most amazingly exotic route I think I have ever seen.]
Yes, I can't wait to go back to Oman in the fall.

[BTW2 are you running your cranks 1 tooth out of phase there?]
I had the Cranks a bit too much OOP when I put the bike together; hit a speed bump with the stoker crank arm while riding solo and threw the timing chain. When I put the timing chain back on, I was off by one tooth and didn't bother to fix it. When I but the bike back together after the trip I went about 25 degrees OOP, and I am loving the result.


[BTW3 Your new carbon tandem is going to feel so fast........
Yes, July can't come soon enough! My frame is finished and the bike is being built up at Precision Tandems. My wife and I will do our first ride on our Calfee in Seattle the 30th June, followed by the NWTR and STP. We'll have five weeks of cycling to break in our new toy.
 

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That's totally different from what we normally get to see around here. You don't want to forget the water bottles, do you.
 

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jd3 said:
That's totally different from what we normally get to see around here. You don't want to forget the water bottles, do you.
That looks like one place where even the most anti-camelbak roadie could justify a camelbak. :) Thanks for the pictures. I always enjoy seeing the exotic locales where you ride. :thumbsup:
 

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Five thumbs up, G.C! Excelent pictures, lovely curves :blush2: , and you ought to get a Pulitzer Prize for your presentation in general. Who`d a thunk Oman had such interresting cycling? Wow, the "old narrow" roads really are narrow- was the traffic as nonexistant as it looks like from your pictures? And good job with your improvised cable routing!
 

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GeoCyclist
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
No Place to Skimp on H2O

jd3 said:
That's totally different from what we normally get to see around here. You don't want to forget the water bottles, do you.
Yes, hydration is a big concern as there wasn't anywhere to get clean water during most of the rides. This was another reason our rides were limited to 80 km, as we couldn't carry anymore fluids. The next time we go I'll put one more WB cage on the bike, and bring a larger CBak for my stoker.
 

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GeoCyclist
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hydration takes precedent to style - Drink or Die!

MarkS said:
That looks like one place where even the most anti-camelbak roadie could justify a camelbak. :) Thanks for the pictures. I always enjoy seeing the exotic locales where you ride. :thumbsup:
Since moving to the Middle East I got over the Road Bike CamelBak stigma. During a summer morning ride in Bahrain (04:25 – 09:00) I carry 3 x 750 Polar Bottles and a 2.5 lt CB. I stop to refill three times during a ride. Yes, it is very warm and humid; about 34 C at start and 45 C at end of ride with humidity 70 to 90 %. The local cycling club looks like a hydration commercial when they roll out of the parking lot on group rides.
 

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GeoCyclist
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks!

rodar y rodar said:
Five thumbs up, G.C! Excelent pictures, lovely curves :blush2: , and you ought to get a Pulitzer Prize for your presentation in general. Who`d a thunk Oman had such interresting cycling? Wow, the "old narrow" roads really are narrow- was the traffic as nonexistant as it looks like from your pictures? And good job with your improvised cable routing!

There was very little traffic on the back roads outside of Muscat. During 8 days of cycling I had one close call with a head-on dive to the shoulder; otherwise, I found the Omani drivers to be pretty good. In the narrow road series of photos, the second and third to last pic’s show a steep hill; there were five crashed trucks off the last two turns of this hill. So, paying close attention to run away truck traffic is a must; as the hills can be very steep (+20% grade).
As for the cable routing, it was my wife’s idea. I must admit I was thinking it wasn’t going to be much fun spinning back to the hotel in 26 x 14 gearing (can’t use the 11-13 with my 26). I really need to work on thinking outside the box!
 
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