- Nov 29, 2010
- Rolling the Ancient Wonders with Hans “No Way” Rey
Team CLIF BAR athlete Hans Rey ventured to Jordan for...biking? If you've never thought of the middle-east as a riding destination, think again. When I received a phone call from the producer of the popular TV series, 'Ride Guide' asking me if I would like to go with them to Jordan in the Middle East, I was pretty excited. Jordan has been on my "Places to ride" list for a long time.
Who wouldn't want the chance to explore this ancient land as a biking destination? Most people have seen pictures of the sandstone city of Petra, I wanted to do more than see images, I wanted to be there and be in them. With that in mind, I hesitated for, oh, about a second, before I of course, said yes. My riding partner was legendary freerider and downhiller Dave Watson, best known for his infamous jump over the Tour de France in 2003, he has recently signed to ride for GT Bicycles. Cory Horton was our cameraman and Dean 'Blotto' Gray, our photographer. Blotto is known for shooting the best snowboarders in the world including Shaun White, he is also an in-house photographer for Burton. We hadn't worked together before, but as is the case with these trips, we got to know each other pretty quickly. We hit it off, working hard, but having plenty of laughs along the way and while having a pretty amazing trip.
Bicycles in general, are hardly used in Jordan; in fact, I didn't see one single bike on the roads or trails the whole time we were there. Why? Beats me, I have no idea! Mountain bikers do not exist and bike shops are as rare as surf shops in Nepal. The good news was, we didn't need a bike shop, as long as we had our own bikes. But that was precisely our problem, my bikes didn't arrive, in the end, I had to wait for almost three days until they eventually turned up. Dave's bike was lacking a front wheel and Blotto, our photographer's bike was without pedals. We were in a bad and desperate situation. At one point I was actually considering flying to Italy to get my Euro bikes or alternatively looking for some bike shops in nearby Israel. But I did neither of these, as they say, "with every cloud comes a silver lining", we made the most of our waiting time and became real tourists. Exploring, the markets and feasting on delicious local foods, especially the hummus and falafel washed down with sugar cane juice, yum.
Along the way, we even managed to find one of those elusive bike shops where we could buy Blotto some pretty funky plastic pedals. I have visited some pretty amazing places in my life, but I have to say that Petra was a highlight. It is right up there as one of the most spectacular sites I have ever seen and it fascinates me with all of it's unanswered questions, I always like a good mystery. We finished our whirlwind tour in Amman, the capital of Jordan. There is potential for some great mountain biking, at this stage, though, it would be best for people who want to ride there to find a tour operator or guide that knows the trails and best riding spots. There are plenty of highlights and a beautiful culture to experience. Keep your eyes open for our TV production - it's scheduled to air in over 60 countries. Ride on.
- Posted by:
- B Cole
- Mountain Biking