Seven Omanis are biking across 14 countries in 30 days. Here's why

Oman Tuesday 05/September/2017 21:28 PM
By: Times News Service
Seven Omanis are biking across 14 countries in 30 days. Here's why

Muscat: Seven Omanis from the Oman Bikers motorcycle club departed for a goodwill tour to South Africa on Tuesday.
Having kick-started their tour at the South African embassy in Muscat, their tour will see them travel across 14 nations in the Middle East and Africa in about 30 days’ time, with their final destination being the Rainbow Nation.
The seven bikers will be travelling with two more of their associates in a four-wheel drive, which will contain their camping equipment, emergency supplies, repair kits and spare parts, will be visiting the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Botswana, Zambia, Swaziland, Lesotho, and of course, both Oman and South Africa.
Hamood Al Noufli will be leading the trip to South Africa, and cannot wait to hit the open road.
“We will be travelling from Oman to the UAE, and then to Saudi Arabia,” he said, speaking exclusively to the Times of Oman. “We will take a ferry in Saudi Arabia and then land in Sudan, from where we will continue our journey south to Ethiopia.”
“Omani explorers have, in the past, travelled extensively through many part of Africa, especially its eastern regions, so we also want to follow in their footsteps,” he added. “This is also a chance for us to generate awareness about Oman in the nations we will visit.”
Planning for this trip has been taking place for months now, and while it might’ve seemed tedious to some, Al Noufli said it is an integral part of a journey abroad.
“All of us had to maintain our bikes, and ensure they were in very good condition, and this is very expensive, unlike cars, which are cheaper,” he explained. “We had to do a thorough research of the roads we would be travelling on, because we needed to know what tyres were needed to travel on them. 95 per cent of the roads are tarmac, but there will also be many a time when we will need to go off-road.”
“We trained for a long time, riding our bikes in the wadis and in mountainous regions, as well as on soft sand, so we’d know how to travel on these surfaces,” added Al Noufli. “The most important thing here is to learn to balance, because our bikes are only two wheeled and it is easy to fall off of them if you are not familiar with the roads or the surface you are riding on.”
While their trip might set them back quite a bit, it is the passion, thrill and excitement of being out on the open road that has sustained their desire to go on such road trips.
“We’ve previously been to China and to Germany on very similar trips, and we do this because we enjoy the freedom being on the road gives us,” revealed Al Noufli. “It has cost us about OMR3,000 each to pay for this trip, but sometimes that is the price of passion. It’s not just the bike maintenance alone, but the other costs we have had as well.”
“Fuel for example is cheap in Oman, but that is not so in the countries we are travelling to. Then there are the air tickets we will be spending on from South Africa to Oman, and the cost of shipping our bikes back to Oman,” he added. “When we visit the cities on our route, we will be staying in hotels so that will also cost money, and while we are away from them, we will be camping, and we have spent money to buy the camping equipment and food as well.”
“But in the end, it’s all worth it, because this is our passion and we love doing it.”