If you have been out riding lately and found the weather a little cooler than you would normally like, or the ground a little more moist than you expected, there is no need to put the bike back in the shed until the early signs of summer. It is about this time of year that we all start to get the jitters. We are not riding as much as we would like and dry and dusty trails seem like a distant memory to the thick mud we are faced with on an almost daily basis.
So here is your chance to cheat the worst of the British winter by escaping to the exciting country of Morocco. It is time again for what is appearing to be an annual pilgrimage to desert sands of an ancient land and here is a chance for you to join us.
On 26 February, Mike Davis will be returning to the scene of the crime and riding some different trails, as well as living the high life in up to 4 start hotels with swimming pools and sampling some of the local culture. So if you would like to join Mike for some riding in what only could be described as a different world, here are the details:
Jebel Sahro & the Draa Valley
Great winter riding in the spectacular oasis of the Draa Valley and the bizarre lunar landscapes of the desert mountains of the Jebel Sahro. This is Exodus’s least-demanding Moroccan trip and you don’t have to be an expert biker to enjoy it. You will be riding through beautiful lush oases of the Draa Valley flanked by date palms, then through numerous villages with mud-brick houses and kasbahs. The imposing volcanic gateway of Bab n’Ali will show the beauty and variety of this unmatched Landscape. Sand dunes, isolated Berber settlements and Biblical scenes of nomads tending herds of goats enliven the route. We also ride into the stunning Dades gorge; we visit the edge of the Sahara, and end with a drive through the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs.
Highlights of the trip include:
- Great riding on fast flowing tracks with single track sections.
- Overnight in the last stop before ‘Timbuktu’.
- A full days Landover excursion into the desert with the option to ride a camel.
- Crossing the dramatic high passes of the Jebel Sahro.
- Return via the valley of a thousand Kasbahs
And get to ride some brand new 2005 Marin bikesMarin have come to the party and given each rider the chance to ride for the week one of their new 2005 test fleet bikes completely free of charge. These include the highly-acclaimed Mount Vision and Attack Trail
The CTC has also offered its expert services by providing the valuable insurance for all of the bikes under its International Bike Cover insurance, designed so you can insure your bike while you are travelling overseas.
On the plains the days are usually warm with sunny skies (above 20 degrees) and the nights cool to cold. Higher up it can be cooler still (sounds like an English summer).
The riding will be mostly on hard-pack, wide dirt tracks; surfaces generally reasonable with occasional rough and rocky sections. A couple of long climbs, though most rides are undulating. Occasional optional singletrack available. Off-road experience advisable but not essential. Six days cycling, average 45km/day, 90% off-road, 100% vehicle support.
5 nights 2 to 4-star hotels (most with swimming pools), 1 night restored kasbah, 1 night basic hotel.
All meals included except dinner on day 4.
Only £829 (plus a local payment of 1000 Dirhams (about £65) This includes return airfares from London, accommodation, all guiding and all but one meal – pretty much everything. Alternatively, if you want to organise your own flights it is £525.
As well as this, all riders will receive a free Bikemagic riding jersey (worth £30).
To book, call Andrew Appleyard at Exodus on 020 8772 3883 (toll free 0870 240 5550) and quote trip number MMS509. If you would like more information, check out the exodus website.