"Oman Welcomes You"
Cycling Expedition < OMAN EXPLORER
 

Adventurous Austrians on a cycling expedition

Peter, who is a journalist by profession and a veteran of cycling expeditions, said the experience he would gain through this outing would help him to prepare for a major cycling expedition
which is scheduled to be held in Ellis Springs to the north east of Australia from 6 August to 12 September this year. Both Peter and Brigitte are of the opinion that Oman perhaps
offers the best possible conditions to train for a major international cycling event

THE Austrian cyclist duo of Brigitte Nickl and Peter Kumhofer get ready for the ‘Oman ’98 Desert Challenge’ at Wadi Hatat. — Pictures by Abdullah bin Ibrahim al Shuhi

Oman with its stunning contrasts and picture-book enchantment has over the centuries been attracting adventure seekers from every nook and corner of the world. The fascinating visuals that Oman offers were a great temptation which none with a spirit for adventure could resist and they invariably always came back to see more of the endless nature's bounty. The latest to jump on to the bandwagon of adventure seekers are the Austrian duo of Peter Kumhofer and Brigitte Nickl. They have set off on an adventurous feat the likes of which no one has ever attempted before in Oman.

The duo (both cyclists) will pedal their way from Muscat (Wadi Hatat Shell filling station) to Salalah via Sur along the coast road covering a distance of approximately 1200km in 12 days time. The duo, who arrived in Oman last Friday, said that they used the first couple of days to acclimatise themselves to the weather conditions which they both described as "quite hot". On what made them choose Oman in particular for their cycling expedition, they said the weather and terrain were the main criteria and aptly called it "Oman '98 Desert Biking Expedition. 

"According to Peter, who is a journalist by profession and a veteran of cycling expeditions, the experience he would gain through this outing would help him to prepare for a major cycling expedition which is scheduled to be held in Ellis Springs to the north-east of Australia from 6 August to 12 September this year. Both Peter and Brigitte are of the opinion that Oman perhaps offers the best possible conditions to train for a major international cycling event. 


Peter who has already visited some of the Gulf states like Bahrain and Kuwait said he was happy that his decision to go for Oman was the right one. He said the friendliness of the local people and the highly cooperative attitude of the Ministry of Information officials who have extended all the basic facilities like a full-fledged road map of Oman, will go a long way in making their biking expedition pass off smoothly. 

Sponsored by KLM as well as a computer firm, the duo are also ably assisted by the First Secretary and Consul, Embassy of the Republic of Austria, Robert Leu. Commenting on the Oman '98 Desert Biking Expedition, Leu said he was happy that two of his countrymen have chosen Oman for this unique cycling expedition. "I was informed by the Ministry of Information about the arrival of the cyclists in Oman. 

We discussed the proposed route and the embassy was extending all help by way of supplying kits and other essentials for the 12-day expedition." He also expressed his delight that the Austrians have undertaken a cycling expedition the likes of which have never been attempted before in the history of Oman." We plan to reach Salalah in 12 days. We hope to cover between 120-130km per day. 

The schedule involves camping outdoors,"said Brigitte who is also a professional freelance photographer. Brigitte feels that as they are accustomed to cycling 15,000-20,000 km every year they will not encounter much difficulty in completing the expedition to Salalah.Admitting that the weather is quite warm for pedalling long-distance, the duo said that they will limit their cycling to 5-6 hours per day. " We will be taking lot of fluids so as to prevent dehydration along with liberal intakes of high-vitamin food and throughout the expedition we will be camping outdoor on the beach as we are taking the coast road."

On their return journey, the duo intend to travel by bus along the coast road. The journey is meant to relax and soothe the nerves after the gruelling, marathon cycling expedition. "It will also give us an opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of this wonderful country as ordinary tourists. We hope to come back to this wonderful land again sometime in the very near future, not necessarily as cyclists. I hope our experience here will in future encourage more and more cyclists and adventure-seekers to come to this enchanting land."

Peter, infact, intends to write a book on his experiences in the Sultanate during Oman '98 Desert Biking Expedition. "Right now I am looking for a sponsor. Depending on how soon I can get one, I intend to seriously go ahead with the book. Soon after the Australian cycling rally is over I will get started with this book," he replied. Oman with its myriad charms continues to draw countless adventure-seekers and tourists alike as it has so much to offer by way of providing contrasting terrains from the desert to the coast. Whether it is the cyclists or the awe-struck tourists, the rush to see and feel Oman continues unabated.