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Old 12-20-2008, 03:33 PM   #16
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This is easily as gorgeous as riding in Morocco! thanks for the detailed report and beautiful pics!

I fixified your thread title as per your request.
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:26 PM   #17
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Day 6 Ubar thru Rub' al Khali to Haima

Day 6 is the day that will take the bikers through the Empty Quarter approx 700km today.

Last night delivered a beautiful dreamless sleep. I was awoken at 05:00am by the Pakistani morning call of hawking and gobbing phleghmy spit which bounces off the sandy desert floor. Lovely. Up I jumps, out of my luxurious schlaft pit, checking my exterior for rashes and lice as it was quite a scummy mattress. All to no avail, Bud Lightyear had guarded me from the evil of bed bugs again – what a hero! I set about my dental and shaving ritual in the beautifully clean and perfectly functional only sink of this wondrous establishment.

See even free washing powder to do ya smalls – what more can a dirty biker ask for? On my way to answer my morning call of nature, I came across an Ubar guest house green initiative of alumininium can recycling.

Jerry and Alan rose from their schalft pits and reported fantastic sleeps. The wonder of Ubar for slumber had also transcended to the bikes, they had such good sleeps overnight they refused to start – without some rigorous morning exercise. 7deg C renders an Oman Honda non starter. Just in case Alan’s bike had been kissing mine and Jerry’s bike spreading it’s “no start” virus we encouraged the bikes by profusely kicking them over for half an hour (see no learning difficulties with these bikers). When this yielded nothing we kicked together with shouting obscenities and profanities which cannot be repeated on this family web site. These merely resulted in inflated rider body temperatures and addition to the rider BO ming.

Cars came invaluable here again as Grumpy’s Landrover morphed in to Honda Ubar morning jump starter thingy for Honda CRF’s. Jerry purchased an Ubar Petrol Station, certified tow rope for a Rial.

Sorry folks - I'll have to come back again and finish day 6, internet problems in Oman are thwarting my effort to publish

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Old 12-21-2008, 04:07 AM   #18
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Whooly Sh#t. This is an adventure. From the Crowne Plaza to the ???? Junkyard ????

Nice commentary. Too bad the bikes are refusing to co-operate. That red petrol, what the hell, is it actually fuel? That's what the camels are for. You have to be able to adapt to all situations to truly live.
Originally posted by burgerking So?
Holland is about the most expensive country in Europe when it comes to bikes and fuel..Stop whining and go riding It's just money and you only live once...

D.T. screwed with this post 12-21-2008 at 07:13 AM
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Old 12-22-2008, 06:13 AM   #19
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Location: Sultanate of Oman
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Red Petrol

D.T. yeah it was petrol, we were basically running on it all the way back from Salalah, I'm led to beleive it's red for the military use We hoped no questions thu military checkpoints, but there was none.

Still internet probs in this part of the world so no more pics posting for the mo
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:47 AM   #20
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Good stuff... looks like you had the place to yourselves...
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Old 12-22-2008, 04:26 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Bowes

Day 5 done and dusted. Hope it's still entertaining, until later.
Damn right it's entertaining! The pics, story, maps & info make for a great introduction to a place most of us know very little about

'03 KTM 640 LC4 Enduro

The wilderness, the desert - why are they not crowded
.................................................. .....with pilgrims?
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:35 PM   #22
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Laugh Looks like fun...

Quote: " Now I bet not many people have ever been to Ubar. "

Nope... never been there. Been to FUBAR a few times, but never Ubar.

Fascinating insight into a place I know f-all about. Thanks for taking the time to show us your neck of the woods.

"Enough Robert Pirsig-esque philosophizing. My bike didn’t need maintanenece and my Zen was around the next corner. Time to ride." Sly-on-2
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:58 PM   #23
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Hi Bowes, I'm in KSA but travelled to Oman earlier in the year, not on the bike unfortunately. Some of us might bring the bikes over next year.

Best sleep I ever have had. Beautiful country. I want to work there when I leave this place.

Not hijacking but thought you might be interested in some pics from along the coast from Muscat:

Looking forward to the rest of your RR.
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Old 12-23-2008, 05:16 AM   #24
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Location: Sultanate of Oman
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Day 6 Continued

King Bongo pics were cool. I was here for Gonu so have lots more, I'll put a link to my smugmug area at the end of this ride report. If yer get over here with the bikes give us a shout!

Internet cables in the Med causing havoc here, just lost an hours work, so I'll try again - a smaller snip of the report - hopefully it'll load up this time.

Below Alan getting harnessed up for his morning gallop with Greasby. Observant readers will see how much Grumpy's face is distorted in his concentration to put a knot in a rope, nearly the window licking tounge exposing itself to mime the tying of the said knot.

The starting sequence involved close coordination of rider and driver. Basically get moving, dump the bike clutch in 3rd gear, jump up and down on the bike to get the rear wheel to grip and then hang on for 500m or so, while the engine was forced to turn. Detach tow rope and ride rapidly for 3km to warm baby Honda up.

Following morning starting operation it was an Ubar “wonder food” extravaganza of fried egg japatti sandwiches. The wonder aspect being that they repeated continually on the eater of said sandwich all day to give you that constant just had a japatti egg sandwich feeling. A modern wonder food for the countries suffering famine – patent and export licenses are being negotiated currently so hands off – finders are keepers right?

So the route for today.....

Smugmugs just dropped out again so I'll leave yer with a final pic for now to hopefully whet your appitites for more to come. I'm gonna leave posts for a few days - hopefully repairs to internet cables will improve performance shortly.

Bowes screwed with this post 12-23-2008 at 06:40 AM
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:26 AM   #25
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So far so bloody awesome, looks some excellant riding there. Nearest ive got to that was a few months in iraq.....not much chance to ride though

kwakbiker screwed with this post 12-23-2008 at 11:37 AM
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:33 AM   #26
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One of the best things about this site is getting to see some places I know I will never visit through the eyes of a fellow motorcyclist.
Thanks for taking the time to post.
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Old 12-23-2008, 02:05 PM   #27
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Old 12-28-2008, 05:28 AM   #28
Bowes OP
Oman Dirty Biker
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Sultanate of Oman
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Tryin Day 6 Again

Readers, hopefully cyberspace will allow me some bandwidth to continue

The two legged chair of the desert. This is an Oman Dirty Biker tradition for those who are participating on this adventure round Oman. This is a plastic chair that has not moved from it’s location in several years. It is a two legged plastic chair in the middle of nowhere, outside of Ubar on the way to the empty quarter. The Oma Dirty Biker ritual is that bikers must circle the chair on their bikes churning as much dust and gravel as possible. They then sit down on the chair and record the event on digital giglly bits for eternity.

The Author



Biking traditions completed, lets get on with the real bvusiness of the day

Ok Rub' Al Khali on, on . This was the stretch of the trip that I had been waiting for. I’d read books by Wilfreid Thisinger, I’d looked at ariel detailed maps of the area. I had a “minds eye” picture of what was to come – Inside I had an intense desire to do this – go where few people have ever trodden – while at the same time my fear gland was producing copious Heebie Jeebie enzymes which were making my anal gland twitch.

Above the graded road that would lead us in to Rub'Al Klali, you can just see the dunes in the distance emerging from the landscape - awesome.

The Rub' al Khali (Arabic: الربع الخالي), which translates as Empty Quarter in English, is one of the largest sand deserts in the world, encompassing most of the southern third of the Arabian Peninsula, including southern Saudi Arabia, and areas of Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The desert covers some 650,000 square kilometres, more than the combined land areas of the Netherlands, Belgium, and France and almost the land area of Texas.
Largely unexplored until recently, the desert is 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) long, and 500 kilometres (310 mi) wide. Even the Bedouins only skirt the edges of the desert.
With summer temperatures up to nearly 55 °C (131 °F) at noon, and dunes taller than the Eiffel Tower — over 330 metres (1,100 ft) — the desert may be the most forbidding environment on Earth.

Wicked eh - do you feel a bit in awe of it, cos I did!

The entry into Rub’ Al Khali was via a graded road which lasted for around 25km. This then almost magically disappeared; we were then making our own tracks by following electronically generated GPS footprints which would guide us through these massive, massive dunes in a snaking zig zagging route.

The dunes are huge, huge star dunes, interspersed with Sabkha (gravel) flats. We basically weaved our way through the dunes, at points crossing over dunes to meet the Sabkha on the other side. The dunes all individually sculptured by the winds, our tracks would be erased by the wind, Rub’ Al Khali retaining her secrets forever.

What a truly profound and privilege it is to enter into this area of our planet, untouched and unspoiled by the meddling human.

We snacked on this dune at around midday. I remember just sitting eating dates, drinking water, and looking out to this awesome savannah of dunes and Sabkha flats. A priceless experience. Break over, we get moving as we all want to be out of the Empty Quarter by dark.

Retrieving a bike from a soft dune and getting on your merry way, involves a well practiced sand biker “get going protocol”. Variants of this protocol can result in bike stuck before you start and prolific ridicule by co-riders. Correct protocol is select 2nd, gentle throttle and slip clutch to get back wheel spinning, coach forward movement by paddling with both feet more throttle – forward momentum achieved, immediately feet on the pegs, kick her up to third, throttle open, and it’s happy days again for the biker.

Jerry and Uncle Bob feeling strong after the morning wonder food of Eeeeeeg Sanweeeeeech

Above shows the vastness of this expanse of beauty. Regualarly we stopped to check navigation against maps. To the sides of the Sabkha you will be able to make out the huge dunes which the bikers tooled around on riding up the sides, leaving our mark which would be erased by the next winds.

As we headed out of the empty quarter for fuel, our exit point, pretty unavoidable, led us in to what the bikers call “duney dunes”. Soft, soft, low dunes close together. The bikers found these quite unchallenging as we could ride over them. The cars struggled. After I think the fifth time we had returned from ahead, the bikers opted to follow the cars and help as each car got stuck. And stuck, they did get, oh yes, all cars. Bikers became “pushers”, “pullers” and “digger outers” as we battled through this short section of about 20k. We resembled a poorly trained but very willing Formula 1 pit stop service team, by the end of the experience we were a slick and disciplined extraction team. Our favored sponsor and car to help was Uncle Bob ‘cos he had the most beer in the back of his car.

Bob stuck, but trust me, it was all cars, chaos in harmony for a couple of hours on the exit!

I think the above pic marked the harsh truth delivered by Grumps to Uncle Bob, proferring Carmen's preffered traveling arrangements...

Out of the “fesh fesh” it was another Army check point. Instructions were, smile and act daft. A very nice army gentlemen met us in dish dasha, we wished him Eid Mubarak! This was the magic password – profuse handshaking and Eid Mubaraks all round and we were through. Good Army Man!

The bikers had a 30min, what seemed like a bizarre video game ride out to the petty station. With the cars in-between our number we were blessed with lots of headlights throwing swathes of dancing light which would have improved night visibility immensely, had it not been for the dense dust generated by the car wheels.

Waypoint 428 Petty station reached, thirsty vehicles and bikes drank their fill of gorgeous Moulin rouge red petty. Bikes fully satisfied, bikers joined the car contingent for ceremonial “yes we did the empty quarter and it was awesome” chicken curry.

‘Cos the bikers helped our best mates, the cars, we’d lost a couple of hours on our schedule. We were about 230K’s from Haima which was our planned end point for day 6. As day 7 was another huge Km day we took the decisions to hump it to Haima. It was all black top. The cars would drive a 100k shy of Haima and camp out. Well readers I will not bore you with the details but the ride up to Haima was pants. We arrived at 22:30hrs, all tired boys. Straight to bed for a 07:00am start. Sleep came quickly that night.

Thoughts & humor for day 6.
Ubar “wonder food” Eeeeeeeg Sandweeeeeeeegh”.
Carmen Greasby: Dad can I come back in your car”
Daddy Greasby: Course you can luv, what’s wrong with Uncle Bob’s Car?
Carmen: It keeps getting stuck.
Well Uncle Bob – they all got stuck today. Landrover, Pajeros as well.
Rub’ Al Khali is awesome

There will be more Rub' Al Khali tomorrow but cyberspace is not allowing smugmug to load up any more pics. Can't be helped.

I'll keep trying, hope the story is still entertaining Until later as they say!

Bowes screwed with this post 12-28-2008 at 05:34 AM
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Old 12-28-2008, 05:58 AM   #29
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Stunning! 600km of mostly off-road in one day. Whew!
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:05 AM   #30
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Very Cool Ride Report!! What Time Of Year And What Were The Temps,during Midday?
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