A Cairo cycling crew are taking their passion to the next level organising a seven-day cycling tour from the Pyramids of Giza to Jordan's Petra. We talk to the organisers to find out more.
Are you already feeling a little guilty about falling out of love with that expensive New Year's gym membership? Well, prepare to feel even worse. A group of super-fit 'Wheelers' are planning to cycle from the Pyramids to Petra in Jordan in an effort to boost Egyptian tourism while turning the country green. The grueling trek begins on Febraury 22nd and will see the team of 50 riders begin their journey at the Pyramids, travelling across Egypt and Sinai before arriving in Petra seven days later.
Despite the tough task ahead, group leader Sara Farouk claims the group is more than ready to hit the road. "The whole idea came when we were going to travel last year to Europe to cycle from Vienna to Budapest and then decided that we should do something to promote our internal tourism and start an initiative that serves our society and kick off from here. We've been training for the challenge for almost 6 months now as we took our participants of nine cycling 20 Km a day to almost 200 Km. We will cycle almost 900 Km to Petra!"
The challenge forms part of a wider initiative to promote tourism in Egypt and encourage Egyptians to saddle up and go green. Farouk claims that movement looks set to grow as Egypt gets switched onto cycling. "Our riders started off in Cairo and our call for everyone to participate engaged a lot of people from different areas and governorates. Everybody is welcomed to join our rides, coaching sessions and inductions. Cycling is picking up big time, we started as a bunch of 5 to 6 cyclists and now our community is growing vigorously as we have almost 150 participants in every ride."
However the cycling enthusiast admits that getting bike-wise is not without risks. "We are trying with the government to start considering cycling lanes in major areas as they are trying to fix major roads nowadays in order to increase safety in streets for even people who work on bikes such as those who transfer bread." Nevertheless, Farouk believes that the idea is set to blossom as more Cairenes realise that two wheels really are better than four. "We hope that the cycling community continues growing and the Egyptian society starts embracing cycling as a habit and as a commute solution in order to increase health awareness and try to avoid traffic and reduce it."
Find out more about Wheelers and their events on their Facebook page here.