One day, passing by a bike shop I inquired the owner whether there are bike paths or good routes for cycling in Riyadh. The response wasn’t encouraging: there’s Wadi Hanifah road where locals cycle but only in groups as it is too dangerous for solo cyclists due to drivers often racing each other on this road. When I heard “dangerous” my ears pricked up because it spelled adventure. For this ride, I strategically chose Friday when there’s less cars on the roads to be just moderately adventurous. I got to the starting point with Uber, otherwise it would have added a couple of hours of cycling. The dangers were grossly overstated, in fact half of the route was quite pleasant to ride: light traffic, road meandering along a park where locals were having their weekend picnics. That was until I came to a screeching halt when a security guard stopped me telling I cannot go any further on that road. I had to find a way out amidst construction sites, ending up on a highway. I continued by riding the “wrong way” on a one way street just to get out of endless right turn loop.
When Hanifah road will be open all the way to Al Diriyah historical village, connecting it to Sport Boulevard that is still under construction, it will be a nice way to spend a day cycling or walking.
This week in numbers:
145 km — distance cycled
1727 — year Al Diriyah was established as the capital of Emirate of Diriyah under the first Saudi dynasty
135 km — the length of the cycling path in the future Sport Boulevard