By Teo Brambilla, PADI Regional Manager
Recently, I had the pleasure of sharing time with Jeddah Cyclists – a group of “amateur cyclists in Jeddah with the purpose to widely spread the culture of cycling in Jeddah, to gain fitness, fun and healthy life”.
I enjoy many different sports, including cycling (mostly mountain biking in the desert). On hearing about Jeddah Cyclists mission, I applauded the idea of being able to spend an evening with new friends, keeping fit and giving the mind a break from business matters. During my recent trip to Jeddah, I happened to finish one working day earlier than usual. Following the motto “mens sana in corpore sano”, I decided to spend my free evening with Jeddah Cyclists on a 30km trip along the Corniche.
The first thing I noticed was how well-organised the trip was: loud speakers keeping the group informed, leaders opening and closing groups and even car assistance along the route. The group had been divided according to individual experience and fitness levels, so no-one felt worried or pressured to keep up with others.
After a quick check to make sure everyone had their helmet and working lights (safety first, of course) – the group assemble behind the Starbucks café on the Corniche. The leader briefed everyone to explain the route and how the group would be divided. In my case (as I’m a regular cyclist) I was allowed to cycle with the more experienced members of the group. Otherwise, the first time you join the group you would have to go for the easiest speed and track in order for your fitness levels to be assessed by the organisers for future trips.
The trip itself was very memorable, with see so many enthusiasts taking part. I was especially surprised with just how many divers were among us! A mid-way water break allowed me some time to take in the views and sights of the Corniche, as well as share stories with fellow cyclists.
The end of the route arrived, and before departing the organisers took the opportunity to remind everyone about future events and training, as well as special mention to cyclists who were either new to the group, or had completed achievements in other activities.
One of the reasons I felt inspired by my tour with Jeddah Cyclists was that it showed how easy it was to combine keeping fit with two of my biggest sporting passions – scuba diving and cycling.
If you are a diver and are looking for a fun way to keep active outside the water – contact Jeddah Cyclists group here.
On the other hand, if you are a cyclist, why don’t you try scuba diving! Contact one of the many PADI Diving Centers in KSA – click here.