Morocco – the extras

I never did get round to cataloging the last two days of riding in Morocco. Not that I was doing much riding anyway. So here’s a pictorial story with a few words. I’d stick to the pictures if I were you. Day 3 started with a few kilometers descent on a surface best described as dusty ball bearings. Each corner was a mountain switchback which led to some fairly interesting “ohhhhshit” moments. I buggered my shoulder early on and was soon far behind and whinging.

I’ve no idea what Martyn is doing with that bike in the shot above but he’s clearly enjoying himself. I ended up back in the broom wagon which was a little scarier that riding. You really need a vehicle here that has a short wheelbase and a tight turning circle. It’s disconcerting looking over the edge to a thousand feet of vertical bugger all but after a while you sort of get used to it. If you close your eyes and take strong drugs.

I met the fellas for lunch and deciding riding was going to be more fun/less fatal than the landy, we set off on about 10k of dusty, loose fireroad that ended up being way more fun than it should have been. At this point I gave up again and so did a few of the others being faced with a huge climb. The road – and I’m using the word advisedly here – to our third night stop at a burbur lodge was fairly terrifying and I was glad of various but extensive medicinal products to dull the pain later that evening.

The last day was going to push the difficulty a bit and it started with a rocky, off camber singletrack strewn with huge boulders. Pretty technical all the way down to the village but WAY WAY safer than taking the landy back down that track of the night before. Some super steps near the trail end put paid to my riding for the weekend tho. A little too much vigour and a little too little shoulder recovery rended the arm pretty useless.

After another landy uplift, three from five (Nig had succumbed to some kind of major intestinal failure) set off on a huge traverse across the valley where vehicles cannot go. And sometimes bikes too as Jason tells of an incident when he flung himself off the trail and over a handy cliff. Somehow he only fell about ten feet and damaged himself not at all. If that had been me, they’d have been scraping me off the valley floor with a spatula.

Apparently it was a fantastic ride and one both Nigel and I are looking forward to doing next year when we go back. And we have to go back because it is a wonderful place to ride your bike and equally fantastic in terms of the people, culture and stunning scenery.

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