Qatari shares how cycling has changed and grown in Qatar

Since the Covid-19 pandemic last year, cycling has become a more popular sport and recreational activity in Qatar, encouraging more residents to stay active and healthy through physical activity.

“The number of cyclists and enthusiasts just grew exponentially where many people made the move of training from indoors to outdoors because the gyms and pools were (temporarily) closed,” said Adiel Mohamed. He is a cyclist for the Qatar Chain Reaction’s (QCR) Saturday Social Ride.

The period also witnessed a sudden increase in the number of cycle sales in Qatar. The Qatari now enjoys cycling as it is not something forced to do now. This shows the growing appeal for cycling among the Qatari people.

“What makes cycling amazing, it is a group sport, besides the training part there is the social aspect as well like going to coffee rides, meeting different people on the rides, it’s the exciting part of buying a new bike, buying the clothes, buying the accessories.”

“And coming from a cyclist who has been cycling for over 20 years it’s an amazing sport to keep fit, you can definitely push yourself to either racing or just recreational or like myself just being a café rider, riding to stop for a coffee. It’s a better option in my opinion than running, some people enjoy running some people prefer cycling over running cause in their opinion it’s a bit easier than running and I share the same sentiment,” He added.

Qatar Chain Reaction (QCR), which is one of the largest cycling groups in Qatar, organises Friday and Saturday bike rides throughout the year, in addition to several races. The group’s website is full of useful information for cyclists and cycling enthusiasts, especially those who are new to Qatar. In a similar vein to Mohamed, Layla Bernal, a member of the Filipino cycling group “Doha ChiQlistas At TamBikes Qatar”, says the popularity of cycling has attracted more and more Filipinos to engage in physical activity they find “enjoyable.”

According to Bernal, “because I sweat a lot and I burn more calories (losing 10kg) during the summer, which also requires fewer clothes,” she prefers cycling in summer to cycling in winter. She also said that cycling is a perfect mind booster and one of the most effective exercises to stay healthy.

“The construction of the OCT – a road dedicated to cyclists – has been a game-changer for the serious cyclist.” said the QCR. As noted by the Qatar Cycling Federation, this 2-lane road is car-free and connects Doha to Al Bayt Stadium outside of Al Khor, allowing for safe cycling at any time of the day. Designed to host international sports competitions, it has 29 tunnels, five bridges, and parking areas.




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