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8 out of 10
Correct Details

Marrakech Atlas Etape (Morocco)

26/04/2015 - Marrakech, Morocco - Charity Ride

Rating: 100.0% based on 1 review - Rate this Event Now
Previous Years Rating: 91.1% based on 1 review

This Years Event Ratings

Rated Event: 100.000%

patriciagravell1 wrote:

This is my rating for the 2016 event not the 2015 - couldn't seem to find the 2016 link. I flew my own bike over for this event as I never got any response about bike hire, either my email went into AXS junk email folder or they thought I was premature in wanting to sort it out months in advance and ignored it - In the end I didn't pursue the hire as I decided I liked the idea of a bike I was sure of but the hire bikes looked excellent so I'd seriously consider this next time...if there is a next time. Getting to the sign-in and the event itself on a bike was a little scary from the medina area which was not a problem for my friends in a hotel in the Agdal area but I wanted to fit in some sightseeing over the weekend so wanted to be more central. Sign in was straightforward and I should've bought the lovely cycle jersey whilst I was there, they were first come first served and I wanted to make sure I made it to Oukaimeden before buying one, next morning I decided I was getting one anyway but all the medium sizes had gone by then (another reason to come back next year?) There was no chip timing just a route card to be stamped and a number to be pinned on your back to identify riders, if you want to time yourself then you'd need to use a watch or Garmin or other tracker, I didn't care how long it took I just wanted to try and get to the top. There were a mix of men and women and all ages so it didn't give me the impression of being a particularly competitive event but reading some of the online reviews of this event the serious riders definitely seem to think of it as being a bit of a competition and I think there were prizes for the fastest riders, I can assure you its a suitable ride for anyone of reasonable fitness. So on a warm sunny Sunday we were led out to the straight almost flat road to the mountain, feed station was great with real food and nice clean toilets, very few cars around so felt very safe. The smooth road gets a bit rough and lumpy as soon as the beautiful scenery starts so I could understand why some riders chose to use mountain or hybrid bikes. I plodded along to the second feed station at 52km for more real food, spectacular views and more lovely toilets. As a slow rider I'd resisted the urge to get the camera out for photos of sheep being driven along the road towards me, colourful carpets on display, camels with lush green hills in the background etc as I knew I wasn't fast enough to allow for such delays. I was seriously tempted to stay at the 52k point but carried on. The heat definitely got to me but I didn't really feel that thirsty, my feet were throbbing so I stopped at a waterfall to cool them off, immediately a local woman and her daughter came from the hills to check I was okay and offered a cloth to dry my feet, children had come out to high 5 us and cheer us on, it was a lovely feeling although one girl grabbed hold of my hand rather than just clapping it which unnerved me a bit, similarly on the way down I had my rucksack grabbed when I needed my hands on both brakes so couldn't high 5 on the way down so you need to be alert. Event vehicles regularly passed checking we were okay, I was really struggling on the last 10km to the top and had to walk the final 5km as my legs were cramping even trying to pedal on the flat. The tent at Oukaimeden was a welcome sight so after having a drink, some soup which although barely warm by then tasted great, some salty snacks and some refreshing mint tea, plus around half an hour laid out on the matresses in the tent I set off for the return trip, it goes without saying that most of the other riders had been up and back long before I got to the top and there was still plenty of food available. Toilets were 2 portaloos surrounded by a tent so were never going to be delightful but needs must - actually to say I was one of the last up there they were in an okay state. I went down the hills very cautiously and was soon overtaken by the few riders that left the top after me, especially as I'd taken a couple of photos and shaken out my tight hands after all that gripping on the brakes. I could then hear the broom wagon rattling along behind me so whilst I didn't mind being last I had an inward sigh of disappointment when I passed the camels, the views and scenery and couldn't stop and take any photos, I wanted to give my hands a rest and to take off my arm warmers as it was getting too hot once I was lower down but it just wouldn't have been fair to keep stopping, there were also a few angry motorists who had to wait a while to pass the broom so their tooting, shouting and fist shaking at the broom when they eventually got past took the edge off some of the otherwise stunning vistas and tranquility - don't get me wrong, I'm grateful that this was an event where all abilities could take part and I knew it was a sportive and not a sightseeing expedition but I really wanted to tell the broom driver to go away and that I'd take responsibility for getting myself back, but one of the main reasons for booking an organised event was for that safety net so I let him follow me (afterwards he said he really wouldn't have minded if I'd stopped to take some photos - but I think it would have been taking liberties in the circumstances!) I escaped the broom when we were back on the final stretch as I managed to pass a couple of other riders so wasn't quite the last to finish. Despite it taking me so long I was cheered and clapped in and will really cherish that medal. I think there had been an awards ceremony for the fastest riders but am in no position to comment about that!! I'm more of a social cyclist and only keep entering sportives for the signed routes and mechanical support rather than any sense of wanting to do a distance in a fast time, I would definitely recommend the ride to others but making it to the top was tough for me so if I do it again I think I'd stick to the shorter route so I can have the best of the sightseeing, some mechanical support but less of a guilt trip about keeping everybody waiting. Hope this comment helps anybody who is reasonably fit but isn't super speedy to make a decision on whether to do the event in future :) Although I have very few photos there are some excellent ones on the event's webpages which will give an idea of how stunning the scenery was


Previous Years Event Ratings

Rated Event: 91.111%

expatbore wrote:

Just the friendliest, quirkiest, most unusual experience. So good to be away from the endless Sa Calobra and Alp bashers, doing something special for charity





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This event's shortened URL is: http://cyclosport.org/6053