x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

A new speed to take in Dubai streets

PUMA Fishtail Rides - ‘fixie’ bike rides that are organised by PUMA and take place in Dubai, enabling you to see a new side to the city.

Puma supplies the fixed-gear bikes for the Fishtail Rides, which are on a pre-planned route but are kept secret until the day of the ride. Courtesy Puma
Puma supplies the fixed-gear bikes for the Fishtail Rides, which are on a pre-planned route but are kept secret until the day of the ride. Courtesy Puma

Living in the UAE, it’s to become accustomed to driving absolutely everywhere, even if it’s just down the road to the local minimart to buy a pint of milk. In the process of doing so, many of us are missing out on experiencing what the streets of our cities have to offer. Enter Puma Fishtail Rides – “fixie” bike rides that are organised by Puma and take place in Dubai – that enable you to see a new side of the city. For those who are unfamiliar with the terms, “fixies” are fixed-gear bicycles, while fishtailing is a manoeuvre that’s used to stop the bike during a fixie ride.

In October, Joshua Cox, an Australian designer, took part in the inaugural ride, under the theme of Flight Path. Starting on the airstrip of Skydive Dubai, the Fishtail Ride leaders took a group of more than 30 riders on a pre-planned route through the Dubai Marina, ending with an intimate dinner on the rooftop of the Media City car park. Those who took part included selected riders, Puma crew, as well as competition winners from the Fishtail Rides Facebook page.

“It was all very secret,” says Cox. “ We were simply told to meet at Skydive Dubai at 5pm and that the rest would be revealed. It was good to see some familiar faces and friends there, alongside people I had never met, but all who seemed as eager to get on the bikes as I was.”

As you cannot currently buy fixed-gear bikes in the Middle East, Puma supplies all the required bicycles for the ride. Cox, who doesn’t consider himself a regular bike rider, says that being introduced to the fixed-gear bikes was a special experience. “They’re simple bikes, so you can always learn something new or a few tricks. Alternatively you just try your best to stay on.”

Seeing Dubai through the eyes of a bike rider as opposed to a car driver puts a different spin on the way you see the city, according to Cox. “I’ve been around the Marina a few times, but that’s the fun thing about the ride – you get to discover a little bit more of what’s happening in a different way and cover areas you haven’t seen. People often say Dubai doesn’t have that, but I think that if you always go to the same spots, you’re always going to see and experience the same thing. Admittedly, I’ve never had a dinner party in a car park before.”

Puma developed the idea, which is unique to Puma in the Middle East, to give Dubai dwellers the opportunity to see their city from a different angle. “In a young city such as Dubai – disparate and sparse, a city ruled by cars and taxis – there is little connection with the streets,” explains Abdelhamid Oraibi, the marketing manager for Puma Middle East. “Somehow, along the line we have become estranged with where we live. Fishtail Rides have been born out of this feeling and a need to reconnect with the streets of our city again,” he says.

Given the success of the first two rides (a second one was held earlier this month), Puma is organising a third for December 13 called Coast On By. The route and details of the event are kept a secret from riders until the day of the ride.

• Interested in taking part in the December 13 ride? There are two ways to get involved: through regular competitions held on the Fishtail Rides Facebook page or by registering at an iPad unit at the Puma store at The Dubai Mall. For safety reasons, only a limited number of riders will be selected to attend

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