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Apr
24

Morocco – Atlas Descent

Billed as Atlas Descent we were surprised by just how much ‘up’ there could be in a descent, this is Exodus’s longest running bike trip and was the last one of this season due to the summer temperatures making it unfeasiblly hot later in the year, but now we just have to endure the wind which is warm and endless, despite navigating switchbacks all week we always seem to be riding into the wind.  For the first day’s riding we exit the trucks to be sand blasted as we assemble our bikes and head off into the teeth of a gale as it the wind roars up the valley.

After flying into Agadir via Casablanca we arrive in the early hours, snatch a few hours sleep and are up early for the transfer to Tafaroute.  We spend two days here riding in the Moab esque landscape.

Jack explores the grip available, even when stood up unweighting the rear tyre

Day two is the longest riding day at 75K, riding through deep gorges on old jeep roads and tarmac, a 10 K clim takes us back upto the day’s starting point and the start of a 15K road descent, that ends in the rock playground pictured above.

The scene after riding puncture alley, just over a mile along a river bed and several repairs later we were underway again into another of those technical Moroccan descents, that gave the remarkable impression of being up.

We managed to visit a Souk in Tiznit, I would have taken more photographs but the locals aren’t too keen on having their picture or their shop’s picture taken, to be fair a photograph does not do a spice stall justice, it just doesn’t capture the smell of the spices that goes with a scene like this.  We bought most of our trip souvenirs here, enduring the well practised pressure sales techniques of the locals.

Epic views were the norm all week, when the sun went down, so did the beers, we broke the kitty on the penultimate night.

The last day from Immouzer was probably the best in riding terms, overnight rain made the trail gloopy in places and it had been borderline on whether we could take the off road option or be restricted to tarmac.  We took the off road option that Ritchey, our guide offered and it was tip top, the air had cleared a little with the rain and the cooler temperatures meant no heat haze to obscure the epic views.

The riding ends on the Atlantic coast, with a 10K dirt track descent to the ocean, fast as you like, just dodge the road workers and dirty great holes they had been digging.

After the best part of 280Ks over 6 days riding jumping into the Atlantic was the perfect end to the trip, the undertow was fiercesome, luckily running parrallel to the shore.

A tip top week, good riding, good people and a good guide, huge thanks to Ritchey for being an all round nice guy and sorting stuff out.

The team