Get the family cycling

One of the joyous and memorable moments of parenthood comes when you remove the training wheels, and watch your child take to two wheels for the first time. Better still, this is just the start of many experiences your family will share on bicycles.

On this page, you’ll find ideas for what you can do to get your family active by bike in Qatar.

RIDE ON A REAL MOTOR RACING CIRCUIT

Losail International circuit, situated a short distance north of Doha, opens its doors to cyclists, runners, walkers and roller-bladers on Tuesday (ladies and children only) and Wednesday evenings between October and June. It is not available when the track is in use for racing so be sure to check their events calendar.
The 5.3km flood-lit circuit is a challenge relished by the younger rider while, for the rest of the family, it offers a workout in a safe environment. Bicycles are available to hire and there is a café where you can hang out while waiting for the fittest family members to finish their ride.

CYCLE TO THE ZOO OR THE AIRPORT

You’ll see new cycle paths appearing all over Qatar. Not all are fully connected yet but why not get out and explore what’s available in your neighbourhood?

Family favourites include the cycle path leading from C-Ring starting here and continuing all the way out to Hamad International Airport. The route is landscaped and planted and after dark, the coloured lights on the expressway make this an extra special trip.

Another kid-friendly adventure leads from this spot close to the Ash-Shahaniya camel race track. A few kilometers of riding takes you to the Al Dossari Zoo and Game Reserve but the cycle path extends over 30km northwards through Qatar’s interior for a longer day out.

With kilometer after kilometer of dedicated cycle path appearing beside the Shamal and Al Khor roads, exploring Qatar by bike is becoming ever more family friendly.

PUT YOUR SKILLS ON SHOW

Doha Festival City Mall is enclosed by a 2.7km cycling track which includes optional skills sections such as pump track, rock garden and rollers. These are great for developing cycling ability and, most importantly, they are great fun. You’ll go round once, then twice, then three times and the kids will still be crying out for “One more time!” Reward your efforts with lunch and a movie in the mall.

Leave the car at any of the Festival City or Ikea parking but the optimal spot, requiring no road crossings and right next to the track, is outside Ace hardware.

GO RACING

TriClub Doha provide regular duathlons (run and cycle), aquathons (swim and run) and triathlons (swim, cycle, run) for children aged 7 and upwards. plus mini-kids races for those even younger. The competitive element is a motivator for some but as these are not mass start events, this introduction to racing need not be daunting.

Most of Qatar’s triathlons, including the Qatar Tri Series offer something for children but the parents need not just stand there watching… these are events for ALL the family.

See our events calendar to find the next race

GET OFF ROAD

Children’s races also feature in mountain bike events such as the UFMBQ league and Al Adaid Desert Challenge. Typically, the uneven ground makes these events suitable for children aged ten and upwards or those with more experience and confidence on a bike. See our events calendar to find the next race.

Stepping away from the race scene, why not set out to discover Richard Serra’s stunning East-West-West-East statues? Park by the beach at Zekreet village and follow the rough vehicle track around 4.5km across the rocky desert to the western-most plinth.

Any off-road adventure like this isn’t for the inexperienced. Some confidence with way-finding, plenty of water and knowledge of how to fix a puncture are the minimum requirements. Lacking these, you may prefer to get introduced to the desert by a company like Blue Pearl Experience who run fat bike tours in Zekreet.

JOIN A MASS RIDE

Sportives or Granfondos are cycling festivals, with hundreds of riders of all abilities. The premier event in Qatar is the Ride of Champions with well over 1000 participants. RoC includes fun mini-races for young children and a family route suitable for all.