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PHOTO CAPTION: Yamaha 'Phoenix' Pas pedelec electric bike.

Touring Al Ain's Old Souq By Electric Bike

Paolo Rossetti hires a Yamaha Pas (Phoenix) electric-assist to tour the heart of Al Ain's city center in the United Arab Emirates.

Published: 27-Jan-2012

With a shift of gears - and the method of propulsion - this edition of Off The Beaten Path took a turn into the future with an electric romp through the heart of Al Ain - baby stroller and wheelchair accessible - and a delightful ride for the family during the winter months.

The 8km circuit will take you along pavements and through parks, offering stops to visit some of Al Ain's best and least-known attractions: Jahili Fort, its nearby public park, Sheikh Zayed's birthplace and Al Ain Palace Museum, traversing the oasis and swinging by the Al Ain National Museum and Sultan Fort, before circling back to the starting point along the old souq.

I came across my vehicle by chance, at the Yamaha showroom as I picked up a screaming Raptor quad bike - a desert beast, soon to be featured here. The clever marketing man at Al Yousuf Motors pointed to it: "Why don't you take this as well? I'd like to know what you think." It looked like a girl's bicycle; I was not amused. Me? Self-proclaimed Motorhead Supreme being offered a pedal-driven contraption basically unchanged in mechanical design from the 1800s? And even then, with a large basket hanging off the handlebars?

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