Inspirational Stories

Jason Black Attempts Cycling 1000 km Unassisted Across Oman in 5 Days!

Rakhi Chu241 views

Dear Explorer,

Are you crazy about cycling? We have another fantastic cycling challenge for you this week!
Irish endurance cycling athlete and world-record holder mountaineer, Jason Black is in Oman and currently en route on his first ever self-supported ultra-cycling race in the Middle East. He plans to cover 1,000 km through 9,000 m of elevation in the vast varied terrain of Oman.
If you haven’t visited Oman, imagine a stunning blue coastline against a rugged skyline of imposing mountains; and, in between this, you have everlasting deserts with massive golden sand dunes.
We caught up with Jason before he embarked on this incredible cycling feat of endurance to find out how he feels about his challenge.
Want to follow him live? Then click below and see where Jason is today!

Jason Black Live Tracking

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Race Details

The race began yesterday, Sunday 25th at 3am from the capital city of Muscat. Jason plans to make a full circle and return to Muscat in under 120 hours (which is less than 5 days)!

Wait. I forgot to mention – Jason will be completing this challenge with NO assistance whatsoever! He will carry all his supplies with him. Yes, all of his food, medical supplies, and water will be along with him strapped to his trustee bicycle. Along the way, he’ll stop where required to buy new supplies.

This is Jason’s first solo un-supported race and he says:

“I’m excited to see how I will cope without the support of his usual back-up team.”

Route and Areas in Oman Jason will cover:

  • Hajar Mountains
  • the spectacular Jebel Shams Pass
  • the Ash Sharqiyah Desert
  • Arabian Seaside roads

Jason Black Map

The 1,000 km route Jason Black is cycling through Oman | Image Source: Jason Black

Jason’s Thoughts of the Omani Challenge

Full-time endurance athlete, Jason Black is no stranger to challenges that involve days on end fighting through harsh conditions and pushing his body to the absolutely limit. In addition to impressive cycling accomplishments, Jason has climbed some of the most terrifying mountains in the world!

  • Mount Everest in Tibet / Nepal (2013)
  • K2 in Pakistan (2015)
  • Mount Denali in Alaska, US (2014)
  • Mount Elbrus in Russia (2016)
  • Mount Aconcagua in South America (2016) twice in 32 hours!
  • Mount Kilimanjaro (twice in a day!) setting a World Record
ub-cool: How did you train for this intense cycling challenge? When did you begin the training?

Jason Black: I’ve always used cycling as my base fitness for my mountaineering life. Once moving over to the ultra endurance racing, I dedicate 5 hours a day, 6 days a week to physical preparation. My usual week consists of 25 hours on the bike and 2 hot yoga sessions, which helps with the critical brain training.

ub-cool: What are you most concerned of ahead of the challenge?

Jason Black: As a European Irish rider, I’m not used to extreme bike weather so hydration plays a major role in my success. If I get it wrong, then my race will suddenly stop. Also, the navigation looks challenging as there’s a mixed surface of roads, off road trails, etc.; equally, reaching the summit of Jebel Shams after 350km will be a brutal challenge for all as the gradient ramps up to 20% in places and it’s a sustained 20km climb.

“Adventure teaches us to deal with the unexpected as it comes and this race is no different making racing across Oman a wonderful challenge.”

ub-cool: Is this your first trip to Oman? Are you enjoying your time here?

Jason Black: It is my first trip to Oman and I’m absolutely blown away with the Omani culture, food, and kindness of the people. Stopping for a puncture on a training day, five cars stopped and not just one … but people in all five cars got out to see how they could help.

“I can honestly say I’ve travelled the globe in my adventure life and the hospitality show to me in Oman has been humbling.”

ub-cool: What type and brand of bicycle are you using for this challenge? Will it manage both the road and mountain terrains?

Jason Black: Yes I’m unveiling the new custom Irish built endurance road bike made body-fit specific for me by leading Bike builders “FiftyOne Bikes.”

The bikes angles are set in a particular way to help support the body over long distance and yet aggressively enough to support aerodynamics. The process in the design & built in the bike build is incredible; the technology is a world leading design in endurance racing.

ub-cool: What brand of cycling shoes did you choose for this challenge?

Jason Black: I use the Spunk carbon fiber race shoe – light upper and the carbon sole give a super stiff platform to support power.

ub-cool: After you complete the challenge, how do you plan to recover? Will you be able to move and walk?

Jason Black: Yes, I have a very detailed recovery plan. I have a personal nutritional recovery plan designed over the years and honed to suit my body type & needs. It begins with replenishing the glycogen stores as soon as possible which will start the recovery muscle cell phase; I’ll avoid unhealthy fats for as long as possible as they only stall recovery. Hydration and obviously loads of sleep on demand.

“I’ve found that you must listen to your body: if it’s hungry, then feed it; if it’s thirsty, hydrate it; and, if it’s tired, lay down and sleep.”

It’s so critical for me because I’m in the World Cup ultra endurance calendar, and my next race is in April; so, I must be ready to go again and this time it’ll be further.

ub-cool: What’s next? What and where is your next challenge?

Jason Black: I’m racing in the UMCA endurance race calendar which is the world championship standard. My next race is the Joe Barr 500 in Ireland which is a world ranking race and I’m chasing the maximum points. From there, I’m off to race across in America the famous RAAM 5000km non-stop race coast to coast which will be a hugeness test.

I will have to see how the body holds up after that as I have my eye on other World Cup races towards the tail end of 2018. That also unless a huge 8000+ mountain comes calling, which looks very likely. The wonderful thing is the sky has no ceiling and no limits.
“You and only you hold the dizzy heights you can achieve in this world – embrace the challenge, smash it, and live life as if everyday is your last on this planet. Leave with no regrets.”

ub-cool TALKS with Jason Black

On Monday February 19th, Jason Black captivated his audience in Muscat when he gave a talk at ub-cool TALKS. In addition to being a full-time endurance athlete, Jason also speaks at numerous events worldwide encouraging youth to live their life to the fullest.

If you weren’t able to attend his ub-cool TALK in Muscat, we will share the talk on our ub-cool TALKS podcast channel shortly.

Stay tuned! We promise you’ll be inspired!

For more information about Jason’s challenge, check out his website here.

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Rakhi Chu
Explorer, writer, and chief editor with a passion to travel the world, delve into history, and just write write write! Three continents later, this Canadian lives in Dubai. Recent Adventure: Jordan - Jerash, Petra, Wadi Rum, and the Dead Sea. Bucket List: Caves - Hang Son Doong (Vietnam) and Krubera (Georgia).

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