Solo bike rides through the desert just got safer.
For some, the idea of heading out into the desert for a solo bike ride may sound like the start of an extreme survival movie (or possibly even a horror film – who knows what those oryx are capable of?) – but a new initiative could help to quell those fears.
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has installed 30 solar-powered “SOS” phones along the Al Qudra cycling track in the Seih Al Salam desert, a popular destination among Dubai’s adventure seekers.
The phones allow cyclists to make emergency calls to ambulance services or police, should they get into trouble on the track. Here’s what to look out for (the letters “SOS” and the picture of a phone are a bit of a helpful hint):
According to the RTA, the devices are able to operate efficiently in all kinds of weather conditions, at temperatures ranging from 0 to 70 degrees Celsius.
The RTA team has already made some trial phone calls in co-operation with Dubai Police to check the phones were working properly… so go forth and pedal, safe in the knowledge that even if an oryx steals your cellphone, you’ll still be able to make contact with the outside world.