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Local Knowledge
            Back to Open Skies

Travel to Dubai


Corcel Collective, Dubai

24 January 2016

While a bustling Sheikh Zayed Road might dominate the city, a slower pace is emerging on side roads and cyclepaths. Less a mode of transport, more a way of life, this is how you really navigate Dubai.

A new independent bicycle movement is transforming how Dubai commutes and spends its leisure time, powered by fixed-gear and single-speed biking enthusiasts and the homegrown bike retailer, Corcel Collective. Founded by a small group of friends – including ex-professional footballer, Christian Frealdsson – the lifestyle brand has expanded rapidly in just a few years and is now preparing to open a flagship store in Dubai Design District.

I moved to Dubai from Stockholm three years ago, where I’d been riding bikes, single-speed and fixed-gear, my whole life, mostly for commuting but also for fun.
Riding a bike in an urban environment is a fast way to travel and has benefits for your health and the environment. My friends and I wanted to create a lifestyle brand that catered to our new community of riders – it was clear that there were others like us who wanted to ride their city. Now, two years later, we have a showroom in Al Quoz and a number of collaborations, including Puma Select and Level Shoe District, where we have a pop-up store.

Fixed gear bikes let you have full control of the bike.
When you’re riding fixed it’s not like cruising, you have to pedal consistently, as you ride without brakes. When you learn how to control the bike it’s a very nice feeling. There’s a growing fixed-gear community in Dubai but it’s tricky for beginners, so we not only sell fixed-gear bikes, we have a range of single-speed bikes (free wheel) and one of our brands, BIKEID, comes with an automatic two-shift gear.

Design and simplicity are also a focus.
Dubai is completely flat and for the leisure biker, gears don’t really make sense. They also take away from the bike design and I want people to ride their bike and be able to store it in their house without feeling that they have to hide it because it doesn’t look good.

There’s an established and growing community here that gets together for rides, Dubai Fixed Gear (DXBFXD).
I can also see that more people are riding bikes in their daily life. Not only for exercise but also to commute. Dubai is becoming increasingly bike friendly and large numbers of tracks are being built. I’m sure this will change how people get around the city.

Personally I love to ride my bike in Jumeirah and Satwa.
Older parts of Dubai like Deira and next to the Creek are also perfect for a ride.

Dubai is creating many rental bike stations around town, especially in Downtown and Jumeirah Beach.
A bike ride on the back roads of Jumeirah, close to the beach, is a perfect way to see the city in a different way.


Words / Images: Sandra Tinari