AL AIN // Twenty-eight cyclists set off yesterday on a 400-kilometre journey that will take them through all seven emirates before they reach the finish line on National Day.
The five-day trip has been organised by the Dubai-based charity Gulf for Good to mark the country's 40th anniversary and raise funds for a school in Ajman.
The group were delayed when the vehicle carrying their luggage was involved in a crash. No one was hurt, but it was an hour-and-a-half before the cyclists could set off from Dubai for the starting line at Al Ain's Hili Archaeological Park.
"I just want to get going now," said one rider, in the final moments before the start.
The cyclists lined up at 11.35am and began pedalling towards the Hili border crossing and Oman.
Ahead of them lies an 80km-a-day challenge that will take them through deserts, wadis and mountains. Today, the cyclists are due to visit Hatta and Fujairah before spending the night in Dibba. Their journey will end on Friday at Dubai's Bab Al Shams desert resort.
The money raised will benefit Al Manar School, which provides free education for more than 2,400 children. The cyclists are due to visit the school on Thursday.
Those who signed up include riders from Lebanon, the Philippines, the UK, the US, Canada, India, Ireland, Brazil, India and Germany. Five members of staff from Dubai Women's College are also taking part.