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Ride Rating System

The BAC has a Ride Rating system that can tell you what to expect while on one of our rides. Learn more...

Ride Info

Ride Overview

Morocco A Nomads Journey - Marrakech to the Dades Gorges

  • Arrival
  • 9/13/2020
  • Departure
  • 9/27/2020
  • Ride Coordinator
  • Tracey Rossett
  • Tour Company
  • Spice Roads
  • Starting Location
  • Marrakech, Morocco
  • Finishing Location
  • Marrakech, Morocco
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $4500
  • Deposit
  • $1500
  • Number of Riders
  • 2 (min. 10 /max. 22)
  • Space Available
  • 17
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 3

Ride Rating

3B  Warning - Read the Description Carefully

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† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.

and you can request to participate in this ride.

Ride Description

OVERVIEW: Morocco, just the name evokes visions of medinas, desert oasis, dunes, date palms, and ancient civilization. Our multi-faceted journey will take us from the lively markets of Marrakech, across desert landscapes, and traditional territories of nomadic peoples over high mountain passes and the breathtaking Dades Gorges.  On the way we will stay in ancient Riads, visit with a Berber family and explore perfectly preserved cave dwellings. A trip to Morocco wouldn’t be complete without living out the Lawrence of Arabia fantasy through an iconic camel excursion taking our dromedaries deep into the dunes.  We will sleep under the stars for one gorgeous night in the sea of sand.

We will cover approximately 471 miles in 11 riding days and climb around 31,446 ft in total. We ride at a pace which allows for real interactions and full enjoyment of local living.  We’ll be supported by SpiceRoads Cycling, and for some of the journey we will hop into the vans for a few transfers.

While this ride is rated 3B, please consider that the riding is on dirt/gravel using a mountain bike, and may require significantly more effort than a 3B route on paved roads.

Jim Rossett will act as Co-coordinator for this ride.

RIDE RATING: The tour is rated a 3B with an average distance of 42 miles and an average elevation gain of 2,860 feet per day. The following days exceed the maximum elevation of 3,500 ft for the 3 rating: (1) Day 6 at 4,133 feet, (2) Day 9 at 5,314 feet, and  (3) Day 12 at 3,937 ft.  The following days exceed the maximum distance of 50 miles for the B rating: (1) Day 6 at 59 miles, (2) Day 9 at 55.9 miles, and (3) Day 12 at 55.9 miles.

With a few exceptions where we ride on paved roads, the cycling takes place mainly on unpaved roads, so you should be confident riding on rougher terrain. While the ride is generally not too demanding, some parts of the route consist of loose gravel and sandy patches that require some off-road biking skills.

We will have a mechanic and support vehicles available during the day as well as cold drinks and fresh fruit accessible for energy.  Detailed maps, cue sheets and GPX files will be made available to all riders before the ride.

Ride Day by Day Summary

Day 1      Arrival

Day 2      29 miles (+1,355 ft /-3,032 ft). Transfer 3 hours

Day 3      49.7 miles (+3,248 ft / -3,513 ft). No transfer

Day 4      43 miles (+1,968 ft / -853 ft). No transfer

Day 5      31 miles (+2,165 ft /-1,640 ft). No transfer

Day 6      59 miles (+4,133 ft /-5,905 ft) Transfer 1 hour

Day 7      43 miles (+1,377 ft /-1,115 ft). No Transfer

Day 8      25 miles (+1,716 ft /-2,090 ft). Transfer 3 hours

Day 9      55.9 miles (+5,314 ft /-6,584 ft). Transfer 3 hours

Day 10    37 miles (+3,280 ft /-5,905 ft). Transfer 1 hour

Day 11    43 miles (+2,953 ft/-6,660 ft). No transfer

Day 12    55.9 miles (+3,937 ft/-3,930 ft). Transfer  40 minutes

Day 13    No ride day

Day 14    No ride day.  Transfer 3.5 hours

Day 15    Departure

Notes: 

1.  Due to the large distance and geographic diversity covered in this tour, the amount of time spent in transfers is greater than a typical BAC tour.

2. A detailed day to day itinerary will be posted on the ride web site.

LODGING: SpiceRoads can assist with booking pre or post-trip hotels.  Please contact the vendor for additional nights and pay for hotels directly to SpiceRoads. Our hotels have been chosen for their character, location, and bike-friendliness. We will stay for several nights at traditional ‘riads’, homes or guesthouses which have been converted for modern amenities but retain the flavor and sense of Moroccan hospitality. We will stay for one night with a Berber family and gain more insight into local culture as well as a night in tents on the dunes.

WEATHER: Morocco has a sub-tropical climate with temperatures between 64F and 84F; however, they can soar to 95F in the summer and fall to as low as 41F in the winter. We will be visiting at a good time when the weather is generally dry and warm. The weather does vary from region to region due to the country's geographical setting. Bordered by the Mediterranean Sea in the north and the Atlantic Ocean in the west, the country enjoys a moderate climate with a warm winter as a result of the sea breezes. On the other hand its eastern and southern parts are very dry and hot all year round because they are surrounded by the scorching Sahara Desert.  The Atlas Mountains, which snakes from south to north and divides the country in half, makes the climate in the central more extreme.

LOGISTICS: On this journey through Morocco on two wheels, we will start and end in Marrakech (RAK). You should fly into and out of Marrakesh Menara Airport, Morocco. Transfers are included to and from the airport on arrival and departure days only, but can be arranged separately if needed.  The outfitter will shuttle you to our first hotel at no extra charge on September 13, 2020 and to the airport on September 27, 2020. Please provide your flight arrival and departure times to SpiceRoads. If you wish to come in a day or so early or leave later, you will need to pay approximately $30 US Dollars extra per way for a SpiceRoads transfer or arrange your own transportation.

The ideal bike for this journey is a hard-tail mountain bike with wide tires and semi-slick or knobby tread. Approximately 8 – 10 tandems and 5 e-bikes can be accommodated. Bike box storage is available if you wish to bring your own bike. The box will be kept in store until the return of the group in Marrakesh. SpiceRoads does have rental mountain bikes and e-bikes available for a cost of $320 and $695 respectively. Participants should contact SpiceRoads directly to arrange for bike rentals and additional hotel nights. The contact at SpiceRoads is Kie and her e-mail is kie@spiceroads.com.  Bike fittings will take place in the afternoon on September 13, 2020.

The initial meeting will take place on September 13, 2020 at 6:00 PM. The city tour on Day 1 starts at 15.00 with pick up at the hotel followed by the dinner and meeting at Jemaa El Fena Square. In case you arrive later than 15.00 we will transfer you directly to the restaurant. 

COST & ADMINISTRATION: The tour cost is $4,500 (in addition to the $100 BAC registration fee) per person with double occupancy in rooms. The price includes 14 nights lodging with 14 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 13 dinners, storage of bike boxes, contingency, gratuity, and administrative costs. The price does not include airfare, fees to optional activities, alcoholic drinks outside of happy hour, and other beverages during meals.

SINGLES AND SOLOS: It is recommended that singles who want a roommate try to find their own. However, after receipt of the initial deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the ride and given until May 12th, 2020 to find a roommate. If they are unable to find a roommate, they will have the option to receive a full refund (minus the BAC fee and payment processing fee) or pay the $710 solo supplement and stay on the ride.  If a single pays the supplement, they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary.  The Ride Leader will assist by attempting to match singles who apply for the ride. Solo supplement payments need to be sent to the BAC office by July 12, 2020. Checks should be made out to “BAC” with a notation of the tour name included on the check.  They should be mailed to:  Bicycle Adventure Club, PO Box 23998, San Diego, CA 92193.

CANCELLATION POLICY: The $100 Overseas BAC ride fee is nonrefundable unless the tour is cancelled. The cancellation policy is based on the usual BAC premise that a cancelling rider will not increase the cost of the ride for others. If we are able to fill your spot from the wait-list, you will receive a full refund minus the non-refundable BAC fee. If a single sharing a room is forced to cancel, he/she may still be liable for the amount of the single supplement for the remaining roommate.  If the canceling participant can't be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report is completed.

In addition to the BAC Cancellation Policy those, who cancel, may be subject to the SpiceRoads’ cancellation policy if a substitute rider is not secured.  The following penalties will apply.

·        90-plus days: possibility of Admin. Expenses incurred, especially for additional services where bank fees and third party cancellation fees come into play

·        60-89 days: USD 1,065 per person

·        45-59 days: USD 1,775 per person

·        15-44 days: USD 2,485 per person

·        0-14 days: USD 3,550 per person

* Bank fees and any tour costs incurred by the company as a result of the cancellation.

RIDE PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITY: Please remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support.  Participants are expected to come to the ride well-trained, in good health, and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles.   All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour. We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from Ride Leader.  While on the ride, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks such as happy hour preparation and cleanup.  Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour.  Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special request you might have and respect the Ride Leader’s decisions.

SpiceRoads insists that all clients must take out a good travel insurance before joining one of their tours. The insurance must include adequate coverage for any personal accident and medical expenses. You should also ensure that there are no exclusion clauses limiting protection for any dangerous or unusual activities that might be included in their tour.

MONEY: Moroccan currency is Dirhams (Dhs) which is only exchangeable in-country. Converting USD to euros is not necessary. Major cards (Amex not as common) are accepted at hotels and large restaurants but subject to a small fee. ATM’s dispense large bills which can be difficult to change when buying smaller items.  Try to carry smaller change for day to day transactions and tipping.  Alert your bank for international credit card use.  Moroccan currency can be converted back into U.S. dollars prior to departure only if the traveler has a bank or money transfer receipt indicating he or she exchanged dollars for Dirhams while in Morocco.

VISAS

•    You must have a valid passport with at least one blank page.

•    Visas are not required for visits lasting less than 90 days.  Visit the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco website for the most current visa information.

•    Carry a copy of your U.S. passport with you at all times to have proof of identity and U.S. citizenship readily available, if needed.

HEALTH INFORMATION: Consult your travel doctor regarding recommended medicines to carry and vaccines. Allow sufficient time prior to departure for above as some vaccines require several weeks for full effectiveness. Water and food borne illness can be avoided by taking precautions such as (a) only drinking bottled water, (b) using bottled water to brush your teeth, (c) only eating food that is freshly prepared in a kitchen that you can see and (d) avoiding fruits or vegetables that can’t be peeled or boiled.

SIGN-UP: To register for this ride, use the sign-up links just above the Ride Description.  After preliminary acceptance, you will be moved to the pending list and receive an email requesting you to go back to the BAC site to digitally accept the terms of the Release of Liability (ROL), and pay the nonrefundable BAC Ride Registration Fee ($100) and tour Deposit ($1,500) by credit card.  As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List.  BAC members with questions may contact the Ride Director by “clicking” the name at the top of the Ride Description.  The final payment of $3,000 by credit card will be due by July 12th, 2020.


Bicycle Adventure Club
PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510 office@bicycleadventureclub.org

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