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COVID 19 Compliant - Morning Newbie Desert Drive - Bab al Shams: The Secret Qudra - Dubai - 31 Oct 2020


Ale Vallecchi

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The day of the longest rope recovery - Bab al Shams "The Secret Qudra" Report

Interesting and stimulating two-faced drive yesterday in Bab al Shams area (that's what we call the south-western quadrant of Qudra, closest to the well known resort).

The first face was that of a very smooth drive, with a well behaved convoy, responding perfectly to increasing challenges of ever higher side-sloping, riding low and wide ridges, and learning their first principles of how to approach and criss-cross dunes in a safe manner. This gentle, smooth face of the drive manifested itself twice. First, during the first half of the drive, which took us from our entry point, near one of this sector's feeding/drinking stations, through dunes sneaking their way toward the northern area of Qudra, and all along the long wide open dune corridors which are a true side-sloping paradise. Secondly, the drive resumed its pleasant, uninterrupted flow toward its end, on our way back to the Bab al Shams road, after crossing the bike track, and while riding the taller, but still wide open dunes which eventually took us back to our starting point to complete the loop. Here we even managed to practice the first criss-crossing as a convoy, with all cars managing the approach, the crest, and the exit without any hic-ups, in a well coordinated manner.

In the middle of this marvelous drive, where all members drove more like Fewbies than Newbies, the second, tougher face of the drive showed itself. It had the semblance of an innocent looking slope, with a smooth, almost flat pocket to its right side. It's here that after I managed to go through, the 4 cars behind me were sucked into the apparently harmless pocket, for the first (and last) major multiple stuck of the day. While the last car of the group managed to self-recover, due to the softness of the sand and the nature of the pocket, with a slight hump in the middle, the other 3 cars could find no way to free themselves from the molasses. Here's where the multiple ropes came out. In fact, while the last car in the order of the stuck was pulled with only one rope, the second one needed 2, and the third and last car needed 3 ropes tied to each other, in order to allow the tugging vehicle to pull them from a position where it would still be able to move freely and exert its tug. While that one was also a first for me, it surely provided the whole convoy for some unplanned action, and a very educational opportunity to learn about recovery angles, proper hooking points, and use of safety ropes. 

With this experience under the belt, the drive was very well executed by all. Thanks to @Vanessa8580 for her tireless work from the Sweep position, to @Federico Galbieri for his Second Lead, and to this wonderful convoy of @syed salman raza, @frederic demolder, @Federico De Chirico, @Shyam Karat, @Ahab Shamaa, @Vijaysekhar, @Vinojps, @Kaushal Prithwani and @DANIEL NOGUEIRA

It took us 4:00 hours (of which 2:06 moving) to complete the 55.8Km of the drive, at an average speed of 14Km/h (but 26Km/h while moving).

See you all soon in the sand.

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Sorry, could not join the drive as i was not feeling that grt. In order not to take any chances it was best for me to call off this drive at the last moment. Feeling much better now and ready to enroll myself for the upcoming drive coming Friday :-).. 

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Just now, Ahab Shamaa said:

Thanks for the pictures @DANIEL NOGUEIRA :) 

@Kaushal Prithwani & @Vanessa8580, what's this about staying in second gear while side sloping? Please elaborate, we wanna learn too :) 

For manual gears,  Vanessa was saying to keep in 2nd while side sloping. For automatic, its fine because your car will do that for you ;)

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...a bit late, but... Thank you so much @Ale Vallecchi and @Vanessa8580 for leading us and make out of this drive an amazing experience! I am learning to know my car better and how to handle it on the dunes, and that's thank you your guidance guys!

We had a blast!!!

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