Looking for an overseas riding adventure this year, but not sure where to start? The Cross Egypt Challenge is returning for 2021, with plans to kick off this year’s run in October.
What’s the Cross Egypt Challenge?
The Cross Egypt Challenge is an FIM-certified adventure riding rally, which (as the name implies) travels across Egypt. This year, the 10-day rally has eight stages covering 2,440 kilometres, and kicks off on October 7. As per the Challenge’s website, here’s what you can expect:
With sand-covered tombs, austere pyramids and towering Pharaonic temples, Egypt brings out the explorer in all of us. Egypt is rich with temples, soaring lotus-bud columns; enormous stone portals laced with delicate carvings, elaborate underground tombs, windswept desert monasteries, and richly decorated mosques. But as extraordinary as these sights are, they will probably not be the things that linger in your memory after you return home. It is exploring them from the back of a motorcycle or a scooter – from the Mediterranean feel of Alexandria to the electric pace of Cairo to the timelessness of desert villages- that is unforgettable.
Cross Egypt Challenge adventure rally not only gives you the opportunity to explore this magnificent country on two wheels, but it also allows you to experience the Egyptian culture first hand and explore destinations and routes that normal tourists don’t get to explore.
You may have noticed that the website mentions scooters as acceptable transportation for this event. That’s because this run actually started as a scooter run, with some small bikes tagging along as it went on. Now in its 10-year anniversary, it seems far more motorcycles show up than in the early days, but it’s still doable on a step-through.
Alas, much of the riding seems to be, errrrrrr, “processional” in nature. That means it might not be suited to riders looking for more of a two-fisted challenge. It does seem the rally tackles unpaved roads, but if you’re on a 150 scooter, chances are you’re not doing single-track …
There are a few write-ups online of what to expect on the route, and several videos (including one from Alex Chacon below), and that should help you decide if this event is for you or not.
The reality is, while this event is on par with a solo ride through the Himalayas, it does give many riders an opportunity for an organized, entry-level adventure in a foreign desert with interesting culture, history and scenery.
What does it cost?
Entry fees and other details are listed here on the Cross Egypt Challenge website. Basically, it’s $2,100 USD per person for non-Egyptian participants, and scooter/motorcycle rentals range from $450 to $1,000 USD. Riders can rent a 150 cc scooter, a middleweight bike, or a bike with engine over 1,000 cc. For other details, visit the rally’s home page and start looking around. And, if you actually do this event, please-please-please let us know how it goes!