12.20.13: Nobody Bikes In Dubai

Dubai is not exactly known as the most bike-friendly city but when we see the BYKY stations scattered around downtown, we know just how we’re spending our last afternoon in the UAE. Operated by German company nextbike, the set up is comparable to those we’ve tried in Paris, New York and Toronto: sign up for membership online, pay a nominal fee, check out a bike from any of the system’s kiosks, ride around, check bike back into any of the system’s kiosks. Our goal is to ride the 30 km from Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building) to Atlantis (an opulent water-themed hotel/shopping/entertainment complex at the tip of the palm-shaped artificial island known as, what else, The Palm). Our heroic journey involves navigating more obstacles than Super Mario: 16 lanes of freeway traffic, dead ends, construction zones, sand dunes, forbidden overpasses and tunnels, swampy lawns, abandoned metro stations, ferocious headwinds and a severe case of the crankies… but in the end, bike power prevails and our goal is reached… Behold, Atlantis!

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Paolo Davanzo and Lisa Marr travel the world, sharing movies and music with the masses. At home in Los Angeles, they facilitate community screenings and workshops at the Echo Park Film Center, a non-profit media arts organization.

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