One of my personal favorite easy/medium difficulity rides out of Amman with just about 500m elevation over a course of 50km’s. It is always recommended to drive down to the Manaseer gas station (I personally do not follow my own advice) and start from there as indicated from most of my gpx files that I will upload.
The main advantage of starting and finishing at Al Manaseer instead of your home is mainly safety. Going into Madaba from Amman is actually quite a challenge especially if you cycle south on the airport highway from the 7th circle as you will have to merge with traffic coming in form the 8th circle or Bayadir/Sina3a. If your cycling during rush hour, then this will be quite a significant dangerous challenge. So always keep in mind that if you have to do it I would prefer to cycle to the 8th circle and then south towards the airport highway as no merging with traffic will be required to happen.
This is quite a nice ride as you dont have to go and come back through the same streets. The change of scenery is quite nice. You can head out through the Airport Highway exit at IKEA towards Madaba and go back to Amman via Naour or do it the other way around. I have setup the gpx files in both directions so you can be rest assured you are going in the correct direction.
The way into Madaba is quite nice, the street from Naour is usually pretty empty, there are not many cars on the way and its quite green and quite. Arriving into the city via Madaba Al Gharbi (West Madaba) – Yarmouk St (Naour) you will arrive in front of the St. George Greek Orthodox Basilica. There are a few coffee places that I like to stop at next to the baladieh circle opposite the church in central Madaba in order to have a small rest and a good coffee break before heading out back to Amman via Madaba Highway and eventually the main Airport Highway.
The Bizantine George Greek Orthodox Church is of quite important significance in Jordan as it has the oldest map of Palestine to this date with many historical insights into this region.
Cycling inside Madaba city is quite challenging. Especially when cycling out of it. You need to endure the first ten mins and then you are back on long straight stretches of highways were you can enjoy your workouts back again. I always find the traffic lights quite challenging but then again nothing major to be complaining about. You should also be aware that during the morning hours most of the shops are cleaning out their stores and hence you will find a lot of water mixed with soap and car oil on the streets. Beware of the slipping effect that can happen over there.
Beware the oily, soapy cleaning water around these shops!
You can experience some gorgeous scenery within Madaba city. The gpx file will take you out of Madaba as soon as possible as you dont want to stop too much and enjoy your workout. There are quite a few narrow streets by the St. George church where you can experience the beautiful narrow markets where a lot of ceramics and local pottery is sold. There are also quite a few spots within the area where you can enjoy the Mosaic arts. Another post will outline the city of Madaba in detail.
Madaba_Via_Airport_Highway_Manaseer.gpx (12 downloads) Madaba_Via_Naour_Manaseer.gpx (8 downloads)