UmQais Alongside Zarqa River

I’d like to share this tough route encompassing a 125km distance with an elevation of nearly 1800m. There are many technical sections around this route that will need you to cycle with care especially if joined with the event of crosswinds. There is some curves that will make you feel like you are cycling along the most perfect stretches of zig zag shape roads which will need some cycling experience especially if you decide to combine it with speed.

I did this during a cold windy morning with one person tagged along with me and no support car. It would always be ideal to have support but its relatively doable if you are an experienced rider that knows what he’s doing in this country. We experienced lots of crosswinds that just added more fun to the adventure and hitting a big chunk of headwind just before reaching our destination.

Route Summary & Main Pointers to lookout for:-

Leaving out of the Sports City heading North via Al Urdon St/Yajouz area heading towards Beyrein and Jerash road alongside the Zarqa river followed by a detour into the farmyards of Duqmussa & Qafqafa before rejoining the main highway headed straight into Irbid followed by UmQais.

The Beyrein area is a stretch of rolling road that contains amazing scenery. The route is filled with different curves and zig zags that you need to take care of. Once you hit the river and the gorgeous views you will have to start climbing up a good amount.

Once you turn right into the farmyards things become more tricky. The road is a little tough as there will be big climbs long and steady and sometimes steep ones. You will also have to be ready to be attacked by dogs and you need to be quite careful if attacked while going uphill. Attack is a big word, im not gonna lie when we did it we had five dogs after us at one point and it was quite scary but they never really do anything. As long as you are ready mentally for these bad boys you will be good to go. This is probably the hardest stretch of road as theres lots of climbing and animals (FYI you can opt out of this funky detour and connect to the main highway if you are not feeling so adventurous but id really recommend this one).

After you rejoin with the main highway, things become more standard. There are a number of gas stations where you can stop and restock on sugars and hydration. You might pass through some cyclists as Irbid is a very popular cycling city with a number of cycling groups (Recently also Salam the ex mechanic from Cycling Jordan opened a small shop over there). They are very friendly and if you see them just give them a smile and wave attitude (If you stop you will be invited for Mansaf so up to you lol).

The last part is pretty annoying as when you get into Irbid traffic can be a bit tricky. So you will have to be careful with dealing with the crazy drivers especially because the lanes are quite narrow and you pass through market spots similar to Madaba without much leeway to be comfortable. So just be prepared to be forced to stop at these points.

One last note would be always have your ID on you just in case as this area is quite close to several borders and you never know if you might get into any trouble. Regular Jordanian politics nothing to be scared off.

If you’d like the GPX file please send me a shout out and id be very happy to share.




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