Take a ride on long winding roads to reach Lebanon’s highest peak
“Riding offers freedom, it’s a real get
away, for me it’s like breathing, ” says Eddy
Nehme, a private banker. Eddy has been
riding for around 34 years, his first bike
was a Cross Yamaha 250. Now he rides a
Honda Goldwing. He is president of the
WingRiders Club and organizes group
rides most Sundays as well as trainings to
promote safe riding in Lebanon.
And, his dedication shines through as he
checks the buckle on my helmet to make
sure it’s fastened well as we get ready
for our ride. Zaki, who owns a Harley
Davidson, and Nada, a beautiful blonde
who rides a Honda speed-bike, are joining
us today along with 15 other bikers. “There
are so many beautiful routes in Lebanon
… but I have forgotten the names of the
regions,” says Nada, her words greeted by
an outburst of laughter from her fellow
Under a clear blue sky, we head off along
the highway towards the North, taking
a right after passing the Chekka seaside.
Longitude and latitude doesn’t seem to
matter much for bikers here, it’s all about
reaching the roads up to the mountains,
through stunning green valleys. Soon, the
Kornet el Sawda, Lebanon’s highest peak,
rises ahead of us in the distance. It makes
an incredible backdrop to the winding
road, lined with vast olive groves. Our
destination is the Cedar forest located at
The brave of heart were invited by Eddy to
continue along a gravel road to the peak
of Kornet el Sawda but no one took up his
half-hearted offer. It was about time to
give the bikes a well-deserved break, and
we discovered a simple mountain eatery
where we feasted on delicious bayd bi
awarma, fried eggs cooked with minced
meat, as well as manouche, pies with an
array of toppings baked on an outdoor
oven by the owner Leila.
An hour later, we headed back a different
route, via the village of Qanat, along a
narrow virtually car free road through
a pine forest, perfect for riding. Along
the way we took a short break, but Eddy
warned us not to step off the road into
“Look out for the red flags indicating the
possibility of landmines remaining from
the Civil War.” Charming! It was time to
get on the saddle again and we continued
down this gem of a road towards the
highway back to Beirut, passing Chekka
seaside while the sun set over the
Experiencing Lebanon’s countryside
from the saddle of a motorcycle is an
incredible feeling. The natural and historic
sites along the way combine to feed you
with a wealth of experiences. A personal
favorite of mine is to ride late afternoon
up to Falougha in the Shouf region, to
the spot where the Lebanese flag flutters
proudly, stopping along the way to take in
a glowing sunset. Or riding the wide roads
through beautiful green valleys from
Nabatieh to Marjayoun in the South.
“Taking my bike on a long road trip, up
to the mountains, reloads my mental
batteries,” said Eddy. And, as there is
no rest for the eager, on the ride back
home Eddy was already planning next
ANB Moto Club
WHAT TO WEAR
For the classic motorcycle rider who wants to be safe and cool, there are some specially designed pieces of riding gear to consider.
1. Vented helmets are a must to circulate air inside the helmet and ultimately dissipate the heat to the outside.
2. Cool suits are designed to be used as an undergarment for leather suits. The washable liner helps air to circulate and allows moisture to be drawn (a system called wicking) away from the body to help regulate body temperature.
3. Vented leather jackets allow a limited amount of air to pass through them.
4. Body armor cool pants are ideal for riders wanting to retain the blue jean look, with comfort and protection.
5. Cool gloves offer the protection of leather at all of the vulnerable points, but are also vented to allow air to flow.