MOUNTAIN BIKING IN LADAKH
Cross the Himalayas by mountain bike. In 11 days of riding we will cross from the lush green, apple growing region of the Kulu Valley on the South side of the Great Himalayan Range to the high and dry desert mountains of Ladakh on the North side.
The trip starts in New Delhi, India, where we will immediately head north to the small Himalayan town of Manali in the state of Himachal Pradesh to begin acclimatizing and where we start our ride. Our route travels along a military road cutting through the Himalayas of North India, over some of the highest passes crossable by road in the world and through some of the most dramatic awe inspiring terrain in any corner of the globe. We will ride through deep gorges, lush valleys and the subtle mountain desert and plains of the Tibetan plateau. We will cross the Rohtang pass (3980m/13,100ft), the Baralacha pass (5065m/16,300ft), the Nakeela and Lachung passes (15,500ft and 16,700ft) , the Tangnang pass(5360m/17,500ft) before reaching the Indus valley and Leh, Ladakh and if one chooses, they can ride to the Khardung La pass (5540m/18,200ft) claimed to be the highest motorable road in the world.
We will be in the saddle for 4 to 6 hours per day and will ride a minimum of 35km/21 miles and a maximum of 73km/44 miles per day over 11 days of biking with one day of total rest for acclimatization along this high altitude route. The trip is entirely supported by a 4wd vehicle and a full team of local staff as well as being guided by an experienced professional mountain guide from the US.
The road is semi-maintained and is very rough in places and other places where it is pavement. Riders can expect the road to be about 45% paved. However this "pavement" can vary from smooth road to potholed nightmare to packed rocks. Road surface conditions can range from muddy to dusty to wet and/or snowy. It is a very good idea to have a shock- absorbing fork for this trip, and as there are no reliable bicycles available in India you must bring your bicycle from home. Everyday holds very dramatic and different terrain. We start by climbing from the relatively lush Kulu Valley over the Beas Kund range and drop into the Lahaul Valley, where the locals have prospered from decades of apple growing. You will notice the terrain starting to become gradually more arid. The next few days of winding mountain roads and steep valleys brings you into the Rupshu Plains – an extension of the Tibetan plateau within Indias borders and home to nomadic shepherds. The moonscape here is vast and awe inspiring. The interesting internplay between the unusual landforms and the local culture can really only truly be absorbed at a human powered pace. The last few days will be traveling through lush cultivated valleys, cut by fantastic rock formations, which drop us into the valley of the fabled Indus River.
After an afternoon of biking along the Indus River we end our journey at 11,500 feet in the magical town of Leh, also known as "Little Lhasa" due to its distinctly Tibetan influence. It is the heart of the region known as Ladakh and has a distinctly Tibetan Buddhist culture, although Ladakhi society is in reality a mosaic of Tibetans, Ladkhis, Zanskaris, Dards, Kashmiris, other diverse cultures from around the region. It is a peaceful, inspiring place to end the journey and a wonderful place to explore. Leh town is a maze of narrow streets where you can find unexpected shops and restaurants down hidden alleys surrounded by beautiful cultivated valleys, light filled willow forests, and fantastic high mountain landscapes. There are many ancient monasteries, temples and palaces to explore, a plethora of tasty local cuisine to try while you rest and recuperate in this high Himalayan Shangri-La.
|Delhi||The Park / Metropolitan Nikko / Lebuba oe similar|
|Leh||The Kaal / Noble House / Cho Palace / Silk Route Inn in similar|
|In Nalagarh||Nalagarh Fort or similar|
|In Manali||Orchid Green or similar|