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Himalaya by Bike

Himalaya by Bike


Contents | Introduction | Route options | When to go | Costs and Money | Sample route guide - Siliguri to Mirik

And the only thing people regret is that they didn't live boldly enough. Ted Hughes

There are few places on our planet as spectacular as the Himalaya, where you can encounter everything from desert to glacier, geckos to snow toads, Sufi mystics to Buddhist monks and bamboo huts to impregnable fortresses.

And there's no better way to experience this landscape than by bike: the freedom and exhilaration of riding across the world's biggest mountain range is breath-taking in both senses.

As many of these rides are also in the further reaches of two emerging world powers – India and China – this is an especially exciting time to be seeing the world from a more eastern perspective.

Many people imagine the Himalaya to look like it does in the famous mountaineering images: snow, sky, not much else.

Actually the snow line is usually above 6000m in summer while in winter the roads are impassable which means that most riding on the south side of the Great Himalaya will be done in a landscape of trees, while desert awaits on the Tibetan Plateau.

The cycling here is a challenge but the physical effort only heightens the reward: a fantastic pass spread with prayer flags, looking onto the greatest mountain range on earth.

Most people rough it on the rides and then splurge at the end on a great hotel room with a hot shower, delicious food and clean sheets; never more memorable than when so well earned!

Each ride, however short, will have its ups and downs both physical and mental and, no matter how many people you may be among, this will be your own challenge. Enjoy it!

Himalaya by Bike