Tour de Ladakh

A few months ago i made another rash decision of taking a couple of weeks off and do a cycle ride to Leh, from Manali. It is a trip of 550 km from Manali over probably the most interesting terrain in the world, at the elevations that are found nowhere in the world, The mecca for  Mountain Bikers in India.  Here i am in Leh, tired but not really sore. We made it up here in 8 days (as against planned 10) and nothing broken or torn.

We crossed the 5 big passes on the way, starting at Rohtang La at 13000 ft., Baralacha La at 16000 ft.,  (personally the  hardest) the double pass of Nakeela and Lachulang La at 16500 ft., and the mighty Tanglang La at 17500 ft., the second highest motor-able road in the world.

As was expected it was a pretty eventful trip unlike the Tour of Nilgiris.

The second day on the downhill from Rohtang pass,  my rear brakes stopped working. The same day I flew off the cycle on applying the front brake too hard, and inured my knees.

The third I had to remove the rear brakes completely, because it could not be fixed on the trail, so the rest of the tour was without the rear brakes, so the thrill of the downhill became a grave problem, but on route there were only a few serious downhill sections that i managed at snail’s pace

In a freak accident a cyclist was injured when our support car which had got stuck in the mud banged into the truck that was trying to pull it out. He had a damaged hip bone, and was moved to Leh hospital.

We had to send back a couple of cyclists to Leh via bus because they did not cope well with the high altitudes.

But overall it was fun and exciting.

Here is the bike map of the trip  I had referred to,  Between my GPS and Vaz’s we have the complete GPS trail, which we shall upload very soon.

Though the focus was on cycling, i did manage to take a few pictures which as usual will be here as soon as i get to upload them.


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