Mountain Cycling in India

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Mountain Cycling

What is Mountain cycling?

Mountain cycling is all about steering a mountain cycle over rocky tracks and around boulder-strewn paths. It’s no secret that mountain bikers love trails and more trails! To tackle the trails, the requirements are physical strength, stamina, and a strong mountain cycle. Mountain bikes or ATBs (all-terrain bikes) feature a frame and fork that are rugged. Their frames are often built of aluminum so they are lightweight and stiff, making them efficient to ride.

Where to go?

The hot spots for mountain cycling are Kullu Manali & Shimla in Himachal Pradesh and Garhwal & Kumaon in Tehri Garhwal in Uttaranchal. The Leh–Manali highway gives you a chance to conquer the mighty Himalayas through four mountain passes. The Eastern Himalayas in Sikkim and Darjeeling also provide a number of short and long distance trails.

What do you need to know?

Mountain cycling calls for strength and stamina. Make sure that you get used to the local climatic conditions. Most tour operators offer experienced support teams, guides, energy drinks, food and accommodation (on a twin sharing basis). You will need a Granting Permit from the Ministry of Home Affairs if you wish to cycle through restricted areas. Many Indian missions abroad, the foreigners’ regional registration offices (FRROs) in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Amritsar also grant permits.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) conducts annual world championships (www.uci.ch).

What must you carry?

A sturdy, geared mountain cycle is what you need to buy. Accessories include biking shoes, helmet, insulated gloves/waterproof gloves, cycling bags to carry belongings, lightweight, washable and insulated bottles for keeping beverages cool, collapsible water bags, first-aid kit, sunglasses, insect repellants and sunscreen lotion. Carry a repair kit with tubes, non-toxic and water-soluble degreaser, grease tubes for greasing bearings and an aero spray for bike cleaning. A bike pump and toolkit, along with spare tires, accessories like speedometer, bike rack, batteries, instruction manuals, maps, and flashlights are other musts.

Mountain Cycling: Hotspots

Leh (J&K)–Manali (Himachal)

Manali–Shimla (Himachal)

Garhwal-Kumaon (Uttaranchal)

Delhi–Kathmandu (Nepal)

Kulu Spiti Kinnaur traverse (Himachal)

Mountain Cycling: Do’s and Don’ts

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Practice pedaling on an exercise bike.

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Dress warmly on high-altitude expeditions.

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Don’t compromise on equipment. Buy quality gear.

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