Riding a bicycle can become an adventure if you really love to seek new surroundings. No it’s not like a Tour de France! But can be quite an expedition to bring out that explorer in you. The Great Indian Himalayas enclose some of the best cycling escapades that a cyclist looks for in its adventure trip. Himalayan Biking in India works as a pretty good adventure experience for those who love to explore the unfamiliar tracks and not very frequently visited paths.
Mountain biking, ofcourse, requires fitness as the Indian terrain is both rugged and rough, especially the North Indian ones. The balancing act is also important, as good balance will also help you to climb steep paths. Mastering the 'control factor' also becomes a good confidence booster for a biker, especially on Indian mountain bike trails where numerous surprises can always catch one unaware. Speed Control is another thing that one has to keep in mind while riding the Indian mountainous region. Going uphill usually turns out to be more challenging so keep the speed control in mind too.
Mountain Biking Tips
Keep some precautionary details in mind about biking in the mountains, because the geographical surprises that the Himalayas have got instored for you aren’t a kid stuff. The key to keeping things under control while cycling downhill is your front brake, which is incomparably more efficient than the rear brake. Always keep the elbows relaxed and bend at about 90°. Grip the cycle bar firmly, but the grip shouldn’t be too tight. Keep your back straight, at about 45° from the ground surface.
Level Of Diffucutly
Mountain biking in the foothills and hillocks across the countryside is relatively easier and less demanding than biking on high altitudes. The level of difficulty generally rises with increase in altitude.
However, apart from the altitude, a number of factors determine the level of difficulty of a particular trail: distance to be covered, obstacles faced, inhospitable stretches, steep inclines, forest tracts, etc.
Short-distance trails can be covered in a day or two, while long-distance trails can be covered in a matter of days or a couple of weeks. Long-distance trails usually take you through different terrain and test your physical and mental endurance level to the limits.
If you are interested in enjoying the thrills offered by biking in the midst of high mountain ranges, you must be physically fit, as mountain biking is a high endurance activity. There is no special or prescribed physical requirement for a person interested in taking up the sport of mountain biking but expectant mothers and people suffering from high blood pressure and heart problems must stay away from it. Even if you are physically fit for embarking on a mountain biking trail, make sure that you are acquainted to the local climatic conditions before starting.
A mountain bike is a sophisticated vehicle and you will need to carry necessary equipment for ensuring a safe and comfortable ride. Apart from your mountain bike you will have to carry the following: Biking shoes, bike helmet, insulated gloves/waterproof gloves, cycling bags to carry essential material or your belongings, Lightweight, washable, insulated sports bottles for keeping beverages cool, collapsible water bags, first aid kit for long trails, sunglasses, insect/bug repellents and sunscreen lotions.
For maintenance and repair you must carry a cycle repair kit, which will have, lubes, non-toxic, water-soluble degreaser, grease tubes for greasing bearings and an aero spray for bike cleaning.
Mountain Biking in India
You must also carry a bike pump and a tool kit apart from spare tires. Accessories like speedometer, bike rack for carrying 90 lb (40 kg) weight, batteries, instruction manuals, maps and flashlights can also be used on long trails.
You must select suitable clothing or thermal wear to provide protection from the elements, while enjoying high-altitude mountain biking.
You can either carry all the necessary equipment for mountain biking or take the services of a backup van/jeep to carry your belongings and spares.
You will find it extremely difficult to obtain the necessary equipment for mountain biking from local markets and will have to import specially designed mountain bikes, equipment, spares and accessories from abroad.
Things To Carry
Every bike rider should have a riding kit, if you are interested in enjoying a safe and fun ride. Only keep those things that you are going to use in your riding expedition. Among the essentials that you will require in your mountain bike trip is a first aid box and a basic bike repairs.
Must have items for short riding trips include wrenches for all the nuts and bolts on the bike, tire levers, pump, patch kit/tubes, chain tool, crescent wrench, zip ties, duct tape and a small first aid kit. For long rides also add up things such as cables, brake pads, food, water, a bigger first aid kit, crank remover, spare spokes, casette remover, and extra clothing. To carry these items, you can use a jersey pockets or bike bags.
Mountain Biking In India
The best season to try out the Indian mountain biking experience in India is from October till February. For the experienced cyclists the higher region cycling tracks include Trans Himalayan tracks of Lahual, Spiti and Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh; Garhwal and Kumaon in Uttaranchal; Sikkim, Ladakh and Kashmir and North Eastern region.
Mountain Biking In Ladakh:
Mountain Biking In Ladakh
The best destination of mountain biking exploration among the Indian higher regions is Ladakh with numerous unspoiled areas, which are a little off-track because their high altitude location makes them inaccessible for the usual holidaymakers.
Mountain Biking In Himachal Pradesh & Uttaranchal:
There are plenty of easy introductory mountain biking trails also available in the parts of Jammu, Kangra, Una, Hamirpur and Bilaspur in Himachal, and Almora, Nanital, Ranikhet, Rishikesh, and Mussoorie in Uttaranchal.
Mountain Biking In Sikkim:
Another destination biker would love to explore is the state of Sikkim, which allows the visitor to get in touch with the colourful cultural heritage and monastic lifestyle of the Sikkimese people.