Khardungla Top (18380 Feet)
Crossing a 500 km long cold dessert on a bicycle; is the idea behind this trip, where you spend days along the martian features that are found on this route. The journey starts from the lush green alpine forests of Manali, climbing up the famous Rohtang pass (14000 ft) and further entering the dry lands of Lahaul.
As soon as you cross the barrier at Solang Nala intersection and start pedaling up, the heat builds up that will stay with you for the next one week. The struggle between your lungs and legs and will power and the mountain is what you feel on the first day as whatever training you did for this trip seem to jolt to zero, for this is surely another level. Finishing a few bends without thinking or giving in; is what you need to do till a certain rhythm is attained, after which it’s pretty much the focus that gets you to the top.
Gravity is the main challenge throughout the trip, where you climb thousands of meters only to come back down, and this is the game you end up playing with the mountains. While climbing the 22 hairpin bends of Nakee La Pass (15,547ft) or the chilling switchbacks of the Tanglang La pass (17,480 ft), the struggle is surely there, but as the moment comes when the bike starts on the down slope, that’s the reward that you get for the dragon that you killed back there. Topping the speeds of a 80 km/h and more without any sound of engine but wind on your face, is the best feeling as you cruise down the slopes on your mountain bike.
Throughout this journey you will be camping at the spots few have set foot on, will witness the panoramic views of these alien lands and would be pacing at the slowest as well as the fastest speeds that any cyclist can go at. Not to forget the sense of achievement that one gets is out of the world.
Few things that one need to consider before thinking about this venture is proper training and acclimatization, as you will be climbing few of the highest motorable roads known to mankind you definitely need to get use to the thin air that is present in these high altitudes. It is thus advised to go for a few practice rides around Manali before you get on with the challenge.
GIO Adventures is one brand that leads the numbers when it comes down to the execution of this venture. With years of experience in the field, they have the solutions for all the frictions that may come on this journey, proper back up vans, highly skilled crew and top notch bikes and equipments, is what makes this journey possible for any travel enthusiast.