Perhaps more appropriate to say ‘trying to’ cycle across the Sach Pass. And failing. We did our best, under the circumstances, and failed. No shame in that!

15 odd kilometers short of the Sach pass we had to turn around . The trail (can’t call it a road, even though it was wider than a typical single track) was so steep, and so full of slush that our bikes had no grip. The fact that we had too much weight loaded on the cycle, did not help either. Add to all of this, the fact that I had just recently recovered from a bout of somewhat prolonged illness, and was perhaps not as fit as I thought I was.

But there always is a silver lining, right? Well, I look forward to doing this trip again. But the next time we will be a little wiser. Many lessons learned, chiefly:

  • Not to ride across high pass in the monsoon. Riding through the slush while wet and cold is not just not fun, but incredibly hard.
  • Not to carry the sink and the bath tub. Being light helps. Will remember to ditch the iPad, the kilos of potatoes, rice… And all the extra clothes too — nobody notices your dirty clothes out there.
  • Get the right gearing on your bike. One of us was riding a hybrid with not enough low gears for going up steep hills on a fully-loaded bicycle. Self-supported cycling trips require those ultra-low gears.
  • Get fit. Even fitter. This has to be the hardest ride I have ever tried. Well, till date.

Hopefully there will be another report some time soon with full trip details, till then I have these photos:

Report from our cycling trip across the Sach Pass, Himachal Pradesh, India. July 2012.

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