Some years ago I had posted a packing list that I had used for my Manli-Leh cycling trip. That post generated many thank-you’s and even more follow-up questions. The Manali-Leh trip was my first major multi-day self-supported cycling trip. Since then I have done many more trips and I am now more settled on my packing list. And my approach to packing for a cycling trip is more refined, or so I’d like to believe.
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Planning on riding/driving from Manali to Leh? You can explore the route in an interactive map right here and also download a .gpx file of the route for your GPS.
On this 470 km trip you will climb 14,000 meters and cross five major high-altitude passes (called La). If you are cycling, the climb to the pass will seem endless. I have marked all of the passes in the file just so that you know how much more you need to suffer!
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It’s that time of the year again. When people start thinking about ‘the’ great Indian cycle ride – the Manali to Leh cycling trip. A couple of people have written to me in the recent days asking me questions, many of which can be classified under: ‘what does it take to cycle from Manali to Leh?’ While I have replied to many people individually, I thought it might be a good idea to post a consolidated response here.
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We finally raised the PedalYatri flag on the Indorie Qila (Indorie Fort). Of course it was a notional one on wikimapia, but it felt special because two of our previous attempts of finding and reaching it had failed.
A very eventful ride with more than it’s fair share of punctures, dynamite blasts, tumbles, scraped knees, nicked & bruised shins, un-rideable terrain with boulders fields & deep undergrowth, and traffic jams too.
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After I came back from my recent self-supported Manali to Leh cycling trip many people wanted to know what I carried on the trip. So here is a list based on what we carried. There were two of us, and we figured that some of the items could easily be shared, so we did not carry two of every thing (I think there are some exceptions to this, but I guess that advice could be another post).
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Ride report form September 2010 Ride dates: September 4th to 14th, 2010
Two riders: Sanjay Jaiman and Ajay Jaiman
After years of thinking about it and weeks of planning we finally did it. Close to 600 kms of cycling from Manali to Leh (because Tanglang La was closed and we had to take a detour at Debring and go via Tso Kar and Mahe bridge).
We rode with all our gear including clothes, sleeping bags, tent, stove, utensils, food, water, cycle spares on our cycles – an estimated weight of about 25 kgs (not counting the weight of the bikes, pannier racks, and bags.
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Day one is always hard. But staying the night at Raju bharti’s guest house in Gushani more than made up for it. Lovely family to stay with and an absolutely gorgeous place too.
On day two rode through rain and climbed 1,234m over 17 kms, (that’s pretty darn steep, eh!) see elevation profile. The downhill after the pass was endless – the break shoes were totally worn out, and our wrists were hurting by the time we reached down.
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