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!
1 minute read | 190 words
People often ask me what is the best cycle for touring the Himalayas. It is a hard question to answer, mainly because different people define ‘touring’ differently.
For instance, cycle touring may mean cycling hundreds of kilometers self-supported where the rider carries a tent, sleeping bag, cooking gear on the bike, and has the option to stop and camp wherever she fancies. However, many of the well established Himalayan routes can also be toured ultralight, by eating and sleeping in teahouses (dhabas).
5 minute read | 1008 words
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.
5 minute read | 916 words
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.
3 minute read | 607 words
First published in Times of India on October 29, 2010. Nice to be featured in the ‘Just4Her’ section of ‘What’s Hot’ ;-).
If you can afford to ride a motorcycle or a car, then why ride a cycle. Its a question that often gets thrown at me, though not always explicitly. More often than not, when I ride, locals mistake me to be a foreigner. Despite the colour of my skin, kids will shout out ‘angrez’ and adults will try to start a conversation in English.
3 minute read | 500 words
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.
1 minute read | 171 words
I like the idea of self-supported cycle travel. It gives you a feeling of freedom, almost liberation from the constraints of ‘tourism’. Or at least that is what I thought. To put it to test, the first order of business was to acquire pannier bags (the bags that hang on the sides of the cycle). And then a pannier rack, on which the bags are attached. Once I had mounted the bags and done a couple of short local test rides, I felt I was ready for a real test ride in the mountains.
4 minute read | 684 words
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.
1 minute read | 135 words
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