At 4,420 meters Sach pass is not among the highest ‘motorable’ passes in the country, but it is certainly one of the steepest and one of toughest to bicycle across. A couple of years ago, Punit and I failed to cycle across it (read about the last attempt to cycle across the Sach pass here. What are the chances that I’ll do better on a solo attempt?
It is a little after 4:00 pm and it has already been a tough day of cycling.
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The hardest part about Spiti is reaching there. It took us a 22-hour bus ride to get to Rekong Peo. For the sake of acclimatization we had planned the night stay at Kalpa, which is not so far from there, but much higher. And also much nicer. Having had our fill with the HPTDC’s ‘ordinary’ buses, especially given the quantum of our luggage, we choose to just hire a jeep the next day to take us up to Nako (technically still in Kinnaur) – another five odd hour drive.
10 minute read | 2104 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
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.
2 minute read | 308 words
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