Pedalling Bottom Gear to the Top
in the Himalayas
Dave Hill from Mold Section of CTC Chester & N Wales is no stranger to cycling in our area's hillier parts. He has however just returned from 3 weeks in the Indian Himalayas where the mountains are higher than high.
He, along with 7 other adventurous souls, tackled the legendary 400 km of the Menali to Leh Highway in Uttar Pradesh, which includes a handful of passes over 5000m with the highest pass at over 5300m (A breathless 17,400 feet!). Contending with an unseasonably wet and northerly monsoon that led to the road being closed for much of the 10 day trip, Dave also carried a tent and food for the expedition.
When asked about how enjoyed the experience he said: "Riding the really high passes were perhaps the most uncomfortable and most enjoyable thing I have done on a bike, both at the same time! Just a little effort, such as swerving to miss one of the numerous gaping potholes or to pull over to let a truck pass you, would have your head on hands on handlebars for 5 minutes, panting to catch your breath. Sometimes you'd just forget about the altitude; for example in the tent overnight, you'd get seriously winded just turning over in your sleeping bag" And the downhills? "Not much fun as the loose road surface didn't allow for a quick descent."
Isn't it remarkable what can be achieved with the humble bicycle!
Dave aims to share his travelogue with other cycling (and walking) enthusiasts at a slide show sometime in the New Year. He has some stunning photos to amaze us. Here's one for starters.......