West Sikkim Cycling

Posted by on Nov 17, 2013 in Cycling in the Himalayas, Sikkim | No Comments
West Sikkim Cycling

After a 36 hour train journey east from Delhi through Bihar and Jharkand, the bulk of Kanchenjunga rises high above the West Bengal plains. I spend the next 4 days riding some of the steepest hills I’ve encountered through tea plantations and small villages. Unsettled weather following Cyclone Phailin and busy traffic on the national […]

Farewell Spiti Valley, Hello Hippy Trail

Posted by on Oct 29, 2013 in Himachal Pradesh | 5 Comments
Farewell Spiti Valley, Hello Hippy Trail

Retracing my steps from Chandra Tal I join back on to the dirt road headed in the direction of Rohtang La and the junction of the Leh to Manali highway. I had been warned the road was rough, but its surface is jarring and makes for slow progress as it weaves through a dry river […]

McLeod Ganj and Tibet

Posted by on Oct 26, 2013 in Himachal Pradesh | No Comments

Its a stuffy and cramped bus journey from Manali to McLeod Ganj that sees the Ogre and I deposited 6 kilometres north of Dharmsala in the early hours of a Tuesday morning. A scrum of people congregate to collect their bags whilst taxi drivers and touts mingle with the assembled crowd trying to secure business […]

Chandra Tal

Posted by on Oct 17, 2013 in Cycling in the Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh | 2 Comments
Chandra Tal

The descent down Kunzum La is rough and chilly, it has an isolated feel despite the occasional jeeps ferrying passengers over the pass. Taking the junction to Chandra Tal I’m blasted with rain and a fierce head wind. I stop to put my waterproofs on and what little cold weather gear I have. The ever […]

Kaza Singletrack

Posted by on Oct 17, 2013 in Cycling in the Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh | 2 Comments
Kaza Singletrack

After a couple of nights in Kaza I’m keen to get moving, Himalaya By Bike mentions some single track in the high pastures which I’m keen to explore after days spent on dirt roads. Asking around no one is really sure, probably because very few people ride bikes. Wandering through Old Kaza I spot that […]

Spiti Valley Cycling

Posted by on Oct 10, 2013 in Himachal Pradesh | 10 Comments

The cycling in Spiti Valley drew me to this westerly corner of the the Indian Himalayas, each account I read overflowing with superlatives. The only ones I can offer are: breathtaking and magical. Each twist and turn offer an ever changing horizon, gone is the harsh light and arid almost moonscape like conditions of Upper […]

Kinnaur Valley Cycling

Posted by on Oct 7, 2013 in Cycling in the Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh | 8 Comments

After pedaling uphill for two days the ceremonial sign for the Kinnaur valley welcomes you to the valley. By now the road clings to the side of the steep valley walls,  and carves its way through the sheer rock faces only with just enough room for an Indian truck and no more. The driver’s mate […]

Sutlej Valley Cycling

Posted by on Oct 2, 2013 in Cycling in the Himalayas | One Comment

The descent from Narkanda begins on a broken surface, care needs to be taken between dodging pot holes, cows milling in the road and hairy overtaking manouerves as cars overtake heavily laden lorries lumbering up and down from Narkanda. The road surface improves as I descend down to the valley floor. Temperatures noticably begin to […]

Pushing the pedals

Posted by on Sep 30, 2013 in Cycling in the Himalayas | One Comment

A last minute purchase before the trip sees me sitting on the Ridge in the early morning watching school children file past. Next to me is a bike with no pedals, it would be laughable were it not happening to me right now. I sit considering my options when Hassan a Kashmiri tout I’ve been […]


Posted by on Sep 18, 2013 in Cycling in the Himalayas | One Comment

Once summer time residence of the Indian government in the time the Raj, Shimla today has a feeling of days gone by.  Now an Indian tourist town rather than the clerical and bureaucratic power house under imperial rule.   The Ridge and Mall offer glimpses of a bygone era. The Ridge a tree lined Victorian […]

In to the foothills of the Himalayas

Posted by on Sep 16, 2013 in Cycling in the Himalayas | 2 Comments

Ever one to procrastinate the list of jobs I knew I had to complete before going away suddenly became over whelmingly urgent. Stress levels rose and some last minute glitches meant those closest to me looked on wondering whether I would be ready in time. As Sunday morning came, I woke with a knot in […]

India Bound

Posted by on Sep 4, 2013 in Cycling in the Himalayas | 2 Comments

Almost two months ago, Cycling the Himlayas was tinged with melancholy. My grand plan changed at the last minute, I was grounded and forced to take stock. The prospect of being jobless and homeless with no fixed timeline for the start of the trip were both bewildering and daunting in equal measure. Time that I […]