Monday, June 13, 2011

Nepal-Mountain biking (Day 107)

Anja had seen mountain bikes around Thamel and decided we should go for a ride.  We talked to a guide the day before and he told us about a 50 km ride which he said was the best.  He said it was a ride we would never forget.  Anja wanted to do it.  It was about 1100 rupees to rent the bikes (Trek hardtail with a judy up front) and 1500 rupees for the guide service plus the 250 rupees each to enter the National Park.

It was raining in the morning so we thought it would be cancelled but we walked over and the guide said we should go that the trail was probably fine.  I was doubtful but agreed.

We rode out of Thamel around 8:30 am.  We had to move hotels this afternoon but had gotten late checkout so we needed to be back by 3 pm.


We headed up the road right past the gates of Nagarjun Forest where we had climbed the day before.


We rode up the road.  At one point I think I insulted our guide when he asked how much I’d pay for the Trek I was riding in the US.  I looked at it a Judy shock and low quality Shimano parts; I said $400.  He said no!  I pay $900 US here.  Opps.  I’d never pay that for the bike but who knows? 


And up the road.  The guide was concerned about how slow Anja was riding up hill and said we should probably just ride back down the road.  I had to insist to him she was fine and there was no way we were riding down this road.


At around 10:20 am we stopped here for a cup of tea.


At 11:20 am we’d made the top of the road.


At 11:40 am we hit the section of road which was too steep to ride for everyone in the group including the guide except me. 


We rode through a small military base.


Our last stop to buy water.


And into the Shivapuri National Park.  We had to pay 800 rupees each because we were mountain biking.  I was happy we didn’t also get charged 250 rupees each to enter the park.


Then we started walking the bikes.  I asked our guide if we had to walk, he said too steep but you can try.  I rode probably 80% of what he called too steep which was a distance measured in km.


Ending the last bit of hike a bike.


It was 12:30 pm after four hours of riding up we’d made it too our singletrack.  We headed down and our guide told us to ride slow.  I told him we were…


At about 12:45 pm we finished our singletrack.  We were rather disappointed.  We then rode dirt road for about a hour and a half.


The dirt turned to payment and we were riding downhill fast.  A friend of our guide had asked to join us for the day and when we came around a corner with pine needles crashed down.


We stopped for a bite and water after the crash for him to “lick his wounds.”


Riding back in Kathmandu around 3 pm and made it back the shop around 3:30 pm.  I said Thanks to our guide and ran off without tipping him.  It was a ride I will never forget.  I certainly hope I never ride for 7 hours again for only 15 minutes of singletrack!


It turns out Manu, Railay, and Wolfgang were back in Kathmandu from there treks and we all were invited to Raj’s for a Nepalese dinner.  It was great to see those guys again!


Michelle Nilles said...

Nice writeup! If I'm reading between the lines correctly, the somewhat disenchanted tone I'm picking up on exactly coincides with my impression of the country.

Sierrasclimber said...

I have mixed thoughts? I think we did Nepal wrong. After being there I think the way to do Nepal is just to hire a guide for everything. Only problems I don't like guides. The mountains are amazing but too big for me to climb. Most of the people are really nice but there are too many. Really glad we went but I doubt I will ever return to Nepal.