Photo Epic: Knife-Edge Trails & Other-Worldly Views in India

Aug 5, 2018
by Andy Lloyd  


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It comes to something when you start grading trails according to the likelihood of death; a system we had devised by the end of this long adventure. ‘Extremely likely’, ‘quite likely’, ‘likely’ and ‘should be ok’, made up our rudimentary categorisation and though this was, of course, our cheap humour, there’s no smoke without fire and at times over the past few weeks’ recces, the fire had been raging strong.

This was an unusual project. Though mountain bikers of many travels and trail building projects, we had little information about exactly what the 19-day trip would entail. We knew only that we were carrying out a reconnaissance study for a local government department of India in a remote, barely accessible part of the Indian Himalayas.


Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography


Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
A day in the hustle and bustle of India's capital Delhi was an assault on the senses.

The Vision For MTB in India

In Delhi, we met Michael, the man who was responsible for this plan coming to fruition on the Indian side. He was passionate about the tourism benefits of mountain biking for rural economies. For part of his master's thesis, he presented the idea to the chief minister of Uttarakhand province, who assigned the project to Vineet Pangtey of the Uttarakhand Forest Development Corporation (India’s Forestry Commission). Mr Pangtey’s bloodlines are from the tiny mountain station Munsyari, an area deemed ideal for our particular joint endeavour.

There was no local scene or passionate mountain bikers driving the project, or indeed any real Indian mountain bike scene to pitch the concept to. The vision was dreamed up on the basis of the area providing the sort of riding terrain in the Himalayas that overseas travellers would travel to come and experience; the opportunity to grow an internal mountain bike scene from scratch. This theory needed to be tested and verified: none of the Indian project team rode a mountain bike and no-one had ever set tyre in dirt in the Munsyari area on a mountain bike. Any riding taking place here during our study was a genuine first, pioneering a way for a potential future involving two wheels.


Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
The man with the plan Michael Maria Joseph.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
Vineet Pangtey of the Uttarakhand Forest Development Corporation.


Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
We were lucky to be able to take the direct route for the last leg of our journey.

The meaning of remote

After landing at Dehradun regional airport we were lucky enough to have a faster passage through the Himalayan foothills in the form of a 90-minute helicopter flight to our destination, while our kit took the scenic and bumpy 16-hour road route from Delhi. Munsyari, a remote hill station town and the last place accessible by tarmac road, was the perfect antidote to Delhi; the landscape was incredibly lush and green and the five peaks of Panchchuli, the highest of which was just short of 7000 metres, provided a breathtakingly beautiful and instantly humbling backdrop which was to be our base for the following weeks.

We were met at the town’s helipad by an unexpectedly large welcoming committee and a group of excitable local children who had arrived in tow to come and greet us into town, watch us build our bikes and of course, test these colourful, giant and alien bikes out - this was all the more impressive when you consider the hillside is way too steep for bikes, we didn’t see a single push bike during our time here.

It was at this point and during the welcoming meeting later that day that it began to dawn on us just how much of a big deal our presence was to the local community. As mountain bikers who travel a lot, we were all used to slipping by unnoticed by the general public and authorities alike. Here we were front and centre alongside local dignitaries with a banner proclaiming our arrival and intentions stretched from one side of the town all to the other. Expectations were high and the outcome of our studies here could mean a lot to the local community.

Sitting and discussing the scope and scale of the study which was relatively simple at its basic level: to test whether the paths and trails in the area surrounding Munsyari could support mountain biking and what remedial works, if any, would be necessary, we became aware of our biggest challenge: there were no maps of the trails in the area. We would have to rely on local walking guides, intuition when on the hill and good old Google Earth to help us plan our exploration each day in this vast area.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
Front row seats at the town hall meeting.
Munsiyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
The locals turned out to see what this mountain biking lark was all about.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
Day one exploring culminated in possibly the slipperiest trail ever en-route to the valley floor.

Munsiyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography

Trail Reconnaissance

We initially sought out paths and trails that descended from the town through the network of villages towards the valley floor. These were paved with a mixture of deceptively greasy cobbles and challenging steps; an unforgiving and technical ride down that left us slightly concerned. While the adventure element was certainly there – we were beginning to get a feel for the mountain culture – the riding itself was quite harsh and lacked the desired singletrack flow.

We needed to stretch our legs a little further. Michael arranged for some porters to help access the heights of the mountain behind Munsyari, Khalia Top. We shuttled as high as we could by road and then set off on a long hike. Climbing through the magnificent ancient forest with beautiful mosses, ferns and boulders strewn across the hill, the terrain looked ripe for trails and it was no surprise to hear that leopards, bears and musk deer roam these forests and mountains.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
The highest peak of the Panchachuli group, at 6900m an ever-present backdrop to the trip.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
Indian take-a-way curry with a view.
Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
All round mountain man Richy Taylor in his element.

As we climbed higher, the forest thinned and we were soon exiting the leafy canopy and scrambling up a steeper trail to a plateau and the upper slopes of the mountain. It was up here that you really started to get a sense of scale as you looked down into the deep valleys below and ahead at the high Himalayan peaks. Nanda Devi, the highest mountain situated entirely in India at 7,816m, came into view to the north and the Panchuchuli range loomed majestically to the east. We lay amongst the alpine meadow flowers simply soaking up the whole experience.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
It took an amazing group of local guides and porters to make the project happen.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
Fun on the wide open upper sections of Khalia Top.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
The ancient stone pitched trail on Khalia Top is brutal on wheels, tyres and arms.

From the top, we selected a path that headed due south traversing the slopes, that from a distance, had looked quite inviting. If you had to call it from our vantage point you’d say it was flowing, easy even. When we got down onto the trail it was a slightly different perspective that we were facing: there was a huge amount of exposure that made it extremely challenging. Some sections rode well, fun descents were interrupted with punchy climbs that were on the physical limit at this altitude, other sections required walking up or down.

It was clear that with some significant works the trail had the potential to be largely rideable by experienced riders, but we had to remind ourselves where we were and that the implication of a fall here was severe. If you didn’t plummet off the edge of a sheer cliff and you were fortunate enough to suffer a straight forward trail injury, extraction was going to be an issue, a real issue. This was a place for playing the percentages game and keeping things firmly under control. But this had lifted our spirits and hopes that other existing trails make them suitable to travel by mountain bike.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
Sam follows Pavel along the stone pitched ridge trail from the summit of Khalia Top.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
With the nearest hospital many hours away high consequence precarious trails were tackled with care.

Our reconnaissance continued using a range of techniques; flying a drone to record aerial images that we could later study to see if there looked to be a viable route to explore, using physical lookouts to try to link together points of interest and mountain villages and speaking to local villagers to try and piece together a suitable route.

Surprisingly to us, the local knowledge of routes and trails was so narrow; villagers knew necessary routes from their villages to school, the nearest dirt road, and routes to adjoining villages but little beyond. This meant it was very difficult to piece together routes over any distance and a lot of time was spent exploring to see if it was in fact even possible to pass by bike. Some days we split into groups and hiked on foot, some we rode and many we intended to ride, but ended up hiking due to the terrain being too difficult to ride.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
One of the many trails surveyed, some impassable, some incredibly dangerous but all stunning and more than challenging.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
Vertical drops at every turn helped us with the rudimentary trail grading system, this one high up on the scale.

For each dead end, wrong turn and discounted track, we would find a route that could be used by bike or that would work well with some remedial works undertaken. But the scope of the study never got less daunting; you could spend a lifetime exploring this one valley and its surroundings but we had only a few short days.

Since arriving there was one ridge we had been eying with interest which would start from the Khalia Top and head off north from the trail we had already explored. It was less obvious if there was a trail on this side but Narendra, our local guide, thought that there was and the topography and landforms that we could see from a distance meant it was worth pursuing.

We hiked to camp at 3500 metres and woke at 5am to witness first the incredible stars and then the sunrise. The thin atmosphere and cold air left a crystal-clear window into the solar system and beyond; we gazed at the sky till the sun rose above the snow-capped mountains to the east and began to warm our cold and aching bodies.

Soon after, we began to follow the path that we’d plotted on the satellite imagery. After hiking along the first part of the ridge we dropped down and the going was tougher than we could have imagined – with no trail to follow, we were off-piste and the going was slow, compounded by the altitude and the lack of sustenance. Eventually, we reached a small clearing and collapsed in relief for some much-needed rest and water; we were forced to make the difficult call to abort the recce and head back into town.

In 6 hours, we had managed to travel just 7km. Fortunately, the next day we hit gold, heading across the river at the bottom of the valley and exploring a route on the opposite side that we had spotted from the helicopter – this was the sort of day that you never forget.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
The colours, sounds and smells of a local festival that we were honoured to be invited to.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
The amazing porters gather around the camp fire.
Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
High-altitude beers.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
The porters had set up camp (complete with full kitchen) for us on Khalia Top at around 3500m.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
An early morning roll with the backdrop of the five peaks on the Panchchuli massif.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
The awe-inspiring Panchachuli massif.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
Making our own way along a ridge from the summit of Khalia Top, no trails here... yet.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
It took the team almost as long to get down from this point as it did to hike-a-bike up after a day sweating through deep undergrowth looking for potential trails.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
Rowan had to sprint into this jump more times than he would've liked at nearly 4000m to get this shot spot on. The peaks of Rajrambha, at 6,500m, and Panchachuli, at 6,900m, make for a stunning backdrop.

The accident

Throughout the week, we had been giving Michael a few lessons in how to ride an MTB, so he decided that day that he would attempt to ride the entire route with us. The group had split into two with Michael in the latter group and our plan was to converge at the river bridge. Thirty minutes passed after the rendezvous time and it was clear something was up. Eventually, they rolled down to the bridge but without Michael. His unshakeable confidence kept him biting at the heels of the others riders but the dirt road down to the bridge was fast, loose and rough in places. His wheels washed out on the loose surface of the road and he’d gone down pretty hard suffering a dislocated shoulder and a gash in his leg that required stitching.

Our first local rider had already been injured and the team felt responsible for not reigning in his enthusiasm and confidence. Michael had sent down a message that he wished for us to push on with the study, so we loaded up the bikes into what was perhaps the wildest journey of the whole trip – stood in the back of a pickup truck on this fresh-cut dirt track that appeared to be exactly the same width as the truck. With a sheer drop along its entire length, the truck hugged the cliffs with no room for error. From the highest point that this track reached, it was a further three-hour hike-a-bike to the pass where the trail that we hoped to test started.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
Rowan gives an impromptu trail building lesson.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
Porter Jonsey turning his hand to trail building, and hopefully not losing his toes.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
This is definitely the way to look for trails in this terrain, a trip to the Milam Glacier where a new road is slowly being constructed in the valley below.

We reached the summit, hot and quite tired from the hike, the descent that followed was the best trail that we discovered in our time there: flowing, fast, remote feeling and with a completely different aspect on the other side of the Gori Ganga river. This descent had us whooping all the way down and the day combined the perfect cultural adventure with a killer descent that was one of the few routes that just worked as it was from start to finish.

Our day trip concluded with a return via the manual cableway over the river that the locals had constructed to transport goods, so, one at a time, we sat in the small container with our bikes hanging off the side and were winched over the fast-flowing river below each one of us secretly imagining ourselves to be Indiana Jones.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
The Goriganga Valley and River.
Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
Approaching Munsyari from the air.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
The kids show their appreciation for Richy's heli-pad riding lesson as well as his vocal talents.

Bikes for the children of Munsyari

Early on in the study the ministers overseeing the project had thought it would be a great idea for the local children to experience some mountain biking for themselves. Apart from our own bikes (which were great for a 6 feet tall adult, but not really practical for an eleven-year-old child), there were no other cycles to be found in the remote town. Despite this, the powers that be with amazing organisation asked for our suggestions on what sort of bikes would be ideal, then went about sourcing some.

Sure enough five days later six of the best bikes available in quite possibly the whole of India rolled into town on the back of a truck. Greeted by some now even more excited children we set about building them up and were tasked with giving an impromptu lesson in basic mountain biking to about 50 local children on the town’s helipad and a small off-road skills area we had created. To say this session was chaotic is an understatement, but the sheer eagerness of the kids to get on the bikes and learn a new skill was amazing to behold, and hopefully sowed the seeds of a burgeoning mountain bike scene in the town.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
This terrifying road was still under construction.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
This study couldn't have happened without the porters who helped us with getting bikes and gear up top.
Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
Mountain guide Narendra Kumar, faster up and down the mountains than us....on foot!

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
More stone-pitched trails above the Goriganga, this one a stunning technical ride right to the valley floor.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
The Scottish Indiana Jones himself.

The Legacy

Later that week we took time out of our mapping and getting lost duties to work with some of the key people from the town and surrounding villages, teaching them how to build and maintain a mountain bike trail. A skill that if the project was going to expand after our initial investigation would be invaluable in making the area more attractive to the currently illusive foreign riders. We took an existing path that had been formed by people walking and demonstrated how they would adapt the trail to make it suitable for mountain bikes.

Again the enthusiasm of the local population astounded us, within minutes of starting a crowd had gathered, tools had been sought and they were carefully following our lead and getting stuck in. The guys who had been our porters earlier in the week had now turned trail builders and were going at it hammer and tongs with pick axes, spades and mattocks. In many cases toes were at great risk due to the definitely not health and safety preferred footwear choice of sandals. In just a short space of time working with the villagers, we reshaped around 300 metres of trail which served as a good singletrack route for the kids to continue their riding development.

Since our visit, a local group have continued to dig and extend this trail along the lines that we mapped in the study and have now created a 3km singletrack descent. Since our adventures in India, Munsyari hosted its first mountain bike race thanks to the UKFDC and Indian Cycling Federation, using this very trail and a road climb to form a 6km loop.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
Rowan Sorrell scaring the locals.

Munsiyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
A change of valley with even more stunning backdrops.

As our time in Munsyari drew to an end we attended a closing ceremony of this study at the public school in the town. Joined by local village heads, elders, politicians and interested parties we were again taken aback at just how hospitable and enthusiastic everybody was. Despite the bureaucracy, the locals had collectively embraced the study and all the village elders left wearing Munsyari MTB caps but hopefully, we left the community with more than just some headwear.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
The study closing ceremony at Munsyari Public School. The groups' impromptu bike display (riding down a flight of stairs) couldn't really live up to this.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
High altitude bike lessons with the town's recent new bike delivery.
Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
This should be in every school in the world not just in India.

This is a story with a beginning but without an ending; Munsyari, yet to be touched by the western tourism or commercialisation could, with the right people, the right investment and some momentum to help create the infrastructure, be able to welcome adventurous, confident and ethically minded riders.

So, of course, in three weeks we hadn’t managed to map the entire region or create a network of new trails but we had set the wheels in motion for this mountain bike scene. With the drive of the local population and backing of Indian authorities, this project will only grow and in the not too distant future we hope to return to see just what they have accomplished.

Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
Munsyari Mountain Bike Survey PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography

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32 Comments

  • 25 0
 I think a different part of India would be more feasible for this. Like Darjeeling and Sikkim and the surrounding areas. infastructure is a lot better and so is the accessibility. And there is a small up and coming riding scene there. A few bike shops too. Two years ago I took my bike across the border from Kathmandu, Nepal to explore the trails over there .I found a ton of amazing world-class downhill trails that had never been ridden before. I'm talking hour long descents through lush subtropical jungles littered with waterfalls and amazing flow. Some trails were high Alpine. Some of the locals called me a madman and thought I was gonna die cause I was pinning it hard and in the zone that day so stoked on what I had found.I burped my tire and lost all pressure on one trail and although I had a spare tube I realised I forgot my pump. So here Iam middle of nowhere with a flat. So i made a one hour hike back up the hill to a small village with no more than a few houses to see if I could find something. Lo and behold a ten year old kid, wearing a ronaldinho Brazil football jersey, who was a bit apprehensive at first, told me he had a football pump at his house and took me there. but the head wouldn't fit on the presta valve. So eventually after a while his whole family starts to get curious and starts helping me out. His mom,his sister and grandmother and a few others. They even made me tea and gave me food. Eventually after a few hours the tube inflated to my relief. By this point it was getting dark and they kept on telling me about a leopard that's been stalking that area and eating their livestock. Needless to say I was shitting my self. So I thanked them for their generosity and how hospitable and helpful they were and hightailed it outta there as fast I could my heart racing thinking about a leopard that in my mind was stalking me. All of a sudden the tube was leaking air again and now I began to panic just praying it would hold air. I was sliding all over the place cause the air pressure was so low. But somehow I didn't crash and my fear made me ride like a man possesed he. The best I have ever riddenvhahaha.Now it's pitch black and I'm freaking out and then in the distance I see a yellow beam of light from a passing car and much to my relief i realized I had made it to the main road.phew! One of Best,if not the best, ride of my life.
  • 9 0
 There's so much potential out there for MTB trails, we're only just scratching the surface. It's an exciting time for MTB exploration. Some incredible photos in here.
  • 7 0
 This is great and the more people on bikes in India, the better. However, Mike Mclean (very famous in Kerela) has been running trips in Uttarrakhand and Kerela for years. He trains up local guides, who are all decent riders and handy with an allen key, and provides them with bikes. I have been on several of his trips, the riding is great and the craic is tremendous.

www.mountainbikekerala.com
greenfrogindia.com
  • 2 0
 Thanks for that information @muletron
  • 4 0
 It's always interesting to see new riding areas in India! Smile

The Tamil Nadu State Tourism Dept, Kerala State Tourism Dept, Himachal Pradesh State Tourism Dept, have been supporting mountain biking for years! Smile

My buddy, Michael Mclean of Mountain Bike Kerala for sure has put in a lot of work, hunting for longer, all day kinda trails, nearly 10 years ago! Smile Kudos to Mike!

Here's how our Pindari visit came about in Uttarakhand (2012): www.pinkbike.com/video/295081

More on the Indian/Nepalese mountain bike/BMX scene is shared on www.freeridermag.in !
  • 4 0
 It's great to see a really honest depiction of how challenging it can be to find trails to ride in remote, undeveloped mountains, as I've experienced myself in many developing countries. Most videos or reports from such locations seem to gloss over the fact that it's often incredibly difficult to ride at all, given the limitations of the landscape. But the challenge of exploring somewhere new is sometimes just as exciting as riding established, rolling trails.
  • 3 0
 Your conclusion is probaby correct ie that it's a few years away. The people who have the money to travel will likely want a mix of easier trails in with the harder.

What's the climate? Is it typical Indian foothills with a unrideable monsoon season? What's infrastructure for extraction? (Sounds sometimes difficult).

Stunning scenery. Good potential. But lots of this in the world. All these other boring practical things to think about
  • 2 0
 Yes I'd imagine it would be best avoided in the monsoon season. Obviously a lot of snow up there in the winter. We were there at the end of September and there was a good range. Chilly at the top at around 4000m and just about tropical rain forest conditions at the bottom of the valley with everything in between!
  • 3 0
 I was fortunate enough to spend 2 weeks in Munsyari, at the end of a 40 day trek. There are certainly some trails that could be amazing for biking with a little effort. There ones I traveled seemed to be more of the stone paved and steep rutted variety but it would be a dream to head back there with a bike. This story brought back a ton of wonderful memories and I hope that the passion for biking takes hold in Munsyari.
  • 3 0
 Dan Milner has a YouTube clip of riding in the Pindari valley which is not that far from Munsyari as the crow flies. Gives an idea of the type of riding that may be most easily accessible (relative) at this point in the region
  • 3 0
 This has got to be the absolute best article I’ve ever read in PB. The photos are absolutely stunning. The story is as interesting and bizzare as it gets: A college student and several govt. officials, none of whom have ever seen a mountain bike, decide that it’s a great idea to start a MTB scene in the middle of a remote rural area in an effort to improve the local economy. Then they contact the authors of this article to bring some bikes and scout the area? How exactly does one get selected for this honor? No matter... this story is worthy of National Geographic. This is some heady stuff for PB. More of this please. The more people out riding in natural areas, the more people will understand what a precious gift this planet is and how very important it is to protect it.
  • 2 0
 @MeroHedra also at one point in the trail there was a really creepy place littered with derelict graves on each side of the trail for at least a few hundred metres. It was eerily quiet and the tree canopy made it much darker and cooler than the rest of the sections. So you can imagine how much adrenaline was flowing through my system with a flat tire basically riding my rim. Getting dark. Swearing every cracking branch was a leopard ready to pounce. But the trail was worth it. It was all natural but perfect.
  • 3 0
 Wow, I don't know if I could bike there, I'd probably ride off a cliff because the scenery is so spectacular. Great & informative write up, awesome pictures. @leelau, some very valid points.
  • 3 1
 This a great effort. I am a trail rider from Bangalore South India. The local mountain biking community is very small. Mostly XC riders. In the past 2 years there is more interest and some local groups have gone to build temporary trails. They are not maintained year round.
If you want to grow this activity as a sport and lifestyle, you need to engage Indians. There are many factors that needs to be sorted
1. Lack of good trainers and knowledgeable mountain bikers.
2. Lack of trail building skills and local trails around the country.
3. Bikes are too expensive, esp. trail friendly bikes. We pay 45% import duty over standard price. So a 700 USD basic trail bike will cost approx 1000 USD which is 68000 INR. That is a lot of money for an Indian..You can buy a decent motorbike with that money here
3.
  • 1 1
 Really?? Shame on you that you are an Indian and do not kniw anything about mountain biking in India... You should go check www.freeridermag.in for updates on Indian Mountain Biking scene before commenting such bullshit on public forums...
  • 5 0
 Great story, great photo epic. This is a proper writeup- nice job guys!
  • 2 0
 Just a beautiful content. Props for all the crews. That stone paved trail with that steep section definitely make me wanna leave my clipless pedal at home. Cheers to all of the crew.
  • 3 0
 Good for India! Thanks for this story. Did this journey change those on the journey? I think so!
  • 2 0
 There's just something about the Himalayas, they are so intimidating and awe inspiring. You can't help but want to go there and just explore
  • 2 0
 Some Beautiful pictures in there!! Thank you for making us travel with you a little bit Smile
  • 2 0
 Absolutely great write up and fantastic pictures, cannot wait to get back out to India this year with Mountain Bike Kerala.
  • 1 0
 @Riwajc
Man amazing story I am not surprised that was the best ride of your life ! Ha, can't imagine how much you must have been shitting yourself with the leopard story ????
  • 2 0
 Amazing photos! Great story! Rowan Sorrell scaring the locals Smile
  • 1 0
 He does that in Merthyr, too!
  • 3 0
 spot the ganja farm
  • 1 0
 Rowan Sorrell - a career at National Geographic awaits! Epic trip and fantastic article - top job, Row!
  • 2 1
 Man, when I make dentist money this article will be really relevant!!
  • 2 0
 Awesome. Primo photos
  • 1 3
 That pledge is interesting, I love my country but I'm moving to North Vancouver anyways. I don't hear English on the streets anymore, are we really a minority in our country now?
  • 1 0
 Wow. Incredible photos and so inspiring to get out and explore.
  • 1 0
 Please do come to South India too on missions like these.????
  • 1 0
 POY content





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