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Report: Ladakh MTB Festival Celebrates the Opening of the Disko Valley Bike Park

Oct 15, 2019
by Vinay Menon  

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Ladakh MTB Festival 2019
Words & Photography: Vinay Menon & Praveen Jayakaran
Lower Himayalan territory of Ladakh in northern India saw the region's first downhill and pump track event this year.

One of the highest riding zones of India at 3500m, Ladakh runs the magnificent Himalayas through its horizon. Known for its mountaineering, bicycle touring, bouldering topography, Ladakh now has a new feather in the cap, the “Disko Valley Bike Park” by Unexplored Ladakh.

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia

Ladakh’s first Pump track and Downhill comp at the Ladakh Mountain Bike Festival 2019 was twinned with the inauguration of the Disko Valley Bike Park. In its first phase, the Disko Valley Bike Park currently includes a 200 metre dirt pump track, table top jumps, a 500 metre short track DH course, a 40ft double jump dedicated to late Ajay Padval. Surrounded by mega mountains on all sides, the Disko Valley will see more features dug up this winter.

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Ride clinics in session. New riders learning the intricacies of mountain biking from Unexplored Ladakh's Tenzing Jamphel and India's freeride pioneer, Vinay Menon.

Pump Track

Freshly packed dirt and over 40 riders with their race plates got the 200 metre track lit. The Expert Category saw some fast timings. Leh’s local ripper, Sonam Norbu clocked the third fastest time of the day on a borrowed bike! Pune’s Vinay Menon landed a 2nd and Manali’s young blood, Rinku Thakur took the win with his ‘Run 1’ time.

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Riding a pump track was a new experience for most riders in Ladakh.

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Leh’s local ripper, Sonam Norbu is one fast kid on two wheels! Taking 3rd place in the Pump Track Challenge.

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Pune’s Vinay Menon landed the 2nd fastest time of the day.

[PI=17782377n]Rinku Thakur from Manali clocked the winning time at the Pump Track Challenge.[/PI]

In Jrs, local lad, Eshem Latif in 1st followed by Stanzin Angchuk in 2nd and 3rd spot, Stanzin Gayfail.

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Eshem Latif taking the win in the Juniors category.

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
India's bouldering legend, Sandeep Maity took on the Pump track challenge (left).15 year old Palak from Manali kept her speeds up (right).

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia

Short Track Downhill

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Small hike to the start line got the riders warmed up.

The 500 metre track resembled a slalom course. Berms, tables, drops and even a trench! A new experience for the local spectators, the downhill action kept everyone entertained. Landing into 3rd, Srinagar’s Fhazal Wani, Vinay Menon in 2nd and Manali’s Rinku Thakur took the lead with 44.48 seconds.

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Local ripper Sonam Norbu dropping into the trench!

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Unexplored Ladakh’s Skaldan Urgyan pulled off a 4th place on a borrowed bike!

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Always a good time with bikes and budds!

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Srinagar’s Fhazal Wani surprised everyone with the 3rd best time in Finals.

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Vinay Menon cruised to a 2nd spot in his Final run, after clocking the fastest time in seeding.

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Young gun Rinku Thakur speeding through on his winning run.

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Downhill Podium: Tsering Sangrup (5th), Vinay Menon (2nd), Rinku Thakur (1st), Fhazal Wani (3rd), Skaldan Urgyan (4th).

After the race dust settled, it was time for the jump session. A free run for everyone, the jump sesh started getting radder pretty quick.

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Another hike up for the jump sess.

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
The views in Leh are unbeatable.

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Unexplored Ladakh’s Gyatso Tundup sending his hardtail down the jump section.

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Ladakh’s local ripper Sonam Norbu ready for lift off.

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Some tweakery on the table by Vinay Menon.

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Flight time for Rinku Thakur.

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Vinay Menon from Psynyde Bikes hitting the largest feature at Disko Valley Bike Park, dedicated to late Ajay Padval. #AjayShredsForever

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia

A beginning of things to come, the Ladakh Mountain Bike Festival 2019 marks a stern push to downhill mountain biking and pump track riding in the region.

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
The future looks bright!

Ladakh MTB Festival 2019 Photo Praveen Jayakaran. HaulApparelIndia JammuAndKashmirTourismDepartment UnexploredLadakh PsynydeBikes LooseRidersIndia
Disko Valley is Ladakh's new action ground!

The 2019 Ladakh MTB Festival was organised by Unexplored Ladakh at Disko Valley Bike Park. Sponsored by Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Department and LAHDC Leh. Supported by, GraviT Climbing, Suru Boulder Fest, Haul Apparel India, Ladakh Bike Shop, Acoustive, All Ladakh Tour Operators Association (ALTOA), BlackFurst Media, Freeridermag, The Ladakh Story and The Grand Dragon Ladakh.

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