Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015 - Ride, Race, Party, Repeat

Aug 1, 2015 at 22:40
by Prateek Singh  
India, is home to some of the highest mountain ranges in the world. It is also home to the Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival. Riding mountain bikes is more than just going fast, more than just winning, it's about having a great time with your buddies and enjoying every second on that bike. Not saying winning doesn't matter. But in the end what counts is the fun we've had, the trails we've ridden. The views and the drops that took our breath away. The Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival is one such week where all the riders from across the Indian subcontinent come to Ride, Race, Party, Repeat.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike

This year, we saw a lot of action on the Trails N Dust XC race as well as the most anticipated Himachal DH trophy. The riders had a blast and so did the we. Pinkbike was there to cover the action. Manali, is a small hill station in the state of Himachal in India ans during these four-five days, it turns into the place where all the riders from the country flock to. It's not just a race, here we have XC,DH and Enduro riders coming in and having a good time together. The races are just an added bonus because there's no fun without a little serious competition. Mountain biking is about pushing limits and having fun. This year however, the monsoons were in full swing in an attempt to dampen the spirits of the rider, little did the rain God's know that mountain bikers love getting loose and dirty. The sport is still at a nascent stage in the country , but the scene is growing exponentially. The level of riding is progressing and the whole industry is growing.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike

Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015

The riders began rolling into Manali on the 15th and once the rides were assembled, they began hitting their respective trails. The routing was that the respective XC and DH riders go to their respective trails and train. Some riding the same lines time and again to shave a couple seconds and others just having a good time getting loose and shredding bikes, however they pleased. At the end of the day we would all get together and discuss the rides and other experiences over beers and dinner.

Update and Results - Trails N Dust XC Race Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015 Manali
The bikebar, the place to assemble if you're planning to be a part of the Festival.

Update and Results - Trails N Dust XC Race Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015 Manali
The clouds shrouding the trails in mystery.

Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015

Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015
The Trails N Dust saw one of the most challenging and technically demanding Cross Country Courses India has seen. The guys at Himalayan Mountain Bike Network had scouted out this beautiful technical haven and plan to Up the game every year.

Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015

Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015
The DH course was pure fun with slushy steeps on the top, to gnarly rock gardens and sketchy stump drops and jumps. No matter what the discipline, the trails just scream fun.

Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015
The gondolas were only open to the DH riders for qualification day and final runs. Otherwise it was 'take a hike' . Nobody seemed to mind.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Mandil Pradhan, rider/owner at Himalayan Rides Nepal (Banshee Bikes/Raceface) drove down all the way to Manali from Kathmandu in Nepal. he made the epic drive along with Rajesh Magar, his team rider and his trustworthy Nissan Navara. He was headed to the altitudes of Leh straight after the festival. Props to him.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
After all the riders were in town, it was time for the real action to begin.

 Shivam ROy l Pinkbike
This year we saw a total of around 40 riders come in from all over India and Nepal. There were riders from the U.K., Ireland, and B.C. as well. Fun Times!

Trails N Dust XC Race.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike

Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015 - Part 2

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike

Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015

Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015

Update and Results - Trails N Dust XC Race Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015 Manali

Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015 - Part 2

Update and Results - Trails N Dust XC Race Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015 Manali

Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Beers, some more beers.

The Xc race saw the country's elite to 14 year old kids who got remarkable timings too. The podium was dominated by the Hero Action Team Full Story on the Trails N Dust XC race.

Himachal Downhill Trophy

Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015

After the Xc race was over, it was the time for the big bikes to take some air and shred some gnar. The rains had turned the tables for everyone. The slush made it a struggle to be on the bike and only the best bike handlers could keep it between their legs at all times. Rajesh Magar from Nepal showed everyone who's boss on the track which he rode twice before qualifying first and in the end winning with a lead of a whopping 32 seconds.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike

The qualifying runs saw a slush covered track but no rain. Last night's downpour was enough to give the riders zero traction. Rajesh slipped right out of the start gate during the qualies and still qualified first. After all the riders took their chances at taming the Solang Valley Course, by the time the top three qualifiers were to drop, it began pouring and Rajesh rode away to the finish line with a 34 second lead.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike

Seeding

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Only the rider knows what goes on through his mind on the way up to the start.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Dropping in!

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Gautam Taode, (Giant India) was the first man on the track for qualies. Aiming for glory.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
The clouds kept things moist. Let's just put it that way.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Indian Veteran freerider, Vinay Menon, bombing down the hill.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Gautam Taode getting loose.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Rajesh, Navigating through rocks like nobody's business

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Some sections were just about holding on to the bike. Being fast was secondary.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Scott India rider, Piyush Chavan was the defending champ from last year.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Crashes. Inevitable Crashes.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Nishma Shrestha, The only female DH rider in the Scene showing us what Nepal is capable of.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Good views of the Solang Valley are a major distraction sometimes.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike

Finals

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Time to go up again. For one last run.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Suman Tamang from Nepal. Ready to Rumble.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Sliding into the course, because slush is so we can slide with grace.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Piyush, forgetting he has brakes on his bikes. But wait, the brakes were redundant anyway. Full Speed Ahead!

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Irish rider, Matthew Cosgrave pinned.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Vinay Menon. Flying into 7th place.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Shyam Limbu. sliding down on feet after losing control.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
James frampton. Killing it on his hardtail Ramones. He rode into fourth place.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Rajesh's Banshee Rune. Waiting for the rain, and to slay the trail.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
The Nepalese are fast. Shyam flying down at full speed.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Crossing the finish line.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Not a good sign. Not a good sign at all for the top three qualifiers.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Suman, Sliding and Charging into 2nd place through the rocks.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Rajesh Magar. Flying towards victory in pouring rain. A 34 Second lead! This guy has talent and a very interesting story. Stay tuned for an exclusive interview with this amazing and talented Nepalese rider.

The rains would not let up and hence the amateur category had their race cancelled. It was quite a bummer as the riders were given positions on their seeding run results. The elite riders however had a ball of a time.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
It's all about having fun!! Getting dirty!!

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
He might be modest, but nobody can control the excitement of winning and that too against all odds with a 32 second lead.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
How slow was I today?

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike

1st- Rajesh Magar (Himalayan Rides Banshee) Nepal - 00:06:01
2nd- Suman Tamang (Gnarly Nepal) Nepal - 00:06:35
3rd- Ajay Padval (Team Freerider MTB Mag) - 00:06:45

Full results and story on the DH race.

 Shivam Roy l Pinkbike
Post Race Festival Party. Good Food. Good friends. Good riders. Good Times.

Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015 - Part 3
Yes, we found out what went into his mind on his way up. Rajesh Magar in selfie mode.

Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015
This year the festival was a blast. And we are promised with a larger one next year. I for one, will miss the riding around Manali. And will hopefully compete myself too. Life is an unexplored trail. Sometimes you just have to charge ahead and make things happen.

Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015

For more information on the Himalayan Mountain Bike Network

Update and Results - Trails N Dust XC Race Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015 Manali
A toast.

Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015
Indian Mountain Biking is Rising, just like the Himalayan Fold Ranges are. Slow but continuous.

All Photos: Shivam Roy


MENTIONS: @prateek24

Must Read This Week

17 Comments

  • + 17
 Love it! MTB at it's purest. Nothing about wheel size, air vs spring, Enduro vs DH, Flat vs clipless. Just grab the bike you've got and ride!
  • + 3
 Riding bikes was always about having a good times on some good trails Big Grin
Cheers for the Love!!
  • + 1
 marzoochi will never die! 26 for life! coil for ever! enduro gay dh cool! sorry had to.
  • + 8
 Excellent Article,thank you for posting this!
  • + 4
 wow it seems like was a really great event. This post is fantastic about everything. A big hug from Brazil, it is so good to see MTB friends from all over the world. I am jealous of your mountains.
  • + 5
 So much fun! I'd love to go and ride with those guys just for the experience.
  • + 3
 You're more than welcome to come and ride here! Big Grin
  • + 3
 This is epic! Going to have to pack a bike and give a visit to you guys. Delhi represent!
  • + 2
 feel free to get in touch if needed!! The Himalayas are salvation for All kinds of bikes! Big Grin xD
  • + 3
 Banshee bikes plus Himalayas plus awesome local riders...dream destination. Great article!
  • + 3
 what a great event!! nice coverage and great photography!!
  • + 4
 Full power!!
  • + 2
 The Himalayas blows my mind every time I go. Already revved up for 2016! Once you go Himalayan...
  • + 3
 Fully legit! Thanks for the plethora of pics!
  • + 3
 Good to see international bike love across the world!
  • + 3
 Added to the bucket list.
  • + 2
 Good stuff Prateek and Shivam! Thanks for the coverage.

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