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Cycling the worlds highest roads - Kashmir, India

rich.mikerich.mike Posts: 4
edited November 2016 in Tour & expedition
A month ago I set off unsupported for 2 weeks to cycle the worlds highest mountain passes in Kashmir, India. The ride started at 6500 feet and only got higher from there on. The summits ranged from 13,000 feet to over 18,000 feet but I luckily managed to avoid altitude sickness. This was by far the hardest cycle tour I have ever undertaken, the lack of oxygen and terrible 'road' conditions did not make it easy. The stunning scenery kept me going, helping me forget about the fully loaded touring bike I was pedalling!

Feel free to check out the article on my website for more photos of the trip:

http://www.alwaysbybike.com/manalitoleh.html




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Posts

  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    Excellent, having struggled to hike 4km up, I can't imagine what cycling at 5.6km is like!
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    Superb read and chapeau on a great ride! Just mind bogglingly high - I can not imagine how it must have felt up there.

    Love the Milky Way photo.
  • buckmulliganbuckmulligan Posts: 1,031
    Wow, that really is an amazing trip, congratulations on surviving! That is really inspiring, I've wanted to go to India for years and this might finally push me to do it!

    A couple of years ago I was chatting to a guy at work who is from Kashmir about hiking/cycling and he started telling me about his adventures back home.

    "Yes, we have some werry werry big mountain in India; Indian Army use them for training, some of the roads go up to 5500 ft." he said. I thought "5500 ft?! What a freaking drama queen, that's less than 2000m, I've cycled higher than that before breakfast." Naturally, when I found out that he actually meant 5500 metres I was blown away.

    Like iPete says, I've hiked and skied at just under 4000m and I can't even fathom what it would be like to be cycling another 1500m up. How hospitable was the climate for cycling out there? Did you find the weather quite changeable and did the temperature drop a lot between the valleys and the peaks?

    Edited to add: I can't believe this absolutely epic post has only had three replies and yet the bunch of mamils wittering on about what gearing to use on Mont Ventoux has stretched on to four pages; this forum is just tragic sometimes :lol:
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 19,057
    Edited to add: I can't believe this absolutely epic post has only had three replies and yet the bunch of mamils wittering on about what gearing to use on Mont Ventoux has stretched on to four pages; this forum is just tragic sometimes :lol:
    That'll be because this is a rarely visited section of the Forum. It shouldn't be, but it is.

    Epic ride! Chapeau!
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
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  • I love stories like this, very inspiring. I've walked and climbed in the Himalaya but would love to ride there one day. I suspect my acclimatisation period would be significantly longer now than it was when I was in my twenties some two decades ago.
  • bbotibboti Posts: 39
    Very nice story, once I hiked the Annapurna track in Nepal, but going back with bike would also be challenging.
  • Now that sounds one amazing trip,puts doing a few of the cols in the alps to shame,I have seen another blog by a friend of a friend,who is riding a motorcycle with a surfboard on a rack on the side of the bike,he is going from Santiago in Chile all the way up to San Francisco in the USA and surfing along the way,love reading about stuff like this,just wished I had done more travelling when I was younger
  • Respect!

    Just back from Nepal where we trekked over a pass at 5400 meters and that was hard enough. The Annapurna circuit that we did is now also being used by organised MTB trips which is not my idea of fun.

    FYI according to the Himalayan Rescue Association acute mountain sickness (and how well you acclimatise) is down to your genes and not age or fitness, although being older helps as your brain has shrunk so you are less prone to brain swelling after 50...
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