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Mountain Biking in Nepal

Mountain Biking in Nepal
One of the fastest growing adventure sports in Nepal is mountain biking. The terrain in this country is ideally suited for this adventure sport. With its mountainous regions complemented by long stretches of flat plains, the enchanting valleys and the bonus of spectacular mountain views, Nepal has no rival.

Traffic in Nepal however is erratic so it is of utmost importance to be cautious at all times while driving along motorways. Especially, beware of speeding trucks and buses.

You need to bring your own bike but they can also be rented from Thamel (bikes ranging from one to 18 speed). Lightweight clothing, strong -soled shoes, windcheaters, rain-gear, sun-protection, sunglasses, gloves and helmets are the basic essentials. Bike repairing tools, spare parts (inner tubes) and a mini pump are a must.

Places to go: Locations around Kathmandu valley can be taken individually or as one glorious round trip. One of the most talked about trip is to Dhulikhel (32km from Kathmandu): The ride upto Bhaktapur is rather crowded with traffic but beyond that there is an alternative route to Dhulikhel avoiding the highway. You can ride along the compacted track going through Nala, which is a typical Newari settlement, little changed over the centuries.

A day's ride up to Namobuddha can be very rewarding. Starting and ending in Dhulikhel, this is a trip that offers spectacular mountain views. Namobuddha is 12 km away and is an important pilgrimage site for all Buddhists. One also has the choice of carrying on to the old Newari town of Panauti with its beautiful pagodas. It is possible then to head back for Kathmandu via the highway or go back to Dhulikhel.

Another exhilarating ride is a trip to Nagarkot via Bhaktapur and then back through the old town of Sankhu, which is at the edge of the valley. Nagarkot is the most popular resort for viewing mountains, sunrises and sunsets.

An exciting tour is the Kathmandu Valley Rim Ride, which takes two days. The trip takes you from Kathmandu to Nagarkot via Bhaktapur, a 38 km. ride. The return leg leads to the ancient temple of Changu Narayan on the hilltop and then down to Bhaktapur and back to Kathmandu.

Kodari and Tibetan Border: A ride to the Tibetan border can be a great experience. The 82km tour starting from Dhulikhel takes 3 to 4 days and goes right up to the Friendship Bridge at Kodari. Riding aong the Bhote Kosi river you come across the popular spot called Tatopani “Hot springs”, which is about 5km from the border post of Kodari.

The Tribhuvan Highway is the old highway, which is less frequented by traffic than the major artery leading out of Kathmandu. Leaving the Prithivi Highway at Naubise this old road climbs up and down the mountains unlike the other highway, which follows the river down to the plains. From the old road there are superb views of the valleys and the Himalayas that are unsurpassed. The route goes over a 2488m pass at Tistung. The sight of the beautiful Panang Valley is breathtaking. The road then leads to Daman, which at 2,322m, is the best spot for viewing the mighty Himalayas. An uninterrupted view of the Himalayan range from Dhaulagiri to Everest is simply unbelievable. The road winds its way down to Hetauda in the plains. From Hetauda it is possible to ride down the highway to India or turn towards the Royal Chitwan National Park.

Pokhara to Kathmandu is yet another wonderful bike ride between two fascinating cities. To start the Pokhara- Kathmandu Ride, we must first get to Pokhara, which is best done by flying. After a refreshing sight seeing tour of the lake city with breathtaking views of the Machapuchhare (Fish Tail Mountain), the ride back to Kathmandu begins. This is considered the best off road riding in the Himalayas. A little less than 30 miles is on tarmac while the rest is along footpaths, dusty jeep trails and single tracks that few foreigners have traversed. Steep ascents and descents make this a challenging mountain bike ride. The bike route goes from Pokhara to Sarankot (viewpoint overlooking Pokhara), then on to Begnas Lake (another beautiful lake in Pokhara), Dumre (along the trek route) and reaches the old town of Gorkha (the Shah dynasty’s ancestral home). From Gorkha the trail goes to Trisuli and climbs up to the popular resort of Kakani. From here it is all the way down to Kathmandu.

If you time your trip correctly you could even take part in the annual International Mountain Bike Championships held in Kathmandu around September-November. Or you can join a Cross border trip to include Tibet in your itinerary. Lhasa to Kathmandu is a fantastic trip over the roof of the world through arid land to the fertile green valley. There’s no better way to get around Nepal than on a mountain bike.

The cost and tour details are available on your request.
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