Cycles which are also known as bicycles are generally used for purposes like; as a means of transportation, recreational activity, and sports. In the adventurous upgrade of the refreshing sport, the cycling journey is taken to an extreme level exploring the challenging and rugged landscape
Keeping aside the thrill-filled adrenaline rushing moments in the adventure sports, there are also tons of health benefits of cycling. It is one of the easiest ways of staying in shape, including cycling in your day to day routine like shopping, going to the office and work or simply taking a stroll down the park late in the evening will help you stay healthy and fit. The other health benefit of cycling includes protection from diseases like heart attacks, diabetes, depression, and arthritis.
So, tag along in the journey of exploring the beauty and mystery of Mother Nature with tons of health benefits.
A Brief History
The first record of using a bicycle tracks back to 1791 in the gardens of the Palais Royal-Paris, France. A Frenchman named Comte de Sirvac was spotted using a two-wheeled vehicle called celerifere in the garden. However, the celerifere was not fully compatible at the time, the vehicle was impossible to steer and the rider had to physically redirect the vehicle by dragging the front wheel or lifting it.
The evolution of the two-wheelers had begun from 1817 when Baron Von Drauis invented the ‘Draisine’, improved celerifere which could be steered using handlebars. Then, the Scottish inventor Kirkpatrick MacMillan added cranks and treadmill to the rear axle of the two-wheeled vehicle. By 1858 the pedals were added in the front wheel of the vehicle and were named ‘velocipede’ or boneshaker. However, people only started using the term ‘bicycle’ after the velocipede’s iron tires were replaced using rubber tires.
The bicycle took complete form in 1884 when J.K. Starley invents the ‘safety bicycle’ with proper form; rubber seats, balanced steering, and convenient paddling.
Cycling In Nepal
Besides being a famous destination for adventurous sports like rafting, trekking, mountain climbing, bungee jumping, and several others, in recent years Nepal has been a sensation for mountain biking. The naturally gifted rich with high hills and mountains offer the best playground for mountain biking, landing itself in the ‘Top 10’ list of mountain biking destinations across the world.
The country also offers a great number of cycling adventures if you want to take it to an extreme level. In addition to those, if you want to enjoy a simple cycling expedition, Nepal also offers several simple rides where you can enjoy the scenic beauty of the country or take a stroll down the beautiful cities and lakes.
The ages-old trails, beautiful terrain, crisscrossed hills, and warm welcoming natives will surely make your mountain expedition unforgettable. Here we have listed the best cycling adventures the country has to offer and you can decide which biking expedition lits your passion.
1. Kathmandu Valley Tour
Although Kathmandu is the capital of the country which is known as a hustle and bustle city, the capital is also home to diverse cultures, ages-old historical heritage and unrivaled natural beauty by the countryside.
This cycling tour will give you an inner view of Kathmandu's lifestyle, rich culture, religious sites and scenic beauty of high hills. You can enjoy cross-country (XC) cycling, mountains, and high hill adventures or simply stroll down the countryside. No matter what level of cycling skill you have, the Kathmandu valley tour will offer something of your level to keep you entertained.
The UNESCO sites like Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Swayambhunath temple, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupatinath, Boudhanath and Changunarayan are the highlights of the Kathmandu valley cycling tour in addition to those, the Chobhar hills, Kritipur, Godawari, Thamel, Phulchowki and Basantapur have been a favorite destination among the locals as well as international tourists.
2. Pokhara Valley Tour
The beautiful city of lakes on the laps of the Annapurna range has been an ideal location to enjoy the different types of adventure sports. The beautiful natural scenery, cold fresh air, peaceful environment and the diverse beauty mapping from Himalayan range to green hills to deep lakes; Pokhara is undoubtedly a city of wonder.
The Pokhara valley cycling tour will guide you through places like Sarangkot hill, Bhumdi, Kristy village, Panchase, Begnas and Peace Pagoda which are some of the star destinations that you shouldn’t miss in your cycling tour.
The city offers some of the best convenient trails to enjoy outdoor sports. Even if you are a newbie in the cycling world you will have lots of regions to explore this refreshing adventure. The beautiful city provides a safe cycling route to the beginners and advanced-challenging routes for the savvy bikers; enjoying and relishing the stunning view of Annapurna and Mt. Fishtail; riding along with beautiful villages, green hills, and lush forest.
3. Lower Mustang Mountain Biking
The ancient Kingdom of Lo known for its Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage provides an exceptional mountain biking experience. This cycling route has several best routes through the mountain, exotic villages and the beautiful Alps.
The trekking in the lower Mustang valley offers trails that are at an altitude from 2000 meters to 4000 meters. This mountain biking trail became quite popular after the release of mountain biking films by Red bull Media and Anthill Crew.
The biking adventure takes you on the trail which is the ancient trading route from India to Tibet providing mesmerizing mountain scenery and beauty of high altitude desert. Biking through the rugged landscape witnessing the mountain decors, mixed customs, and traditions; this lower Mustang biking tour covers as far as up to Kagbeni on the Northside. The religious holy site for both Hindus and Buddhists, Muktinath, is located at an altitude of 3,710 meters
4. Upper Mustang Mountain Biking
The upper Mustang offers one of the best high altitude mountain biking experiences. This destination offers some of the best routes through the mountain, dry desert terrains, multi-cultural villages, and religious monasteries.
The upper Mustang is also known as “Forbidden Kingdom” as it was restricted to enter the kingdom before 1992. In one of the most preserved regions in the whole world, you can see culture and tradition influenced by the Tibetian settlement. You will also be surfing through the walking trails that track its history back to the 15th century. Moreover, the upper Mustang region also offers tracks that vary from moderated difficulty level to an extreme level. So, it will be better if you have some prior experience in mountain biking before setting out on an expedition of upper Mustang.
The adventure in one of the country's most preserved locations is certainly not that easily accessible, however, the roads in several areas are under construction to make it more easily reachable for the trekkers and vehicles.
5. Manaslu Circuit Tour
This beautiful mountain route is certainly one for the rider looking for adventures. The adventures Manaslu circuits offer isn’t meant for everyone, however, it offers the adventurous souls thrill of their lifetime. It is speculated that the Manaslu circuit biking is one of the most extreme mountain biking adventures as the region has a lot of push and carry sections but it doesn’t make your expedition any less thrilling.
This route has some of the rockiest sections and scary cliffs; you will be also spending a lot of time carrying the bicycle almost 50% of the expedition, so to conquer this exotic location you need to have some experience in mountain bikes and a lot of stamina. However, being rewarded with the beauty of Manaslu mountain range, delightful-diverse settlements, religious monasteries, trails carved at foot of the mountains, and stunning water bridges which are the highlights of this extreme mountain-ride, will make your adventure worthwhile.
6. Annapurna Circuit Mountain Biking
If you want to take your mountain adventure to an extreme level then the Annapurna circuit mountain biking is the best travel destination for you. The Annapurna circuit cycling route has been classified as one of the toughest and adventure-filled trails in the country.
The view of dazzling Annapurna mountain range, breathtaking scenery, challenging landscapes, passing through the 6,000-8,000 meters peaks, beautiful waterfalls, and the journey leading from the subtropical regions to the edge of Tibetian plateau; this mountain biking is certainly a not-to-miss adventure for the thrilling sports enthusiast. The highest elevation in this cycling adventure will be at the elevation of 5,416 meters when you reach the heartbeat of this expedition--Thorong La Pass.
Further, you will be so close to the celestial white beauty like Manaslu, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Tilicho, Hiunchul, Machhapuchhre and several others witnessing the beauty of Marsyangdi valley, the holy Kali Gandaki, and Dhaulagiri ice flow fall along the route.
7. Langtang---Tibet Border Biking
The Northern beauty of the country is one of the most marvelous regions that the country has to offer for adventure actions. The lush thick forests with alpine trees and the fascinating mixture of red Rhododendrons during spring makes this one of the gifted trails for adventure sports in Nepal.
The magic and charms this beautiful trail provides simply outshines other destinations; in the region influenced by the Tibetian culture, you can spot the diverse culture, yak and cow farming, small gompas, holy monasteries worshipped by Tibetian and Buddhist, holy lake Gosainkunda, and beauty Helambu valley.
This valley of glaciers also includes rugged landscapes ideal for mountain adventure, snow-capped mountain ranges, waterfalls including the views of mountain ranges like Langtang mountain range, Ganesh Himal, Naya Kanga peak and Langshisha Ri.
There are several travel and tour management companies in the country if you decide to take on this mountain cycling exploration. If you want to mountain bike without getting affiliated with any of the travel agencies, make sure there is an experienced biker in your group and someone who is familiar with the area you are about to explore. You have to manage the safety gears, permit yourself including food and accommodation facilities if you don’t want guidance from a travel management company.
If you are not looking for a long tour and extreme adventure then you can enjoy simple cycling around the major cities in Kathmandu valley as well as Pokhara. Although other adventure activities in the country are available throughout the year, you have to be pretty careful about avoiding this mountain adventure during the monsoon as the landslide and flooding are very common in the country during rainy seasons.
Some Helpful Tips:
- Always check your safety kits and necessities before heading out on the road.
- It is recommended that you wear bright and distinctive clothing so that the trail companions and guide can see you. Also, wear comfortable footwear and prepare clothing according to the region.
- Properly check your bicycle before and after calling it a day, so you can timely repair the needed part for the adventure the next day.
- Lower your seat and tire pressure for keeping your center of gravity on downhill and better traction control.
- Don’t try to ride the difficult natural landscapes and speed at the limit where you have full control.