a damaged bike and no chance of a replacement
to getting altitude sickness, finding the terrain
unrideable, becoming ill from the food or water,
being robbed, or simply getting caught in bad
weather or the first snow of the season. ;
One of the great things about this trail is the constant change and
diversity of the terrain—from the farmlands below to the rain and
bamboo forest to the highlands and alpine regions. Every day was
full of epic experiences—be they the panoramic views of the surrounding Himalayan Range, or the feeling of possibly being
watched by jaguars or bears in the forests, or being welcomed by
villagers for a cup of chai tea.
Hundreds of bones and skulls were scattered
around the small lake of Roopkund, where several hundred years ago a pilgrimage group got
mysteriously killed. Some believe it was a
combination of tennis-ball-size hail and a devastating avalanche. It’s an eerie place. Little
shrines remind us of the unknown people.
Joscha, Richie and I take a moment before
starting our endless descent.
As remote as we were, shrines are not uncommon. On our way up, we passed this
spot in the middle of a blizzard. Two days later, it was a beautiful day. Germany’s
Joscha Forstreuter leads Richie Schley and myself.
The mighty Trisul Mountains ( 23,000 feet above sea level) are towering in the background as I ride down the famous hiking trek
from Roopkund. We were the first riders to ever ride this trail. Nice
to leave tire tracks for the history books. I chose flat pedals on
many of the extreme expeditions, since the terrain is often too
steep to ride up anyway and too
technical to clip in.