My passion for cycling and to serve society...

Friday, September 1, 2017

Leh-Ladakh Cycling Expedition

Leh-Ladakh Cycling Expedition

Wow!  What an adventurous cycling expedition that I had in Leh-Ladakh region. The ride was organised by Youth Hostels Association of India (YHAI). In the past I have attended cycling expedition organised by YHAI at Goa, Ooty-Madhumalai, Thar- Jaisalmer  and found them to be challenging. But cycling in Leh-Ladakh region is all the more different  Riding over to 13500 ft where oxygen level is low calls for tremendous courage, confidence, determination and above all ‘ I CAN DO ATTITUDE ’.
A team of 8-member (given below) 6 of them representing IFCR, Bangalore decided to participate in Leh-Ladakh cycling expedition. We registered our names for the batch commencing on 8th Aug 2017 and ending on 15th Aug 2017. It was 8 days/7 nights cycling expedition program covering low and up terrain.

We all left for Bangalore airport on the night of 7th Aug. We had booked ourselves in flight from Bangalore to Delhi (4.30 hrs departure from Bangalore on 8th Aug and reaching Delhi airport at 7.15 hrs). From Delhi flight leaving at 9.25 hrs and reaching Leh at 10.50 hrs. .

                                                      In flight from Bangalore to Delhi

At Leh airport- 
Participants from L to R are - Dr.Ganapathy, Vincent, Ravi  Gowda, Lokesh, Prasanna, RG Bhat, Pankaj Goyal & Shekar all from Bangalore
 The flights were on time and we reached Leh airport on 8th Aug around 11 a.m. As we came out of Leh airport we could really experience breathing difficulty as a result of sudden travelling from low altitude to very high altitude. Moreover, oxygen level in Leh being low we had to take deep breathing for intake of oxygen. Some of our members also expressed whether we would be in a position to do cycling after experiencing breathing difficulties.

YHAI base camp was around 5 kms from Leh airport. We hired 2 taxis and reached base camp around 11/30 a.m. 

With Vincent & Dr.Ganapathy

YHAI Lamayuru base camp
                                                            At YHAI base camp - Leh
Local Ladakh tea vendor

With Shayari master & YHAI technical support team man Tiwari

Relaxing time in the evening at YHAI camp site
With Vincent

Had a wonderful & challenging cycling ride in & around Leh-Ladakh region for a week from 8th Aug to 15th Aug. The ride was organised by YHAI. The ride terrain was simple to medium & tough to toughest I ever experienced. The ride from 9500 ft altitude to 13500 ft altitude & touching Fotula pass from Lamayuru base camp was something I would always cherish. I had absolute control over my breathing & there was perfect coordination between my breathing & pedaling which helped me to reach Fotula pass as no.2 amongst 20 participants who were all aged from 23 yrs to 65 yrs (me).

Fresh Apricot fruits
With Italian couple
With simple & innocent villagers of Leh-Ladakh region

With Sekhar

With YHAI camp director Mithun. (He was also YHAI camp director at Goa 
With tourists from Srinagar. Were very happy to have photo with me
Yaak. Not seen  many 

Leh-Ladakh Tea with fresh and dried Aprocot fruits
Reaching Fotula pass 
With Bangalore family tourist couple
                       Great feeling of achievement after reaching Fotulla pass at 13500 ft 

 We also cycled to Kanji village located near Heniskot, 12 Kms from NH1. The route to village is so scenic that you can see grand canyon of US here in Ladak region. Both sides of the road have huge mountain with river flowing in between. Since it is not a tourist place, it is virgin & you enjoy  the beauty of nature. We could see that only because of cycling.

Grand Canyon look
                                                              On way to Kanji village
Closer to Kargil
With all participants

Monday, July 10, 2017

Ride to Horsley Hills, Andhra Pradesh - 10th & 11th June 2017

Cycling ride to Horsley Hills Andhra Pradesh was organized by IFCR on 10th & 11th June 2017. In all there were 12 members who participated in the ride. IFCR Annual General body meeting for 2016-17 was scheduled during June month and the President of IFCR Rtn Prasanna thought it appropriate to have ride up to Horsley Hills and have the AGM at Horsley Hills by staying there for a night. Accordingly, an itinerary was drawn as under:

Horsley hill ride itinerary (10th & 11th June)

10th June

5:30am : Assemble at Hoskote Toll Plaza
5:45am : Ride starts (35km)
7:45am to 8:15am : Packed Breakfast 
8:15am to 10:15am : continue ride (35km)
10:15 am to 10:30am : Hydration break
10:30am to 12:30pm : continue ride  (30km)
12:30pm to 12:45pm : Hydration break 
12:45pm to 2:00pm : continue ride  (20km)
2:00pm : reach foothills 
From there travel to the top in Support Vehicle/  if anyone wants to continue ride can do so.
Lunch on reaching the hotel
6:00pm to 7:00pm : AGM  followed by cocktail dinner.
Overnight stay at Horsley Hills

11th June

Relaxed day.
Start back in Support Vehicle after breakfast.
Lunch on the way.

We all assembled at Hoskore Toll plaza on the morning of 10th June 2017. The distance from Hoskote Toll plaza to Horsley Hills is around 130 kms. One of the participants viz, Sanjay Kumar Daga who is close friend of Sandeep Mittal came all the way from Kolkatta to participate in this event. We also had 2 women cyclists viz., Mrs. Bindu Mittal w/o Rtn Sandeep Mittal and Mrs. Shubha Rao w/o Rtn Pradeep Rao. While Mrs. Bindu is already a member of IFCR, Mrs.Shubha joined as a fresh member of IFCR. 

We reached base of Horsley Hills around 2 pm as planned. Every one enjoyed ride to Horsley Hills. Stay for the night was arranged at Governor's bungalow and at the same venue late evening Annual General Body meeting of IFCR was held where a new body of members were elected to the Managing Committee of IFCR.

On the 11th June we all had gala time at the and after the breakfast returned to Bangalore by support vehicle. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Ride to Nandi Hills - Sunday 5th March 2017

Ride to the top of Nandi hills, Bangalore on bicycle is something that every cyclist in Bangalore would love to do. Conquering Nandi hills on bicycle would give immense satisfaction & confidence to a cyclist to take up cycling challenge in up terrain in other parts of country. Nandi hill is located at an elevation of 1478 m (4849 ft).

Eight of us from Bangalore mainly members of IFCR had registered for Leh- Ladakh cycling expedition which was to take place in the month of August 2017. It was therefore thought appropriate to ride to Nandi hills so that it gives confidence to us to take up Leh-Ladakh challenge.

Six of us viz., Prasanna, myself, Bindu madam, Srinivas Kumar, Shekhar & Shyam decided to go to the foothills of Nandi hills on Sunday 5th March 2017 and then pedal to the top.

We reached base of Nandi hills at around 8 a.m. and then started pedalling up. The distance from the base to top is around 7 kms. We reached the top of Nandi hills successfully around 9.30 a.m. It was a feeling of great satisfaction conquering top of Nandi hills as it gave us tremendous confidence for our forthcoming ride to Leh-Ladakh region.

Cycling back from top to base of Nandi hills was quite joyful as one does not have to pedal. You zoom through easily but one has to be cautious as any fall can be dangerous and fatal. We all pedalled back safely to the bottom of Nandi hills.
All of us had sumptuous breakfast after reaching the base and left back to our home by vehicle.