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