It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. ~Ernest Hemingway
‘Dev Bhoomi’ (Abode of God) is what locals call Himachal Pradesh, my visits there dont at all contest the belief of the locals, infact after each visit I agree to it more and more. Everytime I go the fascination for the place keeps growing, the innumerable small waterfalls, the saging mountains, the proud peaks, the gorgeous apples, the mouth watering Momo’s, the solitary treks, the greenery, the snow and most of all the PEACE keeps me wanting to go there back again and again and again… !
Going there from the city you actually realise that even the simple act of breathing the fresh air is a celebration. The beauty of the place cannot be expressed in words, it can only be felt. Roses grow in the wild here in this incredibly fertile land ! No wonder the locals call it “DEV BHOOMI”
Until now my trips have involved car’s, buses and trains, yep toy trains too I always have taken the best seat next to the driver and always have been soaking the beauty of the land with my eyes. However the car’s disappoint you because of their speed, I can be as irritating a passenger for a good driver as I want to pause at so many places to capture photographs or simply to satisfy my eyes. I have never got be enough of hills and valleys, but for a change this time the travel will not be zooming on diesel… finally its going to be a bit more strenuous, definitely more rewarding.. no more of the gorgeous views being missed. I hope that guy Hemingway is right when he says that you can create remembrance on a cycle a lot more than in a car !
This year is the 7th edition of the MTB HIMACHAL 2011 here is the info from the site :
HASTPA and Himachal Tourism proudly presents the 7th edition of India’s premier international mountain bicycling challenge, the legendary Himalayan adventure event, the MTB HIMACHAL 2011.
This season HASTPA has revamped the whole event with fresh new ideas. We have a whole new route, less hostile conditions, and revamped management, for an altogether new and improved experience.
Ride through uncharted interiors, hike through deep forests, soak in the sun and experience nature all around. Pedal your way through gut wrenching uphills, dangerous downhills, village back roads, beautiful meadows, thick vegetation, jeep tracks and taste real mountain biking as you live through 9 days of adventure racing covering 500 km/380 miles, 3250 mt above sea level and take on the Himalayan Challenge.
The adventure commences in Shimla as the race is flagged off on October 1 (and the registrations are done the day before). The next 8 days put you through obstacles, test your perseverance and strength so gear up and prepare yourself because only the toughest minds will survive and finish the trail back to Shimla on October 8th.
Yesss…. I am going to be there for India’s toughest Mountain biking challenge !!!!! It is going to be fun, already 150 people have registered for the 7th edition and it promises to be a wonderful way of discovering the land of God’s !
Cycling the slopes and breathing in gushes of the freshest of air should be the right kind of rejuvenating break that should perk up the spirits and give enough energy to work for the rest of the year.
Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~James E. Starrs
About 8 months back I borrowed a bicycle from my friend and started cycling in the morning to lose weight. I borrowed and didnt buy because I was not sure I would actually use it and I didnt want my wife to tell me that I bought a thing and am not using it. Thats when the love affair with cycling re-began !!!!
“The bicycle is a curious vehicle. Its passenger is its engine.” John Howard
Now how many of you have actually bought the story that I am going to cycle my way to 500 kms are the ones that I love the most…. !!!
Lol, sorry girls and I am sure the guys are happy about the fact that I am not cycling the circuit but am a volunteer, a support staff… !!!
I hope to click pictures by a zillion and write a travelogue and share the experiences that I encounter with the cyclists that come from all over the world and our country and the locals !!!!
I do promise one thing though… this time when I eat like a hog… you dont have to worry coz I will sweat it out as well … I am sure I can talk a few cyclists to lend me their bikes when they are resting !!!!!
Keep following this space for more updates and more stories from this trip and the excitement I am going through even a month before I depart from Home for the LAND of GOD’s !!!!!!
Pics Courtesy : Google Images.