A bike or hike in the mountains of Nepal is not a wilderness experience. It is rather a cultural and nature experience. It is a journey through various ethnic cultures, religion and geographical diversity of this Himalayan kingdom. There are rich varieties of flora and fauna within a limited area and a horizontal distance of 70 km from the lowest elevation of 150 meters to 8848 meters above sea level. The hills are dotted by numerous villages, which are linked by footpath. You use these networks of footpath made by local people to visit several destinations.
The people in the villages are friendly and hospitable. Depending upon the season you come across local people in their distinctive ethnic dress and cultural festivals. On major trade routes like in Annapurna area, you are likely to meet traders from Tibet with a caravan of mules, porters carrying construction and development materials and soldiers going home on leave from the army. The awe-inspiring Himalayan peaks will always remain with you giving fresh air and nostalgic feeling. You will be amazed to find a great contrast in hard life in the mountain and, happy and smiling face of the people. A bike tour in the mountain of Nepal always gives you time to reflect and think about your own lifestyle; it may change the way you look at life.
You will be riding on an absolutely beautiful terrain. Mountain biking in Nepal is more than pristine countryside and wilderness. You will be doing physically amidst the exotic culture. Experience bikers say that ” mountain biking in Nepal is about riding in off-road trails, great climbs and within that context, it is about being able to arrive in an unexpected festival. Here there are trails with goats, cows and buffaloes grazing in the field, farmers carrying ploughs and yaks up there in the mountains and lots more; so it is very unique.”
A short biking tour in the mountain can be a day trip on the ridge or a maximum of 7 days biking up and down the hills to see a closer view of the spectacular Himalayan range that tends to extend wherever you go. Close view of the mighty Himalayan peaks is the highlight of your biking tour in Nepal. Bike or walk on the mountain is always up to the ridge and down the valley. Except while biking and walking through the river valley and along the ridge most of the day is spent biking several up and down terrain. A day bike ride in the mountain is usually a steep ride for 3 to 4 hours and another 3 to 4 hours downhill. Riding pace is easy and gradual.
Few things to consider before riding a mountain bike in Nepal
How high you go
Of course, the mountain in Nepal is very high compared to other parts of the world. However, a day bike ride is never more than 2000 meter unless you take a flight to some remote places, like the Everest region, high among the Himalayas. There you would be at an altitude of 3000 meters. A bike tour of a 7-day would not go over 4000 meters.
Grade in the scale of 1 to 4
In the scale of 1 to 4, a short bike ride is on the scale of 1 and in some cases it is of 2 grade. In other words, it is termed as “Easy and moderate.” Any physically fit person would be able to take this trip. Most bike tour around Kathmandu valley falls into this category. However, a long ride on the Tibetan plateau is strenuous. Though the terrain on the rooftop of the world is flat yet because of the high elevation and several passes above 5000 meters riding your mountain bike is taxing.
When to take a short bike tour
Except for summer and Monsoon, all seasons are good for a ride in the foothill of the Annapurna and around the rim of Kathmandu valley. You can always take any number of days to ride in the rim of Kathmandu valley. If priority is the question, autumn comes first, second is spring. Winter is cold and ice in the mountain is not good for biking. Statistics show autumn has more tourists than in spring and winter respectively. To avoid the crowd and to get better facilities on the biking trail it is best to travel in spring. In case of Tibet, it is best in summer-monsoon season, from July to September.
Mostly you will be biking on a dusty and unpaved jeep road. The trails are uneven, therefore it is technical biking trail. You travel on pitched road on some section of the program. In Kathmandu valley, you will be biking on the cross-country trail. It has been said the foothill and the valley rim are the perfect size and height for challenging rides.