• City: Kanpur

    This was the day we started riding again after a break of 3 days, some of it was planned the rest was thanks to the weather.

    We left Murun and I had expected around 15 km of tarmac before the start of the trails, but the dirt road started just a kilometre out of town. From there it was bumpy tracks, bouncing around, and it was all good fun as we climbed out of town. The initial kilometres were mostly climbs and the first pass of the day was pretty difficult. It took quite a bit of energy to cover two passes in one day. We completed around 70 km that day.

    We couldn’t make it to the next town which was Shine Ider which was around 120 km from Murun. That was nigh impossible to do in a day on a cycle on dirt, undulating paths with 25 kg of luggage. We rode till 8PM, where we found a suitable place to pitch our tent and had a dry camp.

    On the climb to the first pass, the gradients were a good 12%, making it impossible for us to ride it up. Eventually we had to get off our bikes and push uphill for the last 3 km. Those 3 km of pushing up our bikes took us an hour. Once we reached the top we saw a small eatery on the other side, which was very welcome as we got some much needed grub. As we were waiting for our lunch to be prepared, we met an Italian couple who were travelling on a rented motorcycle. They had rented a 150cc Chinese motorcycle in UB and were making steady progress. Rent for the motorcycle was 10 dollars a day, cheaper than the rent for our bicycles! Though they struggled as well on that steep climb up the pass!

    After that the road was undulating through the grasslands, till we had to climb the second pass of the day. The second one was also pretty steep but the climb lasted only a kilometre or so. As we were pushing our bikes up the slope, one drunk local passed us on his motorcycle, he then proceeded to the top where he parked his bike and walked back to help Prakash push his bike up the slope. The descent from that pass was so steep that Prakash walked his bike down, as it was an extremely tricky downhill with rocks and gravel and sharp bends. Soon after the second pass, we got off the main trail and found a suitable spot for pitching our tents, it was close enough to the main trail that we wouldn’t have to ride too much the next day to catch it, but far enough that the few vehicles that were on that road wouldn’t spot us.

    The start of the dirt and real adventure!

    The tents we pitched in the middle of absolutely nowhere!