Bhubaneswar: Known as one of the highest motorable roads in the world, the spectacular Khadung La pass in Ladakh is the ultimate destination for a group of adventure junkies from Odisha this month. As many as 13 bikers (that includes a female biker) of the Bhubaneswar Cycling and Adventure Club (BCAC) have set out on their bicycles to scale six Himalayan high mountain passes, as a part of their annual flagship adventure.
Along with seven other riders from Pune, they began their journey from a base camp in Manali on Aug 1, astride mountain trek bikes (MTBs) that are special bicycles designed to scale rough terrain in mountainous areas.
They are scheduled to cover the treacherous Manali-Leh stretch of 550 km in a period of 11 days and cycle through Rohtang pass, Nakee La pass, Lachung La pass, Tanglang La pass and finally at a whopping 18,380 feet, the Khardung La pass on Aug 11.
After spending a couple to days in Manali to get acclimatized to the climate of low oxygen with regular monitoring of the heart rate with the help of an oxymeter and the challenge of off-road cycling along a rugged route, the peloton of 20 bikers, perched atop Giant Talon 2 mountain bicycles covered 37 km on Day One, from Manali to Marhi.
They rode for eight hours, beginning their expedition at six in the morning and stopped in between regular intervals to re-energize and eat. Every bike bears stickers with the name of the cyclist and its rider’s number.
The official Facebook page of the BCAC has elaborate posts on the tour of the bikers, their experiences along with some pretty picturesque pictures. The breathtaking topography of the Himalayas, accompanied by the adrenaline rush felt, it is an exhilarating peregrination.
The bikers from Odisha are Lalit Das, Sanjeeb Panda, Sudhanwa Das, Bibhu Prasad Kar, Jai Narayan Pujapanda, Abhimanyu Sahu, Manoj Prusty, Ajay Nanda, Sipra Hota, Srinibas Sahu, Sibasis Mohanty and Santosh Kumar Rout.