One of the great adventures in the Himalaya and the ultimate high altitude challenge for any mountain biker. Traverse high into the snow covered mountains on a journey of discovery, culture, scenery and simply unbeatable mountain biking.
DAY 01 ARRIVAL IN KATHMANDU
We will arrange pick up for you at the airport in Kathmandu and transfer you to the hotel. Time in the afternoon for exploring the town, bike fitting and then we will have a traditional welcome dinner.
Accommodation: International Guest House
DAY 02 BACK ROADS AND TRAILS OF KATHMANDU
Join us on a warm up ride exploring some of the best trails in the Kathmandu Valley; test your bikes and your gear to make sure everything is ready for the journey ahead. In 3 to 4 hours of riding we will cover around 40km at a steady pace exploring the rural parts of the valley, single tracks and sightseeing at some temples and return to Thamel for lunch, last minute bike adjustments and final packing for the trip.
Accommodation: International Guest House
DAY 03 KATHMANDU TO BESISHAR BY VEHICLE
Starting the day at 8am we meet at our workshop for fresh brewed Himalayan beans coffee and then load up the bikes for the 6 hour drive to Besishar. We stop along the way to enjoy the views and take some lunch. On arrival in Besishar we take some time to explore the town and we also meet our porters and finalize our trip preparations.
DAY 04 BESISHAR (760m) TO TAL (1700m) Distance:- 37.4km
Today we ride, a little more than a 1000 meters of uphill. The trail takes us along the Marsyandi river, it’s a beautiful section of the ride and 100% rideable. In Tal there is some nice scenery with steep sided valleys terraced with farms and small villages. Tal is situated in a deep gorge and you can see cascading waterfalls along the way.
DAY 05 TAL (1700m) TO CHAME (2670m) Distance:- 22.6km
A challenging climb makes this one of the longest and hardest sections along the trekking trail. The terrain is rugged but fun. There is great jungle and river scenery so take this stage steady and enjoy the ride.
DAY 06 CHAME (2670m) TO MANANG (3540m) Distance:- 29.7km
The trail still climbs but becomes more rideable today as it widens back into a jeep track. The jungle opens up into the arid mountain region and you can get great views of the Himalaya as you ride. It’s a good idea to take it steady to allow your body to acclimatize.
DAY 07 MANANG REST, EXPLORATION AND ACCLIMATIZATION
Take a day to acclimatize and prepare for the hard days to come. Short hikes can be taken explore the nearby area, visit high altitude lakes, rest relax and chill out in Manang, maybe you will not want to leave! From here you will be heading into the true mountain wilderness. Manang is home to the Manangi people and here you can sometimes see the ancient sports of archery and pony racing.
DAY 08 MANANG (3540m) TO THRONG PHEDI (4450m) Distance:- 19km
A short and gentle climb today from Manang to Yak Kharka and then on to Throng Phedi, take time to admire the mountain views. There are a couple of section to carry your bike but for the most part, the trail is rideable.
DAY 09 THRONG PHEDI (4450m) TO MUKTINATH (3760m) VIA THRONG LA (5416m) Distance:- 22km
Beginning from around 5am in the morning, you have to make the long haul carrying and pushing your bike up more than 1300 meters to Throng La, this is one of the most challenging parts of the ride that will define the true spirit and passion of any mountain biker as you battle the altitude and the cold. But you will not just be gasping from the altitude, but also gasping in awe as this section of the journey proffers excellent rewards with magnificent views from Throng La of the snow capped mountains and superb technical downhill on the other side that will have you grinning from ear to ear, or if you’re a bit nervous perhaps browning your trousers! Alas you will arrive to a warm welcome and rest at Muktinath. 50% Carrying, 50% rideable.
DAY 10 MUKTINATH (3760m) TO TUKUCHE(2590m) VIA LUPRA VALLEY Distance – 32km
Leaving behind Muktinath we traverse the hill side along a small, little used trekking trail, there is a small section of push as we reach up to Dhangladanda from where you get spectacular views of the Himalaya. What follows is an awesome section of switch back single tracks that takes you down to the river bed in Lupra Valley. Re-join the main trail and head to Jomsom for lunch. In the wind this can be a bit tough riding, but stop and enjoy the views along the way. The trail rolls into Tukuche, a lovely old village on the river side. Take some time to explore the cobbled lanes and explore the Thakali culture of the area. We stay overnight in the well furbished German Bakery. Apple Brandy is a local product and a good night cap to relax your mind and body after the days ride.
DAY 11 TUKUCHE(2590m) TO TATOPANI (1190m) Distance:- 42km
Again we are going downhill today. The trail starts out gentle and flat and meanders in and out of the valley sides, through pine forests and small villages. Following the river, there are good views of the snow capped peaks. Stop at the impressive waterfalls at Rukse Chaahara for lunch. After here the speed picks up as the trail drops some 1000 meters with sweeping curves and plunges, rocky sections and bumps that you will love. Arrive in Tatopani, the cobble lined village famous for its rejuvenating Hot Springs. Once in Tatopani you can enjoy a soothing bath in the Hot Springs and perhaps a local massage will not go astray, or a cold beer for that matter!
DAY 12 TATAPANI TO BENI AND BACK TO POKHARA
A ride of around 25 km on open jeep track, flat for the most part but a few up and down hills as we leave behind the Annapurna Region. From Beni we transfer by jeep back to Pokhara for a well earned rest and perhaps a beer, a good meal and some fun times out and about!
DAY 13 TRANSFER TO KATHMANDU
Midday flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu. Check into the hotel and have an afternoon of shopping and then get ready for your last night in Nepal.
DAY 14 DEPARTURE
Transfer to the airport for your flight home.
April, May & Sept, Oct, Nov
You will need to carry with you spending money for things like alcohol, snacks, internet usage and other purchases along the way. Also tipping is expected in Nepal for guides and porters if you are happy with the service provided. You will have to carry the money with you from Kathmandu/Pokhara as there are no ATM’S along the way.
Porters for carrying your bags are included in the price of the trip. So all you will need to carry during the day is a day pack with your personal items for the day. Porters will not always be with you or arrive at the Tea House at the same time as you so make sure you carry a warm jacket with you. Porter allowance is one porter per two people with a load limit of 13kg per person. Porters will not assist in carry bikes and if you wish porter service for carrying bikes over Throng La there is additional charge.
Tap water is not drinkable in Nepal. Bottled drinking water is not included in the price of the trip. Himalayan Single Track carries Steri Pens for use on the trips and we will treat filtered drinking for you. If you choose to buy or treat your own water during the trip that is also fine, but not included in the price. We strongly discourage the purchase of plastic water bottles on all of our trips for environmental reasons.We recommend two 1 liter water bottles or one two to three liter bladder for this trip.
Approximately 80% of the accommodations will have electricity and an outlet appropriate for charging items such as mobile phones or iPods/iPads, you will need to purchase a Universal Adapter, these can be purchased in most Travel shops. In the dry months from October through to May Nepal can experience Load Shedding (Periods without electricity) in excess of 10 hours a day.
You can get laundry done at the hotel and in Thamel. Your cheapest option is to use a street vendor they charge 50 to 100 rupees per kilo for a one day service. While biking, laundry services are not normally available, but on rest days you can get laundry done at the teahouse at a cost of 200 to 400 nrs. Normally we just rinse out knickers and socks in the shower and dry them around the fire in the tea house during the evening!
Although queues can be quite long, we prefer to obtain visas at Kathmandu Airport, as it is cheaper. You will require a passport size photo and it tends to speed things up if you have already downloaded a Visa Form and attached your picture in preparation.
Visa Duration & Fee
Multiple entry 15 days US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency Multiple entry 30 days US$ 40 or equivalent convertible currency Multiple entry 90 days US$ 100 or equivalent convertible currency
In the Annapurna Region the higher up you go the colder it gets. You need to be prepared for below zero temperatures at night time. Day time is average temp 18 degrees Celsius. You also need to be prepared for high winds, possible rain, sleet and snow during Dec, Jan and Feb.
We provide 3 star accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara. In these hotels you will get Deluxe rooms with attached bathrooms, breakfast, Wi-Fi access and all normal hotel facilities. During the biking leg of the trip you will be accommodated in Tea Houses which are a form of mountain lodge. Standard varies from place to place, rooms are simple in some cases we get attached bathrooms, in other bathrooms are shared. Rooms are not heated, but are clean and comfortable and there are not always hot showers, in some places hot showers incur extra charge. There will be electricity for charging cameras and phones, but it is limited.
SUGGESTED PACKING LIST
• Water proof/wind proof jacket suitable for riding, optional Down Jacket
• Long thermals (2 sets in Winter Season), a couple of T-Shirts and shorts or trekking trousers
• Light Fleece Jacket or a Warm Jumper
• Cycle clothing – long sleeve and short sleeve tops, full and half cycling shorts, arm warmers, leg/Knee warmers, thermal cap, knee and elbow pads are recommended
• Hat, sunglasses, sun cream, toiletries (Bio Degradable is recommended)
• Windproof/water proof cycling gloves (full), Helmet (Both are Compulsory on HST Tours)
• Chap stick, moisturiser cream, toilet paper, Hand wipes and sanitizer
• Good shoes for both walking and cycling (Stiff race type SPD shoes are not recommended go for a walking style SPD Shoe), also a pair of sandals or flip flops for around the tea houses
• Warm socks, woolen hat and a scarf/Muffler
• Buff, bandana or some kind of face covering
• Own medicines including re-hydration salts and any personal medication required (Our Guides carry full first aid kits)
• Camel Pak or water bottles (Minimum 2 Liters)
• Water proof pack cover, Sleeping bag (Optional) or Sleeping Sheet *To make things easier for our porters, we request you to pack your belongings in soft water proof duffel bags or back packs rather than suitcase.
Personal Travel Insurance
Copy of Passport
2 Passport Sized Photos
Signed Copy of Himalayan Single Track Booking from and disclaimer
BIKE SPARE PARTS
If you are bringing your own bike to Nepal then you will also be required to bring the spare parts required to keep your bike on the trails. All our guides are good mechanics who will assist you with repairs etc. We recommend that you bring the following items for your bike own bike. Our guide will carry tool kits and basic spare parts.
• Inner tubes (esp if you are running 29 or 27.5 wheels)
• A tire that fits your bike, recommended for Nepal 2.2+
• A few spokes and nipples
• Hanger/Drop Out
• Seat Post Clamp, spare parts/adapters for through axles
• Chain Oil, Bleed kit relevant to your brakes and/or dropper seat post, suspension pump, pump, brake pads
Spare parts and accessories can easily be purchased in our shop, most readily available items in Nepal are Shimano 9 and 10 speed chains, cassettes and cranks, tubes 26 & 29 and a full range of cycling clothing.
Generally speaking, if you are not feeling well above 3000 meters you should consider it as altitude sickness until otherwise proven. It mostly affects people who ascend too quickly or fly to higher altitudes and don’t allow time for acclimatization. Himalayan Single Track staffs are very mindful to the necessity of acclimatization. Common Minor Symptoms Include–
- Loss of Appetite
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling lazy or weak.
- Shortness of Breath
- Slight swelling around hands and face
It is very easy to talk yourself into these symptoms! Most people trekking above 2500 meters suffer some of the above complications, though only 2% of people biking between 2000 and 6000 meters will develop serious illness. As long as the above symptoms remain mild, they are of no significant problem just an inconvenience that affects your sense of well being. You need to rest where you are until you feel better, and then you can progress to higher altitudes. If the symptoms worsen, you need to descend and perhaps spend a night at a lower altitude. If you get better ascend at a slower rate and try again. If your symptoms progressively worsen you must descend, it’s the only cure and prevention before you progress to serious altitude sickness. Our guides are well informed and able to realize the more serious signs of altitude, you are in good hands, and your safety is always our number one priority.
Serious illness or death is preventable in every case. Acclimatization is the key, this means to ascend gradually and take your time. Generally it is the younger bikers who think it is a race to the top, that experience complications, rarely do more experienced trekkers have serious issues, as pacing themselves is a key to a successful completion and they are aware of the symptoms if any should arise. It’s also up to you to monitor how you feel and the changes in your body and report them to your guide.
Other Things You Can do to Aid Acclimatization
- Drink, drink, drink, at altitudes and under exertion you should be drinking around 4 liters a day, no less than 3.
- Eat Carbohydrates, yes lots of potatoes, rice noodles and pasta, and avoid excessive salt.
- Rest; allow your body time to recover, excessive exercise does not help improve acclimatization.
- Ride at a pace that doesn’t overly increase your breathing and heart rate, basically if you are gasping for air, you are going to fast!
- Do not take sleeping pills.
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol, save the celebrating for your return to the valley!
- Take it easy, enjoy the scenery and don’t be afraid to ask for help or extra rest if you feel like you need it.
In most cases like taxi’s, local restaurants and guided tours tipping is expected in Nepal but not compulsory. Generally local wages are low which reflects poor local economy. Tipping is a voluntary bonus on your part if your are happy with a service. If you come across good service and are impressed with the guide, food, driver or other things then your tips will be appreciated. Please note that in Hotels and Tourist restaurants service charge is always added onto the bill which is 10%. If you have bad service you can refuse to pay this, but it will be automatically added unless you state otherwise, so in these cases tipping is not required.
Himalayan Single Track Guidelines (This is just our suggestion and in all cases tipping is optional)
Meals/Restaurant (Local) – 10% of the bill
Taxi Ride – 50 to 100 nrs
Driver – 200 to 500 nrs
Trip Guide 500 to 1500 nrs per day (as a group)
Trip Porters – 500 to 1000 nrs per person (as a group)
Hotel/Airport Porters – 100 nrs
ACCESS TO MONEY
There are only ATMs within the main cities of Nepal, Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan ATMs in Kathmandu are on every corner and accept most key cards and credit cards. Traveller’s Cheques are outdated but can be changed still with Money Exchangers (also on every corner) or within big hotels. Please don’t change your money at the airport, you will not need cash until you get into town and you will get a much better rate in Kathmandu than at the airport. USD, EURO and AUD are also accepted for large purchases (in case you go on a shopping spree!)
WHAT CAN I BUY IN KATHMANDU?
Nepal is an awesome place for shopping. You can by in the main Thamel area anything and everything related to trekking and outdoors from small dry bags to trekking trousers, Shirts, boots, hats, scarves and gloves. Brands are not normally original but good quality can be found. There are also supermarkets where you can by most things you get at home like toiletries, muesli bars, cereals, tea, coffee, nuts fruit and chocolate. There are also some well stocked and cheap pharmacies that can fulfill all your needs without prescriptions for most generic brands. Leave some room in your bags for souvenirs like Pashmina, Handi Crafts, Thanka paintings and hand crafted Buddhist and Hindu relics. Most standard bike parts can also be brought in our Himalayan Single Track Shop.
While shopping in the tourist areas of Kathmandu bargaining the price of an item is expected. However you should be aware that Nepal is an economically poor country, keep in mind when you enter a shop this point and that the shop keepers have to make a living to support their families. Aggressive behavior and price haggling is ugly.
- Most items such as trekking goods are not genuine, inspect the quality of the items before you enter bargaining
- In most cases you should be able to bargain between 15 to 30 % off the price
- Always be realistic about the value of price being asked, people can get carried away over a few dollars…….this is poor etiquette
- If you are not happy walk away, if there is a better price to be offered the vendor will shout to you as you walk away, this will normally be the very cheapest price
- When buying high value items such as pashmina, silver and gems make sure the item you are purchasing is of the standard (quality) you are seeking. If in doubt, walk away
- Shopping and bargaining can be fun, except a cup of tea from the vendor and you could have some fun haggling the price. Try not to get agitated or aggressive as most Nepalese shop keepers are genuine and not at all trying to rip you off!
- Try shopping in small groups and make purchases of similar items from the same shop, bulk buying like this will give you more bargaining leverage.
- A big smile and a friendly manner will get you a long way in Kathmandu….
- Bargaining is NOT APPRECIATED at local fruit and vegetable markets or local restaurants, however you can bargain with the fruit vendors in Thamel.
- 3 Nights in Kathmandu (3 Star)
- 1 Night in Pokhara (3 Star)
- 09 Nights in Teahouses while biking
- ACCAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Permit)
- TIMS (Trekking Information Management System)
- Kathmandu Sightseeing Entry Fees, Tatopani Hot Springs
- Pokhara to Kathmandu – Buddha Air
- All airport taxes and Service Charges
- Excess Luggage Charges up to 7kg Over weight
- Meals during the biking trip
- Traditional Nepalie Welcome Dinner
- Filtered Organic Coffee – Our guides carry locally produced coffee and filters
- Airport Transfers (All)
- Private Vehicle Kathmandu to Besishar
- Private Vehicle Beni to Pokhara
- 13 Days Qualified Mountain Bike Guide (MBLA Certificate and Wilderness First Aid)
- 10 Days Porter, Pony and Pony Handler
- Support Guide for group over five people
- All Guide and Porter expenses and insurance
- Full use of Himalayan Single Track Workshop for assembling, washing and packing bikes
- Travel tool box carried by guides on tour
Price is dependent on group size, please inquire. Thank you firstname.lastname@example.org