Terrestrial Adventure - Mountain Biking in Nepal

Nepal's diverse terrai is a mountain biker's dream adventure come true. mountain biking offers an environmentally sound way of exploring the nature of this beautiful country, its landscape and living heritage. because this is a spartan, labarious mode of travel, it is also considered the way to travel by the 'purists'.

There are plenty of dirt roads and trails in Nepal to meet every mountain biker's wildest fantasy. Mountain biking is also recommended if you wish to explore the urban centres such as Pokhara and Kathmandu, plus the outskirts.Imagine, if you will, a ride through lush green rice fields, through hamlets, up and down the hillside, along the river bank, around tempples, past  the streetroaming  cattle,  along the suspension bridge,  along the highway,  you name it. Through snow, monsoon downpour, wonderful light effects,  or fierce head-winds, depending   on  place   and   season.  The adventurous souls may plan extended trips to such erotic locales as Tibet,  Namche Bazaar, and western Nepal. You  could even do the entire length of Nepal across the plains. What you can or cannot do on mountain bike is limited only by your imagination.

The 15-18  gear  mountain bikes are recommeded if you wish to negotiate tough terrain.  

It was in the mid 1980s that Biking activity really took off in  Kathmandu in the mid 1980s.  Enthusiasts flew with their bikes from East Asia to Tibet to do a 2-week journey from there over the passes (17,000ft) to Nepal. This landmark  event put  Nepal  squarely  in mountain bikers' map. Thus Kathmandu today is conssidered a mecca for mountain bicyclists, drawing hundreds  of enthusiasts from  all corners of the world  every year.  Some  of the regular routes that  cover the valley are those which weave in and  out  of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan.

Day 1:  Kathmandu  (24 km/3-4 hours):
Start from the nerve centre of old Kathmandu, the Durbar Square, and wind your way up to holy Swayambhu, also known as the monkey temple. Then ride up and over ring road, to say, Kalanki, and re-enter Kathmandu from the northwest corner through terraced farmland and hamlets abandoned by time.

Day 2: Bhaktapur  (30 km/4-5  hours):
Begin-at Thimi, the restored capital of Bhaktapur, and head up the tortuous road to Changu Narayan Temple and  return via  farming villages. Then head down to Pashupati along the bank of the Bagmati river, and finish up at a Buddhist shrine, the Bodhnath stupa.

Day 3: Patan (51 km/8-9 hours): 
Start in Patan, winding your way through the maze of alleys with  ornately-carved windows,  taking in historical sites such as the Golden Temple, Krishna Temple, and  Patan Durbar  Square. Then head southeast past Ring Road to Panauti along a difficult off-road trail. Then return to Kathmandu via a paved road or the same trail. Alternatively, you could head off to Dakshin Kali or Godavari.

Other  outlying  places popular  with  the enthusiasts  are Nagarjuna,  Nage  Gompa, Tokha, Changu Nayrayan, Gomcha, Bungamati, Kakani, Dhulikhel and Nagarkot.

Further mountainbike trips are those extending from: 
  • Dhulikhel to Kodari (82km), near Tibetan border.
  • Naubise to Royal Chitwan Park along the Rajpath through such scenic places as the Palung  Valley, Daman and the not-so-scenic industrial town of Hetauda in the plains;
  • Hetauda  to  Mugling by way of Narayanghat;
  •  Lakeside Pokhara up and along the ridge to Sarangkot Point, and
  • continuing on to  Naudanda from where  you  could   take   in   th breathtaking close-up  view of th Himalayas and the Pokhara Valley;
  • Naudanda to  Pokhara  through Lumle,  Beni  and  Birethanti,  or Naudanda to Pokhara (32 km) either via Sarangkot trail or the highway road, which starts with a tortuous 6 km descent into Modi Khola valley.
There are many more options if you are willing to take the time to find out and blaze your own trail.