How To Prepare For Cycling Tours In The Mountains

I have done a lot of cycling tours in the last 2 years. Most of them were in and around Jaipur within a grasp of few city miles. Longest being my cycling trip to Pushkar. (Watch the video log here) Almost all the cycling tours that I did were maximum of a day or two, this is the first time when I would do a tour of 6 days in the mountains. In this article, I am laying down all the facts from my previous tours. Even though I would say that I am not a professional in this but I will try and include maximum.

A few Weeks Back!

It takes a lot of planning to make, execute and come back successfully from any tour. I started planning this tour in the month of April, a month before. I have an upcoming cycling tour in the month of July, in which I would be doing Manali to Leh cycling expedition. (My Cycling passion is surely pumped up)

Your Physical State Matters

Varun Tyagi from ShutterholicTV
That’s me! Trying to look tough! PC: Yuvraaj Dagur

Keeping fit is always a priority when it comes to any cycling tour. The kind of brutal conditions you might go through is unimaginable. That too when you know that your cycling tours are going to be in the mountains. I am so not into running as my first love is and always will be cycling. However, as advised by a doctor friend I started running a little to shed that extra fat in the body. Guess what? It has done wonders for me. My stamina has increased considerably in just few run regimes and I feel more confident.

“Make sure you are in a good physical state to execute a tour like this, being a lazy sloth will not help you”

Tour Plan & Itinerary

This is the most problematic part of conducting cycling tours. Planning requires you to make use of your brain to utmost, unlike cycling where you use majorly your legs and a little part of your brain. I would recommend taking help from anyone that you can find. If you have someone whom you know in the place where you are going, it’s great! I have a friend in Manali, he is a local and knows every nook and corner of town. As a result of which I was able to finalize an itinerary of my cycling tour. Sharing the same with you all.

Cycling Tours in Manali
On the way to Chatru near Batal in Spiti valley!

“Tour starts on May 18th, 2018. I will board the bus from Jaipur to Manali via Delhi. My bike will be in the luggage compartment. 

Upon arrival, I will check in to the hotel, get fresh from the overnight journey. Post which I would go for Basisht trek in order to get acclimatized to the weather and high altitude in Manali. 

On the second day, I would be cycling from Manali to Solang valley which is a mesmerizing tourist place. It’s at a distance of 24 km from Manali. 

The third day would be the toughest, as I will climb to Rohtang La pass which is 50 Km from Manali and it mostly incline. Phew!

On the fourth day, I will be heading to the beautiful place called Manikaran and would be camping in Kasol village which is 5 km from Kasol.

On the fifth day, I will cycle to Tosh village which is one of the most beautiful places I have seen ever and then would return back to kasol village. 

Finally, on the sixth day, I will return back to Manali enjoying the downhill slopes of the Kasol valley. Board the bus to Jaipur and then head back home”

How To Transport Your Bike

Transporting yourself is easy, bike a little difficult. Considering that fact that I am not trained or skilled mechanic and I am still learning how to put up a bike together. I would be transporting the assembled bike in the luggage compartment of the Volvo bus. There is enough space for transportation. However while setting it up just make sure the edges and parts of the cycles are well protected. You do not want a broken bike when you reach your destination. if you are traveling in normal express busses you might have to load your bike on the roof which is a hefty task and your bike might get damaged. Volvo compartment is the safest. So this time I am transporting my bike in the luggage compartment of a Volvo Bus.

What To Carry On Such Trips With Respect To Your Bike

cycling tours in manali
There is never a list!

People might have different opinions on this subject, however, there is no specific list. Cycling in the mountains is a risky sport, and you never know what might hit you on the road. However, there are few basic and important things that I would recommend you to carry.

  • Two extra tire tubes – In case you get a flat tire and there is no scope of repair
  • Puncture/Flat Repair Kit – In case you do not get any Mechanic you can fix the tube yourself
  • Allen key – For any minor issues, which would require you to make adjustments
  • Saddlebag – You can keep handy things here like your phone, purse & waterproof bag

“I can make a list which goes on and on as nothing is always sufficient, however, these basic things would help you to not get into any major trouble”

Bottom Line

I really cannot write an article about the things very extensively right now as the tour is yet to begin. but this is how I am preparing for this trip.

Cycling Tours in Manali
View from Basisht hill!

“More importantly it is required to mentally very fit as compared to physically being fit. These kind of cycling tours require immense determination and rigid attitude”

I would keep on updating you guys about the tour preparations. I am currently preparing my self physically by running in the evenings and cycling in the morning. If you have any questions please let me know in the comments section.

Professional Riders: I request you to please add things that I have missed here. Post my tour I will update the article with real challenges and exploration. 

Note: If anyone of you wants to Join me please check out the event that I have created on Facebook on my page. All the details about the tour are mentioned there.

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Leave the comments and I will try to get back to you ASAP.

Happy cycling!



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