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  1. #1
    Stegosaurus Crunkologist's Avatar
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    Training for the Himalayas, Manali to Leh, high altitude hill cycling

    I am going to cycle from Manali to Leh, as soon as I am ready. The altitudes range from 3-5K meters. This is dangerous stuff. Before you warn me against killing myself, understand that I will be acclimating to the altitude for at least a week before I begin the trek. I'll probably be taking Diamox, but I'm not sure. There are also other drugs available, but I'd like to keep all natural. I could for instance get Winstrol, or EPO to increase RBCs, and use them at a safe and low level... all this is legal in India... but I'd rather do it natural. I might cart along some oxygen just in case, as well... I will probably be going it alone.

    So, I am training at sea level in Goa. On a 45 pound single speed. I am soon to ride my first metric century. I intend to be able to ride a century by the time I leave for Nepal in three weeks to see what altitudes are like and to trek to Everest base camp... high altitude training. After that it is off to Bangalore for more training.

    I feel like I've gotten in over a thousand base miles in the last month. I think it is now time to look for some hills, and start to incorporate, once or twice a week, repeated hill runs... to adjust me to those mountain passes up to 15K or more feet. There aren't many hills, but rest assured I will find one to go up and down repeatedly.

    I'm going to Bangalore soon, which is a bit higher, with more hills, and I should be able to get a geared bike there. I want to do some mountain biking there, which will be a nice addition to my road bike distance training, and will prepare me for h te bumpy roads between Manali and Leh.

    Is this crazy? Am I going to die? Can I get in adequate shape, if I ride hard daily, for the next 3-4 months to do this run? I am devoted. I think I can do it. I'm going to try, or get AMS trying, by god.

    Any advice would be appreciated.ManMa
    "A conservative is a liberal who's been mugged.
    A liberal is a conservative who's been arrested."

  2. #2
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    I don't see any reason why you couldn't try at least. People can ride in the Rockies at those heights, so as long as you're letting yourself acclimate i doubt you'd hurt yourself. That's the trip of a lifetime man, enjoy it.
    Masochism is a training adaptation.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    If you aclimate at those heights for a week, you'll be fine. Sleep at a lower alt than your highest point of the day (by like 1000 ft if possible) and don't try to do more than a 3000 ft gain in any single day (regardless of how much you come down to sleep). Climb high, sleep low. I wouldn't take the diamox, you'll have to pee every half hour, maybe more considering the fluid intake you're going to need cycling.

    Actually, I shouldn't just say "you'll be fine", some people get sick at only 10k ft. Read up on altitude sickness so you and your traveling party know how to spot symptoms. I probably wouldn't do this by yourself, most don't realize they are seriously sick until its too late (if ever).

  4. #4
    Climbing Fool terrymorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crunkologist
    I am going to cycle from Manali to Leh, as soon as I am ready. The altitudes range from 3-5K meters. This is dangerous stuff. Before you warn me against killing myself, understand that I will be acclimating to the altitude for at least a week before I begin the trek. I'll probably be taking Diamox, but I'm not sure. There are also other drugs available, but I'd like to keep all natural.
    Ginko biloba may be good at preventing AMS, according to a study. Know the symptoms of AMS and be prepared to deal with them. Diamox is helpful when you can't sleep at altitude -- it helps prevent Cheyne Stokes breathing, which keeps waking you up all night. Bring some along in case you need it.

    If you can, try to sleep at lower altitudes. Short climbs over passes are okay, as long as you don't spend much time up there. "Climb high, sleep low" is the climber's suggestion.

    Finally, if you detect any of the more severe AMS symptoms, descend as quickly as possible. Rest up at a lower altitude and continue only after the symptoms are gone.

    Other than that, drink plenty, rest often, and enjoy. Post pictures when you return.
    Managing Director, Undiscovered Country Tours

  5. #5
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Be careful..We went to Bolivia last July..Great experience...But we did some wine consuming about Lake TIticaca...Have done some reading about altitute sickness since...We can within 500 feet of a lethal case of oxygen deprivation.. Get used to that kind of thing...
    talked to a medical doctor in Lima...He said a fellow doctors' son went hiking at Mt. Kilmanjaro in Kenya.. The son died..
    one need suck on that oxygen bottle plenty until you are acclimated..

  6. #6
    Stegosaurus Crunkologist's Avatar
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    Anyone actually done Manali->Leh?
    "A conservative is a liberal who's been mugged.
    A liberal is a conservative who's been arrested."

  7. #7
    Ready to go anywhere Csson's Avatar
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    You might be interested in this.
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
    I took the one less travelled by,
    And that has made all the difference.
    (R. Frost)

  8. #8
    Stegosaurus Crunkologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Csson
    You might be interested in this.
    [img]http://www3.utsidan.se/corax-e/photos%20older/****edup.JPG[/img]
    Got run over by a bus in the way to India. Jesus Christ!

    Gee, thanks alot! Now I've got the fear!


    No, really thanks. That site is badass. I think I'll even mail that guy.
    "A conservative is a liberal who's been mugged.
    A liberal is a conservative who's been arrested."

  9. #9
    Stegosaurus Crunkologist's Avatar
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    Okay there is a curse word in the title so I can't link to the pick of him "f*cked up." This is the best example of how the filtering on this board is lame
    "A conservative is a liberal who's been mugged.
    A liberal is a conservative who's been arrested."

  10. #10
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    No, it's not. We just don't allow cursing. If you want to curse, go outside and scream at the top of your lungs. Otherwise, please respect the forum guidelines.

    Thanks!

    Koffee

  11. #11
    Stegosaurus Crunkologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    No, it's not. We just don't allow cursing. If you want to curse, go outside and scream at the top of your lungs. Otherwise, please respect the forum guidelines.

    Thanks!

    Koffee
    Hey Koffee: I don't want to curse. i want to link to a picture of a guy that got hit by a bus on a road in China or Nepal on the way to India, that has a curse word in the name of the file that would NEVER be seen by anyone viewing it. This is not the intent of the no cursing policy, and it certainly illustrates its shortcomings.

    Thanks!
    "A conservative is a liberal who's been mugged.
    A liberal is a conservative who's been arrested."

  12. #12
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    Then the best thing is to be mad at the idiot who named the file, not the bikeforum censor. We aren't to blame because someone decided to use a curse word, man.

    Koffee

  13. #13
    Climbing Fool terrymorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crunkologist
    Anyone actually done Manali->Leh?
    I have no idea, but you might find Goran Kropp's trip inspiring. He biked with all his gear from Sweden to Nepal, summitted Everest solo without oxygen, then biked back to Sweden.

    Sadly, he died in a climbing accident in Washington a few years ago.
    Managing Director, Undiscovered Country Tours

  14. #14
    Stegosaurus Crunkologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    Then the best thing is to be mad at the idiot who named the file, not the bikeforum censor. We aren't to blame because someone decided to use a curse word, man.

    Koffee
    Okay, so now everyone that disagrees with your policies of censorship is an "idiot?" Please stop polluting my thread with crap.

    If you are on the way to Nepal on a mountain road, and you are run over by a bus, break skull and shoulder, and then take a picture of it... there is no more accurate or appropriate name for the file than f*ckedup.jpg I think 99% of this forum would agree with me.

    Furthermore, I don't think it was the intent of the rule to filter image names. Its just a side effect. Which is why I said the filtering was imperfect.
    "A conservative is a liberal who's been mugged.
    A liberal is a conservative who's been arrested."

  15. #15
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Earlier I refered to our trip to Lake Titicaca..man, we were sick...We had a difficult time climbing up a 10 step staircase..
    but, I recall.Gettting off the plane in La Paz..There were like 5 French cyclists assembling their bikes in the baggage..Sure wonder how they fared...It would have killed me for sure...
    don't think its all downhill from La Paz...?

  16. #16
    Stegosaurus Crunkologist's Avatar
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    I might be spending alot more time at Manali than I had thought, depending on how business goes... so I might have a month to acclimate and practice. We'll see.

    There is a mountain on the way to Dabolim airport from Benaulim, and I carb loaded for the first time last night/this morning/noon (I ride in the afternoon for the less heat), and it REALLY helped... my muscles didn't hurt before my breath was out, which is new. But that translated into about 50m more of standing and stomping on the pedals to get up the hill. Okay, its not a mountain, but its REALLY high. Like... maybe a small mountain. And it has 20 degree or so grades.

    I had to walk up it. I need gears. Still, I feel like a ***** and that Manali will own me. I need to find another hill thats less intense and practice... but there aren't many hills in Salcete, Goa.
    "A conservative is a liberal who's been mugged.
    A liberal is a conservative who's been arrested."

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crunkologist
    Okay, so now everyone that disagrees with your policies of censorship is an "idiot?" Please stop polluting my thread with crap.

    If you are on the way to Nepal on a mountain road, and you are run over by a bus, break skull and shoulder, and then take a picture of it... there is no more accurate or appropriate name for the file than f*ckedup.jpg I think 99% of this forum would agree with me.

    Furthermore, I don't think it was the intent of the rule to filter image names. Its just a side effect. Which is why I said the filtering was imperfect.

    No, I said the IDIOT who actually CREATED the name of the link (which of course, is NOT you) is to blame. Please read a bit closely before accusing me of name calling against you.

    Koffee

  18. #18
    Stegosaurus Crunkologist's Avatar
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    Dear Koffee,

    Thank you for your on-topic contributions to my thread. You have destroyed my will to conquer the himalayas.
    "A conservative is a liberal who's been mugged.
    A liberal is a conservative who's been arrested."

  19. #19
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    Geez that's high. I'd move someplace like Leadville, Colorado first for a while. I think that's 11,000 feet.

  20. #20
    Stegosaurus Crunkologist's Avatar
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    I didn't move here for the altitude. I just wanna try it.

    Yesterday a pack of monkies distracted me right before a big hill, forcing me to walk up it after I lost my pace when I had to stop and make ape noises at them in the tree
    "A conservative is a liberal who's been mugged.
    A liberal is a conservative who's been arrested."

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