Go Back  Bike Forums > The Racer's Forum > Mountain Bike Racing
Reload this Page >

MTB Himachal 2010 - another epic edition of India's toughest

Mountain Bike Racing Discuss pro racing, the big races, and even the small backyard races. Don't forget to update all the members with your own race results.

MTB Himachal 2010 - another epic edition of India's toughest

Old 11-13-10, 07:21 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
MTB Himachal 2010 - another epic edition of India's toughest

Well, it lived up to its billing, the toughest MTB challenge in India,
that was no hype, I can tell you
it was rough, tough, hard, just the way we like it, even though we had
somehow understood it would be shorter and a bit easier than previous
editions ... well, shorter yes, but perhaps the "easier" was my
imagination/wishful thinking because some of the new stages were
definitely steeper and rougher (in both directions, up and down) but it
was great to discover these new routes, and great to revisit the ones we
already knew from before - especially of course the flagship "queen
stage' up the Jalori Pass and the campsite at Kullu Sarahan

The flagoff from the iconic Shimla Ridge was a great improvement on the
previous year's start from the Peterhoff hotel grounds - more accessible
to the general public so more of an occasion, and the first day's stages
were a bit of a warm up (we needed to warm up! it had been raining the
day before and was still overcast) for what was to come.
https://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=nqrsmcfbfqlwwzsc (for google earth
of the first three stages)

Day 2 briefing Vineet predicted we would be cursing him before the end
of the day, and in the middle of a seemingly never-ending bike and hike
up a stony mountain footpath, feet wet after having to cross a stream, I
didn't hestitate to make his prediction come true, yelling V.... you
b...st ...d across the valley .... though I should have conserved my
energy because the competitiive stage that followed was almost as steep
as the bike n hike, many riders down pushing their bikes in places (it's
a lot steeper than it looks in the photos)

Day 3 took us down the same route as last year, first a blistering 20km
+ downhill on a small winding tar road, then a ride along the highway
till we crossed a bridge over the river and started the second stage
with a horrible climb through a quarry, then up a steep and winding
(again, they wind in those parts) tar road to a bus shelter from which
we could look down and see the start point we had come from.

We knew what was in store for us in the afternoon - a third stage of
relative quiet climb along the side of the valley followed by another
fast downhill to the bridge over another river in the middle of another
town - and then the cruel climb up to the fabled campsite at Kullu Sarahan.

Last year we reached the top only after dark, this year there would be
less daylight so we started immediately on finishing the stage. The road
was rumoured to have been improved but turned out to be worse to ride
on, a lot more loose stones and rocks that had been laid to - eventually
- improve and widen it, that after the heavy monsoon rains were messed
up all over the place. Pretty soon I for one was walking, pushing as
fast as I could, wondering whether to wait for a sweep vehicle but
realising that I would get colder while doing so, and colder still once
inside. That turned out to be the right choice - several of the vehicles
had a lot of difficulty getting up, including the army truck which was
too big to cross a narrow log bridge. I finally reached the camp at
7.30pm, thanks to being revived by a dose of energy gel from another
rider, but those riders didn't reach the camp till 9.00pm (after having
added an extra log to the bridge, so I was told).

The next day was declared a rest day - unscheduled, because in order to
shorten the overall race and make it more accessible to a wider range of
participants the organisers had reduced the number of days riding and
removed the rest day, but after such a late arrival, there was no
option, and anyway Kullu Sarahan is such a beautiful place it is hard to
imagine riding all the way up there and just packing up and leaving the
next morning without spending the day there. Riders hiked up to the
fabled waterfall and beyond to the snow, otherwise it was laundry and
bike-washing day as usual.

Day 4 - humdinger of a downhill stage across all those loose stones,
rocks, mud, streams, log bridge, that we had struggled up, followed by a
beautiful free ride section ... but now I've left it a bit too late to
write it all up, memories of each stage flash by on a multi-day event
like this and start going into a blur of up/down, stage start, stage
finish, lunch packets, free ride sections, sunset over the snow peaks,
moonrise over the snowpeaks (that was at Kullu Sarahan), searching for
campsites, arriving, taking bath as quickly as possible in the evening
chill, gathering around the camp fire for warmth, and of course the
renowned ...

Day 5 Jalori Pass - just remember riding riding riding climbing climbing
climbing, 27km 1600 metres, last few kilometres gruesome - all the time
people had been asking me how do you do it (meaning, at your age, 56, by
the way) and I would reply one word, one secret "attitude" - well in
those last kilometres I'm sorry to say I lost the "attitude" and ended
up walking/pushing, somehow couldn't find the "attitude" to get back on
the bike, it just looked too steep ..... and this was the section I had
ridden last year! At the top there was still snow on the sides of the
slope around the temple, looked lovely, more snow in the direction of
the Kullu valley where we went last year when it was still
Shimla-Manali, this time we turned round, rode back down a few
kilometres (couldn't believe how steep it looked on the way down, did we
really ride/push up that?!) then Vineet had sprung a new route on us, a
super steep, super stony, mostly those slates they used to build mule
roads, several steep hairpins - some went flying down, I was very slow
and careful, by that time I knew I wasn't in the competition any more,
because the "other" Peter had taken 40 minutes off me on the way up the
Jalori, easily making up his 24 minute deficit due to the punctures and
tyre problems he had had earlier, and was one of those who had already
gone flying past me on his big 29er wheels (though he was kind of
risking all or nothing,it seemed to me, he could easily have wrecked one
of his tyres on those stones and I knew he didn't have a spare) - me I
was just focussing on finishing in one piece!

Day 6 as if we hadn't done enough climbing the day before (1863 metres
total on my Garmin) this day we started by going down down down, to well
below 1000 metres .... but then back up up up again to finally reach the
campsite at a mini-ski station - over 2000 metres climbing for the day!

Day 7 last day's ride - since we had missed a day the organisers must
have had to figure out how to get us back to Shimla, well it started off
good, down a well-metalled highway, was just beginning to think this is
going to be a breeze, when the newly-laid surface came to an end and the
highway dissolved into dust, loose stone, potholes so large there was
actually no road anymore, more like one of our offroad downhills, but
with all the traffic, trucks and buses trying to find their way up and
down, in short a bit of a nightmare
finally reached the end of the first day's first stage and rode it in
reverse (not literally), that was a lovely ride to finish up with
then convoy through traffic back to the Ridge in Shimla, podium, quick
shower, closing ceremony .... it was great to have a real podium, with
the public around, and well organised closing ceremony, also on the
Ridge, well-attended by the general public who did appreciate the
several informative powerpoint presentations that had been prepared (at
literally the last minute, so I was told) , I found myself sitting next
to a nice old Himachali gentleman who was genuinely impressed with all
our achievements (I think he had just dropped in by chance from his
evening walk)

plenty of photos on facebook - I hardly took any myself
one recommendation to the organisers, as well as photographers have a
dedicated blogger to write up the day's events every day and post them
(along with the results!) on the website - that would be more lively
than my long after the event recollections, and I haven't said anything
about all the other great riders, the Army team, the Nepal team ... the
record-breaking ascent of the Jalori by Ajay and Ramesh, Nepal and Army,
in 1h49 - faster than you can drive it in a vehicle - my mate Andre who
came back to win the Masters after breaking his hip soon after the race
last year (guess how? cycling of course)

PS one quiz question - why did the 100g packets of Amul butter only
appear at breakfast half way through the race?
(no prizes for guessing the answer, just the satisfaction on knowing you
are a real mountainbiker if you get it first time!)

PS and of course it goes without saying - went
without me saying it actually - a massive vote of thanks to the
organisers, and the whole team, marshals, volunteers, drivers, kitchen,
hot bath crew ..

they have a great formula, but to keep it up year after year requires a
huge sustained effort, and they are putting it in, believe me

sometimes i would reach the top of a climb in the forest and find a
volunteer shivering beside a little fire trying to keep warm -

did we suffer? yes, but that's what we came for ...

did they suffer? yes, but without the excitement we had, and i don't
know if they knew what they were letting themselves in for
petercs is offline  
Old 04-15-11, 04:13 AM
MTB Himachal
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
MTB Himachal 2011 is here now! Prepare yourself for a tougher challenge. https://mtbhimachal.com
MTB Himachal is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
Fifty Plus (50+)
08-30-19 07:37 PM
05-30-19 07:24 AM
Happy Feet
07-14-17 12:06 AM
02-24-15 10:24 AM
Fifty Plus (50+)
06-17-10 09:02 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.