Mountain Biking In Shimla: A Beginning

Ride
I have been in Shimla for almost 10 days now and the beauty of my surroundings stops me in my tracks virtually every moment I step out. The magnificent deodars stand tall in the shadows of the mighty snow capped Himalayan range, the hillsides are dotted with cheerful green and red tin roofs as you go past lovely homes with endearing names like The Mythe, Firewood Cottage and Knockdrin, to name just a few. It’s like being a part of a picture postcard where I’m walking on Bryan Adam’s cloud number nine and quite literally too with the clouds drifting in and out of my window on the whims of the weather gods.

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My arrival at Shimla has synchronised perfectly with the onset of monsoons and though I don’t mind the rain, I hadn’t reckoned on quite so much of it and so often! 10 days had gone by and I was getting desperate to get on the saddle and go for a spin, rain or no rain I decided! So, I borrowed my neighbour’s bicycle and helmet since mine was in the process of transportation and slept with my fingers crossed for the rain to let up just for a bit the next day.

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The morning arrived with an almost clear blue sky to my delight and before it could change to a darker hue, I pedalled off for my debut hill ride. It didn’t matter that I was riding a bike twice my size or the helmet needed padding to stay on my head, I was just thrilled to be riding a mountain bike after several weeks. Since I was new to the place, I decided to keep riding where the road would take me. I rode past honeymooners posing for selfies on quaint iron benches; monkeys swinging from the balconys of old buildings; tourist cabs whizzing around with their load from the plains; rickety dhabas selling steaming hot chai; and all this while inhaling the invigorating mountain air.

It was an exhilarating ride, even the part where the steep climb at one point had me panting for breath and gave me the perfect excuse to stop for a much needed hydration break and click a couple of pictures. Just as I was about to get back on the saddle, the weather started to pack up and as I wasn’t wearing any rain protection gear, I turned around and headed back. I just about made it to the door when it started to pour. What perfect timing I thought, I couldn’t have asked for a better debut ride and took it as a favourable sign of things to come.

The ride stats read- distance:4.06 km; time:18 min 39 sec. The route: Knockdrin -> Cecile Hotel -> Institute of Advanced Studies -> Yarrows lane and back.

blog by Rashmi BN

       

Contact Info

 

HASTPA (Himalayan Adventure & Tourism Promotion Association)

Phone:    0091 177 2659797
Email:     mtbhimalaya@hastpa.org
Address: A5, MC Parking, Cart Road, Shimla, HP 171001, INDIA

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