There is nothing quite that compares to seeing the world from
the seat of a bike. Feeling the raw breeze in your hair, the sun on your skin,
the smell of rocks accompanying you on your way and a cup of warm tea waiting
for you at your destination; a bike will, more so, take you to trails that
aren’t accessible to motor vehicles.
Contextually, Nepal offers an astounding variety of
landscapes and cultures. From some of the most overcrowded cities to peaceful,
remote villages. From vast, flat Terai plains to the highest peaks of the
Himalayas. From dry, dusty hills to exotic, blue-water lakes. From imported
German cars to homes built from pieces of scrap wood and cardboard. For all its beauty and diversity, Nepal can
be the ultimate cycling destination for you.
With so much to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start.
Nepal has 177 cycle routes to explore including the Annapurna circuit to the lower
Everest region to Pokhara and Mustang. These tours will propose to you tours
ranging from 5 days to 20 days. The routes you will most commonly find here are
of the hilly or uphill type. Most people get on their bikes to ride here in the
months of February and November. With cycling tourism being a fairly new
addition to the offers available to tourists here, some tourist- favorite areas
are rugged and truly wild with no easy way ‘out’, while some are close to town
and offer almost limitless variations on the ride – from a day to a week or more,
in stylish hotels or tackling it in tea houses or camping.
Kora Kathmandu is a quintessential event for cycling enthusiasts
in Nepal. Kora is a transliteration of a Tibetan word that means
“circumambulation” or “revolution”. Kora is both a type of
pilgrimage and a type of meditative practice in the Tibetan Buddhists. Kathmandu,
with its myriad religious structures is a perfect location to do a
circumambulation. It boasts two of the most revered Buddhist Stupas of Boudhha
& Swoyambhunath along with one of the top eight temples for Hindus
worldwide, Pashupatinath. The Kora cycling challenge exploits this quality of
the valley and organizes a tour that involves the clockwise circumambulation
through small dirt trails passing by serene rural settings, raising money per kilometer
biked for a cause.
Nevertheless, Nepal is regarded as a difficult tour by
bicycle. The mix of language barriers, traditional differences, health risks,
climatic extremes, inane traffic has brought many bicycle tourists to the end
of their leash. These must be dealt with to flourish the lucrative cycling
tourism for it has impressively developed from a niche product to a booming
sector. Currently, several places are investing resources to make bicycle
travel easier. But investments in innovative bicycling parking, way finding
signs, and work benches are still lagging. Promoting bicycle tourism doesn’t
require large amounts of investment. For instance, some of the ways the hotels
can do it is by displaying a coalition of hotels that install decals to show
that they are bicycle friendly. A few phone calls and some static-cling figures
are all it takes.
In essence, as trail systems continue to improve and expand,
the popularity of bicycle tourism spreads with it, giving more facilities to
the tourists who spend more of their money in more places to go. Nepal certainly isn’t the easiest
country in which to ride a bicycle but if you do then the experience is to forever
stick with you. It will awe and humble you with vibrant landscapes that will
make you realize that in the abode of Everest, biking is indeed some of the
best in the world.