Imagine mountain biking on the biggest mountains in the world. This idea is bringing visitors to Nepal for trekking tours, but instead of walking, the trekkers travel by mountain bike. This way, tourists cover three- to four-times as much territory than can be covered by walking.
There are tours available for every level of cyclist. However, it does take a sense of adventure. Many of the rides involve hairpin turns while traveling downhill. Other tours take the cyclist through remote villages, green rice fields, and sacred sites.
Renting Versus Bringing Your Own Bike
Renting bicycles is relatively inexpensive, usually a few dollars per day. There are bike rental companies in both Kathmandu and Pokhara. It would be good to search for reputable bike rentals before leaving on the trip. Riding a rental is never as good as riding a your own bike, especially on rigorous treks, but it may be less hassle than transporting a bike from home.
Visitors can bring a bike with them into Nepal. At customs, it should be explained that the bike is personal property of a tourist and will be shipped out of the country when the trip is over. Realize that it can be very expensive to send the bicycle to Asia, and there is no guarantee that the bike will arrive intact.
There are multi-day tours and day trips available. Perhaps the most exciting mountain bike trek is the 21-day ride from Lhasa, Tibet to Kathmandu, Nepal. This ride travels through the Himalayan Mountain passes. It includes a stop at a base camp on Mount Everest?s North Face. The highlight of the ride, though, is the longest downhill bike ride in the world, the type that makes extreme sports look tame. As the rider enters Nepal, he will descend 12,000 feet.
The trip from Pokhara to Kathmandu is a 14-day off-road ride. This ride is in the foothills of the Himalayas. It follows remote territories rarely seen by Westerners. The ride includes plenty of ascents and descents in the mountains.
For those who like biking, but are not prepared for a rugged trip, there are plenty of day trips in Kathmandu Valley. Some of the bike rental shops will provide a shuttle to the top of the valley?s rim so the entire day can be spent on the downhill ride, with plenty of time left for exploring. There are routes that take the rider through forests and past waterfalls and through villages.