"“Mountain Biking for Softies” Tribuvan Raj Path" Top 5 Page for this destination Nepal Travelogue by into-thin-air
Nepal Travel Guide: 4,185 reviews and 11,785 photos
The First time I visited Nepal was back in 1994, This trip I drove from England and entered Nepal at Birganj and then drove over the Tribuvan Raj Path into Kathmandu.
Since then I have always had a hankering to go back and have a look at places like Daman which is one of the beautiful villages on the Tribuvan Raj Path and this trip I finally got around to doing this – But this time not in an old Land-Rover but on a Mountain Bike !!
So now I had decided that I wanted to do this little trip, the next question was how was I got to sort out the logistics of doing it.
As usual my first call was to my old friend Nirmal at HMA, he said that he would be happy to help me put the trip together.
So – the first thing to do was to find a Good Mountain Bike for hire in Kathmandu – That might Sound Easy but the reality is somewhat different – There are Plenty of Mountain Bike Hire Shops but they are usually hiring out Utter Crap where as I needed something at least half Decent as the route was some 2.000 meters downhill – So things like brakes were essential. But as usual Nirmal came up with the goods and at a fair price too, Less than $20 for the two day hire and that included a tool-kit, pump and spare inner-tube.
Then next thing was how to transport myself, my two friends who were accompanying me and the three Mountain Bikes to Simbanjyang, The highest point on the Tribuvan Raj Path and the starting point of our little trip.
After making Numerous telephone calls Nirmal discovered that there is still one bus a day that plies the route from Kathmandu to Hetauda over the Tribuvan Raj Path. The trouble was that it didn't actually start off from Kathmandu but from one of the obscure suburbs on the way to the Rim. As I wasn't confident of being able to find this bus Nirmal again stepped forward and kindly offered to escort us to the bus and make sure that we were on the right one and heading in the right direction !!
So, at 05.30 on Friday March 19th we met Nirmal, picked up our Mountain Bikes from the Hire Shop (They had kindly agreed to open early to facilitate this) and cycled through the early Kathmandu Traffic through Durbar Square and then through Patan to an obscure little back street where the bus departed from. We loaded the Mountain Bikes onto the roof of the bus, Nirmal negotiated the fare, 180NPR each including the bikes and we were on our way !!
Four hours later we were at Simbanjyang (2488m) and ready to begin our 50k, 2.000m downhill ride.
We had decided to split the trip into two days so only rode about 15k the first day. Accommodation isn't over abundant on the Tribuvan Raj Path and what there is falls into two distinct categorises – Either Very Expensive in one of the “Himalayan View” type resorts or Very Simple in one of the local hotels.
We opted for the latter but did take a look into “Everest Panorama Resort” as we passed, I had also looked in here on my 1994 overland trip and then it was a Swish resort, Sadly now it is run down shabby and neglected But still Very Expensive, so I am sure we made the right choice with our simple hotel near the village of Palung.
The ride it's self was Thrilling, The Views were Awesome and you could see the Himalayan Chain in front of us. The road condition was much better than I remembered it from 16 years before, but best of all was the lack of traffic on the route.
Our accommodation was indeed simple, But at 200NPR a night it was also cheap, The other great thing was that this area isn't used to seeing many tourists so we created quite a bit of interest with all the local children coming out and taking a look at us. These children proved to be our main entertainment for the evening as they were keen on finding out where we came from, what we were doing and then practising their English on us !!
Early the next morning we were off again, Continuing downhill at first then the only uphill section of our route, This was only just over 100m on a well graded road to Tistung La, 2030m
Then after that it was All downhill to Naubise here the Tribuvan Raj path joins the main Kathmandu highway.
Again the road was Excellent and hardly any traffic to spoil our enjoyment, hairpin bends followed hairpin bend, Awesome Views and again glimpses of the Himalayan Chain ahead.
On reaching Naubise we simply flagged down a mini-bus, secured our bikes on the roof and drove back to Kathmandu. OK – Some of you might want to ride this section, But for me as we were back in traffic and the road is uphill the mini-bus seemed the much more sensible option.
We decided to call our trip “Mountain Biking for Softies” - can you see why ;-)
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