Freerider Mountain Bike Magazine
INDIA | ISSUE THIRTEEN January, February 2013
s w a l c M Malcolm
FRESH JUICE iXS Hard Wear for 2013 ODI Rogue lock-on grips WTB Weirwolf 2.3 tires
g in Himalayas
gan Tracy Mosely and
E V I S U L C EX e l i h w n a e M . . . PINDARI
SPECIAL COLLECTORS EDITION
mountain bike magazine
08__EXCLUSIVE STORY__Wheels 2 Pindari 20__EXPOSED & FRAMED__Malcolm Mclaws 24__EPIC TRAIL STORY__Meanwhile in Manali 34__HOT EVENT__Trails ‘n’ Dust MTB Challenge 36__RIDER PROFILE__Ajay Narsingh Rana 38__NEPAL DIARIES__Langtang Adventure 45__FRESH JUICE__iXS hard wear + more 47__WHATS UP__MTB Himalaya 2013
COVERCOVER & CONTENT PHOTO: Vinay Menon Vinay Menon | CONTENT - PHOTO:
The Team: Editor in Chief: Vineet Sharma email@example.com
It has been a great journey since 2010 ever since this magazine project started. Experiencing ups and downs, meeting and riding with some wonderful riders around the country, checking out lots of good stuff, working real hard and still having an awesome time while watching the mountain biking and BMX scene growing so fast is very overwhelming. Completing this issue after couple of winter rides in the Himalayas was a challenging task. But here we are..Celebrating our 2nd anniversary with the 13th issue of Freerider Mountain Bike Magazine. This collector’s edition can also be ordered in printed version, which features some really epic photos and an amazing 2013 calendar. I have mentioned this many times, but would still like to thank all the wonderful people who have helped us and made the riding scene so good! Happy New Year and happy trails to all the readers and riders worldwide. Enjoy the collectors edition.
Founder, Editor-in-Chief | firstname.lastname@example.org
Issue 13! In January 2013? Can’t get better knowing it’s our 2nd year anniversary issue. The rides been good so far, a few uphills along the way. Hilarious fun nevertheless! Hope all of you enjoyed the tales we shared over the past dozen issues. Since the apocalypse never washed us off, we at Freerider mountain bike magazine (India) will keep you psyched up for your next ride! In this January 2013 edition we’ve packed in some eye soothing action images, wheel times in the lower Himalayas with Tracey Mosely and clan, Riding in the Himalayan state Manali, Epic photos from Malcolm Mclaws and more. Hope the words and images here would tweak in the power band on your mountain bike. Wishing all a plush riding season ahead. Keep them wheels spinning!
Deputy Editor | email@example.com
Deputy Editor: Vinay Menon firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing Editor: Vaibhav Nijhowne email@example.com Technical Editor: Nilesh Dhumal firstname.lastname@example.org
Freerider Mountain Bike Magazine #410, Sector: 10 Panchkula (Haryana). INDIA. ........................................................ This magazine is intended for free distribution and is only available through our web portal. This edition can also be ordered in printed version at INR 150. E-mail us for more details. www.freeridermag.in ........................................................ Feel free to write or contribute. E-mail at: email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
BMX Agent: Dipak Panchal Trail Correspondent (U.S.A): Kevin Pabinquit
Contributing Editors and Photographers Malcolm Mclaws, GauravMan Sherchan, Naveen Barongpa, Puneet Dhatwalia, John Gautam, Akil Gauchan, Ajay Narsingh Rana, Ashish Sood.
NOTE: We have done our best to make sure that all content in this issue of Freerider mountain bike magazine is accurate, but would emphasise that we at Freerider mountian bike magazine accept no responsibility for any errors in the magazine/content or any errors caused to your computer while reading our magazine.
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cLean of ‘ When Michael M a. di In in off g in cier in s kick trip to Pindari Gla e ppy trail weather yl ha st e o th ur d nd an /E ve el AM was again a tw this October on an in B.C, Canada, it month of twenty s h er er nt m rid te m e of su th d an in ke cl ic s ep w hi St join Pune after a for us to rala’, invited me to oked train tickets . Landing back into in bo p d ho ha e to Mountain Bike Ke ik M on , si hi ci el I made it to D Pankaj Danu. as my default de Uttarakhand, it w we were joined by e it for this ride. As n, ak w m team. to to l e ta m ni r ai fo N r n affai ntain Bike Kerala’ t drive to ou or sh ‘M a e d th an of e rt rid quick pack and ru pa n is spin d to take a short ultiple times and hand. Post the trai m de ak l ci ar ai tt de tr U e , er w m ci ; la ip da G tr i go is Kath e Pindar spares for th nkaj has ridden th and sorting of bike e us ho ’s aj A Nainital local, Pa nk Pa wrench session at With a quick bike ls. r ‘China Peak’ trai down the popula
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As the story goes , from this peak on e could see the Ch While in the pres inese mountain ra ent, the week saw nges. That was ab th ree of us spinning While the weather out two centurie trails around Naini was in our favor m s ago. tal, Almora and Ka ost of the time w dawn soon. While usani town. e m Mike and I headed ade sure we were warmed up for th to New Delhi to re for the Pindari rid e epic ride that w ceive our gang of e. as about to riders, Pankaj got onto zipping in so me final things A week into our build up ride, on Nainital, Almora and Kausani town trails, it was now time to be joined by some of the finest riders on the planet. Which included Tracey Mosely, whose got her shoe prints embedded on the Downhill World’s podium for a decade. James Richards, a trail hungry biker who is a serious competitor in the international Enduro arena. Dan Milner with his remarkable eye for epic imagery. Christer Lidslot, a mountain bike adventure seeker. Philip Warham and Lucy Martin, founders of ‘Bike Verbier’ (European mountain bike escapade organizers). Once our new clan landed into Delhi a train ride off the chaotic Old Delhi led us to Kathgodam once again. Settling in a hotel in Nainital facing the towns beautiful lake all of us got into full speed bike build mode. With wrenches flying, cables trimmed and tubes inflated, it was time to hit the warm-up trails down ‘China Peak’ and Pangot. A repeat for Mike, Pankaj and me, these foresty trails were a delight for our new soldiers. As dried leaves formed a mat over the pathways, drifting on blind corners over hidden rocks and roots was a good start for our Pindari ride. The following days had us shredding down century old trails like the apocalypse was upon us. Steep climbs and rocky descents all morning switching onto our shuttle van, had us hopping through towns of Almora, Kausani and Bageshwar over the week. With Dal Makhani, ChickenTikka, Tandoori Rotis for dinner and more blissful Kumao delicacies for breakfast, we were now strong to start our ride to Pindari.
As we drove through washed out roads and dodgy bridges from Bageshwar town, we arrived into a cold Kupcote village. Mountains in our sight and tea in our belly, we started our demanding climb towards Khatti village accompanied by our porters and mules. Khatti village is Pankaj’s home soil. After a full day ‘hike a bike’ action over steep cobbled pathways and boulders, legs screaming and eyes burning with sweat, we reached the peak at 3000mtrs. Followed by a super fun descent in cold winds and spooky light we made it to our accommodation facility in Khatti village at 2110mtrs. With a dinner that still triggers our taste buds, it was time to slip into our sleeping bags. Our stay was minimalistic, yet the four walls of our room were heavenly, full with glowing angels in the night sly! We were so tired that the freezing night temperatures never bothered us.
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The Pindari peak was looking closer each morning. Once our hefty bags were strapped on the mules, our pedals started cranking towards Dwali Village. One of the hikers preferred bunk spots before heading to Pindari trail peak; Dwali is located at around 2700mtrs. As the sun started its climb up the sky, so did our energy levels. Tracey, James and Philip were training the treacherous climbs with a NOS system embedded in them. While the rest of us mortals continued the lung busting day of steep climbs, ‘hike a bike’ and slick rocky descents, the clouds decided to switch on the sprinklers over the magnificent landscape. Right on time before the showers blasted off, we rode into Dwali village.
A platter full of steamed rice and spicy potato with lentil tagged with a glass full of tea, all served through a firewood powered kitchen, a welcoming sight indeed. As we made the kitchen into our little den for the freezing noon, our systems were getting fuled by multiple tea shots under the firewood smoke cloud. A sharp freezing night got us through to the D-day.
Finally the ride to Pindari peak dawned. With freezing water splashed on our face, a damp morning pulled our bikes over some nasty climbs. A much needed fuel (tea) stop at Phukiya woke our systems up for the spectacular views that were fast approaching. Occasionally sharing exposed singletrack with hikers, the nine of us kept our focus on ‘Point Zero’.
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The Pindari Glacier ‘Zero Point’. Before our final climb towards the peak, we were welcomed by ‘Pindari Baba’. A well versed individual, babaji served us the 999th cup of tea of this trip. Our systems fired up with sweet tea at 3800mtrs and blessing from the lords, our bikes helped elevate us even further into the magnificent landscape of Pindari Mountains. Surrounded by snow caped ranges caressing the clouds, our ride hit ‘Point Zero’. A surreal excitement was floating in our pack. Hi-5s flying hugs and tears of joy. Or maybe it was fatigue that caused the tears.
After some ‘Look ma I’m on top of the mountain’ photography, ace photographer Dan got into action mode once again to shoot us all down the epic mountain landscape. Blasting down from the peak, we were headed back to Dwali village. Twenty minutes into the descent the rain clouds decided to switch on the showers. With lubricated rocks and cold winds, our 2.3” treads scrubbed their way down to a lower elevation of Dwali village for the night.
Another day and another pedal swing got us back to Khatti village. As our beloved four legged mules took some rest from the hard day of walking, we prepped our two wheeled mules for the final weekend of this trip. The trail planned for the day was ‘death trail’. Aptly named, this fairly exposed dirt path with blind ‘death wish’ turns lead us across the valley. Exiting the forest with my fifty fourth pinch flat of the trip, the power cables and radio towers started to emerge. We were getting closer to civilization. Seeing Nainital town again after being in the forest for three weeks, I felt like post war Rambo. Delighted that we had accomplished what we set out for, the ‘Pindari Glacier’ ride surely got the best out of all of us.
With near vertical climbs and exposed descents, the Pindari trail treated our bikes like Path finder’s on Mars. As the nine of us made it back to civilization in one piece, the bike bags were waiting for our bikes to get twisted open. Another glass of tea for the evening and it was a wrap.
Kudos to Michael McLean and Pankaj Danu from ‘Mountain Bike Kerala’ for getting this gig rolling full throttle.Hi-5 to the entire team who visited India just to rip the ‘Pindari Glacier’ trail. Tracey Mosely, James Richards, Lucy Martin, Philip Warham, Christer Lidslot and image capture wizard Dan Milner.
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You’ve seen his work in numerous mountain bike magazines from around the world, print ads, e-mags and more. Malcolm Mclaws is one of the industry veterans when it comes to mountainbike photography. But his image frame isnt limited to bikes alone. Vinay Menon caught up with the man himself to get an insight on hows life behind the lens.
FR MTB MAG: A little intro about yourself?
Mclaws: Well I’m a 62 yr old retired freelance photographer who just moved from “The Shore” to the Sunshine Coast, that’s where the Coastal Crew live. I’ve done work for NSMB.com, Pinkbike.com, Red Bull,Mtn Bike UK and lately for Chop MTB .com a new online e-mag. I love to travel, have been from A-Z, Afghanistan to Zambia! My Camera is my second friend, we are never apart it seems. Self taught @ photography, and it shows at times!
FR MTB MAG: What does your Camera bag consist of on most shoots? Mclaws: I shoot with a 7D Canon, 10-22 17-40, 24-105 and a 70-200.
FR MTB MAG: Favorite time of the day to shoot and why?
Mclaws: Evenings......simply because of the “Golden Hour”, morning light just doesn’t last long enough.
Brendon Fairclough “ Brendog” at World Whips, Crankworx
FR MTB MAG: Which sport do you enjoy capturing the most? Mclaws: Mainly Mountain biking. Just amazed at the progression of the sport over the years. My other interest is nature/ landscape and I spend my travels going to National Parks in my trailer!
FR MTB MAG: Any specific location that always delivers on a mountain bike shoot? Mclaws: Whistler/Crankworx or Red Bull Rampage, both bring out the riders who want to step it up for a shot.
Antelope Canyon, Arizona
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Darren Berrecloth “ Claw” at Rampage
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Coyote Butte, The Wave
FR MTB MAG: Some locations on your wish list that you haven’t shot yet? Mclaws: Yeah, back in the 70’s I travelled to Kashmir/Ladakh... I want to do a shoot in Ladakh with the barren terrain and Tibetan style monasteries... ‘Where The Trail Ends’ style.
FR MTB MAG: Do you play on your bike as much as you play with the Camera trigger?
Mclaws: No, my riding is behind me after 2 shoulder surgeries. That being said I did a shoot with the Goldstone family on Whistler’s new Top of the World trail during Crankworx this summer. Sure was tough riding, shooting and just trying to get down the mountain in one piece, 1100’ vertical trail then another 3500’ to the bottom on the bike park, I was beat to say the least!
FR MTB MAG: If you were to go on a three month mountain bike shootout, which riders would you consider in your brigade?
Mclaws: That’s tough one with all the talent we have in British Columbia but I guess my first choice would be Geoff “ Gully” Gulevich, he’s been a family friend with my 2 sons for years, he is a true young pro! Next and an easy one, Darren “Claw” Berrecloth, this guy is as tough, talented and professional as they come. Last choice is a guy I find a true image maker for the sport, Andreu Lacondeguy, he never fails to do something unexpected.
Geoff Gulevich “ Gully” at Rampage
FR MTB MAG: Do you feel being behind the bars on a bike helps you relate better to a rider in action?
Mclaws: Ha Ha! That would be true if I had any talent on a bike. But yeah, being a rider helps you understand the sport and what might happen. You also need to know each riders talent bag and when they may unleash them.
FR MTB MAG: Could you share some moments from your first photography assignment?
Mclaws: My first big one was for Mountain Bike, MB UK, during Crankworx week. They wanted everything covered. Expo, riders, DH, Dual Slalom, lifestyle and the big dog, Crankworx slopestyle. I was running everywhere, they did a 14 page spread, used lots of my shots and the guy who gives photo credit to the article leaves my name off ! Yep, I was pissed to say the least but what are you gonna do?
FR MTB MAG: Any specific shoot in the coming season that you are super stoked about?
Mesa Arch at sunrise, Canyonlands NP
Mclaws: I’ve heard word that Red Bull MAY do Rampage again this year and it could be in Mongolia? I would love to travel over and shoot the event, the culture and of course the people. Who knows what a new year may bring, a plane ticket to China could mean a side trip to India again?
Geoff Gulevich “ Gully” tables at Rampage
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Brandon Semenuk at Rampage
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..MEANWHILE IN MANALI Words: Vineet Sharma Photography: Vineet Sharma, Naveen Barongpa
The two of us decided to attack Solang Valley with our bikes. Solang Valley is around 12Km away on the way to Rohtang Pass from main Manali town. The place is surrounded by 360 Â° of epic scenery and is very popular among tourists and adventure sports lovers. Skiing, Snowboarding, Zorbing, Para Gliding, Trekking, Quad riding are some of the popular activities offered here at Ski Himalaya, a famous ski resort in Solang. Ski Himalayas is also famous for its ski slopes and latest state of the art ropeway.
Manali, a Himalayan town located in the beautiful Indian state of Himachal Pradesh near the northern end of the Kullu Valley. The small town is the beginning of an ancient trade route to Ladakh and from there over the Karakoram Pass on to Yarkand and Khotan in the Tarim Basin. For me, Manali is one of the best mountain biking destinations in India and I just need an excuse to be here anytime of the year. We have ridden in and around Manali couple of times, mostly in summers. But this time me and my old friend and riding buddy Naveen, who happens to be a famous local rider decided to do something weâ€™ve never done before. Riding in snow!
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Me and Naveen loaded our bikes on a pick up tuk-tuk, The cheapest way to shuttle bikes from the town. The 40 minutes ride to Solang was bumpy but the scenery and sun made it all good. Soon snow patches were visible on the road and it became colder.
Mountain Biking is also one of the major activities present in Manali. It is a base for all the mountain bikers who are cycling towards Ladakh. Ski Himalayas has also taken an initiative to make mountain biking big in this area. A dedicated mountain bike park can be expected in future. The place definitely has a lot of potential and Ski Himalayas team is already working to make it happen soon.
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Ski Himalayas had already arranged our lift tickets to Mt. Phatru peak. Once we reached Solang the tuk-tuk driver was curious to know about our bikes in details and bombarded us with dozens of technical questions. Distracted by the snow peaks with first snow layer of the season in the background we both answered his queries quickly and wished the driver a happy journey back to town. Ski Himalayas had already arranged our lift tickets to Mt. Phatru peak. The Solang ropeway features 19 cabins with a seating capacity of 8 people in each. The lifts donâ€™t have a bike carriers at the moment but we were allowed to carry our bikes inside the cabin. Our big bikes got inside the cabin easily and we started rising 500m vertically. Finally we are on the top and the tourists from other parts of the country were wondering that what we were upto. The two of us start pushing the bikes and took a short trial run and realized that falling in snow while riding can be fun. This ride session was going to be different without any doubt. My shoes were already wet but I managed to ignore that part and enjoy the ride.
The start was pretty steep (Almost vertical) and it took me atleast 4 minutes to convince myself that I can do it. On the other hand, Naveen the natural born shredder was already gunning down the vertical sections. Most of the sections were rideable but often the fresh snow was too deep for us to keep the momentum going for long. We reached the lower section of the ski park soon and the scenery just kept on getting better and better. Watching para gliders flying above you while you are descending down was another wonderful moment. Reaching the last descent of the park was an epic moment. This is where you can come as fast you can.. and that what we did. The locals and the tourists had paused to check out both of us coming down the last gravity section. I have never been in a downhill race but I guess thatâ€™s how it feels. We were on the plain patch again, but the ride was not over yet.
We decided to ride all the way to Manali and it had to be done quick as the sun was about to set. We took a super rocky trail that connects to the highway. This section also took our local hero down who could not believe that he crashed.
Detrmined Naveen decided to take another run and completed it successfully. We stopped and spent couple of minutes tackling a gnarly rocky descent, where I had given up. Naveen showed me his line and how he did it flawlessly. I decided to play it safe and leave it for the next time. We cycled to the town and it was already dark and the wind was picking up.
The day was a big success and we decided to celebrate with good food and drinks. That’s when we planned the next day to ride in a different location called Van Vihar which is located in the main town.
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The following morning our start was delayed. The cold weather had made us very lazy. Once the sun was nice and bright we walked to Van Vihar (Nature Park) with our bikes. We decided to check out Old Manali first. Old Manali is a very busy area during summers. Old Manali has some nice food joints and hang out place. But it’s totally deserted during winter seasons and you just see dogs walking around. We cycled back to Van Vihar to start the ride.
I personally think it’s like a blessing to have Van Vihar right in the middle of town. It’s a forest area with Pine and Deodar trees and full of natural and man-made trails. The amount of obstacles here makes the ride so much better for any kind of mountain biker. “A perfect place to practice and brush up the skills in the middle of the town”. Rocks, roots, drop offs, climbs ...you name it.
I have ridden my bike many times in Manali and around. But this ride was an amazing experience and I will never forget it. It was so good that I decided to move here forever and explore more options for good. The people are really good and so is the terrain. Overall the trip was super cool and I would also like to thank Ski Himalayas for hooking us with the lifts and really good hospitality. If you find yourself in Himachal Pradesh with or without a bike, make sure you visit Manali. It’s worth the trip.
We geared up and blasted away like a wild animal out of cage. The next 2 hours were spent scouting more sections in Van Vihar and trying hands on various obstacles and having fun. We kept on riding till the sun’s last rays sink behind the snow covered mountains. Fortunately the best is yet to come and I’m excited about it.
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MOUNTAIN BIKE CHALLENGE Words & Photography: Vineet Sharma
The 2nd Himalayan Trails ‘n’ Dust Mountain Bike Challenge was organized by Eco Ride Enterprises (Kullu) on 2nd December 2012. This successful mountain bike race finished with great action. The race started from Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute Mountaineering Institute and Allied Sports (Aleo). The race was flagged off by Narbir Negi (Senior Mountaineering Instructor).
Overall the race was good with lot of action, crashes and epic moments experienced by all the participants, volunteers and audience. Himalayan Trails ‘n’ Dust organizing team with other dedicated team members have planned to make this annual mountain bike race even better and bigger for 2013 with more gnarly trails. An Enduro mountain bike race in the region can be expected in 2013 and we are looking forward for it!
2nd Himalayan Trails ‘n’ Dust MTB Challenge witnessed 27 mountain biker’s participants which also included riders from Manali, Kullu, Chandigarh, Shimla and Germany. The 2 stage race was full of demanding climbs and steep downhill sections on 100% offroad route from Gahderni to Shleen. The race was finished back at the mountaineering institute where the closing ceremony and prize distribution was done with Mr. Amitabh Sharma, Managing Director of Ski Himalayas and other big projects. He was really happy to witness the number of riders and declared his full support to promote adventure sport which includes mountain biking. This year the race was dominated by last year winner Bresto from Manali who came 1st this timealso with impressive timings. The second position was taken by Sunil Barongpa from Kullu and third position was taken by Devinder of Kullu who specially came to race all the way from Shimla. The race had only 1 female rider ‘Sarah Appelet’ from Germany who was present last year also. Sarah was given special appreciation by all the participant and organizers.
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FR MTB MAG: Tell us a bit about yourself. AJAY: Mountain biker, coach, guide, national commissar, graphics designer and an amateur photographer. FR MTB MAG: For how long you have been riding? AJAY: Got into the MTB racing scene 13 years back.
FR MTB MAG: How would you describe the riding scene of Nepal? AJAY: When I started racing we used to know everyone in the MTB community because it was a small one and most of them were in the racing or the touring scene but now every time I go riding I see a new face and especially on Saturdays there are so many of them. It’s really fun to share riding stories among each other and to know that the bike community is getting bigger and bigger. FR MTB MAG: What type of riding you are into? AJAY: I like enduro style of riding but equally enjoy cross country and downhill as well.
FR MTB MAG: What are your favorite types of trails and riding zones in Nepal? AJAY: For me the best track would be the Shivapuri as its got both the uphill and downhill sections which just makes a day ride fun. But there are other tracks like Helipad, Scar road which are equally fun. Outside the valley trails around Annapurna region is fun to ride.
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FR MTB MAG: Tell us about your current bike and what’s so special about it? AJAY: The bike I have now is the DMR ExAlt which is a do it all type of bike for me as I have raced cross country, multi day stage races, Downhill etc in it. It’s a cromo hardtail frame with a 160mm Manitou Nixon Elite Fork handling the trail abuse and saving me from those OTB moments. Other parts includes Avid Elixer R brakes for the stopping part but will change to a XT setup in 2013. Race Face Evolve DH handlebar with a Truvativ Hussefelt stem completes the cockpit section. The drivetrain is handled by Shimano Deore with a LX shifter and Alex Rim DP20 laced to Sun Ringle Dirty Flea hubs completes the wheel setup. FR MTB MAG: If you could ride with your favorite rider anywhere in the world, where would you go and with whom? AJAY: Whistler would be the place I would really like to go and Cedric Gracia would be my number one choice to go ride with.
FR MTB MAG: What is your favorite thing about mountain biking? AJAY: For me the favorite thing about mountain biking for me is the ability to keep the mind focused, positive knowing that after every brutal climb there is defiantly a sweet downhill section waiting and enjoy the ride. The other favorite part of riding is the fact of meeting people from every walk of life and see them enjoying the same sport I’m in and hear their stories. FR MTB MAG: Any shout outs? AJAY: Big thanks to my Guru Mr. Chimmi Urkyen Gurung for supporting and coaching me when I came into this sport. Would like to thank my brother Arnico Panday for supporting me all these years, Pathfinder Cycling Pvt Ltd team, Chris, Rupesh dai(Epic Mountain Bike) for all their help. My riding buddies Anil and Binod aka Baula for those epic and funny moments out in the trails.
FR MTB MAG: What are the plans for 2013? AJAY: In 2013 my main focus is to train well and bring back my sprint stamina as well as to log more km in my bike then I had 2012. Last year I just couldn’t ride much because of different commitments. Apart from that, Mustang region will be a definite yes in the touring side for me.
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A gift from the mountain gods â€“ Rider Mandil Pradhan with Langtang Lirung (7246m) & Kimshung (6718m) in the background
Words & Photography: GauravMan Sherchan
Mandil & Grant happily putting together their bikes at Kyanjin Gompa (3900m)
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The Langtang moutain biking adventure was a calling for mountain biker Mandil Pradhan and all it took was a second Aussie rider Grant Dansie, a development worker on a two week long trip to Nepal and adventure photographer GauravMan Sherchan to get on the jeep with no second thoughts.
We start our day early from Trishuli to drive upto Dunche (2030m) to get our first glimpse of the mountains. By 11am, we are stretching our legs to start our 3 days uphill trek from Syabrubesi (1462m) into the wilderness of the Langtang National Park.
Starting the days ride from Kyanjin Gompa (3900m)
We follow the Langtang River through easy snaking dense oak and pine forest trails with pink, white and red Rhododendron flowers in bloom, sparsely populated happy Tamang villages, yak herds, Tibetan bread and happy trekkers. Three days of slow, steady trekking and our bikes finally see daylight at Kyanjin (3900m).
Photographer GauravMan with local sheperds
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The clouds close in but cannot hold back our excitement of what lies before us. We decide to head out anways but cut short our exploration trip due to the light snowstorm. As fate may have it, the mountain gods are good to us to give us surprisingly good mountain views. Output â€“ amazing mountain biking pictures.
Rider Mandil riding into Kyanjin
Starting the day from Lama Hotel (2489m)
After a sleepless night as the altitude kicks in, our morning is bright and sunny and we are a happy bunch. Mandil and Grant rip the trails at amazing speed and take on some of the most technical trail with superior skills. After Ghoda Tabela (horse stable), the flowly yak pasture trails turn into serious technical descends with high exposure. Brief stops attract trekkers and locals alike; everyone is at awe. The night stop at Lama Hotel (2480m) has almost everyone enquiring about our downhill ride. Sunset ovet Yala Peak (5520m), considered to be a trekking peak that is relatively simple, non-technical climb. Summit is renown for being an excellent vantage point to view Shishapangma (8013m), the smallest of the 14 eight thousanders.
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Sighting a musk dear grazing in the farmlands of Langtang village
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Day two of our downhill gets even more challanging, as the trail is even more technical as the trail gets steeper. The morning forest trail is cold, damp and slippery making the ride even more fun. We fast loose altitude and end our epic descend of 2750m to be welcomed at Syabrubesi for a sumptous plate of dal bhat, Nepali staple rice lentil diet.
iXS Sports Division We received some neat riding gear by iXS Sports Division. iXS Sports Division is a big name in the world of motorbikes, and has become one of the leading manufacturers of sportswear and protective gear for mountain bikers over the last decade. Famous riders like Geoff Gulevich, Hans Rey, Richie Schley, Matt Hunter, Kurt Sorge and more supports the brand.We are currently checking out the 2013 Chavar DH Jersey with Senda DH pants and Borlot DH Jersey with Paljet DH shorts.
SENDA DH PANTS (EUR 99.95) Chavar and Borlot DH Jersey are highly breathable and features a neck brace collar and integrated lens wipe. Both the jerseys are comfortable and antibacterial. Multi security stitched seams makes them tough at the same time. Coming down to Senda DH pants and Paljet shorts which are again breathable and features stretch and mesh inserts.
CHAVAR DH JERSEY (EUR 59.95)
The pants and the shorts also come with mesh lining and humidity transporting system. They also come with waist fasteners and two open pockets which can be useful for some rides. The full set appeals overall with great graphics, small details and race fit.
PALJET DH SHORTS (EUR 89.95)
BORLOT DH JERSEY (EUR 59.95)
Is iXS available in the Indian market? Not yet, but iXS Sports Division is planning to launch their gear in India soon after completing their research. More details and products can be found at their website: http://www.ixs-sportsdivision.com We will continue the test in various terrain and weather. Check out the next issue for full review.
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ODI Rogue Lock-On Grips There may be other grips in the market, but ODI makes some of the very best grips till date and that’s why ODI Rogue lock-on grips are probably the most impressive grips we have ever used. The soft rubber blocks are designed to cushion the blow that even the longest-travel fork can’t absorb. And since each block has a subtle file texture, they work great with gloves or without. The lock-on clamps guarantee the grip won’t move until you want them to. We have been riding with these grips since 2008 and they are still rocking. Another set was put on test early in 2012 and without any doubt they are very durable and last for plenty of miles of fun. ODI Rogue lock-on grips provide ultimate traction in both wet and dry conditions. No matter what the weather throws at them... be it super cold winter day, hot summers or rain with mud covered gloves, these grips never change their characteristics and will never let you down. To make it better they even survived plenty of crashes and are still asking for more. The large pads with wide grooves on the grip surface make them very comfortable and also take out the vibrations from the handlebar when you are hitting a nasty rocky trail. They come with the clamps, hardware, and end caps. ODI Rogue lock-on grips are kick ass and are highly recommended for your next bike build or upgrade.
WTB Weirwolf AM TCS 2.3 tyres. By: Vaibhav Nijhowne
WTB Weirwolf AM TCS 2.3 !!! TCS or Tubeless Compatible System uses a dedicated tubeless bead with a lightweight casing. You can simply upgrade to tubeless on regular rims by a simple conversion kit which includes a rim strip that seals the spoke nipple holes, a special valve, and some sealant. I’ve been shredding all I can
find on my brand new Weirwolf’s the past month or so and I have to say I am the happiest offroader out there.
As the name suggests, the Weirwolf (derived from the fantasy creature werewolf which can change from man to wolf) has proved itself on all the nasty stretches I have used it on so far.
Dirt Track and Blue Pines, Rocky Roads and Starry Nights.
2013 MTB Himalaya is synonymous with Mountain Biking and Cycling as a whole in India. It is the Oldest and Toughest Mountain Biking Race India has to offer. The event has had 8 successful editions so far and is gearing up for an epic 9th season. The Obvious aim every year is to improve on the last year and deliver a World Class MTB event in the Himalayan Countryside. This year will be no different. After an event very well received by the riders in 2012 HASTPA has decided to make some exciting changes for 2013.
If you enjoy flirting and teasing the trail, exploring different lines on the same route and pushing the limits of your technical riding ability, then these are just the babies for your rig. And if cornering is your trip, that’s where they really come into their own with their newly designed pattern of side knobs. They offer very good grip even under hard cornering. I had a few experiences where I was literally on the edge of my grip, but they held on somehow and saved my @$$ much to my pleasant surprise! So they are also a major confidence booster. They are not a cheap pair to come by, but they are worth every penny. To conclude, I’d call them awesome trail tyres! I have no complaints so far and don’t see the need to look beyond these if all mountain trail riding is your cup of tea.
MTB Himalaya 2013 will be different from the previous editions in a lot of respects. The most prominent change is the removal of the, 2 day, weekender category. The two day weekender category will now held as a separate event in the month of April. This event will be called MTB Shimla. The flagship event MTB Himalaya will be a seven day event instead of the 9 days they used to have. The number of base camps will also be reduced. We are looking at 3 or 4 campsites at the max. The rest day will not be there; instead there’s a plan to incorporate a technical riding day which will have separate prize money. These are the structural changes that HASTPA plans to incorporate.
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Words: Ashish Sood | Photography: Vineet Sharma
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Apart from these structural changes riders can expect a lot more of single-track. The Organizers are working on finding single-track and in fact creating some at times! This year the race promises to be a lot more challenging technically with fewer breaks in between stages. The organizers will also bring down the number of stages in a day, to two at the max. A new route is being explored and will be updated as soon as the technical team finalizes something. HASTPA the parent body which organizes MTB Himalaya will now be holding 4 races in a year including a road race and the Epic MTB SPITI- Tagged as the worldâ€™s Highest MTB Race. Expect nothing but the best. The Himalayas are calling. See you there!
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mountain bike magazine
PHOTO: Vineet Sharma | RIDERS: Richie Schley, Hans Rey & Joscha Forstreuter LOCATION: New Delhi, India
Issue #13 - January 2013 SPECIAL COLLECTORS EDITION # 1 Printed