Cycling the Highest Road in the World

Highest road pass in the world

Biking to the Highest Road Pass in the World

Their names are David Fletcher and Jason Stirling and they run  Cycle Atlas,  which they describe as a “free collection of maps, photographs and videos of our most spectacular cycling routes so that you can discover as many of these rides as possible”.

The saw a film about motorcyclists who undertook an epic journey through India to the the Himalaya Mountains and the highest road in the world.

And so they decided to do it on mountain bikes.

Their route from Manali to Khardung La covered 515 kilometres and included five huge mountain passes, the highest of which was  5600 metres (18380 feet).

Some of the climbs through the passes were more than 40 kilometres long; most did not begin until 3500 meters above sea level – which was 1500 meters higher than either had ever ridden before.

Even without bikes their luggage weighed 45 kilograms – and they had no budget for excess baggage.

The solution? Leave their bikes behind and buy very basic mountain bikes in India.

Travel hiccups meant they had only a few hours in New Delhi to buy bikes and get last-minute rabies shots.

Hugely overweight, they cut their equipment load to 12 kilograms each, and finally left with sleeping bags, cameras, memory cards, energy bars, a tent, a drone, altitude medication and a basic first aid kit.

Their story is absolutely fascinating; watch their video and then be sure to visit their website to get the full story.   This short extract does not begin to do them justice.

All photographs courtesy of NorthSouth; please be sure to visit their excellent website at NorthSouth.