Some take time off to put their feet up and relax; while others look forward to going away to rediscover the passion within. Either ways, all that matters is having a good time and pushing oneself to the limits. This is exactly what Dhiren Shah did, he took off a few days from his days amidst numbers and finances, participating in the MTB Himachal, an annual mountain bike race held in the mountainous state of Himachal Pradesh in India. It was all about rediscovering the self, and giving the body a new lease on life…He shares with us the story behind “how it all began”.
It was a most memorable trek to Dyara Thatch the place was paradise and the night trek was an adventure we couldn’t stop talking about. All and sundry were being made to hear how brave we were in climbing the ridge at midnight, in a jungle on a moonless night without any local guide and searching for an unknown village was thrilling and memorable and looking at the marvel in people’s eyes had us Gushing all the while… !!!! It felt so so super… it still does… I still fill up everyone on that dare !
The Dyara Thatch trip though ensured we reached a day late for MTB Himachal 2011, it seemed the few scavengers thought we wouldn’t make it and they stood in the way trying to check if we had the guts to reach or were we going to break down on the way…
awaiting their meals… !!!!
bigger than a truck tyre… !
We were to join the rally at Tanni Jubber (pronounced as Jubbaad) on day two after the cyclists would have climbed Hatu Peak the highest point in the rally.
Once off the highway and towards the lake Tanni Jubber the area suddenly became very green and chilly. The best part about this whole cycle rally was we got to see a lot of interior routes, it wasnt just highway touring, but the interior roads, off roads, cross country routes sometimes quite difficult to navigate but must do routes.
Unfortunately we missed out on going to Hatu Peak, but that would be done some other time. Tanni Jubber is a lake near Thanedar, which is a not so popular hill station, tucked away in the middle of deodar, pine and spruce trees. Accomodation can be taken near Thanedar in a camp run by Banjara Camps. The place is quiet and cold and green and offers wonderful views, the Hatu peak as we heard is another heaven !
We reached the school ground of at Tanni Jubber where our camp was still being set up at around 3 pm. The weather was already quite chilly especially in the shade even in the noon. For me it was going to be my first experience of sleeping in a sleeping bag and tent and I was wondering how was I going to keep warm and sleep tonight, but that thought didnt stop me from having about 2 cups of tea and 1 cup of lemon tea and tons of pakoda which were being prepared as the cyclists would come in hungrier than even me !!!!
This is how the campsite looked… all set to house the exhausted cyclists
By the time the first cyclists came in at 4.30 pm we had filled ourselves enough and were all set to interact with them. All the cyclists would head straight for a bath in this cold weather, but I guess they were warm enough after all the cycling they did.
We did figure out that the main competition in the open category was between the Nepali riders who were a real professional lot and the Indian Army guy who werent professionals or trained guys but banked on their sheer grit and toughness. We learnt that one of the guys in the Army who was doing quite well had only practiced about 20 days before the race that too on a Atlas cycle and not a cyle with gears had us gaping with amazement. Truly Indian Army cyclists have potential, only if they would get all the facilities at all times and were encouraged through out the year to focus and practice the sport !! Sigh…
The dinner was quick and everyone seemed like they were going to jump in the two campfire’s that were lit, at times it was even difficult to sneak near the fire as the fires were jam packed !!!
The first experience of a Sleeping bag and Tent was only apprehension and nothing else, I snuggled and slept like a log ! No worries at all and I realised how warm and good it is to sleep in the sleeping bag !!! The morning chill and touching water is a completely different matter and actually deserves a full post on it !!!!
This was not it, i knew there was more in the coming days… the journey continues..