Nepal is famous for being home to the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest. This tall rock shows the ‘height’ of Adventure in Nepal. And from a height if you glance an eye, you would probably see some crazy Bikers peddling their way down the hill all across the country – Downhill Biking in Nepal.
Nepal is a country filled with gorgeous mountains and vistas that are nothing short of amazing. And when it comes to adventure in Nepal, Downhill Biking is certainly the fastest growing sport in the country. Some people travel the length and breadth of this world in search of the ultimate Biking trails, but many overlook Nepal. This Himalayan wonderland has some of the best downhill trails on Planet Earth. The Kathmandu Valley, Annapurna Circuit, Mustang, Lower Everest Region, Nagarkot are some of the top trails there, creating a hub for Downhill Biking.
Of these, the Lower Mustang trail is the preferred location of Nepal’s best Biker, Mangal Lama. He has been riding for four years now.
Mangal won the 1st Kanchenjunga MTB race which was held in Sikkim. He also achieved a rare feat when he stood 2nd in his debut Downhill National Racing Championship. Enduro being his favoured riding discipline, he now has his eyes set on the upcoming Asian Enduro Series which is to be held the next year.
Enduro is a form of Mountain Bike racing in which there is a number of timed downhills and untimed uphills. It is a stage-race format where the winner is the rider who accumulates the lowest combined time from the various timed sections.
When it comes to preparing for Asian Enduro Series 2017, young gun Kaushal Rai is also all set to make a mark.
Been riding for four years, Kaushal is one of the youngest competitive Bikers in the Downhill Biking circuit. Hitting jumps, berms, drifts and drops are his signature moves. Kaushal’s most memorable feat was when he placed 3rd in his latest DH race.
Another young gun, or say the youngest gun, is 15-year old Devashish Chaudhary, working day in and day out to make a mark in Downhill Biking circuit. Having participated in two junior races so far and having stood 2nd in both, Devashish has his eyes set on the Asian Enduro Series as well, among other big names. Since he is just a newbie in this sport, Devashish often practices on the local trails of Kathmandu.
Well, jumping on to the big guns now, Shakar Yakthumba, the 2015 National Downhill Champion is a well-known name in the circuit.
Riding for six years, his next biggest dare is the Asian Championship to be held in China. Downhill Biking isn’t just any other sport for him, but the happiness of life.
Similar is the case with another avid Biker, Rohit Niroula.
“Not having seen a lot of snow from where I belong, riding in Kalinchowk alongside breath-taking scenery and land filled with snow for miles was something I had never experienced before taking up this sport,” says Rohit, who is fondly called Roit by his friends.
In order to promote the sport in Nepal, passionate biker Nishant Shah wishes to train kids who are interested in Downhill Biking.
As a kid, Nishant underwent a lot of financial struggles. He shares an incident wherein he had to toil away to earn 500 Nepali Rupees, with which he bought his first Mountain Bike Frame. The hard work he endured as a child has easily made this his sweetest memory.
Downhill Biking as a sport is growing rapidly in Nepal. However, Downhill Biking in India is still in its nascent stage just like other Adventure Sports.
Author: Zishan Amiri
His peculiar love for words and Sachin Tendulkar got him into sports journalism. A vintage bike lover, whose introvert personality often takes him to long solo rides on his restored RX 100.