Cycle Expedition from Leh to Khardungla (550KM)
Posted on: March 1, 2016 By: MG
Robert Shuller said - "When the going gets tough the tough get going".
Well for us the going was definitely tough all the way from Manali to Leh with world's top 5 mountain passes to cycle through, fighting altitude sickness, mental fatigue, physical exhaustion as we touched altitudes of 17600 feet. But it became the toughest with Khardungla pass, (the worlds highest motor-able pass), where we had to cycle uphill 42km from Leh and ascent from 11k feet to 18k feet in a time span of 6-7 hours.
People whom we met said - 'Wow! It's so adventurous'. But trust me guys, It was not just adventurous- it was treacherous, it was torturous, it was mean, it was brutal, ruthless, merciless...(add a few more if u can).
That 42km uphill cycling made me realise that all that 480km cycling from Manali to Leh was just a practice for this 'Baap' ride of all rides- The Khardungla pass ride.. It made us go into our deepest reserves of potential & every pedal demanded nothing less than our very best. We ran out of water, my cycle refused to move into 1st gear 6 km from the destination, (so had to cycle the toughest patch on 2nd gear ), had cramps, 14 km of the last patch was rocky, dusty & rugged. Even nature ensured that we should give every ounce of what we have- there was a cold chilly head wind to slow us down, we were told that oxygen was around at 60%. It was as if everyone- equipment ( cycle gear problem) support vehicle ( no water & food) , Govt ( the worst road we cycled on) & God (high winds, freezing temperatures & low oxygen) - all conspired together to ensure that we give nothing less than our best..
But it's said that the joy of celebrations is the biggest, that Utsav becomes Mahautsav, only when the degree of challenge is the highest. So there we were on top of the world - hugging each other, crying with tears of celebrations, of joy, of gratitude, tears of knowing our selves as we dedicated the most demanding day of our lives to someone who meant the world to us.
As for me, my world was already there to receive me- like for all my earlier expeditions Rachna was there at Khardungla pass waiting with open arms for the warmest Hug of my life. Oh boy! Did I need that hug? It sure did make all the efforts worth it. And then true to her nature she added on to the whole environment- the next day she ran the tough 21 km Laddakh Marathon. Ain't she an inspiration?
Though this expedition has ended but I know one thing for sure - deep inside each one of us has been touched in a way where our lives will no longer be the same. Yes the mountains have transformed us... Coming back with lots of life transforming stories....
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