Quest for adventure draws an engineer to Ladakh on a solo cycling expedition

Dream Wanderlust | Mar 15 , 2017

Nitin Gera, an engineer, alumnus of DCE and a photographer from Delhi completed a solo mountain bike tour in Ladakh in January this year. During the course of the journey, he had to brave extreme weather conditions and had to traverse 200km on snow covered terrain. He had to ride across mountain passes, the highest being Changla Pass(5360m). During the course of the journey he also cycled on frozen rivers viz. Indus and some frozen lakes like Tso Moriri(4522m) and Pangong Tso(4350m).

He had undergone strenuous training for several months prior to undertaking this epic adventure trip so that he could endure extreme day temperature range varying from -5 degree to -15 degree. The 38 year old suffers from end stage osteoarthritis in his right ankle and this kept him driving more towards fulfillment of his passion. Mr Gera does not believe in any sort of physical disability hindering him from following his passion. There was such deep snow in the last three kilometers of the ascent that it became impossible to paddle. The tires were sinking badly in the snow. So he had to push the bike all the way up. Its an avalanche prone area and there was nowhere to seek shelter. So Mr Gera had to go on.

He had equipped himself to brave the extreme weather conditions, which this Trans-Himalayan region experiences. The gear he used were bike mitts and snow goggles. He had modified the standard tyres of his hardtail MTB bike with studded ones. Gera also had to learn the mechanics of bike repair in absence of service support while on the trip. Two-thirds of Ladakh's population shifts to lower altitudes and there is limited access to limited infrastructure, so Mr Gera had to rely on spartan homestay for accommodation and a local taxi driver for backup.

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