Cycling in Himalayan terrains is a popular adventure sport in Kashmir. Indeed, it is an inexpensive way to explore natural beauty of mountains and valleys of Kashmir. Cycling in Ladakh is most exhilarating experience for enthusiasts from both country and abroad. For cycling in mountain, one needs to hire special mountain bike (called ATB, the All Terrain Bike) that is fitted with appropriate gears. Cycling in Kashmir is one of the most challenging and difficult adventure sports. Enthusiasts need to be physically strong and experienced to indulge in cycling in most rugged and crazy terrains of the Himalaya.
Suggested Cycling Tracks
Amongst the many tracks, the hotspots for mountain cycling are:
- Srinagar to Gulmarg
- Gulmarg to Pahalgam
- Pahalgam to Srinagar
- Srinagar to Sonamarg
- Sonamarg to Wular / Manasbal lake
- back to Srinagar
The 64 km road from Leh to Alchi is one of the popular routes for cycling Ladakh. In this route, one would come across with the zig zag course through twisting turns of the high mountainous roads. The Leh-Hemis road with distance of 45 km is another popular cycling trek for the bikers.
Hilly distances are far greater than in plains. Obviously one needs to acclimatize before starting. Biking gear is a must and should include the bare minimum, like:
- Goggles, a helmet, waterproof gloves, knee caps and water
- Extra tyres & repairing kits including a foot pump
- Enough food, beverages and some medicines
- Mobiles, scarves, a small tent and sleeping bag etc
Weather can change any moment forcing you to abandon the trip. One should have small arrangements for briefly staying or resting.
The best time for cycling starts from June to September.