I haven’t written any article till this age of 38 now. I don’t have the habit of writing too. But this time my efforts come after the encouragement from the walker magazine’s editor, sister Laxmi Pun about my cycling experience. I have tried my best in the write up.
Though I was born in a remote part of Dhading, Gumdi VDC-9 at Ratamate. My father brought me here in Kathmandu at the age of 4 for my study. Around the age of 7 my classmates used to practice bike/cycle at Dhobichour. I was not pretty sure about the cost of hiring cycle but I guess it was below rupees 5 for half an hour or one. I didn’t have enough courage as well as money to ride it. So, I didn’t go for cycling; I was only a spectator.
When I went to Chitwan for the first time with the student of Geography in excursion at the age of 17, I was amazed to see that most of the women rided bike/ Cycle. I was really impressed to see that cycle was used for carrying a big pile of firewood and fodder crops.
For a minute or two for the first time in my life I practiced cycle with the kind support of our sports teacher on the ground of Birendra Sainik school, where I studied as hostel scholar from grade 4 to 12. Same short and sweet cycling experience lured me towards the cycle.
I joined tourism industry as my career to serve the nation. I started my career as an information manager at Eco Trek International, Thamel, Kathmandu. Here I was given a cycle. I directly rode it on the road without proper knowledge. I had the problem on my spine so I couldn’t walk for 10 to 20 meters too. I had to use entire energy to walk. I used to sweat a lot and felt exhausted. I feared, I may turn handicap. I went for treatment in every good hospital including Dr. Upendra Devkota. I couldn’t be cured either. I used to ride cycle to and fro, from Manamaiju (Sister’s home) to office everyday. When I rode cycle it gave me extra strength. This healed me. So it was my bicycle that cured me. So, Mountain bike is my life. I love to cycle. What about you?
When I had day offs, I used to plan cycling trip with my friends, colleague and even with my elder son. I myself used to fix the destination by looking at the group’s interest and age group. Everyone used to enjoy cycling with me. Though cycling made us too much tired but full of fun and heavenly pleasure that we grabbed after the cycling activity concluded. That day we would get sound sleep, after a hectic day with cycling. I have done many trips with various people. I have been from Kathmandu to my Village trip twice and Kathmandu-Dhading-Gorkha-Lamjung-Pokhara twice with Sudip. I led the cycling trip of 18 pax (Israeli) Kathmandu-Pokhara-Jomsom-Muktinath-Marpha-tatopani-beni- baglung- Pokhara. I would love to explore more by trekking and cycling all around Nepal before I stop breathing.
I am not a pro cyclist guide but I can tell you and assure you that there are a lot of professional cycling guides in Nepal who can lead you either a day trip or multi days trip around Nepal, Tibet, India and Bhutan. They have lots of stamina and knowledge to share with you. It is good to go with pro cyclist in the morning from Thamel to various destinations around valley. You don’t need to pay for it, it is usually 3 to 4 hours. These days I have seen even lots of Nepalese youth hiring bikes and doing day trip in Kathmandu and Pokhara themselves without proper guide. I suggest them to hire a guide for their own betterment. It will cost you around rupees 6000 which is not expensive and for your betterment. This way you are giving employment to guides and cycling company too. They know good places to have better food in all aspects. They can brief you about local places, people and culture. They can fix your bike in case of any problem easily with in few minutes.
I see high potentiality of cycling in Nepal. Nepal is full of nature and has great variation in geography. The diversities of people, culture and topography which makes Nepal rich and distinct. It is a piece of heaven in earth. Medieval cities rich in heritage with traditional houses and old temples, villages with different ethnic group, deep gorges & valley, high snowy mountains and various type of forest from tropical to tundra lure people from all over the world. Where ever you go people welcome you with their warm hearts. The good thing in Nepal is that people still regard guest as a god. Everywhere you go, you are welcomed with a smile.
Planning a cycling trip in Nepal one can get good facilities in the trip to Annapurna circuit, Muktinath, upper Mustang, Langtang region. On these type of trek you stop for Lunch and night halt at tea houses/ lodges. But I request cycling operating companies to plan the trip to remote villages; where we can accommodate clients on tents. For food we could buy local products and serve the clients for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This will help to grow the local economy and locals get benefit out of it.
Cycling is the best, fast, easy and perfect way to explore Nepal. It can cover dense populated city to rural mountains with wilderness. Most of the places offer you the breath taking scenic beauty. No doubt everyone can enjoy the cycling trip from children to elderly people. The trips are memorable and joyful in one’s life.
Our cycling companies in Nepal also can provide outstanding package of cycling trip to those cycling companies of abroad who are only selling cycling trip in Bhutan, Tibet and India. These package can be combined with Nepal trip too. There is unhealthy competition with price and less pay for qualified cycling guide too. Quality services must be encouraged by every cycling companies. Quality tourism should be promoted everywhere.
Last but not the least I would like to recommend to all cyclists to wear a helmet while you are cycling. It is a most essential to protect you in case of an accident. Secondly please do wear sunglasses or plastic glasses to protect the eyes from dust. And last don’t forget to wear a mask while you are cycling in the Kathmandu valley. To all cyclists please do drink plenty of water, fresh juice and have healthy food. While on road especially while you are driving keep distance. Cyclists don’t have looking glass; but they can hear the vehicle coming from behind. It is their duty to leave you the way on the road. It is not considered decent or dubbed bad manners to horn while you are behind of the cyclist.
No matter how much we talk about physical fitness. It is necessary to all age group. Cycling is an outdoor sports where you burn your calories easily. You can maintain your normal weight and remain fit. While you paddle the bike your mind gets busy and it can help you to get engaged on it with which we can over come depression. Pollution is the greatest problem of today in Kathmandu. Cycling is the best option to preserve the environment too. It turns fruitful to reduce the usage of energy. All the body organs function well when you cycle, so why not try it!
I request the government or concern authority to provide enough salary to national cyclists and guides, so they can at least have balance diet and live a simple life. Likewise proper plannings and skillful trainings must be provided to the guides. This can reduce the lack of manpower. And it also helps to reduce the unemployment too. Let the professional cyclists sustain not to extinct like Dinosaurs. Tourism in Nepal has lots of scope and we are rich in nature and culture. So, if the youths are mobilized in Nepal as guides and supporters, youth do not need go abroad as they can stay with their family and serve the Nation. Cycling is not only a passion but also could be an employment generation medium in Nepal.