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Cycling across Nepal: Exploring the Country on two wheels

Hey there, adventure seekers! Buckle up! We have got an exhilarating thing that ticks all the boxes: thrill, amusement and a killer cardio workout. Curious yet? 

From the elevating peaks of the Himalayas to the plain Terai lands, Nepal portrays its contrasts beautifully. While sightseeing, trekking and mountaineering are all amazing ways to explore Nepal, cycling takes your adventure to the next level. Not only does cycling offer a thrilling experience, but also, it lets you soak in the natural beauty of Nepal. In this blog post, we’ll explore the thrill of cycling and the blend of experiences it offers.

Ah, the joys of cycling in Nepal! There’s truly nothing quite like discovering beautiful things on two wheels. That too at your own pace! Stopping by the woods, sipping a cup of tea in the local tea shops, and chatting with locals- these are a few of many delights that make cycling journeys replete with memorable and serendipitous experiences. 

Well, it’s not hard to see why there has been a sudden rise in the number of cyclists particularly among youths. It’s no surprise that there also has been an increasing number of cycling routes and tour operators offering guided trips. Obviously, the first and foremost reason is the chase for adventure. But the new cyclists have some more reasons to love the trails and go on a ride. Who needs a gym membership when you can immerse in nature and get your cardio fixed simultaneously? Right? So, are you ready to release some endorphins? 

Nepal’s rugged terrain is just the ticket. Steep climbs, unpredictable weather, rain and snow in some regions, this may sound daunting but trust us, the ultimate adventure lies in the challenges themselves. They only add to the thrill. The sense of achievement that too on two wheels is truly gratifying. The only thing you need now is to be adequately prepared, equipped with protective gear, and possess a daring spirit to take on the challenge.

If so, the recommended time to cycle in Nepal is during the months in September to December and from March to May, when the weather is dry and the skies are clear, making it optimal for the views of the Himalayas. Cycling during June to August, which is a rainy season, is considered to be difficult due to slippery slopes and muddy roads. But, if you are an experienced cyclist, there is no stopping. For novice cyclists, the winter (December to February) can be cold.

Best Routes for Cycling Across Nepal 

Annapurna Circuit 

Yes, yes, the Annapurna circuit is a popular trekking route but it is also one of the best cycling routes in Nepal that takes you through lush green forests, over high mountain passes and charming mountain villages. The cycle trail winds its way through one of the tallest peaks in the world, Annapurna I. Along the way, you will come across rickety suspension bridges which add to the stunning scenery of the place. As you make your way along the trail, you will have a chance to visit gompas and spin Buddhist prayer wheels. These sacred objects are a part of the local culture and offer a glimpse into the religious aspect of the region. If you are up for the trail, it’s better to start your cycling adventure from Pokhara. You will follow the jeep track until Manang. After that, the jeep track runs out and the route follows the hiking trail. A 200 km loop around the Annapurna Mountain range takes 15-20 days depending upon your pace. 

Is it easy? Definitely not. But would you want to miss it? I don’t think so. Get ready with a good physical condition and proper gear and your journey will be amazing. 

Kathmandu Valley

If you are thinking of a shorter trail that still packs a punch, cycling in Kathmandu Valley is the one for you. This is a short 60 km ride that takes you through ancient temples of the valley, busy cities and lush countryside. The Kathmandu Valley loop is relatively easy and can be completed within a day. Some other trails that you can embark on within the Kathmandu Valley other than the loop are: 

  • Patan-Lakuri Bhanjyang 
  • Tokha-Budhanilkantha 
  • Kathmandu-Nagarkot
  • Balaju- Kakani 
  • Budhanilkantha-Kapan Monastery
  • Bhaisepati-Khokana 
  • Kathmandu-Hattiban 
  • Kathmandu-Godavari and many more…

Pokhara to Tansen

Have you thought of cycling while you are exploring the beauty of Pokhara? Most probably, yes! But, not just around Lakesides but you can also ride all the way to the beautiful ancient place called  Tansen. The Pokhara to Tansen route is one of the popular routes of cycling in Nepal. The ride takes you through a variety of terrain, dense forests, beautiful roads and traditional small villages and structures. And of course, you can’t miss getting inspired by the mountains. But the best part is the rich history of Palpa, Tansen. The locals are more than happy to stop and chat with you, and for sure, you’ll make some of the best memories. 

The route is not easy. It’s challenging at places. There are some steep climbs and rough terrains. But that’s all part of the adventure, right? 

Long routes or short routes, you don’t have to stress about accommodation in Nepal due to the availability of tea shops, tea houses, lodges and restaurants in accessible and inaccessible zones. The best thing is Nepal’s rich local cuisines and delicacies,  which you get to experience at a variety of places. Cycling thrill plus culinary adventure, so cool! 

So pack your appetite along with your gear and don’t forget your cycle! 

The steep terrain and changing weather will test your endurance and push you to your limits, but what matters is the memories you make, right? So, gear up, hop on your bike and let’s get ready for the trails and the mountains!

Posted in Wild Yak Blog 2023Tagged , , ,

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