Manali-Khardungla Cycling Championships starts 25th of July to August 4th, 2015, that’s a week and two months away.  This will be a very difficult 8 days stage race with a lot of climbing and descending on pavement and dirt terrains.  The race will go up to the highest motorable pass in the world at 18,380 ft, the Khardung La (pass).  It will be an endurance adventure mountain bike race with an average of about 65km per day.  Although it’s scheduled in the peak summer season in Ladakh, the weather will be unpredictable in the higher altitude.

This is our big race for this year.

We’ve been “practicing” and learning as much as we can about our bodies while trekking the Annapurna Circuit, Island Peak Base Camp and Everest Base Camp.  The mountain bike ride from Kathmandu to Besi Sahar acquainted us with our bikes riding some steep terrains and descending gnarly dirt trails.  It’s not enough.

The Manali-Khardungla Cycling Championships is demanding on the body and we train to survive the full race.

We’ve build enough base from trekking over a month and a half at high altitude with a daily dose of 3-6 hours average trekking time.  It’s time for us to start building up towards the race.

This is going to be a unique training plan and with the race being above 6,000+ feet the whole time, it makes sense for us to Live High and Train High or LHTH.  The intensity will have to be something we need to understand because everything slows down at altitudes over 12,000 ft.  The race, undoubtedly will require extreme care in acclimatization and nutrition.  Proper hydration and nutrition is important.

Follow our training and racing as we tackle the most difficult race in the world.  Only two people finished last year.

I am also incredibly honored to cover the race for NorCal CyclingNews.  Stay tuned for a pre-race write on NCCN in June!

Laxmi Magar, now a really good friend of ours is very thankful and excited.  We were able to raise some money for her travel expense, help her purchase her flight from KTM to Delhi and to support Nepal, the race organizers, Northern Escapes India was able to waive her race entry.  Laxmi would like to thank everyone, from her heart the generosity during the tough times for the Nepalese people.  Laxmi will be representing her country with strength and honor.  We will see her at the start line!  A new friendship from chance and unexpected!

I really never thought our paths would cross nor did I really expect to interview such a humble person.  Our way of helping her fulfill her dreams as a pro mountain bike racer specially in this tough times, was well deserved.  Laxmi really deserved it.

In Nepal, culturally women are expected to be at home more than being outside. Women are expected to take care of the household and respect parents by being home. They don’t have the opportunity to work or have a career. Not all, but majority. Those small percentage are unique women who are viewed differently by their society. Women who work towards a career break the rules in society.

This is why I don’t see a lot of women guide in the mountains. A question I asked a few times…I wondered why?

Laxmi wants to represent that small percentage of unique women and inspire other women to go for their dreams.  We support her mission and we are helping her kick start her campaign.  Whether we succeed or not, at least we tried.  It’s a tough battle but with one woman’s courage, even making a small difference is a success!

I put up Laxmi’s USA Racing Campaign if you are interested in helping her next race, in America!

More on that project soon!

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