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Mountainbiking the Himalayas.

Marsel

Amsterdam, NL
4969 posts

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Marsel Awarded for his masterful accomplishments in Nature Photography Awarded for his excellent white papers and product reviews for the Resources Basic Member
Wed 16-Jan-08 01:57 PM

It all started when I was a student and I had no money to pay for train or plane tickets to travel on my holidays. So one day I decided to take my mountainbike, put two bags at the front wheel and two at the back, put a lot of stuff in it, including a tent and things to cook with, and to ride south. Why south? Well, it's a weather thing; we usually don't have many days with high temperatures and sunshine in The Netherlands, so during the holidays there's always a big migration of Dutch people heading south, to where the sun shines.

During my first trip, I rode from Amsterdam through Belgium and Luxembourg, to the north of France, and back home again. It was a great experience, and I already knew then it would not be the last time.

The next year I rode from Amsterdam to Switzerland, and back. It was tough - the Alps are no laughing matter - but an incredible experience, again.

One year later I decided to ride from Amsterdam all the way to the south of France, to the Mediterranean (appr. 1000 miles). It took me two weeks to get there, and afterwards my legs looked like those of Ben Johnson . I took the bus back home, as I did not have enough days left make it on the bike.

Another year later, I again headed south, cycling through Belgium and France, but this time I crossed the eastern part of France and ended even further than the year before: the north of Spain, which made me cross the Pyrenees. I took the bus back home.

During all these trips I met a lot of people that did the same thing as I did (really...). And every time I had a conversation with one of them, eventually it always lead to THE question: What was the highest mountain you crossed by bike? It's probably something like 'what size was the biggest fish you ever caught?', but after a couple of years it started to really irritate me as I always seemed to run into people that had gone higher than me . So I decided to take drastic measures to end all this, and to search for the mountain with the highest cycleable road in the world ...

Well, that mountain is called the Khardungla, and is situated in the Himalayas of northern India. The road that leads to the summit, is the highest motorable road in the world. It goes all the way up to 18,380 ft.

Eventually I found some people that wanted to join in the challenge, and soon after my most exhausting holiday ever started.

Last week I started scanning some of the negatives of the many shots I took during this trip. In this thread I will post some of them. They are not of particularly high quality though, as they were all taken with my F50 and 35-80/1.4-5.6 D Nikkor, and I was too tired most of the time to actually think while taking a photo .

This first shot is one of my Cannondale , minutes after one of the first (muddy) training days at moderate altitude to climatize. To avoid getting altitude sickness, we stayed at a base camp for four days before leaving for the real stuff.

Sadly, this bike was stolen a few weeks ago in Amsterdam .


Click on image to view larger version


Attachment#1 (jpg file)

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Marsel van Oosten | Squiver Photo Tours

2013/2014 Tours & Workshops: Alaska | Iceland | Japan | Namibia | Spain | South Africa | Turkey | Zambia

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