On Expedition | M2K2019 – Tandem Cycling from Manali to Khardung La

On Expedition | M2K2019 – Tandem Cycling from Manali to Khardung La

How would you like to see amputee and blind cyclists, alongside able-bodied riders, to take on a challenge that the world told them was impossible? Sharing lovely scenes while on expedition with ABBF, M2K2019 – Tandem Cycling from Manali to Khardung La.

ABBF takes cyclists with and without disability on an inclusive tandem-cycling expedition from Manali to Khardung La, since 2017. We cover this distance of 550 kms in 8 days. As the expedition lead, I help people from both communities to come together and interact in a level playing field. The mountains of Leh form a beautiful backdrop for meaningful conversations. See the moving film we made on this journey in M2K2018.

It’s a region I’ve visited four times now and I can’t wait to get back. From the land of the high passes, of blue skies and of the kindest people, it is a ten day schedule culminating in Leh, Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. We start in Manali, and make our way to Sissu via Madi, the Rohtang Pass. Leaving Sissu, we tandem cycle our way to Jispa-Zing Zing Bar-Sarchu-Whiskey Nala-Tso Kar-Lato, finally reaching Leh. On the last day we cycle up the winding roads to Khardung La. The mountains and cold desert of Ladakh region grows on you and make you keep coming back for more.

I urge you to go there, use homestays over hotels and massive campsites, take photos and leave nothing behind. Over these years I’ve seen it regress from pollution, exploitation of resources but the people remain kind and helpful.

On expedition with our cyclists we were faced with a complete whiteout, snow all morning and afternoon. We were met by rain all along the route via Chang La pass into Leh. This expedition is not for the faint hearted or the unprepared.

In the Himalayas things change in moments. You have to take what is given and make the most of it. I’ve often found myself rewarded with the most stunning views, kindness, heart warming moments and more. All you need is a little patience. With the elements and with yourself most of all.

I am not the only person to seek journeys that take me far from home, and certainly I am not the first. Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room/tent in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination.

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