India’s wildest mountain bike festival, where mountain bikers from all over the world ride, race and party together for a week in the beautiful Himalayan town of Manali aka ‘The Mountain Biking Capital of India’.
This lifestyle is much required to improve the riding culture of this country where the sport is fairly new and progression is on full swing.
Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015 was conducted in Manali and Solang Valley (Himachal Pradesh) from 16th to 19th July 2015. This festival had 2 professional mountain bike races in and around Manali which witnessed international participations from Nepal, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Canada and from various parts of India too.
The first race “Himalayan Trails n Dust Mountain Bike Challenge was organized on 17th July 2015”. This was the 5th version of the race which started from The Mall, Manali and crossed technical and demanding trails located in Kanyal and Palchan. 27 participants from various parts of India like Kullu, Manali, Shimla, Solan, Chandigarh, Delhi, Gurgaon, Shillong, Calcutta, Bombay and Rajasthan competed and rated it one of the best trails ever ridden till date compared to any other race in India.
Getting the bike “high” on the groovy bike-n-hike section.
Just an average XC trail for Himalayan Trails n Dust MTB Challenge.
Devender Thakur from Kullu bagged the 1st place followed by Sandeep Madaan from Chandigarh and Sunil Barongpa from Kullu. The winners were given a cash prize and other goodies from sponsors and organizers. Thousands of tourists and locals witnessed the prize ceremony of 5th Himalayan Trails n Dust Mountain Bike Challenge and inspired them to take up this sport as well.
All the participants were stoked as this race helped them to discover their riding abilities on these kind of trails and inspired them to try more rude stuff instead of jeep tracks and tarmac.
CLICK HERE FOR DETAILED TIME SHEET | 5th Himalayan Trails n Dust MTB Challenge
The main highlight event of Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival was the 2nd Himachal Downhill Mountain Bike Trophy which is the only downhill mountain bike race of India and the most wicked one!
The race was held at Ski Himalayas – Solang Ropeway and Ski Centre (Solang Valley) on a very technical 2Km long ski slope from Mt. Phatru. The steep single track trail also included challenging obstacles like rock gardens, roots, jumps and drops.
Mandil Pradhan and Rajesh Magar planned a road trip to Manali from Nepal to attend the Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival 2015 and continued their journey to Leh.
Nishma Shrestha from Nepal. The first and only female DH race participant who competed in the Amateur Category but raced like a pro.
Ski Himalayas serves as the prefect venue for a high quality mountain bike race. Ski Himalayas and Himalayan Mountain Bike Network are already working towards making this facility into a mountain bike park in the coming season. Renowned riders like Andi Wittmann and Guido Tschugg have already tested the park and had a great time here.
The track became more challenging because of the occasional monsoon rains. The fancy tires with various compounds and bikes with extravagant technology failed to grab the soil and the race finished in the old fashioned way. Unfortunately the Amateur category final run had to be cancelled as the track had become very lethal.
Rajesh Magar, The Winner of 2nd Himachal Downhill Mountain Bike Trophy
2nd Himachal Downhill Mountain Bike Trophy was captured by Rajesh Magar from Nepal. Rajesh is a professional mountain biker who riders for Himalayan Rides Banshee. Suman Tamang from Nepal took 2nd position followed by Ajay Padval from Pune who rides for Freerider Mountain Bike Magazine bagged 3rd place in the most wicked mountain bike race of India.
In Amateur Category, Akshay Chaudhary from Gurgaon bagged 1st place, followed by Raj Kaushal from Manali who also rides for Freerider Mountain Bike Magazine while 3rd place was taken by Jeewan Jeet Singh from Chandigarh who rides for Firefox Bikes.
All the winners were awarded with Cash prizes by Firefox Bikes, Trek Bikes, Loose Riders India and Haul Apparel and goodies by Havoc Wear, Sharp Tune and Himalayan Bike Bar.
CLICK HERE FOR DETAILED RESULT | 2nd Himachal Downhill Mountain Bike Trophy – EXPERT CATEGORY
CLICK HERE FOR DETAILED RESULT | 2nd Himachal Downhill Mountain Bike Trophy – AMATEUR CATEGORY
FInal Celebration for this season: The same schedule for every evening. Beers… Beers and more Beers.
The team of Himalayan Mountain Bike Network also plans to organize Asian and World level downhill and Enduro mountain bike races in the near future. Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival is an annual event which will have various action packed activities.
The next Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival is scheduled for May 2016.
Photos by: Vineet Sharma, Vinay Menon, James Frampton and Shivam Roy (Pinkbike),