Riding Desi Shore | A monsoon riding session on the trails of Manali.
Photos By: Vinay Menon | Words: Vineet Sharma
Location: Manali, Himachal Pradesh – INDIA
Also featured in Issue #16 | July 2013
MANALI. This Himalayan town has been on the hit list of mountain bikers in this country. This place has some ancient epics attached to it. We have been riding in and around this town for a long time and every time we end up riding a new trail. Our crew member, Local riding hero ‘Naveen Barongpa’ tired after a long road trip decided to relax on the Van Vihar trail aka Nature Park located between Old Manali and the main town. After having Aloo Tikkis and Chat at the famous Delhi Chat Bhandar located near the mall road we start our 15 min hike towards Van Vihar.
“We are very lucky to have this kind of place connected to the town with so many trails” says Naveen gearing up for the ride while the rain starts and the fresh Pine and Deodar forest fragrance surrounds us. Naveen has been riding here for a while and rates Nature Park as one of his top three trails in Manali. The trails here are mixture of cement path and natural walking trails mixed with roots, stairs, small drops and much more.
The ride starts with the local hero losing control on a tight turn which was enough for a warm up. That’s where Naveen says his favourite dialogue “Bas! Ab aa gya confidence!” (Now I’m full of confidence!). Soon Naveen was seen dropping in and drifting around on the wet soil on Nature Park. The smile on his face was like never fading during the entire session.
The trails of Nature Park are pretty similar to the trails located in BC. Although there are no ladder bridges or obstacles but the local chaps with our magazines help are in talking terms with the local authorities to consider Nature Park for mountain biking purpose too. Things look positive so far and we hope for the best to come in near future. However, one can still ride there without worrying about the park care taker chasing you.
The day was well spent shooting stills and GoPro videos with our crew (Me, Vinay, Naveen and Cephas). By evening we all were pretty drenched and were excited to check out the videos and photos at Naveen room which also serves as a pit stop for local riders. Check out the video for more action: