She signed up for 545 Kms of Manali-Leh Mountian Biking Expedition with trepidation.  Soon the expedition became an all consuming desire in her life. She has been diligently following a yearlong training plan with GoMissing that has prepared her well for it.  Notwithstanding, she is still a bundle of nerves and here she confesses her love for cycling, ruminates her anxieties and shares what motivated her to be a part of this grueling expedition.

I started running. I hated running but loved cycling. I was running to build my stamina. Just so I could ride. I signed up for an expedition from Manali to Leh as my annual vacation. The distance was 545 kms from Manali to Leh with an elevation gain of 3550 meters in 13 days.

Would anyone call that a vacation? Unlikely! Especially because this vacation required a special training regime! Why was then I participating in such madness? Why did I feel inadequate in my normal existence? Was it because often times I felt lost in the sea of humanity? Was this my chance to stand out? Was it because when I looked back at my life, I couldn’t find any accomplishment that I could claim as my own? Why did I feel that this was the only way to prove to myself (and others) that I was made of tougher stuff?

What was the guarantee that even after following the training plan I would be able to complete the expedition i.e. ride the entire distance without using the support vehicle? But then, I have not kept such a lofty goal for myself. I know I will eventually journey part of the distance in the support vehicle. Then, what was I trying to achieve by training so hard?

Was my goal as mediocre as being a fitter version of myself? No, that’s not really the reason as I have never been so motivated. Why now? Why has this become so important, such an all consuming desire in my life right now?

To be true, I have no answers to these questions. Frankly, I never analysed my feelings so closely about this. I just accept the intensity of my passion for riding and being part of this once in a lifetime expedition. It’s funny that “over thinker”, the “analyse to death” me has accepted something so obsessive as a part of me without any question.

I took cycling as a fish to water. It felt right, good, pure, cathartic, comforting and most of all healing. Riding everyday made my daily life seem bearable. Everything that used to irritate and annoy me in the past started to lose its sting. Instead of reacting and worrying, I was taking everything in my stride, becoming empathetic, trying to look at situations from other’s point of view.

Troubles, worries, deadlines, work pressure, all negativity lost its sheen, seemed insignificant. The only thing that mattered was the ride. I had to ride. That’s the only reality I have accepted. I, my cycle, the road and the ride.

The Manali-Leh Cycling is one of the most popular expeditions that GoMissing prepares adventure enthusiasts for. It is a tough 545 kms Himalayan route we cover in 13 days. The ride takes you through an elevation gain of 3550 mts, reaching highest elevation of 5600 m (at Khardungla).  In the journey, you tackle six mountain passes that combine sweat inducing uphill ride, dizzying switchbacks and exhilarating downhill runs. Keep watching this space as well as GoMissing’s facebook, instagram and twitter feeds for an exhilarating live update from the expedition!

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