Uttarakhand, the land of the gods as the state is popularly known as typically conjures up images of temples, religious rituals and the Char Dham Yatra (The pilgrimage of 4 temple towns) for most people. For adventure lovers, the state is associated with rafting, kayaking and trekking.
What Uttarakhand is usually not associated with is mountain biking. However, what we found out on our reccee trip, left us pleasantly surprised. Not only are there numerous back roads with little traffic, but there are also numerous single tracks for the advance MTB enthusiast.
One such back road we explored was around Rudraprayag. This road is supposedly so insignificant, that it isn’t even there on the Google map. This road starts from Nagarasu on the national highway and goes up to a small village known as Kodima.
The road is roughly 30Kms long out of which about 90% is uphill while the remaining is comprised of flats and short downhill sections. The entire area is thickly forested and makes riding a pleasure. At several places along the route there are small glacial streams with clean water. Several small villages lie on this route and there are a number of shops where snacks and cold drinks are easily available. The best part of riding on this route is the lack of traffic and the fact that most of the road is in good shape. During the ride, we passed about 5-6 jeeps and a few motorcycles. The one common thing was that all jeep drivers were quite courteous and several of them stopped to have a little chit-chat with the “people on cycles wearing helmets”.
The last 5 Kms to kodima village are quite steep and are also the most beautiful. All along there is a thick forest full of birds and butterflies. The uphill ride was certainly difficult, but that made the downhill even more fun. While riding downhill, there was seldom the need to pedal. A nice cruise with nippy mountain air hitting the face and refreshing the senses.
A really nice experience was when we took a break on our way back from Kodima. After covering about 5 Kms downhill from Kodima village (the last village on the section) we stopped for a sip of water. As soon as we stopped, a lady from a nearby house called out to us and invited us over for tea. We spent the next hour or so having a lovely free-flowing conversation with the family.
As the sun had set by the time we started after the break, we decided to ride non-stop till the road head. We were told that there are leopards and bears in the forest and they usually come out after dark. Seeing a Leopard, on the highway, a couple of days back didn’t help matters.
Thankfully the ride downhill was uneventful, except for the little noise we mistook for a Leopard (which actually was a sheep dog).
Coming up, part II of the ride where we explore the Chopta area and meadows on our MTBs.
Interested in riding with us to this place the next time?