Cascade of claps and cheers from the crowd crowned me not less than Lance Armstrong in winning Tour de France when I wheeled the finish line there in Kashi Bhanjyang of Kavrepalanchowk district. That was very exciting moment for me in the 3rd Thuraya Mountain Bike Championship organized by Trekking Agents Association of Nepal (TAAN) in association with other Tourism related organizations (THURAYA, Mountain Bike Club and other). Fresh smell of nature, scenic beauty of green paddy fields, off-road terrain, steep hill, sprinkled mud allover my bike and jersey were other ingredients that made the championship even more exciting experience. Daunting up hill climbs in the course raced my heartbeat up to 140 pulses per minute and it was a real test of my paddling endurance. It was my first participation ever in such mountain bike championship and I am more than just happy to see my name on 29th position out of 107 participants including bikers from abroad.
Championship was organized on the occasion of World Environment Day '5th June 2006', that was enough reason for me to take part since I am working in an office that works for Environment besides my mountain bike craze. My will to participate was purely to support the event and I had no aim to compete amid those tough mountain bikers. Nevertheless I was confident that I have ample stamina to endure this course of 22-kilometers distance elevation of 1781 meters between Thimi of Madhyapur Thimi Municipality in Bhaktapur district and Kashibhanjyang in Kavrepalanchowk district.
When the race got commenced I thought that other participants would overtake me like a bullet and unbelievingly that was not the case. Yet I didn't expect to grab any position, instead I focused more on enjoying scenic area while I paddled uphill. Moreover I made fun greeting schoolchildren who were standing at the roadside cheering us. "Malai tali khoi ta" (Where is clap for me) and they went burst laughing and clapping. Because of our colorful eye catchy outfits schoolchildren consider us as foreigners and whenever we passed them they shout, Hello.. Hello.. and I responded Namaste .. Namaste. It was so good to make those local people part of the race and my memory.
Entire race route was beautifully planned. Those jeep track after crossing Nala was heavily rutted and it may as well be single-track consisting uphill and downhill for truly adventurous mountain biking. There was one technically advanced uphill 6-kilometers ahead of the finish line and most mountain bikers failed to flex their calf at that point. But participants were so daring that day to conquer it. I think that's the joys of two-wheeled action. If huffing and puffing you've stumbled here by chance, paddle on, a new experience awaits ahead to thrill you more. Mountain biking is independence realm and a free ticket to cruse wherever you want day or night. A total of 145 participants took part in the championship. Of them, 22 were foreigners.
I have learnt a lot from this championship. Importantly I should not underestimate myself among those tough mountain bikers in the billboard. Now I know what tricks I need to follow in winning the race and do better preparation technically to tackle the most rugged conditions. Overall this championship was wonderful experience and I had a great time. And suggest anyone to try Mountain Biking if you want to bring some adventure in your life. I assume what better way and what better machine is there to explore the diverse beauty of Nepal other than by MOUNTAIN BIKE. Mountain biking can be your chances to partake in one of the simplest joys of life and there are a zillion trails awaiting, for all levels of experience. Whatever your level is.
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