Hometown Cycling Excursions – Riding to ‘That Mountain’

Our father (our because we are twins so I am conditioned that way :D) would often take us out for a ride on his scooter and we were almost always out on weekends. And not that he was biased towards boys of the family, he used to take mom and sisters for long rides. They once went all the way to Chandigarh to watch Sholay with two elder sisters (then kids) in the tow. That was the year 1975 and roads were equally bad if not worse.

What lies beyond that mountain?

Where does this road lead to?

These were my two favorite questions while we were growing up.

While I started venturing out on my own as soon as I started earning money but rarely I got a chance to explore my own hometown. There are mountain tops visible from my house that I have only seen from a distance. Shimmering with incandescent lights these hilly villages look fascinating. But to explore them never really appealed to me.

I had always wanted to see ‘That Mountain’, the one that was in the far-off distance and that one too which was overlooking our village.

Until I moved back home from Chandigarh recently after a brief two year stint in the plains. I got my Firefox Maximus Bike and truckloads of cheap liquor and now all I wanted to do was to explore those hillocks which I had only seen from a distance.

Pedal by Pedal. One mountain top at a time.

Ride to Mandi via Chailchowk-Moviseri

The Mountain of Gods

I clicked this image in 2012. These villages atop the hillock are visible from my place. But I could never guess the name of this village. Now I know. And I know something which even Google Maps doesn’t know. There is a well-built road connecting Chailchowk to Mandi town. Name of this village visible in the photograph above is Moviseri.

Nerchowk to Mandi via Chailchowk-Moviseri
Nerchowk to Mandi via Chailchowk-Moviseri

In this image, you can see Pandoh and the meandering Beas snaking towards Mandi. Google Maps shows this route if one has to go to Mandi from Chailchowk. But the real route will look something like this:

The first seventeen kilometers of this ride were pure grind. The first five because of excessive fog and the next twelve because of an uphill grind. The next 23 kilometers were a mixed bag of sorts and as you can see from the images shown above, I could see the beautiful Balh Valley down below. But as the valley has a close affinity for fog, it wasn’t possible to click a clear photograph. By the time it was sunny, I was already hovering above the course of River Beas.

A good ride to begin my hometown explorations.

A video I made using Strava

Ride to Rohanda

I had been planning to ride to Parashar Lake from Mandi for quite some time. So much so that I even created a Facebook Event on my page (Yeah, I was that serious 😀) But then I had a look at the terrain profile and dropped the idea. Ride to Parashar is sheer grind from the word go and one has to be absolutely fit to achieve this feat in a single day.

So instead of going to Parashar, I chose Rohanda as my workout route. Approximately 80km, 40km of which was ascent and 30km was descent. I assumed that the descent would be smooth sailing but that didn’t happen. In a poll bound state like ours, roads are left to strategically left to rot in the fifth year so that the next government can boast of making new roads. The road was in shambles and the ride downhill indeed took a heavy toll on my shoulders and hands.

Have a look at the elevation profile.

The Downhill Part wasn’t really easy

Elevation Profile

On my way I met people from BJP and Congress campaigning for elections. To justify why I did what I did, there were no shops around where from I could buy fruits or eatables. So when I encountered Congress folks, I shouted their election slogan,”Raja Sahab, Saatvi Baar” and rest was history.

Though this is a risky venture but risk to spider man ko bhi lena padta hai….

I don’t expect any better road conditions for Parashar Ride so I think I will have to work on a few more rides before I finally bite the bullet.

If you too want to make such cool videos, read this post: Animated Videos using Smartphone

6 thoughts on “Hometown Cycling Excursions – Riding to ‘That Mountain’”

  1. Nice post.tera gaon kahan hai bhai? I thought u r from hamirpur.
    By the way i ventured on Prasher journey with two colleagues. I had to ride on Hero cycle 18 gear second hand(not mine, i had firefox cyclone). We started 3pm from sundernagar and as we reached mandi it started raining heavily. By 10 pm we reached kataula somehow. Next day upto bagi and then trek.

  2. Hi Tarun,

    Hope you’re doing well.

    I was just browsing the internet and I came across your blog and I really loved what you write.

    Especially the cycling part that interests me a lot. As I’ve never been to the Himayalas, I wish to surely make it someday on my bike. That being said, I’ve been promoting cycling in India.
    You can check my work here- http://www.velocrushindia.com

    Would love to feature a guest post from you. Do email me at abhishektarfe@velocrushindia.com

  3. Wonderful Website Abhishek. I would love to but I am caught up with writing my book and can find time possibly around next month.

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