Leh-Ladakh remains a dream destination for nature lovers, despite the bad weather and harsh environment. People have been waiting to get their chance to visit the place since the beginning of this year. It is a crime to not take a bicycle ride to Ladakh if you’re a cyclist!
These are some things to remember when planning a trip to Ladakh.
The best time to travel is –
You only have about six months to ride a bicycle to Leh. The roads to Leh can be used by visitors on both routes. From mid-May-June the first week to about mid-October-November. The best months are June through September. It can be difficult to get through July and August due to heavy rains (i.e. Zojila crosses the Srinagar–Leh highway, passing the Rohtang highway on Manali–Leh highway. Although June and September are generally the best months for travel, you can still get a glimpse of the monsoon months by looking at the calendar.
There are two main ways to get to Leh. Jammu–Srinagar–Leh highway or Manali–Leh highway. Both routes look great and I recommend you choose one while you are there and the other while returning. It is my favourite route, but it was the one I used for my most memorable experiences. The ascent on the Srinagar highway is steeper in the front lane so getting used to the heights here is easy.
It is important to have the following medications with you:
Bicycling to Leh Ladakh can cause serious health problems. People may experience acute mountain sickness (AMS) or high illness. Different heights have different levels. Your body is the best judge of how much you can take. Some people are severely affected while others are only mildly affected. A soft AMS case sounds like a slight hangover.
When riding at very high altitudes, you should wear a Balaclava (or use a cloth to cover your mouth).
Low oxygen levels at high altitudes mean that a person normally inhales through their mouth while riding at high altitudes. You may inhale water vapour from the air if you inhale heavily. This can lead to water getting into your lungs. It sounds scary, I know. Although there is some research available on the subject, it is not surprising that the solution is so easy. R30,000 to R50,000 will get you a bicycle ride to Leh-Ladakh.
Avoid alcohol abuse: –
Although I don’t advise you to not host the event, you must behave. Alcohol can cause dehydration and altitude sickness. This tip will help you avoid exhaustion while cycling to Leh Ladakh.
Internal Line Permits/Leh Protected Permits
Indian citizens require Inner line (ILP), permits, while foreign nationals need protected area permits (PAP), to travel to Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso lakes, Tso Moriri lakes, etc. You can also go to the DC office located in Leh to get the permits.
Take your bike tool kit with spare parts.
It is important to find a mechanic that will test your bike before and during your stay in Leh. You should be able to repair your bike if you can. You should always have extra clutch wires and accelerator cables, fuses, tubes (drill kit), air pump, etc. You will be able to use them. You will still find mechanics from Jammu to Srinagar and Leh, but they will require parts they might not have.
Keep it simple:
It is important to pack light. You can’t afford to be comfortable while on a bike ride. There are two reasons for this: Some weather doesn’t allow you to wear much fashion, so you should choose warm and comfortable clothes. Secondly, you will need more space. You will need to have a sleeping bag, a tent or an emergency power supply.
Do your best to help every truck driver.
Trucks are the best option if things go wrong. When you’re in good condition, these guys can take your bike to the next place. Although truck drivers are great people, they may need to be negotiated with. These tips will help you make the Leh Ladakh bike trip from there a pleasant one.
If you can afford it, save some time on your trip.
You may find that things don’t go according to plan on a trip like this. Your trip could be affected for many reasons. You may have to take more time getting used to certain roads due to weather conditions. Your motorcycle may also need more patience and may take longer to fix. It can take a lot of time to do a Leh Ladakh bike trip from Manali.