Day 4 - Dirt Track

It was time to get back on the saddle. The steep uphill climb from the campsite to the road made things even more difficult.  Everyone started pushing their bikes up, everyone, except for Captain (Of course - Captain never pushes his bike around). The plan for the day was simple - go downhill till Karcham (20 - 30 km) and then ride to Pooh, where a small climb awaited us. The rest of the route was supposed to be rolling. It felt like a good day to ride. The feeling lasted only for a few moments.

As a cyclist, the first thing that you do before starting a downhill is to check your brakes. In our rush to get going, we missed it, till about 5 min into the ride. Someone called out for a brake check and all seemed fine, until Shilpa yelled out, that her brakes were not working. Luckily for us, she managed to stop without using the precautionary barrier that we formed with our cycles. Captain immediately got to work and within no time, we were back on the saddle, cruising down the slopes.  I managed a makeshift Go-Pro, using my cell phone and the handlebar bag to snap a few videos. 

A hyperlapse of the downhill from Sangla to Karchham on my makeshift go-pro - Oneplus One hitched to a handlebar bag

 

 

Rocky Neighbours 

2 houses stand apart on a rocky ridge on the road to Pooh. The clouds and the blue sky just added to the setup

Each of us, including the cycles, must have easily put on a couple of Kgs courtesy, the dust on the road. Most of the route was under construction. We had to break a couple of times in between owing to roadblocks. Even the landscape was devoid of any greenery.

The deteriorating road conditions throughout the day and the disappearing tree line. The day was hot sunny and not say dusty, 

We stopped at Spillow for brunch,  and had an awesome lamb Thukpa. We even picked up a few chocolates to help us through the last leg of the ride. As we approached Pooh, the road became slightly better.  Each one of us tried to cover the last climb as fast as possible, eager for a hot water shower and some good food.  Of course, food came first as the back up vehicle was yet to arrive with all the bags. 

 

The climb of Pooh. It felt that if we didn't have a challenging uphill towards the end of the day, the ride didn't feel worthwhile. Every single day, we climbed up for our stay, only to descend the same slope at the start of the next day and head further. 

The climb of Pooh. It felt that if we didn't have a challenging uphill towards the end of the day, the ride didn't feel worthwhile. Every single day, we climbed up for our stay, only to descend the same slope at the start of the next day and head further. 

 

This was the first time that the youngest kid of our group - (Chota Hrishi) had managed to complete the entire day's ride. We all celebrated his success by having ice-cream. 

 

On our way up, each one of us had noticed the Army Bakery, and plans were made during lunch time to gorge on some junk food in the evening. Come evening, we hiked downhill to grab some burgers and chips. Unfortunately for us, the chef was on leave and all we could lay our hands on was one veg burger amongst the 8 of us. We somehow managed to share it amongst the 8 of us, comparing our feat to eating one sesame seed between 7 people.  

Captain being vocal about what we missed on that day !! :) The dejected face says it all :)

Captain being vocal about what we missed on that day !! :) The dejected face says it all :)

 

We trekked back to our hotel, with gloomy faces and ended up watching the sunset from the terrace of the building. As darkness set in, we took a break from the various versions of Hindi everyone was attempting to speak and had a quick tasty dinner before retiring for the night. 

 

The next day was supposed to be a good 35- 40 km climb and everyone needed ample rest for it.