Monday, February 16, 2009

'09 India MTB Stage Race

The 2nd International Mt. Khanchedzonga Mountain Biking Expedition 2009 to be exact!

Costa Rica was a life changing, challenging, fun and an exciting adventure. That was 2007. Fast forward into late 2008: Lots of discussion with Harlan and TimmyD have brought about an interest in this India expedition. After much debate and thinking I have decided to take part. Thought about the logistics and figured out a way to make it happen. It is opportunities like this that I can not pass up.

My flights are booked. I am leaving March 13th to get me out there about a week prior to the start of the event. I can then adjust to my surroundings and explore (off the bike) a little bit. Returning in early April a few days after the race is over. I've also met with my doctor and am all up to date on vaccinations. I just have to review all my equipment and make sure I am prepared appropriately.

Oh yeah, I'm going to bring the 29inch wheeled singlespeed. Just like Costa Rica.

So, what is this all about?
For starters, it is a nine day mountain bike stage race in the northeastern most state of Sikkim in the country of India. Nestled east of Nepal and within the foothills of the Himalaya. Surrounded by some of the tallest mountains within the world (ie: Mount Everest).

2008 marked the first ever off-road stage race in the state of Sikkim. The tourism bureau is bring it back for 2009. Harlan Price has become the US leasion for this event working directly with the Sikkim department of tourism.

The course route for 2009 will cover the foothills of the great Mt. Khanchendzonga (happens to be the world third tallest mountain). This route will cover some of the unexplored tourist spots unveiling the great Sikkim age old folk culture, religion, art and handcrafts.

I have copied this from the official website ( in regards to what Sikkim truely is:
Sikkim is a land of superlatives, with its magnificent mountains, rich cultures and pristine environment. A tiny jewel of state, its total population is only 540,000 and it covers 7,000 sq. kilometres. Yet within Sikkim’s Himalayan boundaries, there are many worlds to discover, as one travel from Buddhist monastery to Hindu Temple, or trek from alpine meadow to cascading waterfall, visiting cities and village along the way.

Cultural diversity is one of Sikkim’s hallmarks, from Dzongu indigenous Lepcha reserve in North Sikkim, to traditional Bhutia villages in the west and Nepalese agricultural settlement in the south. Each of these cultural groups celebrates their own rituals and festivals throughout the year, so that there is never a dull week in Sikkim. For those interested in nature as well as culture, the state’s biodiversity is unsurpassed. Ranging from subtropical to alpine eco-zones, Sikkim flora and fauna include a number of rare species such as the Red Panda, the snow leopard and the Himalayan black bear, not to mention a huge variety of brightly coloured rhododendrons and exotic orchids.

Bounded to the North and Northeast by the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China, to the West by Nepal, to the Southeast by Bhutan and to the South by the Darjeeling District of West Bengal, Sikkim occupies an important strategic niche along one of the oldest Himalayan trade routes. Much of the state’s north and west is perpetually snow-covered and dominated by the Khanchendzonga massif, India’s highest and world’s thirds highest mountain. Each of Sikkim’s four districts holds its own treasures of rich cultures and lifestyle.

Here are some photos I borrowed from the official website. Taken from the 2008 Expedition:

This is going to be fun. I can not wait!

More updates as March 13th approaches....

ps. SSWC09 is official. I'm on the entrance list. Looks like Durango CO in September too!


Blogger Big Bikes said...

Youz guys is nuts!

Remember, Palik Paneer in your jersey pockets and Mango Lassi in your Camelbak works for fuel in a pinch.

I am an ignorant son of a bitch.


2/18/2009 2:29 PM  
Blogger GenghisKhan said...

That sounds so amazing, especially thinking of the contrast of high tech bikes and gear against ancient culture.

Take lots of pics!

Peace and good luck!

2/19/2009 12:04 AM  

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