When we think of India, we often remember its large best bike us for Hindu population bathing in the sacred Ganges. Few people associate the region of Ladakh with India. The main theme physical preparation for our great trip for bike-
Ladakh is part of the great plateau of Tibet, i.e., a barren, deserted, largely inhabited expanse with a Buddhist majority descended from Mongols (about 3 inhab/km 2, the lowest density in the country). There are so many similarities that it is known as Little Tibet, however, with the great advantage of being located in India, a country with democratic freedoms. It is in this region that is the highest roads in the world, reaching about 5,600 meters above sea level.
Getting there by bicycle is not a task to be underestimated, especially in our case. Some unsuspecting reader may be impressed by these high numbers and my return to the world of cycling, but I make it a point to remember here the real reason why I pedaled again in my adult life and my true nature.
In 1992 I felt the weight of the professional responsibilities of a young lawyer and bought a bicycle to lose the belly I had accumulated. I started my pedals for 10 km in an hour of training, that is, the speed of pedal in the best bike us of the path.
I’ve never been such an adrenaline and high metabolism athlete; on the contrary, I’m the lethargic type, who has to drink a big mug of coffee in the morning to work well. I do not believe I am incapable of fulfilling my dreams of traveling on a bicycle. Our training for this Himalayan trip is deeply connected with our lifestyle, which I would like to comment on at this time.
As I wrote in previous articles, we try to include some physical exercise in our day to day life. We realize that modern life has become very comfortable and sedentary; somehow we have to create mechanisms to compensate for this state. I think if I lived in a house I would try to go to work on foot or by bicycle, but since I live and work in a motor home, what I can do!?
In the field research work, we pedal a lot to search for the best paths by bike and describe them in our guides. When we are writing, plotting and editing books and DVDs, we have to stand still and connected to electricity. At this moment we seek to park the motorhome about 10 km from the nearest post office; so with every sale, we have to take the bike book and also buy all our supplies in the city. If the post office is closed, we will walk to be able to do more exercise.
We realize that these activities keep us in shape, but that is not enough to confront the Himalayas.
Bicycles loaded, cold, altitude, irregular feeding, and so many other variants bring extra difficulties. We feel that we need to be in a different stage of fitness, something like what is called “in top form”, that is, when your body changes the metabolism and starts to function in high performance, the immune system increases and we feel capable of pedaling without stopping. With about three months of serious training, you can reach this stage.
However, we would not have all this time; training would only begin after the publication of our new guide to starting to pedal (Diamond Path), that is, a month and a half of training and preparation.
I believe that the most important ingredient is patience and faith. When I say faith, I mean also in the sense of “believing,” when you believe you can, or in our case, with our experience, we come to know that it is possible, that alone helps a lot.
In our last adventure in Peru we left the sea level and in four days we reached 4,170 m altitude. It’s not 5,600 m, but we started at sea level … The training to travel through Peru was simply to update our Mantiqueira guide. We do not have large mountains in Brazil, but the Mantiqueira provides us with several steep climbs that simulate the wear we would face in Peru.
Anyone who intends to travel with this type of difficulty and has no experience will have to prepare much better than we have done, for these people it is always good to remember that we cannot underestimate great mountains, I believe we should be humble and remember that the secret of the success of the great climbs is the slowness, not always you will win the mountain in a single day as we do in the Brazilian mountains. The more experience you have with higher climbs the better, be sure to face climbs as each one prepares you for a bigger one.
Besides researching, writing, diagraming, editing, we are the ones that do all the distribution of books, guides, and DVDs, we do not sponsor, our gain comes from the sale of these products through the internet, so we cannot simply stop to train, we have to continue to physical preparation and attend and send the requests we receive.
As we are our own bosses, we have flexibility and we can take some time each day to train.
Unlike many, we train for time rather than mileage. I think pedaled hours are like a fuel limit. I have about four hours of performance per day, if you are in a difficult region this can mean only 40 km if it is easier it can be 80 or 100 km. That way I never disappoint myself with my performance. As I realize my average I calculate my chances of completing the daily circuit and/or until the next stop to get supplies.
In Peru as well as in Patagonia, our trips always go through precarious paths, it is important to have experience and custom with this. Overall, the legs hold up much more than other parts of the body that we never remember to train and complain about on a great trip.
Who trains spending several hours a day with their hands on the handlebars? Only in the trip, you stay so long in this same position. The posture of the neck also feels, but of course, the part that suffers most is the woman, and worse, it is the one that takes longer to recover and strengthen. There is no way to train without spending hours on the bicycle seat and best bike us.
In our case, we can contradict several principles, because we keep in shape, what we needed most was really to be able to strengthen these parts as soon as possible. As we already have experience in Rythio and land, we bet everything in pedaling four hours a day on the best roads that we could choose in order to strengthen to the maximum without hurting.
Whenever we ride on land or mud our daily work increases a lot, because our motorhome life imposes limitations on the consumption of water and things like that. As we have already experienced a lot of rain and snow, we take advantage of the bad weather to walk, after all, great climbs with a loaded bike mean that you have to be prepared to push (at this time a good walking shoe is better than the sneaker).
With only a month and a half of training, we made about 1,600 km on our new bikes and we are feeling well. Our degree of training, coupled with the knowledge of our abilities, allows us to begin, but the true physical shape is still to happen during the journey of the pregnancy and bicycle – will it be a good combination?, so our planning is slack in our goals, precisely so that we can recover and strengthen ourselves in the trip.
Although the region is exotic, inaccessible and with high altitudes, I do not like exalted nomenclatures like “towards the highest road in the world” or “Himalayan Expedition”. I prefer to think that I am going to walk around Ladakh because I like the beauty of its landscapes and the simplicity of its people.
While cycling around the world, there was a very common question: “Do you do this to get into the record books?”
“The first”, “the greatest”, “the best” physical preparation may not be very pleasant places to stay, is very tight, only fit one … The Chinese sage Lao Tse said that the man who rises on the tip of his feet cannot stand this position for long. Let’s go to Ladakh because we want it and that’s it. This freedom to dream, to want and to fulfill is what gives us pleasure.