Annapurna Circuit Cycling Notes

We had arranged our Annapurna permits in Kathmandu through friends at Pilgrim’s Guest House. Once in Besisahar, we registered with the conservation folks at the start of the circuit (i.e., at the end of town). As it was late in the day, we rode for barely an hour before stopping at a guest house on the river in Khudi. On the second day we rode to Tal. Early on there were times we were pedaling easily, but ultimately this would turn very painful with a lot of bike carrying, especially at the end (approaching a two hour bike carry). The third day — Tal to Chame — again saw a lot of bike carry, perhaps the most of the trip. Day 4 was Chame to Manang, a short easy day on the bike with one serious carry in the middle of it (40 minutes or so), but otherwise a great deal of downhill and wide open high speed riding. It has become traditional to spend an acclimatization day in Manang, but we did not. Day 5 was Manang to Thorung Pedi, the base of the climb. It’s mostly ridable, even if steep and at notable altitude. And then there’s the portage to the Thorung La the next morning, in our case with a 6:30 departure, one of the latest of the folks going over because we’re, well, lazy. I strapped the frame and wheels to my pack, Alex strapped his frame to his pack and carried his wheels, effectively using them as walking sticks. Once at the top — noon-ish on our day 6 counting the modest first day — we flew down, 99% ridable to Muktinath. From Muktinath we rode 90k to the hot springs at Tatopani, and then the next day — day 8 —  100k to just short of Pokhara.  We arrived Pokhara early on day 9, checked into The Peace Eye Guest House (excellent, friendly staff), and spent the day relaxing.

With Alex Baker in Besisahar, Nepal at start of Annapurna Circuit.