Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What Are You Getting When You Pay for a Guide?

It is all to often that people underrate the true value of a guide, not just in mountain biking but in any field when it comes to travel in the Asian Regions.

You should never cut corners with your safety and you should never underestimate the trail conditions in places you are not familiar with, so lets take a look at what you are paying for when you hire a guide:-

    Local Trail Knowledge – The guides ride here every day, Nepal and the Himalaya is their playground and they are can and will show you all the secrete nooks and crannies and trails that you normally miss. They will also know which trails are riding better at the time and which ones to avoid. Mountain Bike Guides generally love to ride so they will certainly have a much better insight into the local trails than you can pick up from a map. After all you did pay a lot of money to get yourself and your bike to Nepal, so you really should milk it for all its worth!

2   Safety – You are essentially paying a guide to be responsible for not only your enjoyment and riding experience, but also for your safety. They have some things you do not like better local knowledge when it comes to trails, weather and danger areas and much better judgment on these things. Having a great mountain biking experience is one thing and it’s even better when you come out of it unscathed. In the off chance that something does happen, they have the know how and the connections to get you out of there as well as the relevant first aid training.

3   Experience - You are most likely in a totally different world than what you are used when you travel to Nepal. The guide can help enhance your riding experience by sharing local knowledge about cultural, people and life styles. Cultural interaction can add another dimension to your biking experiences in Nepal.

     Equipment – We all know how much it cost to maintain our own bikes, the guide must do the same. You would not value the skill of a guide on a poorly maintained bike without the proper equipment. You are paying to be led by a professional.

5   Training- A guide does not get to his position without training and experience. It’s not like you can just buy a book…”The Dummies Guide to Mountain Biking” or something. Guiding is a high risk occupation and its hard work….harder than most people think. Our guides for example go through three phases of training. Beginner Level, Intermediate Level and Advanced Level. On top of that they have to have relevant first aid certificates, mechanic skills, the skills to ride and be on top of all the latest industry news and technologies and they have to invest time to reki trails and their own fitness, so that when you are here you can just enjoy the good stuff.

At the end of a the day you are paying a guide for his expertise in all areas and out of it you are getting a super enhanced mountain biking experience discovering new trails, new cultures and also improving your own skills….. and you are coming home safely at the end of the day!!

Ask yourself this….how much would you pay for the same service and professionalism at home? A lot more.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Himalayan Children's Foundations MTB Skills Training Day.

Kids are not only super cool and good fun to hang out with, but they are also the leaders of our future.

We went to the Himalayan Children’s Foundation on Saturday with Mr Al Seaton from Wheelie Cool Mountain Biking to teach the kids there something about mountain biking skills, looking after bikes and safety whilst riding. The Kailash Children’s home is situated near to Sundarijal and offers a safe haven for orphaned and disadvantaged kids from remote areas of Nepal where their opportunities in life are very limited.

The Foundation strives to provide a safe home, an education and a bright future for the kids. Part of that bright future for some of the children could be in the mountain biking field. Himalayan Single Track is working in conjunction with the foundation to set up some kind of long term vocational training for a few of the kids so perhaps they can enter into the tourism or mountain biking industry.

Thanks to a generous donor the Foundation was able to purchase several bikes for the kids, but that is just the beginning. We are also trying to set up a long term project “Ride to Donate” where tourist, bike clubs and fellow riders can donate used bike parts, helmets and clothing to these kids to keep them on the bikes and keep them pedaling into a bright future.

We cannot say enough words about how inspiring these kids are and what a great day we had with them on Saturday. Bikes are a great leveler when it comes to culture barriers, cast and life situations. A bike makes kids happy and puts them all on the same level. It’s awesome to see shy kids become happy and inspired about riding bikes….and even better to see naturally skilled kids helping their lesser skilled brothers and sisters at the Home.

Nothing expresses pure and simple happiness like putting kids on bikes.

For more information about “Ride to Donate”, please send us an email.


Monday, June 9, 2014


The Kathamndu Kora 75km Challenge

The optimum word here is "challenge" this ride is no walk in the park with lots of climbing and the heat and humidity, plus the energy sapping muddy trails created by the monsoon. If you are taking on the Kora75 please be sure to pack your sense of adventure and your stamina.

Your Own Bike - You must have your own bike, not a hired bike. Your bike should be a Mountain Bike with 9/10 speed in good working order. Our guide leaders are great mechanics but you will be responsible for your own bike. With over 130 riders expected we cannot have the time to fine tune your bike for you.

Personal Responsibility
The ride is a fitness challenge and there will be many many other riders. We have a time frame in which to complete the ride so please take responsibility for yourself. There will be two groups, a fast one and a medium one, if you feel yourself falling behind and others are spending a long time waiting for you, please use your own initiative and ask the leaders for the nearest bail out point. There is no shame in this, you can rejoin the Kora50 and now you have a good sense of what the Kora75 is all about you can train more and try again next year.

Get Ready For it!
The more you ride before the  Kora, the more your body will be conditioned and the more you will enjoy it! Preparedness is the key! Stay tuned to Facebook for other groups leading rides to prepare for the Kora.

Get your bike ready for the Kora
A good servicing before the trip and healthy servicing of wet chain oil should get you through. Make sure you are comfortable with your bike. A good tip for efficient riding is to make sure the air  pressure in the tires is high enough, you can lose a lot of energy from poorly inflated tires.
Also check out all the local bikes shops in the lead up to the Kora, they are offer new bike deals and servicing specials for Kora Riders.

What to Carry
A water bottle and spare 1 liter water
Sun cream
Spare tube, pump and a patch kit and a multi tool if you have one
Some snacks……nuts, bananas, chocolate
A Helmet

With a positive attitude, the right preparation and the correct gear…YOU CAN SUCCEED!