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.