Over 400 kms on some of the worst roads (and no roads in some places) but the most beautiful countryside. Manali to Leh on cycle spanning 10 days and many many breathless moments (both because of the altitude and the sight of the mighty Himalayan ranges!).
The journey took us through lush evergreen forests, green hills and valleys to barren desert-like mountains with not a sight of tree for a whole day. Many a times we had just the river gushing beside us, endless miles of road in front and the mountains fringing the horizon challenging us as we embarked on our numerous climbs.
Spanning many high passes, numerous climbs, bone rattling downhills and some amazingly scenic landscapes made it the ride of a lifetime and a high like no other!
A few days ago, a cyclist was turned away from the Leela Hotel’s main gate to a side parking lot on the road. He was there to attend a conference when his “humble” cycle did not pass the “high security standards” of the hotel. He refused, of course, (even I would!) the security guard’s suggestion to park on the side of the road.
This was communicated to the Leela, but they couldn’t say much except that they can’t take responsibility of two wheelers and cycles parked on their premises. And that they have “security” policies that do not allow two wheeler parking. (Check out their Facebook page for their very defensive response). However, “security” is something they don’t offer cars either. The question is why they haven’t accounted for at least one parking space inside for two-wheelers and cycles – surely it can’t be a space issue considering it hardly takes any space to park 15-20 bikes (or cycles). The space offered currently to two wheelers and cyclists is on the side of the road – unsecured and especially so for a cycle. Continue reading →