Grade : moderate | Max Altitude : 3900m | Accomodation : 6
An introductory Himalayan Mountain bike ride | a quick getaway adventure | Tibetan Buddhist culture | The worlds’ longest downhill ride
The IMA Muktinath Fun Bike Ride is a Himalayan bike tour designed as a quick getaway from demanding job and daily routine. The Bike Ride will inspire you through the incredible Himalayan scenery to a personal renewal in the Life Quality.
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The IMA Muktinath Fun Bike Ride is a Himalayan bike tour designed as a quick getaway from demanding job and daily routine. The Bike Ride will inspire you through incredible Himalayan scenery. This mountain bike ride is a true body and mind adventure. It is a physical and cultural journey, a personal renewal in the quality lifestyle.
IMA Muktinath Fun Bike Ride is the most popular Himalayan mountain bike ride and an accessible bike tour recommended by Cycle Tours Global.
During the adventure you will experience a spectacular mountain flight to Jomsom, Tibetan Buddhist culture and an exhilarating 3000m downhill. This short, stimulating Himalayan mountain bike ride at high altitude will improve your metabolism, your well-being. It will inspire you for a new start as you return from the trip energized with experience and an amazing work-out.
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 2: Drive to Pokhara
Day 3: Flight to Jomsom | Ride to Kagbeni
Day 4: Ride to Muktinath
Day 5: Exploring Muktinath
Day 6: Ride downhill to Marpha
Day 7: Downhill to Tatopani
Day 8: Ride to Beni | Drive to Pokhara
Day 9: Flight to Kathmandu
Day 10: Airport Transfer | Departure
Your adventure price includes:
IMA Muktinath Fun Bike Ride is scheduled during spring and autumn dry season in rain shadow area, so days will be warm and mornings will be fresh in Kagbeni and Muktinath with mild and warm conditions in Marpha, Tatopani and Beni. The ride is at high altitude where cold perception is more severe than at lower altitude. Refer to Q&A for more information about weather and preparations.
The ride is along village treks and a jeep road. We will stop often to visit interesting places and hike-up to the vistas. The ride is not competitive; for comfort and safety we recommend light trekking boots with sturdy sole for the ride in preference to traditional cycling shoes.
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Please note, that the Gear List is only recommendation and you must choose the quantity of clothing ensuring that it will be sufficient to keep you warm and comfortable without excessive luggage.
To undertake this adventure one must be moderately fit and enjoy trekking, mountain bike riding and exploring other cultures. We provide the most comfortable accommodation and the best food available during the bike ride. The ride is leisurely but fast and exciting with 12km uphill ride from Kagbeni to Muktinath. Our pace is comfortable, designed by exercise physiologist to prevent AMS (Acute Mountain sickness)and is scheduled with appropriate acclimatization schedule. The bike ride is entirely on an unpaved and in places rugged jeep road and village trails. It contains a short section of steep technical descent. So one must be reasonably fit and to be able to sustain 5 days of a recreational bike riding.
Our guides are experienced and qualified young local Tibetans from Mustang area and young Sherpas from Kanchenjunga area familiar with Tibetan Buddhist traditions and spirituality. We provide the extensive training to our staff in safety, bike riding as well as English, customer relationships and outdoor first aid. So apart of professionalism you can expect warmth and genuine hospitality of Sherpa and Tibetan culture.
Our staff is young, energetic and experienced in customer relationship and technical mountain biking through our training program and practical experience. Our guides are trained in technical bike riding and safety. Your guide owns the adventure and organizes entire program for you through our network of partners so there is no middle man sitting in Kathmandu collecting commissions and exploiting staff and you, the tourist.
Simply click on SERVICES TAB, where you find all inclusions. If this is insufficient please send us e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Absolutely not, we employ porters as a part of your package deal to transport your gear from lodge to lodge, most of the time on the jeep.
Yes, if you have to, however our Muktinath Fun bike ride trip is designed at the pace and level allowing a fit and prepared bike rider to ride up hill without considerable exhaustion. Exhaustion at high altitude even 3700m can potentially trigger Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). You Biking guide will promote appropriate pace and rest to prevent AMS. Please ask us about free QLS preparation program, there is nothing to lose but there are enormous gains to achieve. Just in case we will offer stand-by jeep to take you up.
Your guide will carry appropriate spares and tools and has the knowledge and experience to be able to repair reasonable bike damage.
Absolutely all your food as well as accommodation is included from the time you leave Kathmandu until you arrive to Pokhara. In Kathmandu and Pokhara your breakfast is included and you will bear the cost of any other meals to allow you have a personal choice of restaurant.
All foreign visitors to Nepal with exception of Indian nationals require Nepali visa. Passport holders of Australia, New Zealand, United States and all European countries are eligible for the visa on arrival. Since spring 2015 Nepali Immigration has introduced computerized automated visa system making arrival Immigration process fast and convenient. For Muktinath Biking adventure you will require 2 weeks visa.
Yes our representative will pick you up from Tribuvan International airport and will transfer you to the hotel. We monitor time of your arrival and we will be there on-time. All you need to do is to collect your luggage, clear customs and proceed to the outside of the terminal. Kathmandu International terminal is very small. Once you outside the building you will easily see your name displayed by our representative, who will transfer to the hotel.
In Kathmandu we use newly build Hotel, which meets earthquake proof building code and is located in quiet part of Thamel. All hotels are new with high cleaning standards and very good hot water solar shower systems with attached bathrooms and with breakfast included.
No you don't need sleeping bag. In all hotels in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Kagbeni, Muktinath, Marpha and Tatopani accommodation includes great shower and fresh clean bedding.
No specialized gear is required for Muktinath Fun Bike Ride Adventure. We recommend cycling in your trekking boots for safety and comfort. The area is semi-desert especially on western side, but due to climate change you may encounter unseasonal rainfall and at higher altitude snowfall. In the desert with clear sky you will experience big temperature difference between day and night and light down jacket will be essential. We recommend purchasing down gear as well as fleece and Gore-Tex jackets from Keamp8848 in Kathmandu. We use their gear as our personal gear for trekking, climbing and biking due to innovative design and high quality manufacturing.
IMA recommends quality over price for comfort and safety and long term savings. Quality can be expensive but it doesn't have to be if one select right gear from right OEM. Naturally there is budget advantage of buying from quality Nepali OEM and you will pay 25-50%. We use and recommend Keamp8848 for quality, innovative design and the price. Your guide will direct you to Keamp8848 factory showroom in Thamel. You should consider purchasing your Gore-Tex riding/trekking jacket, Gore-Tex over pants, Fleece jacket and down jacket in Kathmandu. There are also some Western stores such as Mountain Harware, Columbia etc with prices comparable in the USA. There are 100's of local trekking shops selling locally manufactured and imported gear, however lots of them are of low quality.
Apply Layering Principle while Trekking and Biking
While biking and trekking in any mountainous undulating environment and in particularly at high altitudes where the weather is also a subject to rapid changes one needs to adopt layering principle with clothing to regulate body temperature ensuring that the body temperature stays in comfortable range to prevent excessive sweating followed by rapid cooling. When you start the day wear sufficient number of layers to keep warm but as soon as you feel overheating remove a layer on the go quickly to prevent unnecessary overheating and sweating.
Take advantage of Merino Wool as a first layer
For layer one garments we recommend Merino Wool from Icebreaker because the company understands climbers and mountaineers needs and utilizes the best quality material. No other company can at this stage (spring 2015) match Icebreaker quality. The quality in extreme conditions is essential for your comfort and safety. Merino wool is the finest wool and it matches cotton with softness and polypropylene with insulation and breathing-ability because it takes moisture away from the body and keeps you dry and warm.
Utilize Merino Moisture Wicking, Insulation and Antibacterial Properties
The process of taking the moisture away from the body is called wicking. Wool and synthetic fabrics are really good wicking materials hence they are very suitable to wear for hard physical activity such as trekking, mountain biking and climbing. Due to its natural nano-tube construction wool has also antibacterial properties, so it stays usable for much longer. It is slightly more expensive then polypropylene so is bike riding, trekking and climbing. Using cotton shirts for trekking, mountain biking or climbing in high altitude is a wrong and dangerous approach, which can lead to hypothermia.
We ride 10-20km per day except the downhill day from Marpha to Tatopani where we will ride 40km downhill.
Nepal is a very safe country to travel even for single tourists, however nature is unpredictable and one should not travel alone in particularly at high altitude. We train our guides in high altitude safety and outdoor mountaineering first aid, so they are capable to respond to any emergency.
We promote quality recreational and non-competitive style of adventure with emphasis on safety. Our trek and ride adventures are fun, exciting and culturally enriching due to local well educated and well trained staff. With plenty to see and experience we stop to visit local temples, gompas and monasteries and take photographs at spectacular vistas. We will ensure the pace to prevent AMS and any physical injuries. In a case of accident we carry essential First Aid Kit and your guide will be familiar with its content and application. Central Nepal including Kathmandu has beeen affected by 2015 eartquake. However our biking area has been free of eartquake damage.
The risks during the ride are potential to develop AMS, gastric problems or physical injury. IMA maintains programs and procedures to prevent and avoid all the above. We have appropriately equipped and up-to-dated First Aid Kit and train staff how to use it effectively. We provide good quality new mountain bikes maintained appropriately after each adventure to prevent any bike failure. We require each group member to have valid Travel Insurance, which allows Medivac. We treat AMS, gastric issues and bleeding and if required we activate emergency evacuation by helicopter. Helicopter evacuation is activated by the guide and is coordinated by our Kathmandu office.
There are some risks associate with natures' activities such as excessive unseasonal snowfall or landslide blocking the path and potential earthquake. We have developed emergency and evacuation procedures to ensure safety on our adventure, which includes double back-up communication channels to our office in Kathmandu to assists us with any emergency.
Yes, all biking adventure participants are required to purchase adequate Travel Insurance, which doesn't exclude helicopter emergency evacuation.
Acute Altitude Sickness (AMS) is the reaction of the body adjusting to decreasing amount of oxygen in the bloodstream. The higher the altitude, the less oxygen is available for the body to carry on normal functions. This is caused by decreased partial pressure of Oxygen, a difference between external and intercellular pressures.
Altitude sickness most commonly occurs from above 2,800 metres (9,200ft) but this is different for everyone - there is simply no way of knowing your own susceptibility prior to being at the altitude thus it is vital you monitor your own health. In principle higher cardiovascular fitness decreases susceptibility to AMS. Symptoms of AMS may be mild and subside/go away after a day's rest, or if it ignored it could lead to serious health issues including death. All biking adventure participants are required to purchase adequate Travel Insurance, which doesn't exclude helicopter emergency evacuation.
Symptoms can appear within 1-2 hours although most often appear 6-10 hours after ascent and generally subside in 1-2 days as the body adjusts to altitude. They may reappear as you continue to go higher. Symptoms of AMS usually occur gradually and can be one or a combination of the following:
Symptoms generally associated with more severe Acute Mountain Sickness include:
At high altitude all people will experience some of the above symptoms in a mild form. If the body is unable to adjust to altitude these symptoms will persist and, if they are left untreated, altitude sickness may progress to High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) or High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE). Edema means simply fluid accumulation in your interstitial body tissues. Both HACE and HAPE can be fatal if ignored.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF HAPE (fluid in the lungs)?
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF HACE (fluid in the brain)?
Certain medical conditions (such as respiratory disease) or medications (such as sleeping pills) can increase the risk of altitude sickness - it is important that you inform your guide of any medical conditions or medications before ascending to altitude. You can help your body to acclimatise and avoid altitude sickness by:
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?
Most travellers are able to successfully acclimatise by following the previously mentioned guidelines. However, there are instances where medical treatment is required. Ultimately, the best treatment for AMS is to descend to a lower altitude and rest. Early diagnosis is important. Acute mountain sickness is easier to treat in the early stages.
Our guides have training and experience in AMS symptoms recognition, prevention and treatment. The guide will monitor your all the time for symptoms and will pace you appropriately to minimize your exposure to AMS.
We ask you to cooperate with the guide by reporting any above described symptoms and allow your guide to undertake appropriate and timely action such as take a rest and have a drink or snack, help you to carry your day pack or change a pace, take extra day rest or descent if necessary.
Your Guide will carry some medications in First Aid Kit and may suggest medication such as Ibuprophen, Paracetamol, combination of them or specific AMS medication. Standard and effective medication for prevention of AMS is Acetazolamide (Diamox) and it may be given to help improve breathing and reduce mild symptoms. This drug can cause increased urination. Ensure you drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol when taking this drug.With severe cases of AMS our guide will contact our Kathmandu office and arrange your evacuation by helicopter. Before we accept you on the trek we will require that you purchase health and travel insurance including helicopter rescue and hospitalization.
Muktinath Fun Bike adventure is moderate level biking adventure. It requires a moderate endurance level and the ability to ride mountain bike on unpaved road uphill. You should be in general good physical shape to start with. Generally our customers for Annapurna Trek-Bike adventure are bike riders or recreational runners and trekkers.
If you are in a good shape, the only thing you have to do now is 3 month ramp-up before the adventure. To prepare for that you should preference outdoor training uch as fast pace walking, step walking promoting endurance. You should execute few bike rides with up-hill section to get used to riding up-hill.
WHY DO IT?...
Part of doing the adventure is the aspect of motivation, and setting your goals and meeting them. The adventure participation will be beneficial to you in all aspects of your personal and professional endeavours. Our exercise suggestions included in FREE QLS program are designed for you get fitter and hopefully influence your healthy lifestyle as result of the ride.
Please ask us for detailed advice.
IMA Muktinath Bike Ride is scheduled in spring and autumn season during the best weather months.
The area of lower Mustang is located in semi-desert dry zone with low precipitation between autumn and spring.
The weather is typically sunny and dry, with light wind only, the days feel warm in particularly with clear sky. However with dramatic climate change we see disturbance of weather patterns with unusual precipitation and unpredictable cold weather snaps, so you have to be prepared for that with extra warm gear.
This location is classified as Cwc by Köppen and Geiger. In Muktinath, the average annual temperature is 4.4 °C. Precipitation here averages 388 mm.
Precipitation is the lowest in November, with an average of 4 mm. Most precipitation falls in August, with an average of 71 mm.
At an average temperature of 10.4 °C, June is the hottest month of the year. In January, the average temperature is -2.9 °C. It is the lowest average temperature of the whole year.
Between the driest and wettest months, the difference in precipitation is 67 mm. The average temperatures vary during the year by 13.3 °C.
We will cover altitude difference of 3000m and temperature varies with the altitude and drops at the rate of 9.8°C/1000m.
UV exposure is a considerable factor at high altitude. On average sunny day you can expect 7 hours of sunshine within 11 hours of daylight with UV index of 7 at Kagbeni and higher at higher elevations.
Mukinath located at the foot of Annapurna at the edge of Tibetan plateau, a popular pilgrimage and an ancient trading post on Salt Trading Route still resonating today with many traders, gurus and Sadus finding their solace and purpose here, and pilgrims taking their ritual bath in temple's pools. The temple complex is a mix of Buddhist and Hindu culture and religion, where both of them integrate in a peaceful collaboration and respect.
We will also visit nearby Chuming Dechen Buddist Nunery established in 1660 with the original monastery still existing. There is also new monastery building to visit designed by German architect and built with German donations. It is truly spectacular piece of architecture and very impressive building combining modernity and tradition in a very sensitive and creative way. The monastery is on the way to an interesting Tibetan village of Chhongkhar with Bon culture monastery. Chhongkhar village is one of those places where time has been standing still for centuries.
Kagbeni is an old customs towns on ancient trading route from India to Tibet. One can still see signs of ancient prosperity of the town with its palace of 108 rooms and Red Gompa, which is today a teaching monastery for young monks. You can visit morning chanting ceremony in the Gompa. Kagbeni is perched on the banks of Kali Gandaki River with a spectacular view of the town from the other side of the river as well from the road to Muktinath. We will also visit the oldest monument in the village the temple dedicated to Guru Ripoche, who brought Buddhism from India to Tibet.
Lubrak is an interesting place both from visual and traditional aspects. It is only village outside Dolpo dominated by Bon culture. It contains two monasteries. The upper one fell into disrepair and it was reconstructed with support of Danish embassy in Kathmandu.
After Chinese invasion of Tibet the area was a training and operations ground of Tibetan Army until 1960's when Dalai Lama ordered disarmament. The ruins of the Spy Room or HQ building still exist and can be seen from the top monastery. The soldiers of the Tibetan Army settled in Refugee camps in the area and the issue has not been resolved for over 50 years with their descendants still stateless and with limited prospects. IMA supports Tibetan Refugees in a quiet and practical way with our biking operations being run by young Tibetans developing business with our support and couching.
Marpha is an apple capital of Nepal with extensive apple orchards around the town and production of dried apple and apple cider. The town is quiet scenic perched on the hill with narrow streets and whitewash stone courtyard houses.
In 9th century a Japanese monk Ekwai Kawaguchi visited the area and travelled to Tibet and Lhasa via Upper Mustang. It was said that he was an Japanese spy and was hosted by wealthy merchant with the hose still existing today and marked with commemorate plate and sign.
Absolutely, we welcome individual travellers on our fixed departure but we reserve the right to cancel the departure due to insufficient participation and to offer alternative departure. We require a minimum group of 4 participants. Naturally we will offer group prices for people joining as a group. Our adventure calculator will show you adventure of joining us together with friends.
Complete the booking form on the adventure page, select size of your group, departure date and select services your require and find out price for your group. We have two price levels for peak season and shoulder season. Simply click on BOOK/INQUIRE button and give us required details. We will send you invoice for the deposit of 25% of the trip value. After paying deposit for the trip we will send you booking confirmation and trip information. The balance is due 2 months prior departure. The deposit as well as the balance may be paid by bank money transfer or by Credit Card via secure PayPal system.
Simply complete BOOKIG/INQUIRE form and specify information you require in the message and we will engage with you by e-mail or if you prefer we will call you at the time convenient to you.