This time of the year, when the harsh chill of winter is gradually replaced by warmer weather, is just the right time to embrace outdoor events during the weekends. The outdoor activities will help you rejuvenate from weeklong work and also prevent creativity burnout. Exploring the beautiful mountainsides that offer a good supply of fresh air is certainly a good idea for a weekend gateway. And if you add cycling to it, it can prove to be a whole new experience altogether.
Diwash Pradhan, 27, prefers to cycle during his weekend gateways with friends. Though, he has been using his mountain bike for daily commutation since the last four years, he still loves to go around on his cycle for recreation.
“When we used to travel on motorbikes, we just used to rush to the destination, laze around there and then head back. But as we started cycling, the gateways have become more pleasurable as we can enjoy the whole journey,” he says.
Due to the nature of the landscape of Kathmandu, experiencing mountain biking in and around the capital is highly recommended. There are various places around the valley which are regarded as training spots for cyclists to increase their endurance while cycling, especially in regard to fitness.
Mudku, the hilly station situated at the northeast of Kathmandu valley, on the way to Kakani, is also one such spot preferred by cyclists to boost their stamina.
“When the weather is clear, you can see 30-40 cyclists riding in that area. Mudku is a popular spot for cyclists,” says Pradhan.
Accompanying Pradhan on his cycling journey is his friend, Shramdip Purkoti, who prefers more adventurous journeys on his mountain bike. Though he hates to ride the cycle during monsoon, he says that otherwise, he prefers cycle over any other mode of transportation.
Purkoti started cycling three years back but then, it was just out of curiosity. “Back then, I was not sold on the idea that you can cycle every day, but since I was an environment student then, I started cycling in an effort to reduce my carbon footprint,” he says.
Pradhan and Purkoti venture to Nagarjun, Chisapani, Chitlang among other mountainsides around Kathmandu valley.
Photo: The Week
However, they suggest that beginners should try cycling inside the valley to get used to the vehicle and build their stamina before opting for adventure and long gateways. The alleys and alternate roads in the valley is a boon for cyclists, as they can easily avoid main roads and have a safe ride.
“The Durbar square areas are also enjoyable for cycling, and there are many such shortcuts that can be taken only on cycles,” says Pradhan. Apart from narrow alleys and alternate roads, one can also take the river corridors, which are generally wide and less busy.
Cycling has also become a fitness lifestyle choice for many. Outdoor events with friends on cycles not only make a pleasurable journey but also help to keep tabs on your health. It is regarded as one of the most enjoyable fitness routine all around the world.
“Though we miss our gym routines and lag behind on exercises, our cycle rides help us stay fit to a large extent,” adds Purkoti.
Riding cycles around the valley also helps one avoid the busy traffic. But Pradhan and Purkoti advise cyclists to use back lights and reflectors and strictly obey the traffic rules to avoid accidents. According to them, cycles are generally safe rides unless the rider is ignorant about the safety measures.
Cycle rides also help to cut the budget as the no-emission vehicle requires very less maintenance as compared to other motor vehicles. Cycling can be a best friend for people who are looking for a two-in-one activity that includes fitness and recreation. And since cycling is also a great way to explore the capital city, it is time to check the gears and go cycling.