while Parth Chaudhary took this selfie us brushing our teeth, it was evident that I did not use brush as we had forgotten my brush in hotel in Manali and there was not place we could find new until 7 days.
The second day dawned on us with heavy rains and heavier winds. A heavy breakfast in the cool breeze of the morning gave me sufficient energy and motivation to begin my 17 KM climb to Rohtang La. The day was certainly filled with challenges and I was all geared up to embark on my journey. The wind motion was against my track (strong headwind) route and it made the ride exhausting. The struggle to pedal and breathe normally was no child’s play as I was constantly gaining altitude in light rain, dance fog and strong head. It was just the body heat that kept me warm, on the way at a turn I stopped to catch my breath and I realised how cold it was! There was a water crossing too in this chill, fortunately without getting too wet I crossed it.
By half past noon I had covered only 10 KMs of my journey, but the motivation of descend kept me scale Rohtang Pass. The better part of the day was yet to begin. The descend from Rohtang was easy and fun as the road downhill was filled with excitement as my cycle accelerated. But as I continued further the speed was increasing and the amount of tarmac on the road decreasing.
Soon the tarmac road turned to muddy potholes with slippery pebbles. I was cycling parallely to a stream of water flowing. This was the real test of my cycling skills. Steep down, slush, mud and flowing water on your road, balancing in that very condition with using limited breaks were the biggest challenge. As one of the cyclist based in Manali had advised me not to use too much of break while descending from Rohtang that I had forgotten.
Within no time I reached Khoksar covering a distance of 30Kms from where I had started in the morning. We still had two hours to our deadline of 4pm of riding when I reached Khosar. Our planned stop was at Sissu, but decided to push a little more and made target to reach keylong completing about 80km before dark as there were not too many uphills on the way.
Keylong was right next to river Chandrabagha, where my cycle touched the speed of 68.7km at the same time uphill in the same terrain were tough enough to get me as slow as 4km/h. but the day ended with a guest house in the Keylong where we finally got mobile network after two days and struggled to connect with internet just to share beautiful photographs that we shot during last two days.
The second day of the trip was surely rewarding and better than expected. This is the best part of travelling, you discover your hidden potential.
This piece is written by Jainam Mehta based on experience shared by Alok Brahmbhatt