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Monsoon Riding With Himalayan Single Track

Monsoon riding might not appeal to many people, but it has a thrill of its own. The same terrain you rode in the winter changes drastically during the monsoon, sometimes turning into slippery slush. Thus, it pushes the rider to test his/her skills and gives them a chance to challenge themselves to improve. With the slippery terrain you also learn to utilize body balance. And once the clouds clear, the views are just amazing.

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Santosh Rai from Himalayan Single Trek is as avid a cyclist as they come and most of the crew in this ride equals his caliber. Like many cyclists all over the country, for Santosh and his friends, a weekly ride is customary and they rarely give it a miss.

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In this particular ride, they tackled the monsoon terrains a little while away from the capital. Their short ride took them from the Himalayan Single Track HQ at Thamel to Balaju and on to Mudkhu where they stopped for a tea break. They then went on to Teen Piple and then back to Thamel to end the ride. The circuit ride is approximately 28kms.

MONSOON RIDING TIPS FROM HST

Monsoon riding does take its toll on the rider, but it also wreaks havoc on your bike. The mud and rain make it a messy ordeal. So, it is essential that you take good care of it when you ride in the monsoon. Here are some things you need to keep in mind.

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• The brake pads will be amongst the first component to give way. Always make sure your brakes are functioning at their full capacity before every ride. Pads that last a full season in the dry will run metal to metal on the rims in a week or two of wet-weather training rides. Also, most rotors require a full revolution before the brake pads squeeze the water from the braking surface and begin stopping. Plan ahead and brake early.

• Being cold and wet is a good way to get sick. Wear a waterproof jacket. Remember, your body sweats rain or shine, so your jacket and garments must breathe (chose Gore-Tex-type fabrics or ventilated outer garments).

• Cornering can be tricky in the mud. Make sure you keep as much of your weight on the outside pedal as possible and try to keep the bike as upright as possible.

• Use your fenders. It will make riding more comfortable and your vision will be better without all that water and mud splashing up towards you.

• Use heavier/Wet chain lube, and lots of it. It’s better to have a chain that requires cleaning than to have it seize up with rust.

• It is a good idea to ride at a slower pace than usual during the monsoon to keep safe.

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