Biking in Bhutan

Everyone would agree that one sees the world better when one is biking. It is open all around and one is mobile and free. The scenic beauty surrounding the rider in Bhutan is breathtakingly beautiful. The high mountains, deep mystic valleys, and pristine forests combined with the centuries-old culture of Bhutan envelopes the biker everywhere in the country. Be it off road or on, Bhutan is a biker’s paradise.

On the road, with almost gentle gradients, one can reach as high 4000m or 13000ft, starting from 2300m or 7500ft, in a span of just 2 hours. In these 2 hours, you see temperate zones settlements and meet semi-nomadic herders in their yak camps living in alpine conditions. You can climb from deep river valleys to high mountain passes and see perennially snow-clad mountains, after having gone through uninterrupted forests — from cool broad-leaved forest to the shrubs of the tree line. And yes, in Bhutan when you are at 4000m, you have but reached the tree line. Although high, being located close to the equator latitude wise helps (just 28 degrees North). Elsewhere, in Europe for example, at the same altitude one might be starting to use snow chains at any time of the year.

And once you have left Thimphu, where most of the nearly 50,000 vehicles are found, you have the roads virtually to yourself.

For “off road” biking, there are paths that take you through the woods, farmlands and centuries-old monasteries — and take you right off this world into another plane of existence. Breathing the clean mountain air, biking beneath hanging mosses, listening to bird songs and stopping to chat occasionally with monks would be typical. But one can also do adventurous biking if one wishes, finding difficult mountain paths or traversing the sloping meadows of high passes.

So be it valley floor or high mountain passes, forests or meadows, the air, culture and scenic beauty of Bhutan combined with the friendliness of its people will leave riders enchanted with the country.

And best of all, the sport receives royal patronage and all the efforts for its development are spearheaded by the Royal family themselves.

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