Sunday, April 5, 2009

Singlespeed racing in the Himalayas

Our boy Doug just got back from Sikkim, India for the India MTB Expedition. Race organizers and race promoters had some trouble issuing prizes. A near riot ensued (funny how you can't expect people to torture themselves for nothing). Money was borrowed to pay prizes out. Doug took 7th in his division. He rode a singlespeed, 'cuz gears are for suckaz.

His race report (part 1, we hope)...

Some photos from my three week jaunt over in northern India. Yup, otherside of the world. I went over there with three other US racers (TimmyD from Cannondale, Janel from Cannondale and Harlan from Independent Fabrications).

We competed in a 9-day mountain bike race.

Tim and I were the only ones on singlespeeds. I opted for a suspension fork rather than my trusty rigid.

~ Nutrition was sub-par (all carb diet)
~ Lodging was sub-par
~ bathroom/washrooms were sub-par
~Commitments were broken from the day we arrived (travel, lodging, etc..)
~Race organizers were not paid
~Race winners were originally paid a fraction of what they were owed

This all lead to a revolt by all racers and volunteers and local townspeople that care for the reputation of the Indian state of 'Sikkim' during the awards ceremony post-race.

Redemption followed a day later with the winners and race organizers getting paid.

We then flew home exhausted...

Met some great people from all over the world (Canada, UK, Germany, Nepal, India). The Nepalese mountain bikers we raced/rode with (top riders in the country) want us to come to Nepal to ride. Perhaps a Nepal trip is in store for next year. SInglespeed obviously ;)

some of Tim's photos (mine are forthcoming):

dolla dolla bill, y'all.


oh' snap!

"you better let me in!"

domestic airline on the way home didn't like my overweight bike box. had to open 'her up and move some gear to another box. had the whole airport watching.

3 weeks of this (or out near a tree or better yet.. in the middle of the road. haha)! most did not have paper. SO glad to be back to western civilization

local support to help me bleed my brakes

make sure those 'bars are aligned properly!


We're off! That's me up against one of the top nepalese riders. I was on his wheel the entire descent. singlespeed [and 29er] this!

Yes, that guy was overseeing the females working.

so depleted of protein... we almost cooked this little guy up. sad to say that but it was the truth at the time.

killing time at the start of day 5.

this breakfast was actually VERY good.

walking in Gangtok.. the capital of Sikkim. 5700ft above sea level. No road was flat.

start of day 1. us 'whities' or 'americans'

the crazy german (red) and brit (white)
actually, these two peters were hilarious and great company. good peeps

you only need one

local media

harlan likes to pick his nose (so do i)

the competition

janel and i at breakfast (day 2)... oohhhh. more carbs

rode across this 'ish

(harlan and I)

janel foam rollin'
little self massage

lunch. lookie here. more carbs

the trail ahead

morning of day 4. enjoying some chai tea whilst still in the sleeping bag

bridge action

its simple!

100% curable

mid-day argument between the race organizers (blue shirt on left) and race promoter (white shirt in middle)

legs are gunked up and hurt
day 3

innovative new way of pumping up bicycle tires. get your whole body into it...


nipples are stripped, spokes are at super high tension. need to straighten wheel so the v-brakes will work. use your feet!


just riding along

sacred cow

hmmm. who is out of place?

don't touch my ass

tea stop at 7000ft


one of my favorite photos Tim took

"make it stop!"

bamboo scaffolding

big winners!
harlan (1st mens solo USA) and gerry (1st mens master CAD)

janel (very cold) and mangal (nepalese national champion)

harlan having some fun on a road switchback

i was a little more conservative

WE are officially DONE!

tea anyone?

post-race uproar!

great Kangchendzonga mountain (3rd tallest in world)

post race shave US$1.00

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