Xplorearth hosted a bespoke ride for a couple of riders from the South of India who had previously taken to the backtrails of Himachal along with us. The group was small in number but the riders were seasoned in the art of going off road, so an action packed few days of riding awaited us over the coming few days, over varied terrain.

Date: April 11-15, 2021


Day 0
Participants arrived at Motoworld to complete their registration formalities and take over the reigns of their bikes. A short tarmac run to the hotel in Fagu followed, roughly 20 kilometers out of Shimla.

Day 1 was a mixture of long, sweeping tarmac roads and extremely tight and tricky dirt tracks. Slush and loose rocks made an occasional appearance as the riders got acquainted with what was to come over the next few days. A beautiful run on roads winding through the blooming apple orchards was another highlight of the day. Post lunch, the riders hit a dirt track up to the Giri-Ganga Temple before returning to our base for the evening.

Day 2 was a relatively longer one for the riders, as we looked to climb upto Chanshal Pass (snow permitting). The pristine tarmac made way for broken tarmac and then pure dirt and rocks as we began to gain altitude. Soon enough, the sides of the road had walls of snow, 4-5 feet high at points. The melting snow and cold temperatures had led to icy patches and deep slush at many points, causing a number of “almost” moments for the riders. Making it up to the pass in good time, the group decided to head on down to the village of Dodra for lunch. The road was unforgiving and barren – almost eerie to the point of sending chills down one’s spine as we rode past dead trees and through rocky trails. After being fed a hearty lunch by the locals, we turned around and began our return journey on the same path, reaching our destination in the dying light of the evening.

Day 3 of the ride took us back to Fagu through various trails and backroads. With 80% of the day’s riding taking place on narrow technical dirt trails, all of the previous days’ learning was put to the test. After a lunch halt in Narkanda and a few more trails, the group returned to the hotel for the night on the spectacular winding highway.

The riders had just enough time for a short morning session on the final day, before departing to their hometowns. Broken tarmac and extremely tricky dirt trails were the order of the day, stopping at a scenic meadow with a brook bubbling past for the certification ceremony. A few more dirt trails followed, before the group returned to the hotel, loaded up the bikes and went their own separate ways.

Great trails, super weather, amazing riding and most of all fabulous company made this one of our most memorable rides in recent memory! Already itching to get back on the horse again…

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