MTB 2011 kicks off with a bang - By Vandana Bhagra (TOI - 5th Oct, 2011)

Stated as India’s toughest bicycling challenge by the riders themselves, the Seventh Edition of the Mountain Terrain Biking (MTB) Himachal saw the highest ever participation with 120 members which included six women riders. 

MTB 2011 kicks off with a bangVandana Bhagra, ShimlaPhotos: by writerStated as India’s toughest bicycling challenge by the riders themselves, the Seventh Edition of the Mountain Terrain Biking (MTB) Himachal saw the highest ever participation with 120 members which included six women riders. This year a total distance of 504 kilometers will be covered over a period of eight days beginning from Shimla, and covering towns/villages such as Bekhalti, Shilaru, Takkar, Bagipul, Kullu Sarahan, Kandagai, Kumarsain, Narkanda and back to Shimla with a day’s rest at Kullu Sarahan on October 5. All these places are bound to capture your imagination as they offer splendid views of the mountains, virgin beauty and pristine surroundings, at its best during this season. MTB offers a perfect way to challenge yourself by riding through unexplored terrain, going through deep forests, pedaling your way uphill and downhill through thick vegetation giving you the thrilling experience of your life. Event organizers Himalayan Adventure Sports & Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA) and Himachal Tourism together have brought this premier international mountain bicycling challenge to Himachal, as was stated by Manisha Nanda, Principal Secretary, Himachal Tourism and Civil Aviation during the flag off on October 1.An idea which took shape in 2005 with self investment and some help from the Himachal Tourism Department, MTB has grown manifold encompassing the passion and enthusiasm of many adventurers. The growing popularity of this eco-friendly adventure sports is capturing the attention of not only the Indians but participants from all over the world. Of late cycling is being seen as a healthy way of travelling, fitness as well as a lifestyle statement and most of all an ecological statement where like-minded people can be seen exchanging ideas. MTB is becoming become a world class platform to promote sporting talent and an effective way to establish Himachal as an environment friendly adventure destination. The innovative ideas adopted by MTB to showcase the talent as well as promoting tourism in Himachal by offering excellent terrain and international exposure will further attract new audiences. The organizers offer complete guidance and aid to the riders as fully equipped medical teams, government ambulances, a technical team and volunteer rescue official tag along during the event. Shirshir Mankarki from Dehradun and representing the Indian Army has been a part of the MTB since the start of the event. Participating in the team event with Naresh Barman, they are professional as well as experienced riders looking for a win. Abhishek Sarin from Bangalore has been participating since 2008 and says, “This has been the toughest rides I have been on and every time I compete in this race I have a sense of accomplishment and always cherish these memories. The grueling seven-eight days adventure is just mind blowing as it doesn’t get better than this. We are being challenged on one of the toughest terrains of the world as it involves hardcore cycling and a high level of mental fitness”. Age will little deter this young participant as Ryan Dkhar, only 21, was more than exited to be a part of this adventure. Despite the fact that his parents little approved of him participating but sponsorship from TI Cycles saw him from being a comfort rider to a professional rider this year. He says, “During the race we face the elements in full glory as it is a mental as well as a physical challenge. Our full power and strength is on display and the courage with which we handle the course during the event”.With female participation increasing to six this year, Vanita Sahai from Chennai was raring to go and complete the adventure under the weekend category. More than 40 years old and a lucky hand at winning a quiz contest by BSA, she won the sponsorship to this event. Calling it as a lifetime memory her excitement was far from hidden. Mohit Sood, the organizer of this event says that ‘Our aim is to increase the popularity of MTB in the Asian subcontinent and to effectively influence the perception of the riders towards cycling with a special focus on the growing youth. With mountain biking category being included in the Olympics next year our focus would be to send the best riders from our country by giving them exposure through such events”. He further added that the number of riders has grown from 34 in 2005 to highest ever with participants from different countries as well as the Indian army, Air Force, adventure clubs and university students who showcase their talent and endurance. “With increasing number of sponsors and the growing cycling culture will see this event grow further but certain logistics such as unavailability of manpower and world class timing and tracking systems do hinder our progress,” Sood adds.  ASHADEEP, a Shimla based NGO too has teamed up with MTB as was stated by its president Shushil Tanveer. He added that, “a seven member team would accompany the riders and en route they would cover schools and villages spreading the message of environment preservation through its awareness campaign by performing street plays and a song directly conveying the messageA hardcore cycling challenge with equally enlivening participants who will see the next eight days of some great adventure as well as raise the spirits of those who wish to be a part of it in the coming future and look forward too.
 

This year a total distance of 504 kilometers will be covered over a period of eight days beginning from Shimla, and covering towns/villages such as Bekhalti, Shilaru, Takkar, Bagipul, Kullu Sarahan, Kandagai, Kumarsain, Narkanda and back to Shimla with a day’s rest at Kullu Sarahan on October 5. All these places are bound to capture your imagination as they offer splendid views of the mountains, virgin beauty and pristine surroundings, at its best during this season. MTB offers a perfect way to challenge yourself by riding through unexplored terrain, going through deep forests, pedaling your way uphill and downhill through thick vegetation giving you the thrilling experience of your life. Event organizers Himalayan Adventure Sports & Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA) and Himachal Tourism together have brought this premier international mountain bicycling challenge to Himachal, as was stated by Manisha Nanda, Principal Secretary, Himachal Tourism and Civil Aviation during the flag off on October 1.

MTB 2011 kicks off with a bangVandana Bhagra, ShimlaPhotos: by writerStated as India’s toughest bicycling challenge by the riders themselves, the Seventh Edition of the Mountain Terrain Biking (MTB) Himachal saw the highest ever participation with 120 members which included six women riders. This year a total distance of 504 kilometers will be covered over a period of eight days beginning from Shimla, and covering towns/villages such as Bekhalti, Shilaru, Takkar, Bagipul, Kullu Sarahan, Kandagai, Kumarsain, Narkanda and back to Shimla with a day’s rest at Kullu Sarahan on October 5. All these places are bound to capture your imagination as they offer splendid views of the mountains, virgin beauty and pristine surroundings, at its best during this season. MTB offers a perfect way to challenge yourself by riding through unexplored terrain, going through deep forests, pedaling your way uphill and downhill through thick vegetation giving you the thrilling experience of your life. Event organizers Himalayan Adventure Sports & Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA) and Himachal Tourism together have brought this premier international mountain bicycling challenge to Himachal, as was stated by Manisha Nanda, Principal Secretary, Himachal Tourism and Civil Aviation during the flag off on October 1.An idea which took shape in 2005 with self investment and some help from the Himachal Tourism Department, MTB has grown manifold encompassing the passion and enthusiasm of many adventurers. The growing popularity of this eco-friendly adventure sports is capturing the attention of not only the Indians but participants from all over the world. Of late cycling is being seen as a healthy way of travelling, fitness as well as a lifestyle statement and most of all an ecological statement where like-minded people can be seen exchanging ideas. MTB is becoming become a world class platform to promote sporting talent and an effective way to establish Himachal as an environment friendly adventure destination. The innovative ideas adopted by MTB to showcase the talent as well as promoting tourism in Himachal by offering excellent terrain and international exposure will further attract new audiences. The organizers offer complete guidance and aid to the riders as fully equipped medical teams, government ambulances, a technical team and volunteer rescue official tag along during the event. Shirshir Mankarki from Dehradun and representing the Indian Army has been a part of the MTB since the start of the event. Participating in the team event with Naresh Barman, they are professional as well as experienced riders looking for a win. Abhishek Sarin from Bangalore has been participating since 2008 and says, “This has been the toughest rides I have been on and every time I compete in this race I have a sense of accomplishment and always cherish these memories. The grueling seven-eight days adventure is just mind blowing as it doesn’t get better than this. We are being challenged on one of the toughest terrains of the world as it involves hardcore cycling and a high level of mental fitness”. Age will little deter this young participant as Ryan Dkhar, only 21, was more than exited to be a part of this adventure. Despite the fact that his parents little approved of him participating but sponsorship from TI Cycles saw him from being a comfort rider to a professional rider this year. He says, “During the race we face the elements in full glory as it is a mental as well as a physical challenge. Our full power and strength is on display and the courage with which we handle the course during the event”.With female participation increasing to six this year, Vanita Sahai from Chennai was raring to go and complete the adventure under the weekend category. More than 40 years old and a lucky hand at winning a quiz contest by BSA, she won the sponsorship to this event. Calling it as a lifetime memory her excitement was far from hidden. Mohit Sood, the organizer of this event says that ‘Our aim is to increase the popularity of MTB in the Asian subcontinent and to effectively influence the perception of the riders towards cycling with a special focus on the growing youth. With mountain biking category being included in the Olympics next year our focus would be to send the best riders from our country by giving them exposure through such events”. He further added that the number of riders has grown from 34 in 2005 to highest ever with participants from different countries as well as the Indian army, Air Force, adventure clubs and university students who showcase their talent and endurance. “With increasing number of sponsors and the growing cycling culture will see this event grow further but certain logistics such as unavailability of manpower and world class timing and tracking systems do hinder our progress,” Sood adds.  ASHADEEP, a Shimla based NGO too has teamed up with MTB as was stated by its president Shushil Tanveer. He added that, “a seven member team would accompany the riders and en route they would cover schools and villages spreading the message of environment preservation through its awareness campaign by performing street plays and a song directly conveying the messageA hardcore cycling challenge with equally enlivening participants who will see the next eight days of some great adventure as well as raise the spirits of those who wish to be a part of it in the coming future and look forward too.

 An idea which took shape in 2005 with self investment and some help from the Himachal Tourism Department, MTB has grown manifold encompassing the passion and enthusiasm of many adventurers. The growing popularity of this eco-friendly adventure sports is capturing the attention of not only the Indians but participants from all over the world. Of late cycling is being seen as a healthy way of travelling, fitness as well as a lifestyle statement and most of all an ecological statement where like-minded people can be seen exchanging ideas. 

MTB 2011 kicks off with a bangVandana Bhagra, ShimlaPhotos: by writerStated as India’s toughest bicycling challenge by the riders themselves, the Seventh Edition of the Mountain Terrain Biking (MTB) Himachal saw the highest ever participation with 120 members which included six women riders. This year a total distance of 504 kilometers will be covered over a period of eight days beginning from Shimla, and covering towns/villages such as Bekhalti, Shilaru, Takkar, Bagipul, Kullu Sarahan, Kandagai, Kumarsain, Narkanda and back to Shimla with a day’s rest at Kullu Sarahan on October 5. All these places are bound to capture your imagination as they offer splendid views of the mountains, virgin beauty and pristine surroundings, at its best during this season. MTB offers a perfect way to challenge yourself by riding through unexplored terrain, going through deep forests, pedaling your way uphill and downhill through thick vegetation giving you the thrilling experience of your life. Event organizers Himalayan Adventure Sports & Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA) and Himachal Tourism together have brought this premier international mountain bicycling challenge to Himachal, as was stated by Manisha Nanda, Principal Secretary, Himachal Tourism and Civil Aviation during the flag off on October 1.An idea which took shape in 2005 with self investment and some help from the Himachal Tourism Department, MTB has grown manifold encompassing the passion and enthusiasm of many adventurers. The growing popularity of this eco-friendly adventure sports is capturing the attention of not only the Indians but participants from all over the world. Of late cycling is being seen as a healthy way of travelling, fitness as well as a lifestyle statement and most of all an ecological statement where like-minded people can be seen exchanging ideas. MTB is becoming become a world class platform to promote sporting talent and an effective way to establish Himachal as an environment friendly adventure destination. The innovative ideas adopted by MTB to showcase the talent as well as promoting tourism in Himachal by offering excellent terrain and international exposure will further attract new audiences. The organizers offer complete guidance and aid to the riders as fully equipped medical teams, government ambulances, a technical team and volunteer rescue official tag along during the event. Shirshir Mankarki from Dehradun and representing the Indian Army has been a part of the MTB since the start of the event. Participating in the team event with Naresh Barman, they are professional as well as experienced riders looking for a win. Abhishek Sarin from Bangalore has been participating since 2008 and says, “This has been the toughest rides I have been on and every time I compete in this race I have a sense of accomplishment and always cherish these memories. The grueling seven-eight days adventure is just mind blowing as it doesn’t get better than this. We are being challenged on one of the toughest terrains of the world as it involves hardcore cycling and a high level of mental fitness”. Age will little deter this young participant as Ryan Dkhar, only 21, was more than exited to be a part of this adventure. Despite the fact that his parents little approved of him participating but sponsorship from TI Cycles saw him from being a comfort rider to a professional rider this year. He says, “During the race we face the elements in full glory as it is a mental as well as a physical challenge. Our full power and strength is on display and the courage with which we handle the course during the event”.With female participation increasing to six this year, Vanita Sahai from Chennai was raring to go and complete the adventure under the weekend category. More than 40 years old and a lucky hand at winning a quiz contest by BSA, she won the sponsorship to this event. Calling it as a lifetime memory her excitement was far from hidden. Mohit Sood, the organizer of this event says that ‘Our aim is to increase the popularity of MTB in the Asian subcontinent and to effectively influence the perception of the riders towards cycling with a special focus on the growing youth. With mountain biking category being included in the Olympics next year our focus would be to send the best riders from our country by giving them exposure through such events”. He further added that the number of riders has grown from 34 in 2005 to highest ever with participants from different countries as well as the Indian army, Air Force, adventure clubs and university students who showcase their talent and endurance. “With increasing number of sponsors and the growing cycling culture will see this event grow further but certain logistics such as unavailability of manpower and world class timing and tracking systems do hinder our progress,” Sood adds.  ASHADEEP, a Shimla based NGO too has teamed up with MTB as was stated by its president Shushil Tanveer. He added that, “a seven member team would accompany the riders and en route they would cover schools and villages spreading the message of environment preservation through its awareness campaign by performing street plays and a song directly conveying the messageA hardcore cycling challenge with equally enlivening participants who will see the next eight days of some great adventure as well as raise the spirits of those who wish to be a part of it in the coming future and look forward too.
 
MTB is becoming become a world class platform to promote sporting talent and an effective way to establish Himachal as an environment friendly adventure destination. The innovative ideas adopted by MTB to showcase the talent as well as promoting tourism in Himachal by offering excellent terrain and international exposure will further attract new audiences. The organizers offer complete guidance and aid to the riders as fully equipped medical teams, government ambulances, a technical team and volunteer rescue official tag along during the event.
Shirshir Mankarki from Dehradun and representing the Indian Army has been a part of the MTB since the start of the event. Participating in the team event with Naresh Barman, they are professional as well as experienced riders looking for a win. Abhishek Sarin from Bangalore has been participating since 2008 and says, “This has been the toughest rides I have been on and every time I compete in this race I have a sense of accomplishment and always cherish these memories. The grueling seven-eight days adventure is just mind blowing as it doesn’t get better than this. We are being challenged on one of the toughest terrains of the world as it involves hardcore cycling and a high level of mental fitness”.
Age will little deter this young participant as Ryan Dkhar, only 21, was more than exited to be a part of this adventure. Despite the fact that his parents little approved of him participating but sponsorship from TI Cycles saw him from being a comfort rider to a professional rider this year. He says, “During the race we face the elements in full glory as it is a mental as well as a physical challenge. Our full power and strength is on display and the courage with which we handle the course during the event”.
With female participation increasing to six this year, Vanita Sahai from Chennai was raring to go and complete the adventure under the weekend category. More than 40 years old and a lucky hand at winning a quiz contest by BSA, she won the sponsorship to this event. Calling it as a lifetime memory her excitement was far from hidden. 

MTB 2011 kicks off with a bangVandana Bhagra, ShimlaPhotos: by writerStated as India’s toughest bicycling challenge by the riders themselves, the Seventh Edition of the Mountain Terrain Biking (MTB) Himachal saw the highest ever participation with 120 members which included six women riders. This year a total distance of 504 kilometers will be covered over a period of eight days beginning from Shimla, and covering towns/villages such as Bekhalti, Shilaru, Takkar, Bagipul, Kullu Sarahan, Kandagai, Kumarsain, Narkanda and back to Shimla with a day’s rest at Kullu Sarahan on October 5. All these places are bound to capture your imagination as they offer splendid views of the mountains, virgin beauty and pristine surroundings, at its best during this season. MTB offers a perfect way to challenge yourself by riding through unexplored terrain, going through deep forests, pedaling your way uphill and downhill through thick vegetation giving you the thrilling experience of your life. Event organizers Himalayan Adventure Sports & Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA) and Himachal Tourism together have brought this premier international mountain bicycling challenge to Himachal, as was stated by Manisha Nanda, Principal Secretary, Himachal Tourism and Civil Aviation during the flag off on October 1.An idea which took shape in 2005 with self investment and some help from the Himachal Tourism Department, MTB has grown manifold encompassing the passion and enthusiasm of many adventurers. The growing popularity of this eco-friendly adventure sports is capturing the attention of not only the Indians but participants from all over the world. Of late cycling is being seen as a healthy way of travelling, fitness as well as a lifestyle statement and most of all an ecological statement where like-minded people can be seen exchanging ideas. MTB is becoming become a world class platform to promote sporting talent and an effective way to establish Himachal as an environment friendly adventure destination. The innovative ideas adopted by MTB to showcase the talent as well as promoting tourism in Himachal by offering excellent terrain and international exposure will further attract new audiences. The organizers offer complete guidance and aid to the riders as fully equipped medical teams, government ambulances, a technical team and volunteer rescue official tag along during the event. Shirshir Mankarki from Dehradun and representing the Indian Army has been a part of the MTB since the start of the event. Participating in the team event with Naresh Barman, they are professional as well as experienced riders looking for a win. Abhishek Sarin from Bangalore has been participating since 2008 and says, “This has been the toughest rides I have been on and every time I compete in this race I have a sense of accomplishment and always cherish these memories. The grueling seven-eight days adventure is just mind blowing as it doesn’t get better than this. We are being challenged on one of the toughest terrains of the world as it involves hardcore cycling and a high level of mental fitness”. Age will little deter this young participant as Ryan Dkhar, only 21, was more than exited to be a part of this adventure. Despite the fact that his parents little approved of him participating but sponsorship from TI Cycles saw him from being a comfort rider to a professional rider this year. He says, “During the race we face the elements in full glory as it is a mental as well as a physical challenge. Our full power and strength is on display and the courage with which we handle the course during the event”.With female participation increasing to six this year, Vanita Sahai from Chennai was raring to go and complete the adventure under the weekend category. More than 40 years old and a lucky hand at winning a quiz contest by BSA, she won the sponsorship to this event. Calling it as a lifetime memory her excitement was far from hidden. Mohit Sood, the organizer of this event says that ‘Our aim is to increase the popularity of MTB in the Asian subcontinent and to effectively influence the perception of the riders towards cycling with a special focus on the growing youth. With mountain biking category being included in the Olympics next year our focus would be to send the best riders from our country by giving them exposure through such events”. He further added that the number of riders has grown from 34 in 2005 to highest ever with participants from different countries as well as the Indian army, Air Force, adventure clubs and university students who showcase their talent and endurance. “With increasing number of sponsors and the growing cycling culture will see this event grow further but certain logistics such as unavailability of manpower and world class timing and tracking systems do hinder our progress,” Sood adds.  ASHADEEP, a Shimla based NGO too has teamed up with MTB as was stated by its president Shushil Tanveer. He added that, “a seven member team would accompany the riders and en route they would cover schools and villages spreading the message of environment preservation through its awareness campaign by performing street plays and a song directly conveying the messageA hardcore cycling challenge with equally enlivening participants who will see the next eight days of some great adventure as well as raise the spirits of those who wish to be a part of it in the coming future and look forward too.


Mohit Sood, the organizer of this event says that ‘Our aim is to increase the popularity of MTB in the Asian subcontinent and to effectively influence the perception of the riders towards cycling with a special focus on the growing youth. With mountain biking category being included in the Olympics next year our focus would be to send the best riders from our country by giving them exposure through such events”. He further added that the number of riders has grown from 34 in 2005 to highest ever with participants from different countries as well as the Indian army, Air Force, adventure clubs and university students who showcase their talent and endurance. “With increasing number of sponsors and the growing cycling culture will see this event grow further but certain logistics such as unavailability of manpower and world class timing and tracking systems do hinder our progress,” Sood adds. 

MTB 2011 kicks off with a bangVandana Bhagra, ShimlaPhotos: by writerStated as India’s toughest bicycling challenge by the riders themselves, the Seventh Edition of the Mountain Terrain Biking (MTB) Himachal saw the highest ever participation with 120 members which included six women riders. This year a total distance of 504 kilometers will be covered over a period of eight days beginning from Shimla, and covering towns/villages such as Bekhalti, Shilaru, Takkar, Bagipul, Kullu Sarahan, Kandagai, Kumarsain, Narkanda and back to Shimla with a day’s rest at Kullu Sarahan on October 5. All these places are bound to capture your imagination as they offer splendid views of the mountains, virgin beauty and pristine surroundings, at its best during this season. MTB offers a perfect way to challenge yourself by riding through unexplored terrain, going through deep forests, pedaling your way uphill and downhill through thick vegetation giving you the thrilling experience of your life. Event organizers Himalayan Adventure Sports & Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA) and Himachal Tourism together have brought this premier international mountain bicycling challenge to Himachal, as was stated by Manisha Nanda, Principal Secretary, Himachal Tourism and Civil Aviation during the flag off on October 1.An idea which took shape in 2005 with self investment and some help from the Himachal Tourism Department, MTB has grown manifold encompassing the passion and enthusiasm of many adventurers. The growing popularity of this eco-friendly adventure sports is capturing the attention of not only the Indians but participants from all over the world. Of late cycling is being seen as a healthy way of travelling, fitness as well as a lifestyle statement and most of all an ecological statement where like-minded people can be seen exchanging ideas. MTB is becoming become a world class platform to promote sporting talent and an effective way to establish Himachal as an environment friendly adventure destination. The innovative ideas adopted by MTB to showcase the talent as well as promoting tourism in Himachal by offering excellent terrain and international exposure will further attract new audiences. The organizers offer complete guidance and aid to the riders as fully equipped medical teams, government ambulances, a technical team and volunteer rescue official tag along during the event. Shirshir Mankarki from Dehradun and representing the Indian Army has been a part of the MTB since the start of the event. Participating in the team event with Naresh Barman, they are professional as well as experienced riders looking for a win. Abhishek Sarin from Bangalore has been participating since 2008 and says, “This has been the toughest rides I have been on and every time I compete in this race I have a sense of accomplishment and always cherish these memories. The grueling seven-eight days adventure is just mind blowing as it doesn’t get better than this. We are being challenged on one of the toughest terrains of the world as it involves hardcore cycling and a high level of mental fitness”. Age will little deter this young participant as Ryan Dkhar, only 21, was more than exited to be a part of this adventure. Despite the fact that his parents little approved of him participating but sponsorship from TI Cycles saw him from being a comfort rider to a professional rider this year. He says, “During the race we face the elements in full glory as it is a mental as well as a physical challenge. Our full power and strength is on display and the courage with which we handle the course during the event”.With female participation increasing to six this year, Vanita Sahai from Chennai was raring to go and complete the adventure under the weekend category. More than 40 years old and a lucky hand at winning a quiz contest by BSA, she won the sponsorship to this event. Calling it as a lifetime memory her excitement was far from hidden. Mohit Sood, the organizer of this event says that ‘Our aim is to increase the popularity of MTB in the Asian subcontinent and to effectively influence the perception of the riders towards cycling with a special focus on the growing youth. With mountain biking category being included in the Olympics next year our focus would be to send the best riders from our country by giving them exposure through such events”. He further added that the number of riders has grown from 34 in 2005 to highest ever with participants from different countries as well as the Indian army, Air Force, adventure clubs and university students who showcase their talent and endurance. “With increasing number of sponsors and the growing cycling culture will see this event grow further but certain logistics such as unavailability of manpower and world class timing and tracking systems do hinder our progress,” Sood adds.  ASHADEEP, a Shimla based NGO too has teamed up with MTB as was stated by its president Shushil Tanveer. He added that, “a seven member team would accompany the riders and en route they would cover schools and villages spreading the message of environment preservation through its awareness campaign by performing street plays and a song directly conveying the messageA hardcore cycling challenge with equally enlivening participants who will see the next eight days of some great adventure as well as raise the spirits of those who wish to be a part of it in the coming future and look forward too.

 ASHADEEP, a Shimla based NGO too has teamed up with MTB as was stated by its president Shushil Tanveer. He added that, “a seven member team would accompany the riders and en route they would cover schools and villages spreading the message of environment preservation through its awareness campaign by performing street plays and a song directly conveying the message.
A hardcore cycling challenge with equally enlivening participants who will see the next eight days of some great adventure as well as raise the spirits of those who wish to be a part of it in the coming future and look forward too. 

MTB 2011 kicks off with a bangVandana Bhagra, ShimlaPhotos: by writerStated as India’s toughest bicycling challenge by the riders themselves, the Seventh Edition of the Mountain Terrain Biking (MTB) Himachal saw the highest ever participation with 120 members which included six women riders. This year a total distance of 504 kilometers will be covered over a period of eight days beginning from Shimla, and covering towns/villages such as Bekhalti, Shilaru, Takkar, Bagipul, Kullu Sarahan, Kandagai, Kumarsain, Narkanda and back to Shimla with a day’s rest at Kullu Sarahan on October 5. All these places are bound to capture your imagination as they offer splendid views of the mountains, virgin beauty and pristine surroundings, at its best during this season. MTB offers a perfect way to challenge yourself by riding through unexplored terrain, going through deep forests, pedaling your way uphill and downhill through thick vegetation giving you the thrilling experience of your life. Event organizers Himalayan Adventure Sports & Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA) and Himachal Tourism together have brought this premier international mountain bicycling challenge to Himachal, as was stated by Manisha Nanda, Principal Secretary, Himachal Tourism and Civil Aviation during the flag off on October 1.An idea which took shape in 2005 with self investment and some help from the Himachal Tourism Department, MTB has grown manifold encompassing the passion and enthusiasm of many adventurers. The growing popularity of this eco-friendly adventure sports is capturing the attention of not only the Indians but participants from all over the world. Of late cycling is being seen as a healthy way of travelling, fitness as well as a lifestyle statement and most of all an ecological statement where like-minded people can be seen exchanging ideas. MTB is becoming become a world class platform to promote sporting talent and an effective way to establish Himachal as an environment friendly adventure destination. The innovative ideas adopted by MTB to showcase the talent as well as promoting tourism in Himachal by offering excellent terrain and international exposure will further attract new audiences. The organizers offer complete guidance and aid to the riders as fully equipped medical teams, government ambulances, a technical team and volunteer rescue official tag along during the event. Shirshir Mankarki from Dehradun and representing the Indian Army has been a part of the MTB since the start of the event. Participating in the team event with Naresh Barman, they are professional as well as experienced riders looking for a win. Abhishek Sarin from Bangalore has been participating since 2008 and says, “This has been the toughest rides I have been on and every time I compete in this race I have a sense of accomplishment and always cherish these memories. The grueling seven-eight days adventure is just mind blowing as it doesn’t get better than this. We are being challenged on one of the toughest terrains of the world as it involves hardcore cycling and a high level of mental fitness”. Age will little deter this young participant as Ryan Dkhar, only 21, was more than exited to be a part of this adventure. Despite the fact that his parents little approved of him participating but sponsorship from TI Cycles saw him from being a comfort rider to a professional rider this year. He says, “During the race we face the elements in full glory as it is a mental as well as a physical challenge. Our full power and strength is on display and the courage with which we handle the course during the event”.With female participation increasing to six this year, Vanita Sahai from Chennai was raring to go and complete the adventure under the weekend category. More than 40 years old and a lucky hand at winning a quiz contest by BSA, she won the sponsorship to this event. Calling it as a lifetime memory her excitement was far from hidden. Mohit Sood, the organizer of this event says that ‘Our aim is to increase the popularity of MTB in the Asian subcontinent and to effectively influence the perception of the riders towards cycling with a special focus on the growing youth. With mountain biking category being included in the Olympics next year our focus would be to send the best riders from our country by giving them exposure through such events”. He further added that the number of riders has grown from 34 in 2005 to highest ever with participants from different countries as well as the Indian army, Air Force, adventure clubs and university students who showcase their talent and endurance. “With increasing number of sponsors and the growing cycling culture will see this event grow further but certain logistics such as unavailability of manpower and world class timing and tracking systems do hinder our progress,” Sood adds.  ASHADEEP, a Shimla based NGO too has teamed up with MTB as was stated by its president Shushil Tanveer. He added that, “a seven member team would accompany the riders and en route they would cover schools and villages spreading the message of environment preservation through its awareness campaign by performing street plays and a song directly conveying the messageA hardcore cycling challenge with equally enlivening participants who will see the next eight days of some great adventure as well as raise the spirits of those who wish to be a part of it in the coming future and look forward too.

MTB 2011 kicks off with a bangVandana Bhagra, ShimlaPhotos: by writerStated as India’s toughest bicycling challenge by the riders themselves, the Seventh Edition of the Mountain Terrain Biking (MTB) Himachal saw the highest ever participation with 120 members which included six women riders. This year a total distance of 504 kilometers will be covered over a period of eight days beginning from Shimla, and covering towns/villages such as Bekhalti, Shilaru, Takkar, Bagipul, Kullu Sarahan, Kandagai, Kumarsain, Narkanda and back to Shimla with a day’s rest at Kullu Sarahan on October 5. All these places are bound to capture your imagination as they offer splendid views of the mountains, virgin beauty and pristine surroundings, at its best during this season. MTB offers a perfect way to challenge yourself by riding through unexplored terrain, going through deep forests, pedaling your way uphill and downhill through thick vegetation giving you the thrilling experience of your life. Event organizers Himalayan Adventure Sports & Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA) and Himachal Tourism together have brought this premier international mountain bicycling challenge to Himachal, as was stated by Manisha Nanda, Principal Secretary, Himachal Tourism and Civil Aviation during the flag off on October 1.An idea which took shape in 2005 with self investment and some help from the Himachal Tourism Department, MTB has grown manifold encompassing the passion and enthusiasm of many adventurers. The growing popularity of this eco-friendly adventure sports is capturing the attention of not only the Indians but participants from all over the world. Of late cycling is being seen as a healthy way of travelling, fitness as well as a lifestyle statement and most of all an ecological statement where like-minded people can be seen exchanging ideas. MTB is becoming become a world class platform to promote sporting talent and an effective way to establish Himachal as an environment friendly adventure destination. The innovative ideas adopted by MTB to showcase the talent as well as promoting tourism in Himachal by offering excellent terrain and international exposure will further attract new audiences. The organizers offer complete guidance and aid to the riders as fully equipped medical teams, government ambulances, a technical team and volunteer rescue official tag along during the event. Shirshir Mankarki from Dehradun and representing the Indian Army has been a part of the MTB since the start of the event. Participating in the team event with Naresh Barman, they are professional as well as experienced riders looking for a win. Abhishek Sarin from Bangalore has been participating since 2008 and says, “This has been the toughest rides I have been on and every time I compete in this race I have a sense of accomplishment and always cherish these memories. The grueling seven-eight days adventure is just mind blowing as it doesn’t get better than this. We are being challenged on one of the toughest terrains of the world as it involves hardcore cycling and a high level of mental fitness”. Age will little deter this young participant as Ryan Dkhar, only 21, was more than exited to be a part of this adventure. Despite the fact that his parents little approved of him participating but sponsorship from TI Cycles saw him from being a comfort rider to a professional rider this year. He says, “During the race we face the elements in full glory as it is a mental as well as a physical challenge. Our full power and strength is on display and the courage with which we handle the course during the event”.With female participation increasing to six this year, Vanita Sahai from Chennai was raring to go and complete the adventure under the weekend category. More than 40 years old and a lucky hand at winning a quiz contest by BSA, she won the sponsorship to this event. Calling it as a lifetime memory her excitement was far from hidden. Mohit Sood, the organizer of this event says that ‘Our aim is to increase the popularity of MTB in the Asian subcontinent and to effectively influence the perception of the riders towards cycling with a special focus on the growing youth. With mountain biking category being included in the Olympics next year our focus would be to send the best riders from our country by giving them exposure through such events”. He further added that the number of riders has grown from 34 in 2005 to highest ever with participants from different countries as well as the Indian army, Air Force, adventure clubs and university students who showcase their talent and endurance. “With increasing number of sponsors and the growing cycling culture will see this event grow further but certain logistics such as unavailability of manpower and world class timing and tracking systems do hinder our progress,” Sood adds.  ASHADEEP, a Shimla based NGO too has teamed up with MTB as was stated by its president Shushil Tanveer. He added that, “a seven member team would accompany the riders and en route they would cover schools and villages spreading the message of environment preservation through its awareness campaign by performing street plays and a song directly conveying the messageA hardcore cycling challenge with equally enlivening participants who will see the next eight days of some great adventure as well as raise the spirits of those who wish to be a part of it in the coming future and look forward too.

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