Srinagar to Leh by Cycle 

13th Jun 2017


Sitting in my law firm office chair (a great place to procrastinate) I thought about the Srinagar – Leh Highway. I had been to this 450 km stretch of tarmac back in 2013 in non-descript taxi-cab that was returning to Srinagar from Leh empty. The driver was gracious enough to let me and my friend ride on it for a pittance. Throughout the 10 hour drive out of Leh my eyes were wide open just taking in the scenery. I frequently poked my head out of the window to look back at the passing scenery. The views were breath-taking but so was the driver’s speed. I wished to have spent longer time on that highway. Sitting in that office chair I longed to be on the Srinagar - Leh Highway again. This time on the vehicle of my choice - solo - on my bicycle.

It would be hard I thought, I’d done approx. 2000 kms of touring in Rajasthan back in college but they were on flat desert roads. I was used to the climate and I was close to home. This was different – an average elevation of 3000 metres the entire length of the Highway coupled with cold dry winds of the cold desert. High Altitude cycling wasn’t really my forte. I thought – I had been cycling and working out on and off in the past one year perhaps I can do it. I just had to overhaul my bike a bit Maybe it would not break my back. Maybe I could die of AMS. Maybe I would make it maybe I would not. I had to give it a try. I had enough of the ‘maybes’. Right then in a flash I booked the cheapest flight tickets available for Srinagar (I couldn’t afford Leh!).

Photo of Srinagar to Leh by Cycle  1/1 by Shashwat Dev

Stuff I took for the Trip. I wanted to keep my load as light as possible! A total of 9 kgs of load on the bike + 82 Kgs of me. Good to Go!

Day 1
Photo of Srinagar by Shashwat Dev
Photo of Srinagar by Shashwat Dev

An Extremely extremist savage Kashmiri looking at my bike with rage and anger. These Kashmiri people I tell you. #nationalism #extremism #kashmir

Photo of Srinagar by Shashwat Dev
Photo of Srinagar by Shashwat Dev
Photo of Srinagar by Shashwat Dev

Cycling in Srinagar on the way out of town from the Airport on day 1 on the Srinagar - Leh Highway aka NH-1.

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