A group of four city-based cycling enthusiasts rode from Manali to Leh in an extraordinary feat of teamwork and perseverance. They covered some of the world's most scenic mountain passes — Rohtang, Baralacha, Naki, Lachulung, Tanglang and Khardung.
They started cycling on July 7, travelled 525 kms, and ended the journey on July 16.
The team's mission was to send a message to people that clean transport is a better option than using cars. Nitish Bajaj, 38, is a marketing manager, while Dr Chiro Mitra, 41, is a veterinary surgeon. Manas Arvind, 35, is an advertising professional and Jasbir Singh, 41, is a design professional.
"We planned for this since January this year and we prepared hard. We learned how to take care of our cycles and made ourselves physically fit," said Arvind.
Jasbir Singh, who has been into adventure sports and mountaineering for the last seven years, said the most memorable part of the journey was that they managed to cover all the six important mountain passes.
However, Chiro Mitra's memorable moment is something straight out a movie. "We were near Rohtang Pass, and a landslide occurred between me and the third cyclist. I thought I was going to die. I spent six hours at the area alone in T-shirt and shorts,” he said.
For Nitish Bajaj, it is important to tell the younger generation to cycle often. “This is a good way to reduce pollution and stay healthy as well,” said Bajaj.