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Thumbnail Pictures of Dharamsala to Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, Rishikesh to Banbassa, Uttaranchal, India

(October, 2010)

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Bicycle Touring Dharamsala to Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India

(October, 2010)

When we woke up the wind was coming from the opposite direction than normal and our Indian landlord told us "monsoon finished" so we sadly left paradise in the sun. Later we had to sit out a brief downpour with some locals. Game on for cycling India!

I convinced Cindie to get rid of her Suduko book she bought in the airport before we left the USA. This is a picture of Cindie explaining how to work the puzzles to an excited Indian girl. Things we take for granted at home are prized possessions here.

Picture of our camping stove on the balcony on our US$4 hotel room in northern India. I like bicycle touring with all the camping gear but it is nice to wheel the bike in a room and have coffee with a great view.

This man is making my lunch. Talking to the guys at the truck stops is how I am learning Hindi and boy, do they like to talk.

Picture of Tim's loaded touring bicycle taking a rest during the four hour uphill spin to Rewalsar Lake, India.

This Hindu priest invited me to watch a ceremony in the temple then we all slept in it and had another ceremony at sunrise - very hypnotic. I have a lot to learn about this religion and way of life. So cool.


Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India

(October, 2010)

According to the Lonely Planet, Mandi was once a trading stop on the salt route to Tibet.

Autorickshaw parked in front. That's a three-wheel motorized taxi machine with a very loud motor.

If you dislike writing, this gentleman will help you fill in your forms for a fee.

Mandi is full of these old Shiavite temples.

Picture of the narrow bazaar in Mandi, India. These shops sell fine custom tailored dresses to pilgrims to the holy city.

Holy Buddhist and Hindu Rewalsar Lake, India

(October, 2010)

Rewalsar Lake is sacred to Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs.


Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India. Famous English Hill Station

(October, 2010)

Shimla was once the official summer capital of the Raj. A lot of the architecture is British style.

Apples for sale.

Shimla's elevation is 2200 meters. People still come from the cities to escape the summer heat.

The center of town is carfree and always crowded.

The Post Office. The guard got a little angry at me for taking a picture.

Now you can see why there are no cars allowed.

The whole avenue is carfree, full of shops and restaurants in little alleyways. The hillside is forested, lots of nice hikes.


Shimla to Rishikesh, India

(October, 2010)

This area is so peaceful I set up camp next to the road near a well - there's a pump with a handle in the distance near the path. Very good bike touring here in northern India.

“Oh My Gods” – I caused several cars to crash. I was sitting well off the road on a stone wall changing the batteries in my MP3 player when a car of excited university students, possibly on a weekend road trip to Shimla, stopped on the road and the driver yelled out the window “Hello Sir, from which country are you coming from?” By the time I got halfway through “America…” - BOOM, BOOM, BOOM! Three cars rear ended each other. No one was hurt. I got hit by some broken headlight glass but I was fine.

This is the pamphlet handed out to rural farmers explaining safe practices.  It relies heavily on pictures because literacy rates are low in the area. 

The two workers on the left carried the ginger harvest down from the hills while their higher caste foreman, next to my touring bicycle, arranged the deal on his phone.

This is how children go to school in the flat areas.  I wish the man pedaling could be seen better. Passing the cycle carts, one by one, and teasing the kids is my favorite road encounter - especially if I can sneak up on them - they never expect to see me on the way to school.

This is a Belgian couple I met outside of Shimla. They were bike touring through China, Pakistan, Tibet, Nepal and India.


Rishikesh, Uttaranchal, India

(October, 2010)

My last look at Rishikesh, India before I rode over the suspension bridge and onto the great Indian sub continental plain. Flat + tailwind = big KM days!

At least I am eating well.  Veg (etarian) Thali - but do not ask me what anything is besides the rice.  Usually I don't have any idea what I'm eating but it's all so good and wonderfully spicy

I visited Rishikesh during an unknown Hindu festival. Entertaining as all get out. Rishikesh was made famous for Western visitors when the Beatles came here in the 60s. Since then it's been a magnet for New Age guru-seekers on the path of spiritual enlightenment.

Ladies in their finest.


Rishikesh to Banbassa, Uttaranchal, India

(October, 2010)

No one cares where I camp while bike touring the rural villages in India.  I just pull over when I feel like it and the locals walk on by with only a wave and a greeting. 

India's roads in the flatlands are clogged with cyclists and trucks.  Traffic here is unorganized chaos but that is exactly the way they like it.  One man said, "India is a free country.  You can cycle on the left, right, or center of the road."

Local tire repair shop I visited.  They could not believe my touring bicycle tires held 70psi but I had them keep pumping (checking with my gauge) until we got it.  Everyone expected an explosion but instead I paid the equivalent of US 11 cents and cycled away.

Fruit and Vegetable man with his cycle truck.  Sometimes I see these guys selling bananas when I overtake them on the road and they happily pull over and sell to me.  I love human powered venders and always prefer to buy from my bicycle brothers.

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