Manali apples

After a 14hr bus ride from Dehli we were relieved to arrive in Manali - the loftier, cooler, prettier, less polluted, noisey alltogethernicerspot where we could sample the lovely sweet and tart apples a pride and joy of the state of Himachal Pradesh.
Day-tripping through the apple orchards - not bad for a little 30k acclimatisation cycle to Solang.
Ravi (centre) organised our support team and back up impeccably. It was still touch and go regarding the route ahead. We were considering a route in the foothills or heading over Rhotang pass and following the Spiti loop instead. However as Ravi said, 'the event (cloudburst) has happened, roads may be closed and bridges swept away, but by the time you arrive things will have been sorted out to some extent. The people of Ladakh cant loose out twice (ie losses in tourism)'. With current news reportings Leh sounded more like an evacuation zone and 2 spanish cyclists we met had been ordered by their embassy 'to leave immediately!'

Bridget Ringdahl

Pedaling has been natural to me since the tender age of three. Cycling is practical, fun, it gets you to the corner café, across countries, continents, keeps you fit and is by far the most efficient and environmentally friendly transport option around, being virtually carbon neutral.

I live in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal which is great cycling country, within 10 minutes I can be bouncing along some of the finest single tracks in the province.