You arrive at the top of Khardungla pass by jeep and come down the 40km's back to Leh on a mountain bike. The pass at 18380 ft is said to be the highest motorable pass, I have heard there is one higher but it's off limits to civilians, as are most areas in the Himalayas.
As we drive slowly up the mountain I'm looking at the potholed road and I start to think sheesh I'm nuts! I havent ridden a bike in years let alone on such bad terrain. And then I start to think why didnt I bring a jacket with me, did I think it was going to be warm at this altitude?
We arrive at the top only to find a huge mass of Indian tourists who have been taxied up there so they can buy the t-shirt and play in the snow. After taking a few pics and shaking off the light headedness from the high altitude I see the bikes have been removed from the back-up truck and are all lined up ready to go. I look around me and my fellow riders 5 Israelis 2 Brits and A Dutch guy are all still playing in the snow. I thought for sure the Israelis would have been first to leave. So I mount the bike and off I wobble, LOL. Yep I nearly ran into a car with my first try. I keep thinking to myself well If I can't do it I can have the Back-up truck take me back down.
So Instead of being embarrassed in front of everyone I go first. The first turn takes me to rocks and pebbles and the most amazing views. By the second turn I am feeling more at ease and actually letting off the brake. There will be no need to peddle this is all going to be downhill from here!