Yak Ru Enduro Welcomes Riders
7 October, 2017
By Wilson Low
KATHMANDU - Participants of the Yak Ru Enduro took the first step on their adventure in the world's highest mountain bike enduro today. They started arriving in the bustling city of Kathmandu, capital of Nepal.
Tim Parsons, (37), arrived a day early and was eager to stretch his legs with a light spin on his bike . Earlier this morning, he assembled his steed and was out roaming the streets of Thamel district where the event's official hotel - the Dalaila - is located. Tim and Yak Ru marketing director Sunil Sharma rode to a hill west of Kathmandu city to Seto Gumba in the late afternoon.
When asked what does he think of his maiden trip to kathmandu, He says "Amazing to see the Nepalese culture first hand and ride past the incredible temples and stunning scenery."
On the organiser's side, an advance party, including event director Wilson Low, is already headed to the high alpine town of Manang to do final inspections of the event's trails and to commence route marking.
The rest of the Yak Ru participants arrive in Kathmandu tonight. Tomorrow allows participants a chance to do some light sightseeing & last-minute shopping in Kathmandu; and of course attending the official welcoming brief at the GAA Hall where Yak Ru Race medic, Himalayan Medic's office is located.
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The Yak Ru Enduro takes place in the Manang district of the Annapurna Ranges, Nepal. The 3-day, multi-stage enduro race format allows a truly immersive big-mountain race experience - unlike any other mountain bike event - in a beautiful location amongst some of the highest mountains on Earth.
The event features race stages between 3300-4300m elevation on Himalayan alpine & forest singletrack - and includes a variety of steep, technical, flowy & loamy trails.
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Day 1 -Travel Day 9 Oct
Kathmandu to Tal
Day 2 - Acclimatisation Ride Day 10 Oct
Tal to Manang
MANANG –Today saw the arrival of the Yak Ru Enduro convoy to the Annapurna Conservation Area. Dry, sunny conditions allowed quick progress from the previous night’s rest-stop at Tal up to the lunch-stop at Bhratang; and thereafter onwards to Humde on the main access road into the alpine.
At Humde, it was obvious that riders were itching to get on to their bikes after being squashed – and bounced around – inside 4-wheel-drives for the most part of the morning. With bikes assembled and unloaded, it was time to take in the sights of the Manang valley on two wheels.
Passing through quaint little settlements along route to the staging town of Manang, the dry conditions proved to be a bane in the form of billowing dust clouds being kicked up by riders… and even bigger ones by passing motor vehicles. But this fat-tire party was not complaining, instead taking the chance to shoot action camera footage and take pictures of the mountain scenery surrounding them.
This acclimatization ride to Manang, though short, is a critical part of the event schedule, providing riders a chance to stretch their legs as well as ‘test the engines’ in a high-altitude setting. Manang itself is an important stopover along the famous Annapurna Trekking Circuit, with many adventurers choosing to stay a day or two extra as ‘rest days’ before pushing on higher into the mountains as part of their acclimatization strategy.
Tomorrow, riders will get a chance to explore some old ruins nestled on a prominent alpine ridgeline for their first downhill. This is their ‘warm-up stage’, an untimed descent that makes doubly-sure each rider is dialed in and ready for the rather loose conditions that are coming up on the day’s subsequent stages.
From then on, all bets are off as participants hit the fabled Gangapurna Trail – a snaking, switchback-laden masterpiece that – while largely man-made and purpose-built for trekking - provides a unique opening challenge as far as remote backcountry enduros go. Then it’s up to a chorten high above the town where riders further test their mettle in the powdery conditions past farmer’s fields that have been left to fallow for the autumn.
About Yak Ru Enduro
The Yak Ru Enduro takes place in the Manang district of the Annapurna Ranges, Nepal. The 3-day, multi-stage endure race format allows a truly immersive big-mountain race experience – unlike any other mountain bike event – in a beautiful location amongst some of the highest mountains on Earth.
The event features race stages between 3300-4300m elevation on Himalayan alpine & forest singletrack – and includes a variety of steep, technical, flowy & loamy trails.
Day 3 - Race Day 1 -11 Oct
Day 4 - Race Day 2 – 12 Oct
Day 5 - Race Day 3 – 13 Oct
Day 6 - Group Ride Day – 14 Oct
Lower Pisang to Taal
Day 7 - Return Travel Day -15 Oct
Tal to Kathmandu
Day 8 -Awards Day -16 Oct