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Lhasa – Kathmandu by bike: who wants to join?

Gary and I have been talking about it for a while already, but as you can see from the posting below, now it is becoming quite serious: we plan to ride our mountain bikes from Lhasa in Tibet to Nepal’s capital city of Kathmandu. This is one of the most difficult bike rides in the world, not really because of the distance (it’s about 1050 kilometers), but especially because of the altitude. Most of this adventurous ride is far above 4000 meters, and there are some Himalayan mountain passes of over 5000 meter that we need to cross.

But the reward is that we will ride through some of the most beautiful and unspoilt sceneries that you can find on this planet. We plan to start our exotic trip in Lhasa where we will get used to the high altitude for about 3 days before setting off on our bikes. From then it will be bicycling every day for about 16-18 days. We will of course also do some sightseeing along the way, visiting monasteries and monastery towns that we pass through. We even plan to ride our bikes through the valley below the North Face of Mount Everest, and then ride up to Mount Everst base camp (5200m). The graph below gives an indication of the altitude, our plan is to do the trip a bit faster than the plan on the chart.

We will leave for Tibet on April 28 and plan to be back around May 19 from Nepal. We now have the idea to invite some other people to join us. The idea is to have a maximum of 8-10 people for the ride. We plan to hire two jeeps for the expedition that can carry most of the luggage and the tents, and that will carry oxygen equipment. Anybody interested can leave a message in the comments, or contact me at marcvanderchijs (at) gmail dot com. Make sure you are in an excellent condition if you plan to join. We do not have all the details yet, but these will follow in the next days and weeks.

It will not just be sportive event: because we are both highly involved on the Internet, we will cover it on our weblogs and we plan to put daily short video clips and podcasts on We are also thinking to bring a small camera crew to make a documentary about the trip. If you have any additional ideas, let us know!

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  1. Hi Marc, this is a real challenge. So, prepare yourself because I will join you. It must be a once in a lifetime experience to bike there. Moreover there are probably no other places in the world where you still have that clean, fresh air. With a small group of interesting people it will really be an experience.
    You know I have a good condition indeed, however only at “sea level”. How do you prepare for such a performance in thin air?
    Look forward to seeing who will further join.

  2. sounds like a great ride. Unfortunately my condition is far from excellent but I wouldn’t mind driving one of the support jeeps though…

  3. Well, this is a tempting proposal. But it is a huge project (for my body as well as for the organization) and I will need the Xmas days to discuss this challenge with my wife. It seems an offer I cannot refuse, so I am inclined to shout I’m in, but give me the next two weeks to think about it. I will send you an email with some detailed questions.

  4. Bas, if you start training in January you will be in shape in time. Would be great to have you in! And maybe your wife also wants to join (she will likely be the only woman though).

  5. As you know, would love to join. It’s just a bit far to bike back to Rome, in case my wife gives birth to our kid two weeks early… It’s a pity, but will have to skip this one. Enjoy!

  6. Hey, how are you I did recently got myself a motorcycle and i desperately need some help with a query I have been experiencing ever since i bought it. I am the type of individual who gets cold quite easy and i cant seem to stay warm enough on my Motorcycle! How I can i fix this?

  7. @McKinnon I only ride bicycles and never motorbikes, so can’t give you good tips on this. I know bike riders sometimes put newspapers below their jackets while doing downhills to stay warm, maybe that helps?