How was the singletrack? Tso-Tso? No, it was great!

Our main frustration with cycling in Ladakh has been simple: a lack of really quiet roads. (Well, a lack of quiet roads that foreigners are allowed on – we’ve seen lots of great looking tracks near the Chinese border on Google Earth and had optimistically hoped it might be possible to get to a few more of these. No such luck.) This means that the routes we are permitted to travel generally have more traffic than we enjoy cycling alongside. Oh for an Andean mine road with only a few 4x4s passing per day!

To get away from the dirty exhausts and friendly tooting we’ve taken to bike-hiking on trekking routes, even though till now the terrain hasn’t been especially conducive to such trips. Crossing both the the Shingo and Rusi Las our pushing to riding ratio was just a little too high.

So in Leh we asked around for trekking routes that might be good for mountain biking and pretty much the only answer that came back was ‘Tso Kar to Tso Moriri’.

But how right these answers were.

Gentle gradients and a good path made for an excellent four day trip between the two lakes. True, we had to push much of the way up to the passes, but on the descents and in the valleys between we were able to cycle long stretches. The second day we detoured from the main path to cross the Kozur La, which at over 5,600m was the highest we’ve ever been with our bikes. Now that was more fun than sticking to the tarmac!

As usual the best way to see the story of this trip is through our photos and captions on Flickr.

Jeep tracks by Tso Kar
Jeep tracks by Tso Kar.

In the sand south of Tso Kar
In the sand south of Tso Kar.

The end of the road at Nuruchang
The end of the road at Nuruchang.

The Kongka La (4,969m)
The Kongka La.

La la, la la la
Kora of the mani stones on Kongka La.

Descending from the Kongka La
Descending from the Kongka La.

The final push to the Kozur La
The final push to the Kozur La.

On the Kozur La
One of these figures is a lie. (Clue: we can’t climb nearly 10,000m in a day.)

Sunbathing on the Kozur La (5,626m)
Sunbathing on the Kozur La.

Cycling near Gyamabarma
Cycling near Gyamabarma.

Monitoring the next storm
Monitoring the next storm.

Descending from the 5,398m Kostse La
Descending from the Kostse La.

Heading for the Yalung Nyau La
Heading for the Yalung Nyau La. As with every day, there was a brief snow storm.

Near the top of the Yalung Nyau La (5,446m)
Nearing the Yalung Nyau La, the last pass before Tso Moriri.

Descending to Tso Moriri
Descending to Tso Moriri on a fun, bumpy path that was a joy to ride.

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