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Cycling Across Tibet - A Look Back

A local bike shop in Lhasa, Tibet.The Ride of My Life: A look back at a 1997 bike ride across Tibet!

“He’s going to kill himself.” This was my thought as our Nepalese bike guide, Shyam Shah, carried his 40 pound mountain bike up the steep stairway leading to Swyambhunath (the Monkey Temple) in Kathmandu for the third time. The first two times? He crashed end over end halfway down the 365 concrete steps. Shyam was a fearless 19 year old and the current mountain bike champion of Nepal. He was known throughout Kathmandu for his ability to ride down anything and he was determined to prove it one more time. Once at the top of the stairway, he gave a thumbs-up and proceeded to race down, bike bouncing up and down seemingly uncontrollably with his hands nowhere near the brakes. A crowd had gathered at this point as Shyam landed safely at the bottom to where I was standing wearing a huge smile. “Ready for Tibet?”, I asked. “Yes Andy”, he replied.

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