September 2019 to 2020

About my knee injury, a two month Germany visit, MTB Himalaya 2019, The Bike Algarve Challenge in Portugal, The Corona Pandemic and a new business

It is quite ambitious to fit a whole year into one article, I know. But the last year was a different one altogether. The recovery of my knee injury I got during the Manali-Leh Ultra Race took longer than I wished. Though there was no serious damage in my knee, the inflammation due to overload caused pain till January 2020 and only then I could carefully start training again.

Therefore my 2 month in Germany were spent different than planned. Instead of an intense training Camp with Andi Seewald in Bavaria, I traveled a lot and rode my bike in a more leisure kind of way.

Nevertheless, I spend some great weeks in Lenggries (Home of the whole Radl Rasti Team). I am so grateful for this amazing time there. Every one of the Lenggries family was so welcoming, helpful and hospitable! Kim and Joachim were the best hosts one can ask for, Andi and Martin Seewald took as for great Rides, Christine planned a beautiful Bike Weekend in Austria for us and with the Radl Rasti team, I visited the amazing “Euro Bike Fare”, where I got to meet Danny McKaskill, Sam Pilgrim, Hans Rey, Matt Jones and Rachael Atherton. Meeting these legends was already special, but what topped everything was the gifting of The Fox 32 SC Fork and Tifosi glasses! Thanks to all supporters!

The Stage Race MTB Himalaya was supposed to be my Peak Race in 2019. But due to lack of training and the continuous pain in my knee, I couldn’t compete but was lucky enough to able to participate at least. This time the stage race was 6 days long, equity rainy, but still a very special and memorable event.

The next month were dominated by rest and recovery. As mentioned early I started with easy training sessions again in April. Just in time to at least gain some base form for the Algarve Bike Challenge in Portugal. My last race under the Sponsorship of hero Cycles in the Hero Action Team. The week in Portugal was like a dream thanks to our host Pedro Campos, his friends and family. What an experience to ride among 1200 riders in Europe! Definitely addictive!

Here a big thanks also to my former sponsor Hero Cycles and my Ex-Hero Action Team. When I started Mountain Biking in 2016 it was Hero Cycles and the team who provided me the opportunity to race mountain bikes.

We were lucky to race in Portugal beginning of February 2020. After March 2020 the Covid19 Pandemic made travelling and racing impossible. As well as so many others, I spent quite some time in lock down. Now – 6 month later, the Corona Crisis in India (and in the whole world) is still going on, with no sign of coming to an end soon. Having no races in sight, is not very motivating regarding my training.

First my knee injury and then Corona. The last year was for sure a dark year regarding my racing career.

Though my “professional Mountain Biker Life” is a little bit in the background right now (don’t worry, I will be back soon), I am still highly involved with bikes these days.

In September 2020- a few days back- me and my partner Abishek Negi founded BIKE BROS. BIKE BROS is a Mountain Bike Store, Repair Service and Travel Desk in Shimla.

Running my own bike business gives me enormous joy. These weeks I put all my heart and energy in this new venture and I am grateful to live my passion for mountain bikes now also in another way and can share and spread it in and around Shimla and the Indian Himalaya.