David’s Blog

Come Back 2021

After a 2 year long struggle with my knee and a long break from Racing during the Corona Pandemic I am happy to announce that I am back on my Mountain Bike for Racing.

The last 2 years were quite hard for me. Mentally and physically: On and of the bike with continuous reoccurring knee pain, visits of various Doctors and Physiotherapists,no races.

While the Doctors and Physiotherapists kept reassuring me (after various tests and check ups) that my knee was fine, my knee stayed very sensitive, especially after longer and more intense rides.

Thankfully, my new Store Bike Bros kept me busy, otherwise I would have gone mad without riding for so long!

Nevertheless, after a couple of Physiotherapy sessions, knee strengthening exercises, Yoga therapy and easy rides, I finally feel better and having now a more consistent riding pattern, while being still very carefully.

When the Greyghostmtbchallenge got announced, I was not only very excited to race again, but got also quite a bit nervous: How would I perform after such a long training and racing break?

The One Day Race (45 km and 800 m of elevation) would take place in Keylong, Lahaul on an altitude of around 3000 m above sea level. Being the first race after a long Corona Gap, it attracted the best riders from all over India and more then 130 participants, despite its remote location in the Himalayas.

I like high altitude races, but wished for some more climbing, which would suit me better.

Anyway, I reached 3 days before the race to acclimatise, check the race route and meet fellow riders after such a long time!

The race was going really well. I was able to stay with the leading group consisting of Shiven, Devender and Sonam and despite some stomach pain I managed to gain the 3rd position behind Shiven and Devender.

I am really surprised that I still can compete at the highest level. This race motivates me to finally get into some good training. I can´t wait for more races to come!

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.

La La Land Ultra

My first ever self supported ultra distance race

La La Land Ultra: A self supported endurance race in Himalayas which started in Manali and went all the way till Turtuk covering 700 km with the average altitude of 3900 meters and 10280 meters of elevation gain.

In june 2019 me and one of my best friend did a bike packing tour from Shimla to Manali, Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur and back to Shimla. when we were in Manali we got to know about a self supported ultra distance race in July called La La Land Ultra. which was going to start in Manali and end in Turtuk. this race really got my attention. Because before starting cycling i always wanted to do the Manali-Leh route on a bicycle. Later i never did because it became really common. Every cyclist was doing that. But this time i really wanted to do because first i never did such a race before (which i always wanted) . Second it was one of my dream route.

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Bike Packing in the High Himalayas

I love racing and I do love adventure and travelling. Lucky me that i live in the Indian Himalayas- the gate way to unlimited mountain adventure.

I got inspired by Cory Wallace, the World Champion in 24 hour racing, who is doing lots of bike packing all around the world. he is using these weeks with long distance riding with heavy load as base and strength training.

I decided to start my own bike packing journeys this June and planned to do a 900 km circuit from Shimla through the Kullu Valley to Manali and then further over Rothang (3980 m) and Kunzum Pass (4550 m) into the Spiti and Kinnaur Valley, then back to Shimla.

On this tour I would not need any camping gear, as there are villages and tented accommodation on the way. This suited my situation, since I am not so well equipped yet. However I took my stove along, like that I was independent with my fueling.

AT the and of the 10 days trip I had done 930 km and 15000 meters of elevation. The highest point was on 4700 meteres.

I really loved the adventure, meeting other travelers on there cycles and challenging my self with the heavy bags in high altitude.

This trip was even more special, as a part of the road was still blocked for traffic, due to lots of rockfall and snow . Anyway,with my bike I managed to cross this 10 km brutal stretch and enjoyed to have the Himalayas just for myself, only sharing them with the Sheppard men and my riding partner.

MTB Garsha- High altitude Race in Lahaul Valley

This one day race took place in the beautiful remote valley Lahaul, which is only reachable in the summer month when the mighty Rothang Pass is open.

it was a one day race of 40 km at an elevation of 3000 m and higher.

We decided to ride the 120 km from Manali to the race venue, since it would be not only a good training, but also much more enjoyable, than sitting in a car.

The race was lovely organised with a beautiful stay at a monastery on 3500 m.

The race itself was short and intense, with nice single trails and good climbs. After few days of slow riding, it was the Time to get back to the race mode. We had some very good riders,and since the race was short , anyone could win. Though the start was not good for me, i just crashed with few young riders who just braked after 30-40 m from the starts line. But i chaged strong and after 2 hour 20 minutes of riding I managed to pull out the win. 

Hattrick at Hero MTB Shimla 2019

MTB Shimla will always be one of my favorite races, as it was on that race in 2016 that I got into professional mountain biking.

In April 2019 I managed my 3rd win in the last 3 years. This race means so much to me and I am happy i could successfully finish it

While the first day was going amazingly well for me, with giving me a big lead, i had few mechanical problems on day 2 and I only managed to reach on 2nd position the finish. But thanks to my lead on day 1 I could still take the overall win.

MTB Arunachal 2018

MTB ARunachal

MTB Arunachal – The Hornbill´s Flight, was the last year of the race season 2018 for me. It happened almost only a month after the HERO MTB Himalaya and in the time between these two major reasons I kind of struggled with smaller and bigger health issues. I suffered from a cold with a sour throat and fewer, as well as an eczema on my bottom, which made sitting on a saddle for a couple of days unbearable.

Anyway I would participate with Rakesh Rana in the Team of Two category, in which the competition didn’t seem to be so high.

I was especially looking forward to meeting Andi Seewald and his brother Martin again. Spending 10 days with an international pro rider was just such an amazing opportunity for me, almost more important than the race itself!
I knew Andi from previous MTB Himalaya Races and at MTB Arunachal being almost the only one he knew, me, his brother and him spent lots of time together.

The race itself was going ok. It was nice to meet new riders from the North East states and Bhutan as well.

As expected there was no real competition for Rakesh and me. There was a huge lead to the 2nd team from Bhutan and we tried more or less to stay with the overall leader.

For me it was a good practise to ride in a team of two. Still a rather new experience to me and it was good to practise having a partner to ride with. Rakesh and I alternated with our weak days at the beginning. The first day I got severe cramps, next day Rakesh suffered during the long rainy downhill with sight. With the race days continuing we found our rhythm and always gained the top positions at the stages.

Unfortunately Andi got really sick during the race with food poisoning, so that he could not participate for a couple of days. Instead his brother Martin took the overall lead.

MTB Arunachal was a great closing for my racing season 2018. Apart from racing, spending a week in a beautiful area and ride the bike with fellow riders just means fun.

My aim for 2020 is to be back stronger on the bike, participating and winning major races all over India. See you there.

MTB Himalaya 2018

10 Days. 8 Days of Racing. 650 km. 16000 Hm. MTB Himalaya gives me the annual chance to race with the worldwide top mountain bikers through the Indian Himalayas. It is not only a huge learning experience, but also hard core racing on the one side and 10 amazing days of mountain biking, camping, great food, good people and all that in one of the most beautiful parts in the world.
Last year in 2017 I managed to become the first in the Indian category and overall on 10th position. For me a huge success and the first time I could seriously compete with International riders. Last year I felt strong on the uphill, but lacked clearly in my downhill skills. This year I wanted to perform stronger- uphill, as well as in downhill and technical sections. As MTB Himalaya is the most important race for me in the year I tried to put all my focus on training for this event.

pc Fernando

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This time for Africa

The 26th of May 2018 was a big day for me: I participated in my first ever race abroad. My sponsors Hastpa and Hero Cycles sent my two team members Akshit and Ashish and me to the Darling Brew Xtreme Race in South Africa.

As the winner of the MTB Shimla Race, I won a free entry for the 72 km single stage race. Not only that it would be my first ever race abroad, but also my first travel outside of India. You can imagine that I was quite excited: I would race against 800 experienced riders on a complete off-road route in South Africa!

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The recipe for my tasty and nutritious Energy Bar

After I posted a photo of my self made energy bar on facebook a while ago. many of you ask me for the recipe.

Well, I don’t want you to keep waiting any longer and finally found the time to write the recipe down.

This bar is not only tasty, but completely made out of natural ingredients, easy to make (no need of an oven even) and most important: It gives you enough energy to sustain the same level during your ride.

This is not a fixed recipe and you can change it according to your taste. Be creative!

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