Day 1 Arrive Kathmandu
Meet group at airport. Transfer to hotel.. Arrival briefing.
We will have a full briefing in the evening before dinner. The local leader will collect your passports, your insurance to secure the group visa for Tibet.
Day 2 Kathmandu
After breakfast we will issue local hire bikes for anyone who requires them, and then head east into the Kathmandu Valley to explore the fantastic network of country roads and off-road trails that this area has to offer. Today is the ideal opportunity to stretch your legs and begin the process of acclimatization. Ride approximately 25km. 50% off-road. NB: There won't be anyvehicle support for the off-road sections.
Day 3 Lhasa Fly to Lhasa
An early rise to take the morning flight to Tibet. This is one of the world's most spectacular flights, with a one hour flight over the incomparable Himalayas - keep your eye out for Everest! After landing at Gongkar airport we meeting our Tibetan guide, it is a two-hour drive to Lhasa where we will check in to our hotel to rest and after checking into the hotel, we go for a walk around the Barkhor Square, the spiritual heart of Tibet and start our acclimatization of being at 3490 m (11450 ft)..
Day 4 Lhasa
Acclimatization is very important at this considerable altitude (Lhasa is at 3680m), so for the first few days we make exploratory local rides and cultural visits to become accustomed to the thin air. Points of interest include:
Today we'll visit the main sites of Lhasa, including the Potala Palace. This building dominates the city of Lhasa and contains the private quarters of the Dalai Lama as well as numerous grand staterooms and many important chapels. There has been a palace on this site since the 5th or 6th century, but the present palace was constructed in the 17th century. Jokhang temple is possibly the most sacred shrine in Tibet and there is always a procession of devout Tibetans through the complex. Surrounding the Jokhang is the Barkor - a maze of narrow cobbled streets that is the central market of Lhasa.
Day 5 Lhasa
Today we will make ride around Lhasa and the Lhasa River. We'll see a different side of the city as and explore the local culture and tradition. Before we head out together for a traditional Tibetan dinner we will have a trip briefing for our departure the next morning. We also visit Drepund Monastery, Sera Monastery, one of Lhasa's two great Gelugpa monasteries, once housing a population of around 5500 monks, though now it numbers only a couple of hundred.
Day 6 Chusul
Now fully acclimatized, we take to our bikes and cycle out to the Drepung Monastery on the outskirts of Lhasa. The Freedom Highway then leads us away from Lhasa down the Lhasa Valley and to our guesthouse in Chusul.
Maximum ride distance 95km.
Day 7 Nagartze
Transfer (or ride) over the Khamba La (4794m) and on to Yamdrok Lake.
After breakfast, those who feel up to it can tackle the 25km climb up to the pass of Kamba La. This tough climb will take 3-4 hours but the views from the prayer-flag-strewn summit at 4794m are spectacular. We then descend to the turquoise Yamdrok Lake where we have lunch, before taking the gentle and scenic road around to the small town of Nagartse.
Day 8 Gyantse
Ascend to Karo La (5045m) followed by 1000m descent to Gyantse.
After breakfast, there is the opportunity to tackle the first and (fortunately) 'lowest' of the high passes - the 5045m Karol La. This climb will take approximately 3 hours. The subsequent descent is twice as long and descends over 1000m in altitude to Gyantse in the heart of the Yang Chug Valley. There is plenty to catch the eye here, including the Palcho Monastery and the magnificent Kumbum Stupa - a fantastic tiered structure that is now unique in the Buddhist world. You will also be able to see the beautifully located Gyantse Dzong - where Lt. Col Francis Younghusband made his infamous first stronghold in 1904. Maximum ride distance 100km.
Day 9 Shigatse
Ride down to Shigatse.
Today's ride is a scenic and gentle 94km across beautiful plains with a dramatic mountain backdrop. After a mid-ride lunch stop, we continue across the plains into Shighatse, Tibet's second largest city and home to the controversial Panchen Lama, whose home is traditionally at the Tashilunpo Monastery.
Maximum ride distance 95km.
Day 10 Shigatse
Rest day in Shigatse and visit Tashilhunpo Monastery.
Visit the huge Tashilunpo monastery complex. During our time in Shigatse, the necessary permits will be issued for visiting Everest Base Camp.
Day 11 Lhatse
Ride the passes of Tra La (4050m) and Tsuo La (4520m) to Lhatse.
A gentle start to the day with rolling terrain across the Shigatse Plains. A long but gradual climb then takes us to the double passes of Tra La (4050m) and Tsuo La (4520m). There is then a fantastic descent which flattens out before we arrive at our guesthouse at Lhatse.
Maximum ride distance 150km.
Day 12 Shegar
Cross over Gyatso La (5248m)
A day to test the legs! We leave Lhatze and ride to the foot of the Gyatso La, before climbing to the summit of the pass at 5248m! This is the highest pass on the Friendship Highway and a steady effort will be needed to conquer it. The sight of Everest looming into view is the reward for attaining the summit, as we gradually approach the Himalayan chain.
Maximum ride distance 85km.
Day 13 Tashi Zom
Ride up Pang La (5200m) for views of Everest and Cho Oyu.
After the initial smooth tarmac from the door of the hotel, we then turn south and head off-road for the next few days! For the very fittest there is another pass - this time the 5200m Pang La - where we feast on the extensive views of the Himalayas. On a clear day, the sheer scale of the mountain views throughout is unequalled in the world! The descent from the pass is fast and twisty and brings us down into the Rongbuk Valley and to our overnight stop in Tashi Zom.
Maximum ride distance 62kms. 90% off-road.
Day 14 Jarongbuk
Cycle to Rongbuk Monastery near Everest Base Camp.
Cycling on a vehicle width jeep trail today in full view of Everest's North Face, we approach both the mountain itself and the Rongbuk Monastery. Taking lunch in the airy tranquility here is one of the highlights of the trip. After lunch, we continue the short distance to our overnight accommodation at the Jarongbuk tented camp. The remainder of the afternoon is free to allow for acclimatization to the lofty (5200m) altitude. The stunning views of Everest, visible from our
campsite, hopefully make up for the lack of air! Maximum ride distance 52kms. 100% off-road. See note in accommodation section.
Day 15 Jarongbuk
Rest day at Jarongbuk and visit to Everest Base Camp (5200m).
After breakfast, we take to our bikes and head slowly up the gravel jeep trail to Everest Base Camp. The route is only 4km, but the stunning views and thin air mean it might well take 90 minutes! The views from Base Camp are spectacular and offer a 360 degree panorama of the high Himalaya to put your photographic skills to the test! After enjoying the ambience of Base Camp, we return to our tented accommodation where our cooks will have prepared another amazing lunch! The afternoon is free to relax and enjoy the incredible surroundings.
Maximum ride distance 8km. 100% off-road.
Day 16 Tingri
Heading back out of the wide valley, a turn-off takes us over the Nam La pass and along smaller tracks to Tingri, a little town overlooking the sweeping plains. Tingri is bordered by the mighty Himalayas and we will have distant views of Everest, Cho Oyu, as well as the ruins of buildings destroyed in the 18th Century Nepalese invasion of Tibet. Maximum ride distance 70km. 100% off-road.
Day 17 Nyalam
Ride the passes of Lalung La (4950m) and Yarle Shung La (5200m)
We usually drive to the first of the double passes of Lalung La (4950m) before riding down and up to the Shung La (5200m), the last pass in Tibet. The high-altitude lunch spot here is fantastic with tantalizing views of Shishipangma. Lunch is made even more enjoyable for knowing that it is now more than 4000m down to Nepal! We begin our epic descent by thundering down to Nyalam where we will spend our last night in Tibet.
Maximum ride distance 75km.
Day 18 Dhulikhel
Cross the border into Nepal and continue on down towards the Kathmandu.
Not a high pass to be found today! At Zhangmu we pass through Chinese customs before continuing down to Nepal, crossing the famous Friendship Bridge at Kodari. Please remember to ride on the left in Nepal! From Dolalghat we transfer to Dhulikhel.
Maximum ride distance 50km
Day 19 Kathmandu
After a fine breakfast we head off through the greenery of the Kathmandu Valley towards our final destination, Kathmandu via the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bhaktapur, where we will have the time to visit the beautiful Durbar square. From here we transfer to our hotel where we pack up the bikes, shower, and prepare for our well-earned farewell celebration dinner.
Maximum ride distance 20km. 80% off-road.
Day 20 Depart Kathmandu
After breakfast.Depart to Airport