Hercules MTB Himalaya Rally 2012 – Part 1


Phew, now that it’s over, I can look back at these 10 days as some of the most adventurous ones in recent times. Following and covering 75 cyclists through some of the most difficult, remote and pristine landscapes of the Himalaya mountains has been an unparalleled experience. Besides giving me a severe tan and adding some bulk to my calves, I met amazing people who have a ‘never-say-die’ attitude. While several were professional bikers, most were weekenders who cycle on city roads. To see them cycle uphill and carry it over streams was awesome. The overall rally covered 468 kms of rugged tracks over 8 days going up to a height of 3200 mts at Jalori pass.

As the official photographer for the rally I could feel the pain and glory of each biker. Here are pics of the first two days leading to the event; a bit of Shimla (yes its an overcrowded concrete jungle, but still retains some secluded spots to fall in love with), the registration process and the flag-off from The Ridge. Bollywood couple Parvin Dabas & Preeti Jhangiani graced the occasion.

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Post-monsoon clouds float around the hills as the sun tries to peek out from behind them.

View of Shimla

View of Shimla

Cant help it, 'Phir bhi dil hai Hindustani'. Puja before the MTB Himalaya event.

Cant help it, ‘Phir bhi dil hai Hindustani’. Puja before the MTB Himalaya event.

Participants registering themselves for the MTB Himalaya event

Participants registering themselves for the MTB Himalaya event

Participants registering themselves for the MTB Himalaya event

Participants registering themselves for the MTB Himalaya event

Hercules cycles arrive for the MTB Himalaya event

Hercules cycles arrive for the MTB Himalaya event

Cycles stack up as participants pour in at the hotel for registration at the MTB Himalaya event

Cycles stack up as participants pour in at the hotel for registration at the MTB Himalaya event

The list of distinguished speakers at the press conference of the MTB Himalaya event

The list of distinguished speakers at the press conference of the MTB Himalaya event

Mr Madan Mohan, DGM TI Cycles, speaks to the media at MTB Himalaya event

Mr Madan Mohan, DGM TI Cycles, speaks to the media at MTB Himalaya event

Parvin Dabas shares his experiences at the press conference of MTB Himalaya event

Parvin Dabas shares his experiences at the press conference of MTB Himalaya event

Mohit Sood, president of HASTPA, addresses the media at the launch of MTB Himalaya 2012 edition

Mohit Sood, president of HASTPA, addresses the media at the launch of MTB Himalaya 2012 edition

'Bold & Beautiful' Hercules cycles on display at the press conference of MTB Himalaya

‘Bold & Beautiful’ Hercules cycles on display at the press conference of MTB Himalaya

'Do you want to join the race', they seem to be saying to each other. Parvin Dabas and Preeti Jhangiani at the press conference of MTB Himalaya event.

‘Do you want to join the race’, they seem to be saying to each other. Parvin Dabas and Preeti Jhangiani at the press conference of MTB Himalaya event.

The sun goes down on Shimla, probably the last night of comfortable sleep for the participants for a long time.

The sun goes down on Shimla, probably the last night of comfortable sleep for the participants for a long time.

Christ church, the venue of the flag off of the MTB Himalaya 2012 edition, next morning

Christ church, the venue of the flag off of the MTB Himalaya 2012 edition, next morning

Participant briefing session, feed them before you slaughter them:)

Participant briefing session, feed them before you slaughter them:)

Participant briefing session, feed them before you slaughter them:)

Participant briefing session, feed them before you slaughter them:)

Participants pack their luggage, ready for the long haul

Participants pack their luggage, ready for the long haul

Do I look good enough for the event hnnn!

Do I look good enough for the event hnnn!

This is all I have for the week, who needs to change clothes anyways!

This is all I have for the week, who needs to change clothes anyways!

And I need just my bicycle, she seems to be saying

And I need just my bicycle, she seems to be saying

Here comes my baggage for the week

Here comes my baggage for the week

Time to say farewell to Shimla, (MTB Himalaya event)

Time to say farewell to Shimla, (MTB Himalaya event)

Fixing final glitches before the MTB Himalaya event

Fixing final glitches before the MTB Himalaya event

And then fixing some more

And then fixing some more

Ek team photo toe banata hi hai, esp with Preeti, (MTB Himalaya event)

Ek team photo toe banata hi hai, esp with Preeti, (MTB Himalaya event)

Off to the Ridge for the flag off of the MTB Himalaya event

Off to the Ridge for the flag off of the MTB Himalaya event

At the Ridge, Shimla, for the Hercules MTB Himalaya event

At the Ridge, Shimla, for the Hercules MTB Himalaya event

Aur ek Team photo bhi banata hai

Aur ek Team photo bhi banata hai

A bit of nervousness before the flag off

A bit of nervousness before the flag off

Who do you think will win the MTB Himalaya event this year! says the expression

Who do you think will win the MTB Himalaya event this year! says the expression

Mohit Sood welcomes the Chief Guest to flag off the MTB Himalaya rally

Mohit Sood welcomes the Chief Guest to flag off the MTB Himalaya rally

The chief guest flags off the 8th edition of MTB Himalaya rally

The chief guest flags off the 8th edition of MTB Himalaya rally

Riders dash off after flag off at the Ridge

Riders dash off after flag off at the Ridge

Riders dash off after flag off at the Ridge

Riders dash off after flag off at the Ridge

The competitive section begins 8 kms down the road

The competitive section begins 8 kms down the road

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