Kathmandu - Patan - Bhaktapur
There are plenty of dirt roads and trails in Nepal to meet every mountain biker’s wildest fantasy. Mountain biking is also recommended if you wish to explore the urban centers such as Mountain BikingPokhara and Kathmandu, plus the outskirts. Imagine, if you will, a ride through lush green rice fields, through hamlets, up and down the hillside, along the riverbank, around temples, past the street-roaming cattle, along the suspension bridge, along the highway, you name it. Through snow, monsoon downpour, wonderful light effect, or fierce head winds, depending on place and season. The adventurous souls may plan extended trips to such exotic locales as Tibet, Namche Baazzar, and western Nepal. You could even do the entire length of Nepal across the plains. What you can or cannot do on mountain bike is limited only by your imagination.
It was in the mid 1980s that biking activity really took off in Kathmandu. Enthusiasts flew with their bikes from East Asia to Tibet to do a 2-weeks journey from there over the passes (17,000 ft.) to Nepal. This landmark event put Nepal squarely in mountain bikers’ map. Thus Kathmandu today is considered a mecca for mountain bicyclists, drawing hundreds of enthusiasts from all corners of the world every year. Some of the regular routes that cover the valley are those, which weave in and out of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan.
Day 01: Kathmandu (24 km/3-4 hours):
Start from the nerve center of old Kathmandu, the Durbar Square, and wind your way up to holy Swayambhu, also known as the money temple. Then ride up and over ring road, to way, Kakani, and re-enter Kathmandu from the northwest corner through terraced farmland and hamlets abandoned by time.
Day 02: Bhaktapur (30 km/4-5 hours):
Begin at Thimi, the restored capital of Bhaktapur, and head up the tortuous road to Changu Narayan Temple and return via farming villages. Then head down to Pashupati along the bank of the Bagmati river, and finish up at a Buddhist shrine, the Bouddhanath Stupa.
Day 03: Patan (51 km/8-9 hours):
Start in Patan, winding your way though the maze of alleys with ornately carved windows, taking in historical sites such as the Golden temple, Krishan temple, and Patan Durbar Square. Then head southeast past Ring Road to Panauti along a difficult off-road trail. Then return to Kathmandu via a paved road or the same trail. Alternatively, you could head off to Dakshin Kali or Godavari.
Other outlying places popular with the enthusiasts are Nagarjuna, Nage Gompa, Tokha, Ichangu Narayan, Gomcha, Bungamati, Kakani, Dhulikhel and Nagarkot.
Further mountain bike trips are those extending from:
a) Dhulikhel to Kodari (82 km), near the Tibetan border.
b) Naubise to Royal Chitwan Park along the Rajpath though such scenic places as the Palung Valley, Daman, and the not-so-scenic industrial town of Hetauda in the plains.
c) Hetauda to Mugling by way of Narayanghat.
d) Lakeside Pokhara up and along the ridge to Sarangkot point, and continuing on to Naudanada from where you could take in the breathtaking close-up view of the Himalayas and the Pokhara Valley.
e) Naudanda to Pokhara through Lumle, Beni and Birethanti, or Naudanda to Pokhara (32 km) either via Sarangkot trail described in (d) or the highway track, which starts with a tortuous 6 km descent into Modi Khola Vally.
There are many more options if you are willing to take the time to find out and blaze your own trial.