Return to Collection
Next Photograph


Life is not a journey to the arrive safely in a well-preserved body;
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a ride!"
Hunter Thompson

After 25 days and 600 miles across the gravel pit of Tibet, "roof of the world," astride a mountain bike , I am ready to cross the finish line in Kathmandu, Nepal. And to be on foot again! The saddle has ground my backside into a giant blister laced with raw nerves. Every bump in the road is a stab in the butt. No wonder a popular sporting magazine rated this the toughest organized bike ride on the planet! They forgot to mention this in the brochure.

But there is one more phase to complete before I arrive in Kathmandu, and am finally free of the now dreaded cold, headwinds, and dust (macho for a maybe a week). I poise my Litespeed on the edge of Tibet, gaze out toward the horizon for a long while, then take a deep breath and launch myself into Nepal. What lies ahead are two days and 9000 feet of curvaceous descent, the longest downhill in the world, back down to the land of oxygen, asphalt, and the sweetest warmth in the world. And downhill means no peddling! All I have to do is hang on.

Which I manage to do. Two days later I groan into Kathmandu, one time adventure capital of the world and watering hole for outlaws and Indiana Jones wannabes. I slam on the brakes one last time and dismount, feeling less than victorious. There are no cheering crowds. No reporters. I am not disappointed. Weary, wobbly, tattered, ill with bowel complaints, and 15 pounds lighter, I hobble over to the nearest kiosk and purchase the only Western fare to be had: a large box of corn flakes, covered in dust. I then check into a local hostel, sprawl across the bed and feast on the dry cereal, chasing it with warm Coca-Cola (don't even think about using ice here), manna from heaven after a month of porridge and pancakes. I opt for some serious isolation and relaxation, having had my fill of adventure and company for awhile. (next photo)



© Danny Kimberlin 2015