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Old 22nd July 2014, 19:34   #31
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Ma

Through out the year i read every travelogue on Ladakh, i keep remembering your last years bicycling expedition.

A year back i commented the below quoted lines on your last bicycling expedition and i will stick to the same what i told last year and the only thing i will add is, will wait again for your next adventure trip to come up, they are just awesome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Totally speechless! What many people (including me) dream to do by car or bike you have done it by a bicycle! It really take a lot of guts to cover such a terrain that too solo in a bicycle. Hats off to you. Plus your pictures need a special mention too as they are just mind blowing. Waiting for more to come.

Last edited by Samba : 22nd July 2014 at 19:46.
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Old 22nd July 2014, 21:47   #32
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Ma

Day 3: Zingral - Chang la [5360 m/17,5886 feet] - Tangste

September 11, 2013, at Zingral, wake up quite early with all the intention to start as quickly as possible, to climb up to Chang la and then stop at Tangste, which incidentally has BSNL mobile connection since Karu. Absolutely vital I reach Tangste today - it has been 2 days since the last phone call and as such everyone would be expecting a call back today.

A very early morning rise for me, freshen up fast and is ready, just about when the BRO boys are also starting to get up. As we all gather for the morning tea, I say goodbye to them, thank them again for all the fantastic support since last evening. No way I can express or return back the gratitude but just as a token give them some fund - which they of course take very reluctantly and after much persuasion - have a special dinner another day.

Anyway after a goodbye over here, as they get ready for the BRO truck to pick them up for work up near the Chang la top, I start on my slow and grinding journey towards the pass and beyond. It is around 12 km from here and the uphill incline is brutal and seeing that zig-zag road going up and up, it is better to stop and take some rest before I gather the resolve again.

Again up towards the mighty Chang la, standing tall at 17,586 feet.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-69.jpg

Slowly cover the steep and never ending gradients as altitude increases turn by turn - Zingral and its Army camp a tiny speck among the vast landscape.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-70.jpg

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-62.jpg

A milestone and a photo shoot is just an excuse for rest as the climb continues. Around 7 km done, 5 km to go.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-63.jpg

A chorten on a turn while ascending Chang la.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-67.jpg

Cycling continues slowly up the incline.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-65.jpg

I am grunting and furiously breathing. Air is rarefied and every half a km or so I have to stop to gather my breath. Not exactly a great boost for my resolve while going up a high-altitude mountain pass, seeing a mountain bike on Innova tourist taxi zoom by.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-64.jpg

The land from where I am coming from for the last 2 days. Brilliant views of high mountain ranges and the lands of Ladakh - for a moment all the hard strain is forgotten! Most probably at around 17.000 feet or so now.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-66.jpg

The last kilometre of Chang la gets even steeper. The pass would be somewhere up there in between the folds of the mountain ranges. Slowly nearing the mighty Chang la, the first high altitude pass on this Lake of Ladakh bicycle ride.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-68.jpg

contd..

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 24th July 2014 at 07:39. Reason: Uniform para spacing
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Old 23rd July 2014, 11:57   #33
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Ma

Superb. I am glued to the story. Very Brave and great to see you make the initiative for the trip. Hope this is an inspiration to all of us and a salute to the wonderful folks of Ladakh for their generosity and courtesy despite such harsh conditions.
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Old 23rd July 2014, 13:55   #34
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Ma

This is called back with a BANG. Fantastic, mind-blowing this all phrases are very simple in front of this TL. I need Siddhu Paji's dictionary to appreciate your wheel power.
"Talent is nothing; if its not controlled, disciplined and harnessed." Navjot Singh Sidhu .


As Sumitro already said, a heavyweight Bhpian like you is our inspiration for the meet. Please try to attend on 3rd morning. I will show you more towers constructed by our company .
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Old 23rd July 2014, 14:46   #35
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Ma

As said, the last km or so towards Chang la is insanely steep, and the fatigue felt is huge. Every 100-200 m, I have to stop now, oxygen barely reaches the lungs and mind goes mental just looking at that incline still ahead. Chang la is so close yet by bicycle still another half hour away. This is where one appreciates the ease of our Safari VTT drives i.e., a drive by a motor vehicle, the torque would have made it barely noticeable!

Stopping, a bit of cycling, stopping is the routine for me. My last cycling on a high pass was almost an year back, Oct 10, 2012 on to the Khardung la top, and only being a dedicated cyclist once a year in bicycle travels like these - progress is painfully slow for myself but then surely bit by bit I approach Chang la.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-71.jpg

Finally I see the last turn, towards the left is Chang la. Just one more turn to go!!

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-72.jpg

Sacrilege at its worst!!! A DSLR being used to take a "selfie" but then I am just plain happy. Finally at the mighty Chang la, around 2-1/2 days after leaving from Leh.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-73.jpg

Quote:
Chang La (el. 5,360 m or 17,590 ft) is a high mountain pass in Ladakh, India. It is the third highest motorable road in the world.
Chang La is on the route to Pangong Lake from Leh. The name literally means "Pass towards the South" or "Pass in the South" (Chang = south, La = Pass). --- Wikipedia
As the mighty Chang la rock signage was bit occupied and also mighty hungry after all the exertion and with only morning tea till now, I head off to the canteen to have a couple bowls of Maggi and similar cups of tea.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-75.jpg

At the Chang la canteen for some food, i.e, couple of Maggi noodles and tea.

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By the time I gulp down the noodles and cups of tea, the mighty Chang la rock signage is empty. It is time for some few memorable snaps,
at 17586 feet - both for Mountain Knight [Trek 4300D] and myself

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Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-78.jpg

Having almost spent an hour over here at Chang la, it is back on the bicycle again -the planned stop for the night being at Tangste 35 km from here.

Among the reasons that most probably any mountain cyclist, and myself for the last 2 days, slog on this brutal incline, is for the experience of a massive downhill ride that one invariably gets as one crosses a mountain pass, particularly as high as these. As very a minimal analogy - the same reason why we queue for more than 10 minutes or more to get on to the top of a water slide through all the crowd, to just experience the exhilaration and rush and twists that is all but over in less than 10 secs.

My first experience of a high-altitude downhill was last year [2012] while going down Rhotang la - believe me, it is one fantastic rush.
You just don't get that on a motorcycle or by a car.

All hard work down, it just time to enjoy this massive downhill of 30 km or so that would take me all the way to Durbuk and beyond may be to Tangste. Camera tucked in securely as sling, it is time to rip down this huge downhill mountainside.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-79.jpg

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 24th July 2014 at 07:43. Reason: Uniform para spacing
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Old 23rd July 2014, 19:44   #36
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Ma

Day 3: Zingral - Chang la [5360 m/17,5886 feet] - Durbuk - Tangste -- contd...

But then for a cyclist to enjoy a downhill zip, the surface at least has to have tarmac all through. After Chang la, the road downhill is a mostly rutted dirt road, the zip ride was thus missing, but then of course minimal pedalling.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-100.jpg

A water-crossing and a photo shoot of Mountain Knight Trek 4300D. The green plastic bottle as seen does not have Sprite but kerosene for the stove.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-81.jpg

Surrounding mountain sides as I descend from Chang la onwards Tangste

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-82.jpg

Around 7 km from Chang la top, comes the small Army camp of Tsoltak. This is a similar Army camp like Zingral, but this side of Chang la. Around 24 km from the Army base of Tsoltak will come Darbuk, the first settlement on this side of Chang la.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-83.jpg

The dirt rutted portion of the road is almost gone now and I pick up speed as tarmac improves with every metre. But then I see a small water-body a distance, this was not on the list. Chagar Tso, after Tangste, officially should have been the first one in this Lakes of Ladakh travel.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-85.jpg

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-84.jpg

I have tried to know more about this lake and searched about it in maps. Asked a few in Leh even about it later, but to no avail. So, though Chagar Tso officially is the first main lake in this Lakes of Ladakh bicycle ride but this unnamed small water-body/lake is actually the first one on this ride.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-86.jpg

As said, tarmac is fantastic now, the downhill still continues and I zip down.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-87.jpg

The first settlement of Darbuk on this side of Chang la along with the beautiful tarmac is seen at a distance. Fantastic downhill ride continues...

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-88.jpg

As I enter Darbuk. Tangste is 7 km from here.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-99.jpg

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 24th July 2014 at 07:45. Reason: Uniform para spacing
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Old 23rd July 2014, 22:07   #37
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Ma

Beautiful Photos, especially the 2nd shot of the lake.
What would be the total weight of the cycle and luggage?
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Old 23rd July 2014, 22:11   #38
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Ma

Day 3: Zingral - Chang la [5360 m/17,5886 feet] - Durbuk - Tangste -- contd...

The big downhill from Chang la top more or less ends at Durbuk. From here it is somewhat flat road to Tangste. Get the first BSNL mobile signal since Karu and immediately a call back home to assure Asmita and all.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-91.jpg

On outskirts of Tangste.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-92.jpg

Tangste, the second settlement after Chang la, is also a junction. One road that branches off to the left is what we all take and leads us to Pangong Tso.
The other is however quite important for the locals too. This one descends down to Tangste village and then onwards to Chusul directly through other villages like Horong, Sato and Parma. I will stop for the night at Tangste and thus take the road branching off the right to enter Tangste village.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-93.jpg

Just as I enter Tangste, see this absolutely new and gleaming hotel. Now I am a bit surprised, just expected few guest houses over here. This would easily be above Rs 2000 a night hotel during high season times but then I wonder - let me take a chance in this off season - already see that the upper floor windows are boarded up.

The attendant is there, the hotel owner has gone outside. Find out that the complete hotel is empty with the tourist season over by around end of 2nd week of September. Bit of haggling and I get a room for Rs 600, less than 1/3rd the price of its season rates.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-94.jpg

Satisfied with myself in bagging this great hotel, triumphantly go about for a stroll in the evening through the small village of Tangste. Mid September and late evening cold weather, hardly anyone out on the street or any shops are open. Dothguling guest house is the budget place of stay otherwise.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-95.jpg

A short walk brings me to the other end of Tangste. Tangste gompa as seen in the last of the evening sunlight.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-96.jpg

Stroll back to the hotel. The owner is back, watering the flowering plants. Again a very amiable gentleman, we gossip away for sometime. Confirming that this is an absolutely new building, the signboard has still not be made, and today I am the only guest in this multi-room hotel. Photograph by the hotel attendant.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-97.jpg

The first proper stay after 2 nights since Leh. Good food ordered and soon fall asleep. A fantastic journey and experiences till now - the magnificent Pangong Tso is just another day away but before that the first listed lake on this Lakes of Ladakh bicycle travel should be coming up.

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-leh-pangong-chusul-mahe-98.jpg

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 24th July 2014 at 07:48. Reason: Uniform para spacing
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Old 24th July 2014, 00:28   #39
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Ma

Had this great oppurtunity of meeting this humble man but a great soul ADC in last Kumbh Mela. I hope you remember ADC.

I was staying in an ashram and found one Bullet and was curious to find out whose it is. I found it to be ADC's which had done 1,64,000 Km by then if I am not wrong. WoW!

I meet this guy and tell that I too am fond of touring on motorbike and have been to Ladakh once.

ADC replies that he too is fond of travelling.I ask him whether he too has been to Ladakh and he replies ... yes I have been to Ladakh on Motorbike (more than once?) on Safari and then now on his cycle and if am not wrong wants to go walking too!

Salute to you ADC and I feel great about the oppurtunity in my life to meet a soul like you. May you go on similar more adventures in life again and again.
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Old 24th July 2014, 03:08   #40
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Ma

Now, what can be said that has not already been said. Your travels are starting to demand creation of new superlatives in the English dictionary.

Just amazed. Respect..
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Old 24th July 2014, 11:14   #41
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Ma

An inspiring read!!!

The ultimate test of fitness, hats off to you for doing this amazing feat.

Cheers,
Vinay.
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Old 24th July 2014, 15:56   #42
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Ma

ADC,
This is "Different" and really exciting. Requires lot of courage and Hats off to you!
Courage wise this is similar to Kamen_riders Kayak Solo experience a while ago!
Great pictures as well.
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Old 24th July 2014, 22:25   #43
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Ma

Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post
Sacrilege at its worst!!! A DSLR being used to take a "selfie" but then I am just plain happy.
A really poor form of complain at the best.

Didn't I tell you last time that I'll follow you with an Unimog with all creature comforts built in?

Didn't I tell you that you could travel with few kgs of less weight by giving me your camera gear and I'll try my level best to capture your journey?

C'mon ADC!

Another superb day to day travel description! You're something else!
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Old 25th July 2014, 02:04   #44
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Ma

Thanks again for all the appreciation and good words. It was long pending but as everyone will agree, writing is much more troublesome and strenuous than travelling, even it be with a bicycle!



Quote:
Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post
Nothing to say! Amazing!!!
How did this idea of cycling in Leh first struck you? Was it a momentous decision, or a long pending dream?
It was just a momentous decision, in 2012 when realized I am 40+ now - thought let me do all those things from now on that I should have done when was 30 and did not have the opportunity at that time. And there is a whole bucket list of things to do some solo, some family drives - may be some will be done someday, some are just plain lunatic and crazy daydreaming.



Quote:
Originally Posted by manmohanmaan View Post
Simply superb ADC !

What a fantastic adventure and you are kind enough sharing it with us. you have said that you are a once in a year cyclist, how did you manage this strenuous journey then ? Did you go through any exercise regimen in the days leading up to the journey ?

Any Ladakh cross-country expedition is strenuous and is highly physically as well as mentally draining. Swimming was and still my main stay for getting my fitness back in 2012 and gave that link on the first page.


http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post3125791 (Extreme Expedition - Bicycling Manali-TsoKar-Leh-Khardungla & Stok Kangri summit trek)






Quote:
Originally Posted by shomshree View Post
I will show you more towers constructed by our company .
Arre you remember that, me trying to know each and every tower around that empty ground!! Let's see - if possible definitely will be there.




Quote:
Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
Beautiful Photos, especially the 2nd shot of the lake.
What would be the total weight of the cycle and luggage?
Yes that lake's name is still missing - as such it is not on the list.

Weight of the cycle is around 14 kgs and total weight would be around may be 35 kg.




Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_purohit20 View Post
May you go on similar more adventures in life again and again.
Hello Amit, great to hear from you. You do bring back good memories from that trip (Royal Enfield Bullet ride - Maha Kumbh Mela 2013 -> Kolkata - Allahabad - Kolkata).

Bullet by our ashram camp at Kumbh.




We will meet again some day in another Kumbh!




Quote:
Originally Posted by srikrishna717 View Post
Kamen_riders Kayak Solo experience a while ago!
You know, like many who have gone through Kamen's mega adventure wonder why he has still left that incomplete. And today when I see he has been active even till this month on team bhp, bombarding the inbox with PMs from all members is the only option left!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
Didn't I tell you last time that I'll follow you with an Unimog with all creature comforts built in?
Rudra da it was really good to have a talk last night after a long time.

As said, one thing for sure, i am not that a hardcore cyclist, pedalling around seeing you are going around in a Unimog. 2014 now and I am still longing to buy a 4wd!!

One thing if you could please clarify, I have changed the monitor of my desktop from a samsung to AOC for bigger size, but I feel the monitor may not be exactly calibrated or may be the older one was off mark- if you can clarify on this by the pictures. Some of the past travelogue pics from the old threads do look a shade different on this monitor.

Last edited by adc : 25th July 2014 at 02:24.
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Old 25th July 2014, 07:35   #45
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Ma

Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post
One thing if you could please clarify, I have changed the monitor of my desktop from a samsung to AOC for bigger size, but I feel the monitor may not be exactly calibrated or may be the older one was off mark- if you can clarify on this by the pictures. Some of the past travelogue pics from the old threads do look a shade different on this monitor.
This, I prefer to talk offline. I need to check a bit with our IT support. I don't want to derail this fantastic thread.

Will call you today.
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