"Nepal: This is why they invented mountain bikes!"

Let me introduce myself: I am Jurriaan Prakke, residing in Brussels and Nepal, philosopher, musician and since over 3 years bicycle mechanic and mountain guide in the Himalayas of Nepal. I would like to invite you to come and share my adventurous dream.

When, a few years ago, I arrived in Muktinath, a mountain village at about 4,000 meters altitude in the Annapurna’s in Nepal, an idea suddenly entered my head: how would it be to ride a mountain bike along this beautiful narrow paths and, in the middle of these heavenly mountains and delicious herbal scents, forget myself and blend into the landscape?

To ride downhill for days on a dirt road through the highest mountains in the world, that’s got to be mind-blowing! To enjoy the freedom of cycling, to stop whenever you want. Some downhill stretches demand your utmost concentration, whether you go real fast or at a more comfortable speed, and you have to be 100% present and focused - it becomes a real meditation and you become one with the road and your surroundings. And then after a well deserved break, continue cruising while the mountains of 7,000 meters and higher constantly appear and disappear from view. Or choose one of the many single tracks through forests, remote villages and stunning scenery.

My adventurous spirit started to work right away, and before long I had shaped the dream into its practical form. Without figuring that I was actually going to run this project myself, however! Now, almost four years later, I have realised this dream and I find myself in the middle of a mountain biking paradise. The Annapurna Circuit has been one of the world’s most popular treks for decades. The 8,000+ meter high, snow-capped peaks sometimes seem so close you can almost touch them, the sandy desert-mountain landscape of Upper Mustang seems to bring you into another world, vast pine forests provide the cleanest air you have ever breathed, the lower humid jungle adds a tropical touch, with white waterfalls, verdant rice terraces and hot springs ... it’s easy to grasp why the Annapurna Circuit has been the Queen of treks.

However, this is slowly changing: progress is happening in Nepal, and in a challenging way. The construction of a road along a part of the Annapurna Circuit ensures that many trekkers stay still come in large numbers but generally spend less time. In a jeep they drive up as far as possible, to avoid walking on the dusty ‘road.’ After the famous Thorung La Pass (5416m.), they typically will take another jeep or bus down, back to the city. This way you still see the best of the high mountains. But the original unique experience: walking for 3 weeks in the Himalayas, far away from everything, seems lost.

Hence I venture to say that the dream of Mustang Mountain Bikes - yes, that’s right: this is the place horses and cars have been named after - may carry the label "right time, right place.” Thanks to this jeep road it became possible to provide a perfect service. With the opening of a mountain bike rental shop right where you want to have a bicycle in 2011, we have been contributing to sustainable and responsible tourism, and to a great sport that offers limitless challenges. We’ve had hundreds of very excited customers, and work throughout the trekking seasons to rent quality bikes and take care of luggage transport: most customers choose the hot springs of Tatopani as their destination, about 3,000 meters below the starting point in Muktinath, where they leave your bike and relax in the hot water after a wonderful cycling tour of 2-3 days.

And the dream continues: Nepal deserves to be admired and encouraged - it is still a developing country - and mountain biking as a professional sport and tourist activity is a perfect contribution. Nepal, and in particular Mustang is a dream for mountain bikers. Ride through the Himalayas where the gods reside, do a descent of 1000 meters in one hour, drive through picturesque villages that are thousands of years old, have a cup of tea with the king of the 'forbidden kingdom' ride an exciting singletrack through pure pine forests, babbling mountain streams and desolate stone deserts ... Enjoy a variety of landscapes like nowhere else in the world and an un-rivaled choice of jeep roads and single tracks ... Add to this very friendly people, an incredible wealth in tradition and culture, and the fact that the sun shines almost always during the season (fall or spring), and you really have everything you need for a successful adventurous mountain bike vacation.

So it is with great enthusiasm that we invite you to come mountain biking in Nepal! If you have limited time, or do not like to organise everything yourself, we can custom make your cycling holidays in cooperation with our partners. The Mustang Downhill, shorter trips around Kathmandu, The full Annapurna Circuit on a mountain bike, or Upper Mustang, The Lost Kingdom… and more destinations opening soon! Fully organised with a great program every day, or just organising the mountain bike part of your trip, anything is possible. We at Mustang Mountain Bikes believe in making dreams come true and we still enjoy it like nothing else!

Website: http://www.mustangmountainbikes.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mustang.mountainbikes
Tripadvisor: (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Re...on.html#REVIEWS)
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annapurna_Circuit
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Annapurna_Circuit