On the count of 3, 2, 1 Go The first day, the Prologue was just 27km. We just rode from Shimla to our first camp. Set up, had the night there and this was like a reunion for people in the last couple years ’cause we all got to hang out again. I always have a great time here. Meeting great people, hanging out with old friends. Fantastic. Unlike a lot of races I’ve done in the past here you’re camping every night. It makes for a really interesting event. Showers, just a big pot of boiling water and another pot of cold water and you make tolerable water. MTB Himalaya is a six stage race. 7 to 9 to 10,000 feet of climbing and 450 to 500 km distance we cover. Probably three and a half to five hours every day. Stage 1, right when they said go, it started downpouring. And not just light little showers, we’re talking like monsoon type rains. Everything was just a sloppy mess. Not worth falling down a cliff for. Gotta be super cautious, keep off the brakes, otherwise you’re just, you lock a wheel up and you’re going to go down instantly. So that stage it rained for the first two and a half hours of a three and a half hour stage. So that was pretty wet. Corey coined it “deathduro.” How’s your bike, filthy? My stanchions are pretty clean from here down. We dropped down to the finish for the second night of the race. The nights were great for camping typically. You see a lot of different landscapes. Just a really nice mountain village. They do a really fantastic job with all the food. I’ve done a couple of races where there’s camping along the way. It makes it really interesting but it makes it challenging too. You’re always having to go get your gear set up. Try and maintain your equipment and wash bikes. Get everything ready for the next stage. It’s definitely a different place racing like no other for sure. Day two we started off with a pretty good size climb out of camp. Dropped down for the first enduro down these super sketchy, wet, slippery sidewalks. Climbing up through the next one we were going up through some apple orchards. Absolutely spectacular views going up through there. We bombed down some singletrack. And then you’re cutting through people’s backyards. Through a little village. Ridgeline trails. Absolutely fantastic singletrack. And then you cruise along a river valley onto some pavement. For the next 27km it’s a gradual climb up. Oh and that was that was really wearing on me. Still plenty of climbing to be had. What a day. Ah, feels good to be out of a chamois. One thing that made this race super challenging over so many other stage races I’ve done is huge fluctuations in the weather. You know everyday was different. You didn’t know how to prepare. You didn’t know how to dress so you better be prepared and dress for everything. You might start off in the dry but you better take a raincoat ’cause you’re almost guaranteed to get poured on.