A Bhutan bicycle tour is a reminder of the ups and downs of life itself. The thrill of bicycling in the panoramic terrain of Bhutan is an adventure that beckons to every cyclist looking for something out of the ordinary. Biking is fairly new to Bhutan with the first mountain biking shop opening in 2002. Bhutan makes for an excellent destination. the twists and turns of a deep ravine along narrow mountain trails with the vista of the majestic Himalayan ranges stretching to the horizons before you, this is bicycling in Bhutan’s High mountain passes and rugged terrain laced with thousands of pray flags, numerous birds, wildlife, the charm of the local people and the long windy descents will make for an exhilarating experence. With the company of a Bhutanese guide to motivate, push you or race you along the way.
Depending on the choice of route, one can traverse long and winding roads passing through low foothills, the higher river valleys and the high Himalayas, the three zones that comprise the geographical variations of the country. The drama of magnificent scenes and sights unfolding with every turn of the wheel is something to fulfill a cyclist’s dream.
The best time for making the most of cycling in Bhutan are in the spring months of March, April and May. Autumn months of September, October and November are equally excellent times as well. Tour of the Dragon As difficult as it is to conquer a dragon, so is it difficult to complete the race! This race is one of the most grueling bike races, if not the most, in the world.
The race not only is the most challenging one day event in the world but also one of the most beautiful – taking one by pristine natural surroundings including some of the last virgin forest in the world. It is definitely the most scenic, taking one through different but uninterrupted ecosystem and high mountain passes that open up to view of some of the highest peaks in the world – stretched across the horizon.
Any self respecting cyclist would know about Paris Roubaix which is often called the Hell of the North or A Sunday in Hell – considered the most challenging one day race in the world and the Tour of the Dragon is just 3 km longer. The tar road of the Tour of the Dragon (from Bumthang, Central Bhutan to Thimphu, West Bhutan) would feel almost as cobbled as the route of the Paris Roubaix. But on the road of the Hell of the North, the elevation does not cross 685m while on the Tour of the Dragon, the starting elevation is 2700m and climbs up to 3340m. In total, during the race, one gains 3790m and loses 3950m.
The race has been conceived by His Royal Highness, Prince Jigyel U. Wangchuck – President of Bhutan Olympic Committee who is a leading biking enthusiast and an all round sportsman himself. His Royal Highness himself led the race and was one of the few that completed in record time. It is to be held first Saturday of every September, during the time, when in Bhutan climatic conditions are just right.