Sunday, April 11, 2010

The whole team is almost in Kathmandu. Brad Johnson arrived today, Ann Wagner as well. The French Team arrived yesterday, and Eric and Robbie are in the air making their way to Nepal.

I have had a few new experiences this time around in Kathmandu. First and probably the scariest thing I have ever done was ride on the back of a motorcycle( For Cris and Beth, yes the Bitch Seat) through Kathmandu. There appears to be as many of motor vehicles in Kathmandu as people and only about 1/8th of the required roads to accommodate them all. Imagine driving through Chicago with no stop lights, no police, and a mere suggestion on the rules of the road. Riding on the back of a motorcycle while navigating this makes life very interesting for all concerned. Helmets are only required for the driver of the motorcycle. Therefore I had to beg to get a second helmet and the Sherpa’s all laughed at me. I figure that they think if you are going to need it, it will not do any good anyway. So I basically jumped on, closed my eyes, and prayed that I would survive. I actually think climbing a mountain is a safer past time.

The second new experience has been doing long distance night rides on a bike. I was invited out to a few amazing dinners with my friend, Billi, her friends Sam, Maske, Richard, and Stephanie. Maske is an amazing cook, and the meal was simply outstanding. But the real challenge came riding my bike home at 11:30 pm at night without a head lamp. There are no street lamps and the roads are very similar to single track mountain bike trails with potholes, various posts scattered in the middle of the road like big tree roots, and oncoming traffic that sometimes have their headlights on.... 

Oh and I watched a motorcycle almost achieve a hat trick. It took out two cyclists and himself in quick move trying to dart between the two cyclist. Everyone appeared to have walked away.

The conclusion to this entry is that I have improved my mountain biking skills, reaffirmed my dislike for riding on the back of a motorcycle and am looking forward to get into the mountains.