|Type of tour:||Guided|
|Distance:||53 Miles/day average|
|Dates:||Jun 3 and Sep 9, 2014 (private departures available upon request for groups of 6 or more)|
|Start city:||Chengdu, Tibet|
|End city:||Lhasa, Tibet|
This is the journey you've dreamt about your entire life - a chance to experience the remarkable, ancient cultures of Tibet surrounded by a landscape that defies description. On The Road to Everest, you'll begin in Lhasa exploring the historic temples, pilgrimage trails and hot springs concealed within the surrounding hills. Then mount up and begin your pedal out across the Tibetan Plateau toward the ever-towering Himalayas. A series of strategically placed hotels with welcoming amenities enable you to recharge in comfort each night as you travel toward Everest.
Your grand adventure starts in Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet and former home of the Dalai Lama. You'll be given time to acclimate to the high altitudes, then start with a walking tour of the ancient city, followed by a short cycling loop through the surrounding valleys and hills. A collection of Tibet's most revered temples and Buddhist universities dot the landscape. There are also secluded hot springs where you can pause to rejuvenate active muscles. Your expedition warm-up continues with a few extra days in Lhasa offering a rare and unhurried opportunity to delve deeply into the soul of the city with its memorable cuisine, quiet cobblestone alleyways and colorful markets.
Pointing your compass south, the next leg of your journey takes you along a meandering route past scenic Yamdrok Lake, the Samding Monastery, home of the only female reincarnate of Buddha, and age-old villages renowned for their artisan traditions and carpet-making skills. Eventually turn onto the China-Nepal Friendship Highway venturing deeper into the Himalayas. Arriving at the intersection of old world and new, pedal down a recently paved and improved road to the majestic Rombuk Monastery and the Everest Base Camp. Bikes are not allowed inside the National Park, so you'll reach your final destination on foot by walking the last few miles to the base camp. Go ahead, pat yourself on the back and join the celebration - you just became part of lore and legend on The Road to Everest!
Learn more about guided trips
Day 1: Arrival to Chengdu
Your group will gather in Chengdu today, after meeting at the airport you'll head downtown to your hotel on an old traditional market street. There will be an orientation and welcome drinks while everyone arranges their Tibet Visitor Permits, then heads out for dinner and some Sichuan Opera.
Overnight in Chengdu.
Day 2: Chengdu - Lhasa
Fly to Lhasa first thing in the morning, the capital of Tibet and former home of the Dalai Lama, the world-wide spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. Aside from orientation, assembling the bikes and dinner, there is nothing planned for today. It's a chance to start your acclimatization to the altitude. Dinner tonight is highlighted by traditional Tibetan dancing and musical performances.
Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 3: Lhasa
A leisurely day is in store. In the morning explore parts of the old city, observing typical daily life in the markets and temple squares near your hotel. After lunch, you'll head out by pedicab to explore the Portola Palace. This massive monastery overlooks Lhasa from a rocky outcropping in the heart of the city. Head out for a traditional Tibetan dinner at one of Lhasa's great restaurants near the Jokhang Temple.
Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 4: Lhasa (28 miles/45 km)
The roads are calling your name. Head northeast today, cycling out to visit the monasteries at Sera and Drepung. These, along with Ganden, are the three famed Gelukpa University Monasteries of Tibet (Gelukpa is the Yellow Hat Sect of Tibetan Buddhism). Drepung at its peak housed some 10,000 monks.
Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 5: Lhasa (52 miles/84 km)
Today's ride takes you east from Lhasa into the countryside, passing greenhouses, potato farms and small Tibetan communities. Midway through your ride, leave the Yellow River valley and head up to the Ganden Monastery one of the oldest in Tibet with some buildings dating back to the 1400's. After touring this colorful complex, enjoy a swift downhill ride back to the Yellow River Valley and a leisurely ride back to Lhasa.
Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 6: Lhasa
You have the day to your leisure. It is a great chance to relax and recharge from the high altitude exertion, or perhaps you might wish to explore more of Lhasa ancient streets and markets. Lunch and dinner are on your own today.
Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 7: Lhasa - Quxul (42 miles/67 km)
Your first ride on the Road to Everest is a leisurely journey through the Lhasa River valley. The road is often lined with poplar trees and it winds alongside the many channels of the river.
Overnight in Quxul.
Day 8: Quxul - Nangartse (74 miles/120 km)
Today you tackle your first big ascent, biking from Quxul to Nangartse. Other than the 19 mi/30 km slow ascent to Kamba La pass (15583 ft/4750 m), the majority of your day is valley floor riding. Descending from the pass, pedal along beautiful Yamdrok Lake, whose shoreline you'll follow to Nangartse. The turqoise waters of Yamdrok Lake will provide numerous photo opportunities.
Overnight in Nangartse.
Day 9: Nangartse - Gyantse (59 miles/95 km)
Glacial landscapes outline today's ride through the Karo La Pass at 16551 ft/5045 m and the Simi La Pass at 14206 ft/4330 m to Gyantse, the third largest settlement in Tibet. The area is renowned for its carpet weaving and you may have an opportunity to look for some small rugs to bring back home. Upon reaching Gyantse visit the Kumbum at Baiju Monastery, dating from the 1400's, whose unique architecture resembles a three dimensional mandala and stroll up to the ancient Dzong, a fortress which overlooks the city.
Overnight in Gyantse.
Day 10: Gyantse - Shigatse (56 miles/90 km)
A day of mostly river valley cycling is in store today as you pedal to Shigatse. Home to the Panchen Lama, who co-ruled Tibet with the Dalai Lama, Shigatse is now guarded by the restored fortress, Samdrubtse Dzong, on the ridge high above. You will have ample time to stroll about town.
Overnight in Shigatse.
Day 11: Shigatse - Lhatse (46 miles/75 km)
Bike the China - Nepal Friendship Highway today and follow it for the next two days. Today's landscapes are reminiscent of Utah's high desert regions, with rolling hills decorated with multicolored stripes of browns and reds. The area raises not only barley, the staple food of Tibet, but sheep, yak and cattle. Along the way you will pass by the remains of Narthang Monastery, where one of the earliest printers in Tibet used carved wooden printing tablets. Your goal for the evening is the village of Lhatse.
Overnight in Lhatse.
Day 12: Lhatse - Old Tingri (56 miles/90 km)
Your second day cycling the dramatic scenery of the Friendship Highway takes you over the highest pass on the road, Lappa La at 17125 ft/5220 m. Wind down for the night in Old Tingri, a few miles past New Tingri, the starting point of the new road to the Everest Base Camp.
Overnight in Old Tingri.
Day 13: Old Tingri - Rongbuk (68 miles/110 km)
China recently opened a new road from New Tingri to Rongbuk, to allow for the Olympic torch to be carried to Mt Everest before the Beijing 2008 Games. The project generated lots of controversy, but opened easier access to the mountain. We will travel this road to Rongbuk Monastery, sitting at the upper end of the valley, which has one of the most dramatic views in the world. Along the way you’ll go through Pang La Pass where, at 16797 ft/5120 m elevation, there’s an unparalleled panorama of Shishapangma, Everest, Cho Oyu and Gyachang Kang peaks. The road is currently unsuitable for cycling, so you’ll be driven to Rongbuk.
Overnight in Rongbuk.
Day 14: Rongbuk - Yellow River Gorge
This morning you might be treated to one of the most photographed images, the stupha of Rongbuk in the early morning light with Mount Everest just behind. Afterwards begin the drive back to Lhasa. An overnight stop in Shigatse will break-up the trip. Explore the Tashilunpo Monastery upon arrival in Shigatse.
Overnight in Shigatse.
Day 15: Shigatse - Yellow River Gorge (50 miles/80 km)
After breakfast you’ll get to visit the Gang Gyen carpet making factory, a project started by the 10th Panchen Lama, then take a short drive out of town to the start of the Yellow River Gorge. Bike through this magnificent narrow gorge, punctuated by small villages and white water rapids. Your stop for the night is a small resort perched above the cascading river out in the countryside.
Overnight in Yellow River Gorge.
Day 16: Yellow River Gorge - Lhasa
A short drive takes us back to Lhasa, where you are free to find lunch on your own and explore, shop for souvenirs or just relax and take in the scenery. In the evening there will be a final dinner at one of Lhasa's better restaurants, a last change to enjoy the delicious Tibetan cuisine.
Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 17: Departure to Lhasa
Arrange to stay in Tibet on your own or take advantage of the transfer back to the airport.
Jun 3 and Sep 9, 2014 (private departures available upon request for groups of 6 or more)
Bike available to be rented:
Equipment included with bike rental:
Pedals and Seats:
The bikes will have FLAT pedals. If you want to bring your own pedals, please bring your own shoes and also the necessary equipment to change the pedals. You can also bring your own saddle, and the guides will help you swap them out.
Helmets are NOT available for rent on this tour; we recommend that you bring your own for safety and hygiene purposes.
This tour is considerably challenging and is recommended only for experienced cyclists in above average physical condition.
The ride is mostly on narrow, paved roads, with light to moderate traffic. The pavement is a bit course, and there are a few stretches of dirt road. The bikes suitable for the terrain are performance road bikes with wider tires (25 or wider), hybrid bikes, and sport bikes. The terrain is fairly hilly, with some some alpine style climbs. Due to the higher altitudes and long distances between some of our lodges, we will use shuttles on several of the days.
Guides will watch the cyclists for signs of over-exertion due to the altitude. Mileages listed for each day are approximate and will be adjusted based on the group's ability under high altitude conditions.
You will bike 12 days, averaging 53 miles (86 km( a day, with a total distance of 482 miles (776 km).
This tour stays at altitudes above 10,800 feet (3,300 m) the entire time in Tibet. The highest altitude reached is 17,225 feet (5,220 m) while crossing Lappa Pass about two thirds of the way through your ride. Follow the climber's rule of "climb high and sleep low", pedaling over high passes and then spending the nights in the lower valleys. However, your final night's stay during the ride at Rongbuk is just above 16,500 feet (5,000 m), just barely below the 16,700 feet (5,100 m) pass you'll cross to get there.
Altitude sickness affects people differently. Some people will be unaffected, while others will require preventative medication. We recommend speaking with your physician regarding the effects of high altitudes and possible preventative measures you might take.
Nearest airport: Chengdu, Tibet
Nearest airport; Lhasa, Tibet
Airport transfers are included in the tour price. The tour guides will meet you at the airport before 4 pm on day 1, and you will need to schedule your return flight to depart out of Chengdu after 3 pm on day 17.
Passports are required for all guests. Your passport should have at least 6 months validity past your intended travel dates. Permits for visiting Tibet are included as part of your tour fee, but you are responsible for obtaining your own visa into China. Please contact the Chinese Embassy in your country for questions or concerns.
Weatherspark.com offers information on average weather conditions at most destinations throughout the globe. Type a destination in the search box, and select "Averages," and you'll find a range of information such as average high and low temperatures, precipitation, cloudy days, humidity and wind speed/direction.
Of course, if your tour is coming up in the next week, you can also select "Forecast" to get the most current information on upcoming conditions.
Pedalers Pub and Grille provide imaginative bike tours for cycling enthusiasts in Asia, Alaska and the Pacific. Enjoy fully supported rides through dramatic landscapes, boutique lodging and hearty meals featuring regional cuisine. Discover the country through the knowledge and stories of local cycling guides, enabling you to return home with an understanding of the local culture.
Strengths of Pedalers Pub and Grille include longer rides for cycling enthusiasts, local staff in each destination, imaginative routes and great value with first class accommodations at moderate tour prices. Among their numerous awards and distinctions is being placed in the top ten bike companies of the world-wide National Geographic Traveler Magazine, along with the National Geographic Adventure Magazine and Best Tour Operators on Earth. They have also been featured in 50 Tours of a Lifetime in 2010 for their Northern Highlights trip in Thailand.
Booking Terms and Conditions
Notice of cancellation must be made in writing and mailed to Pedalers Pub & Grille. The Date of Cancellation will be the day we receive your written notice of cancellation. Cancellations by phone or email will not be considered as valid notice.
Cancellations received before 45 days prior to the scheduled start of the ride will forfeit the deposits paid. Any monies paid in excess of the deposit will be refunded.
Cancellations received less than 45 days prior to the scheduled start of the ride will forfeit all payments made. No refunds will be made.
Our cancellation policy is strictly enforced with no exceptions including medical and family emergencies, deaths in the family, weather or civil unrest. Please note:
• There is no refund for arriving late or leaving a trip early.
• Single supplements are considered part of the trip price and are subject to cancellation fees.
• Pedalers Pub & Grille reserves the right to make route and accommodation modifications as needed.
• On the rare occasion when Pedalers Pub & Grille must cancel a trip, all payments received to date will be refunded, which constitutes full settlement.
• Pedalers Pub & Grille is not responsible for expenses incurred in preparation for any canceled trips, such as airline tickets, or for costs incurred due to travel delays, flight cancellation or illness.
• Guests who fail to complete the Rider Questionnaire prior to trip departure will not be allowed to join the trip and will be subject to Pedalers Pub & Grille standard cancellation policy as described above.
• We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance to cover non-refundable items in the event situations force you to cancel your travel plans.
After you sign up
Once we have processed and accepted your application, you will receive a notice of confirmation. In this confirmation will be additional details, such as access codes to your online rider information, meeting times and suggested flight times. You will find all of the information necessary to plan for your ride in the Pedaler's Biergarten area of our website. Here in addition to ride information, forum and a variety of tips & suggestion, you will find a Guest Questionnaire that MUST be completed in order to participate on the trip. Please note that in respect for our environment, we do not print a ride handbook and prefer to present this information online. If you do not have access to the internet please let us know.
Transferring to a different date
If you find you need to change your departure, you can request your booking be transferred to a different departure date without penalty up to 45 days prior to the originally booked tour's departure date. Requests for transfers to a new date made less than 45 days prior may be considered based on circumstances and if approved will be subject to a $100 rebooking fee per person, otherwise our normal cancellation policy applies. Requests for transferring your booking must be made in writing.
If you find you need change plans again and transfer your booking a 2nd time, there will be a $100 handling fee per person applied for the 2nd and all subsequent transfers. If after you have transferred a booking, you find you have to cancel completely, the cancellation penalty will be the higher of the tours on which you held reservations.
Travel Insurance Trip cancellation insurance, along with medical, baggage and flight insurance is available from World Nomads. Underwritten by Allianz, World Nomads offers low cost travel insurance in over 44 countries. With genuine 24/7 assistance anywhere on the planet provided by Mondial Assistance, the world's largest travel insurance and assistance company, and online claims and extensions from anywhere in the world while you are still away, World Nomads offers some of the best travel insurance in the world today. You can read more and get price quotes from our Travel Insurance page in the Biergarten section of our website.
Youth on Tours
Family Multisport Tours - Children from age 8 on up are welcome on our Family Multisport tours. We feel that this is the minimum safe age for the activities during the trips.
Bike Tours - Youths from age 16 on up are welcome on our standard Bike Tours. Children under the age of 16 will be considered on a case by case basis. If a family with younger children wishes to join a date, we will contact guests already registered on that date and with their OK, will accept the family's booking. Youths must share a room with a family member or have a private room (single supplement applies).
Guests are responsible for: choosing a trip that suits their abilities, level of fitness and state of health; arriving at the trip start with the clothing and gear recommended in the Ride Handbook, and with a bicycle suitable / suitably maintained for the ride; respecting the laws and customs of regions visited; following environmental guidelines and regulations while on the trip in accordance with leader directions; and respecting the rights and privacy of other trip members. Pedalers Pub & Grille reserves the right to refuse service to anyone at any time prior to or during the trip if, in Pedalers Pub & Grille's opinion, an individual's behavior or physical condition is not compatible with the general enjoyment and well-being of other trip members.
Pedalers Pub & Grille Limitations of Liability
Pedalers Pub & Grille is not liable for bodily injury or property damage as a result of (but not limited to): physical exertion for which a guest is not prepared; forces of nature; travel by plane, train, auto, boat or other conveyance, or by bicycle, kayak, horseback, foot or other form of active or adventure travel; consumption of alcoholic beverages; civil unrest; terrorism; breakdown of equipment; high altitude; lack of or limited access to medical attention in remote locations; and the adequacy of medical attention once provided. Pedalers Pub & Grille is also not liable for expenses (e.g., meals, transportation or hotel costs) not specified as included in the trip cost but which may be required to get to or from a trip start or end. Pedalers Pub & Grille reserves the right to make route and accommodation modifications as necessary to improve the trip's quality or to accommodate the comfort and well-being of guests. Guests grant Pedalers Pub & Grille express permission to take photographs or make film records of its trips for promotional and commercial use, as well as approving such use by third parties with whom Pedalers Pub & Grille may engage in joint marketing, without financial remuneration.
Pedalers Pub & Grille respects our customer's right to privacy. The personal information gathered from our website and from any printed applications or questionnaires is used solely by Pedalers Pub & Grille for the registration on, operation of and marketing of our tours. Some personal information, such as addresses, maybe exchanged with banking institutions while processing your payment. Pedalers Pub & Grille does not provide any customer information to any outside parties for marketing or any other non-transactional purposes.
This right to privacy extends to our trip rosters. It is entirely voluntary to have your personal information listed on the trip roster. You will have the opportunity to select this option while completing our Rider Questionnaire after you are registered. The trip roster will display name, city, state, email, phone and the answer to the About Me question. If you elect not to appear on the trip roster, you will not receive a copy of the trip roster.