The Ride Starts Here

India Today - - BEST OF INDIA - By Gul Panag, ac­tor

Leisure bik­ing needs a place where there is low den­sity of ve­hi­cles. The joy of rid­ing is ru­ined the mo­ment you have lots of traf­fic. The moun­tains are usu­ally a good place to ride but they come with their own set of per­ils. That’s what makes Leh ( and Ladakh) so dif­fer­ent. You ac­cess it through a hilly ter­rain but once you are ac­tu­ally in the town, it’s a plateau and the ter­rain is flat.

I lived in Ladakh for two years at Stakna, 36 km from Leh, where my dad’s bat­tal­ion was based. I used to travel to Leh to study at the Ken­driya Vidyalaya. It’s a route I know like the back of my hand. On our re­cent visit, my hus­band and I had the most amaz­ing time rid­ing on a new road which runs par­al­lel to the In­dus river, hug­ging the base of the moun­tains.

The best time to go is end- Septem­ber. The crowds thin out and it gets a lit­tle cold. You can start or end the day at the Ger­man bak­ery where you get great ap­ple pie and de­li­cious tarts.

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