Aanchal Thakur, who loves cycling through the valleys and mountains of Manali, tells us of the joys of cycling, its innumerable benefits, and how one should go about it
By Suruchi Kapur Gomes
India’s ski champ Aanchal Thakur, who is currently prepping for the Winter Olympics to be held in 2026 at Milano , loves cycling along steep inclines, but it’s the ride back, head above the clouds, that invigorates her. “I love cycling around Manali . Now that my peak career in skiing is going well, I have started cycling to increase lower body strength,” says Aanchal as she explains that the longest cycling expedition she has taken is a 75 km uphill ride to Rohtang. She shares tips on what it takes to be a part of such a ride:
‘Rohtang is a challenging uphill ride’
“Cycling to Rohtang is a whole day. The 75 km ride, with a 40 km uphill bend, over 3,000m above sea level is quite challenging. We start in darkness (5 am) and finish at dusk. The oxygen level is less and often, there are sudden weather changes. We cycle amid fresh waterfalls, stop to fill and drink that ice cold water. Rest a bit, take in the vista, and it’s joyful cycling through such picturesque environs,” says Aanchal who admits that it’s tough cycling uphill, as the wind gains, and pushes against her.
Trails should be categorized according to difficulty levels
“There are many trails that should be categorised by the […]