Nitin Gera from New Delhi and Anirban D Choudhury from Kolkata spent a fortnight riding mountain bikes on the frozen Lake Baikal in March this year. This was a unique expedition considering that Indians travelling to Siberia in winter is unheard of, let alone ice cycling.
It was a quest for adventure that urged Nitin Gera and Anirban D Choudhury to take a break from the agreeable subtropical climate of their homes in India and experience the solitude of Siberian winters. In March this year they packed their mountain bikes and supplies for a self-sufficient ice-expedition to a land that feels like a remote destination to an average Indian tourist.
Starting from Listvyanka, at the southern tip of Lake Baikal, they biked parallel to the western coast till Bugul’deyka, where an early onset of springtime thawing made ice cycling any further an extremely risky proposition.
This article was published in the October issue of the official magazine of Mumbai airport – Touchdown, and later reprinted in Spice Jet’s inflight magazine – Spice Route. The lead picture and subject matter expertise was courtesy my adventure traveller and photographer husband Nitin Gera.
At 14,000ft while strong winds threaten to sweep you off your feet, the beauty of the crescent shaped Chandratal Lake does just that. Chandrabhaga range in the backdrop and surrounding scree seem like an amphitheatre where the pristine lake displays its myriad shades of blue for a rare audience of shepherds or trekkers. Visual extravaganza and tranquillity reach a crescendo in the secluded land of Spiti.