Wednesday, December 22, 2004

From Houston to Austin to Kathmandu

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Click here to see our Training Video #1

Click here to see our Training Video #2

When Meg's dad (aka John Pearson aka Daderoo) was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1994, his family rallied together and started doing an annual fundraising bike ride in the middle of April from Houston to Austin, Texas. The MS 150. 2 days, 150 (or so) miles, massive saddle sores, and intense grundel pain all-around. Every year their crew of riders grows - long-lost cousins, college friends, swarthy boyfriends, more and more people just keep signing up to roll through the Texas countryside and wear unflattering spandex.

2005 will be the 1st year that Meg won't be able to ride in the MS 150 with her family and friends. Well that just ain't right!! So we figured, since we'll be in the middle of Nepal on April 16-17, we're just gonna have to make our own crazy two-day bike ride. And so, we introduce to you:

THE NEPALI MS 150 - April 16th & 17th, 2005!!

2 days - 150 km (hey, it's metric there) - and we're gonna ride on the exact same days that the Pearsons are riding in Texas.

Here's the description of the ride, from the Lonely Planet Nepal:

The Rajpath from Kathmandu

The Trbhuvan Hwy (or Rajpath as it is popularly known) was the first highway to connect Kathmandu with the rest of the world. The road switchbacks 150 spectacular kilometres between Kathmandu and Hetauda. Most traffic from the Terai and India use the highway that runs to the west between Narayanghat and Mugling - which, although longer, is actually quicker. The Rajpath has a great mixture of light traffic and magnificent scenery, culminating at Daman with an incomparable Himalayan view. It is a classic ride over a 2488m pass on a rough sealed road.

The ride begins on the Kathmandu-Pokhara (Privthi) Hwy, which gives the only access to the valley. After leaving the valley, the highway descends to Naubise, at the bottom of the Mahesh Khola valley, 27 km from Kathmandu, where the Rajpath intersects with the Kathmandu-Pokhara (Privthi) Hwy. Take the Rajpath, which forks to the left and is well signposted for Hetauda. Start a 35 km climb to Tistung at a height of 2030m. You climb through terraced fields, carved into steep hillsides. On reaching the pass at Tistung you descend for 7km into the beautiful Palung Valley before the final steep 9km climb to Daman, at a height of 2322m. This day's ride (almost all climbing) takes between six and nine hours in the saddle. Thus, with an early start it is possible to stay in Daman, which will give you the thrill of waking up to the broadest Himalayan panorama Nepal has to offer. On a clear morning you can see from Dahulagiri to Everest, a view worth the pedal. The following day the road climbs a farther 3km to the top of the pass, at 2488 m. At this point, you can savour the very real prospect of an exhilarating 2300m descent in 60km.

As you descend towards the Indian plains, laid out before you to the south, notice the contrast with the side you climbed, as the south side is lush and semitropical. With innumerable switchbacks and a bit of speed you should watch out for the occasional bus and truck looming around a blind corner. The road eventually flattens out after the right turn to cross a newly constructed bridge and the first main river crossing. The rest of the journey is a gently undulating route alongside a river; a farther 10km brings you to Hetauda.

Awwwwwww yeahhh! Who's with us?!

The two of us are riding for a cure here, just like 10,000 others will be doing in Texas, and we're hoping to raise a couple thousand dollars to support the cause.

So, if you want to help, click on this link. This will take you to Meg's dad's fundraising site, and we're hoping that our contributions will help make him the #1 fundraiser this year (last year he was #2 and raised over $60,ooo!) Go ahead and make a donation, and in the Comment box put "Nepali MS 150" so we can keep track.

And for some hilarious photos and videos from last year's event (including Rahul's hilarious a capella Metallica performance), take a look at Meg's brother's website.

Thanks everyone!