Madman Trails of Bhutan – A Visual Narrative As the plane glides over the Eastern Himalayan ranges and starts its descent through the clouds, entering Paro airport, the team on board sense that the adventure has already begun. The plane then makes an exhilarating entry onto the runway flanked by…
Madman Trails of Bhutan
An Asian Enduro Series (AES) mountain biking race
The kingdom of Bhutan — wedged like a hanging Garden of Babylon in the mighty eastern Himalayas — is the new frontier in the world of Enduro mountain biking. The arrival of the sport has been late but timely, as it enables riders to traverse the numerous ancient trails that make up an intricate web of pathways and dirt paths that dot and connect the kingdom’s diverse twenty districts, providing a backdrop for a ride in what is easily one of the world’s most pristine landscapes
Bhutan’s first edition of the Asian Enduro Series will be hosted in the kingdom’s former capital — Punakha.
About Enduro Bhutan
The kingdom beckons and riders all over the world, including the natives, are beginning to pay heed to an experience that cannot be bought; organic, unimpeded and humbling, where you may drop in but only as a guest to the enriching company of the natural order. Although it’s a new discipline, mountain biking is striking the right chord with a growing number of Bhutanese young and old. Today, more Bhutanese are now putting the foot to the pedal in a bicycling revolution of sorts, made cool by the Tour of the Dragon.
For the very first time, Asian Enduro Series competitors will be able to race 6 stages of the “Madman Trails of Bhutan”. Born from the vision of His Royal Highness, Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck, this is a network of both natural and hand-carved trails running through a mix of pine and oak forests.
It has 1000m elevation drop on offer and several routes down the mountain that suit both amateurs and Pro riders.
The trails start up with high-speed berms and jumps on grounds carpeted with oak leaves, along a progressively changing terrain. After winding around endless switchbacks, the trail straightens-up while the gradient decreases. It leaves place to natural gullies, rock-slab chutes, and a final traverse into paddy fields. When finishing a run, competitors ride over the longest suspended bridge in Bhutan, chill by the river next to the stunning Punakha Dzong enjoying local delicacies like the Ema Datshi or Phaksha Paa.
Until it’s time to hop back in the truck for another lap!
Bhutan’s MTB Tour, the panoramic tour in mountain bike in an country of outstanding beauty.
To ride the tour it takes adequate physical preparation to face some climbs and descents that require agility and experience.