14 May 2020

Chintu Travels| Bir Billing Cycling | Day 4 | Bir to Billing 2.0

When I woke up almost everyone was off to paragliding, I met Mr Pargat Singh, who was here with a few guests as a driver, he told me about how he prefers being an Independent driver and works on a daily pay basis, his food is almost always covered by the customer.

He had a broken hand, and told it broke while trying to mediate between two other people fighting, he fell when one of them pushed him without seeing him. He still drove the Next day to Dharamshala and said "No one believes me that I drove single-handed in the hills", I told him I intend to take a train from Pathankot, and he told to call him in case I need any help.

While I was prepping for the day's ride, and putting my stuff on the bike, I saw him running to me out of breath, " I forgot to give you the number", we exchanged numbers, and then we went to a Dhaba and had two paranthas each.

I started my today's ride aimlessly, and after a couple of Kilometers of going uphill, sat at a Dhaba to have some coffee. The extra sugar milk coffee has always been a good source of energy in Himachal. It's a huge glass with too much sugar and a good amount of caffeine.

While having the coffee I started looking at Maps to figure out where to go to, and I decided to go to Billing. Last time it took me 4.5 hours to reach the top, the 18 Kilometers of the climb isn't steep, but for someone used to riding in the plains, it's painful. Last time, the last 5 kilometres, I would cover 1 kilometre in 5 minutes and then would rest for 10 minutes.

Today, I didn't stop at all, I kept pushing, at steepest, on the easiest gears, but didn't stop.

I reached billing in exactly 2 hours, reducing my personal best to half. I am sure I would have done it faster had I not done 60 kilometres yesterday.

The ride downhill was effortless, and scary at some points because of black ice. It looks like mud, but the tyres skid like crazy, I had to be quite vigilant. Another pain was the crazy driving of the paragliding bound to pick up trucks, often one would pass me by only a couple of inches.

I came back, ate at a Dhaba, went for a walk, and then came back to the hostel and packed for check-out tomorrow.


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