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Delayed by Covid, bike race in November

Organisers have included virtual cycling for those who cannot travel to Darjeeling
Mungpoo is perched at an altitude of 3700 feet and cyclists will pass though Chatakpur (7,800 feet) to reach Tiger Hill at an altitude of 8,441 feet covering a mostly uphill route of 35km.
Mungpoo is perched at an altitude of 3700 feet and cyclists will pass though Chatakpur (7,800 feet) to reach Tiger Hill at an altitude of 8,441 feet covering a mostly uphill route of 35km.
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Vivek Chhetri   |   Darjeeling   |   Published 02.10.20, 12:31 AM

The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) here has decided to organise the second edition of Tenzing Norgay Mountain Biking (MTB) challenge next month with the organisers including a virtual cycling for those who cannot travel to Darjeeling.

The bikers’ race will end at Tiger Hill, famed for its sunrise.

“This year we have decided to flag of the race from Mungpoo, which is famous for its association with Rabindranath Tagore and the cinchona plantations, and finish at Tiger hill,” said Group Captain Jai Kishan, who is the principal of the HMI.

Mungpoo is perched at an altitude of 3700 feet and cyclists will pass though Chatakpur (7,800 feet) to reach Tiger Hill at an altitude of 8,441 feet covering a mostly uphill route of 35km.

Entry forms can be downloaded from tenzingnorgaymtb.com and the event carries a total prize money of Rs 1.5 lakh.

Riders below 18 years must bring along a letter of consent signed by their parent or guardian, the principal said.

The organisers have decided on three categories, virtual, open and cyclothan.

“On November 1, we will organise a virtual cycling where participants can record their details in any fitness app anywhere in the world and submit details to us. This is because many participants might not want to travel now (amid the ongoing pandemic situation),” said Kishan. Last year over 150 participants from not just India but also from Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh had participated in the events.

The other two categories, open race and cyclothan (fun ride), will be held on November 2. The routes will be the same — Mungpo to Tiger Hill via Chatakpur.

Outstation participants are required to submit a Covid test report which is not older than three days.

The event was started by HMI last year to commemorate the 105th birth anniversary of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, who along with Sir Edmund Hillary, was the first to climb Everest on May 29, 1953.

This year the organisers could not hold the event on May 29 amid the pandemic-induced lockdown. But now with the phased Unlock across the country, many curbs are being eased. Tourism, the mainstay of the hill economy along with tea, is also being encouraged. The HMI will also open to tourists from Friday.

“We are organising this (mountain biking) event to remember our legend and also to promote adventure sports, which will also help tourism in this region,” said Kishan.



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