Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sikkimmtb.com now operating

The official website is up. Looks like the info is in good shape. Link

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Answers are rolling in! Ever taken a helicopter ride below the Himalayas?

Notice the number of people standing along the road.

This is starting to look better all the time. Read through this bit of information from MR. Nayak. Did you see the part about a helicopter ride to the race start for only $60. That might be a must do!

Don't forget the Indian Airforce Air show.

Registration will be open online from 15th Dec 08 to till Feb 28th 09

One can register with our office by person from 15th Dec 08 to till 18th March 09

We expect all participant to report to us by 18th March 09 (last date for Registration)

Participants will be provided Accommodation at Gangtok (Hotel Mayur/Soyeng/Mt. Jupno) on twin sharing basis from 18th March 09 to 20th March 09. If any participants arrive earlier can stay in these hotel at a discount Rate of 50% on normal Rate. We advise all participants to inform us about their Travel Plan so as to make his/her stay more comfortable.

Participants weather individual or in group will be provided a free transportation from Bagdogra which is only 135 km away from Gangtok. On reaching at Bagdogra Airport one can see Department of Tourism, Government of Sikkim felicitation counter at Arrival lounge and required to register his/her arrival so as to make our official to arrange for onwards journey by road. We have a helicopter services from Bagdogra to Gangtok but at a cost of 60US$ per person and can accommodated max of five person in a trip.

During the stay with us from 18th March 09 to 20th March 09 morn you will be provided with all meals and hotels rooms are attached bath with hot and cold water round the clock with all modern facilities that one ask for.

19th March 09 : Briefing to participants by the Commissar and official will be held in the conference/ dining room of Hotel Mayur at 18-30 hrs followed by dinner hosted by Minister Tourism, Government of Sikkim.

20th March 09:After an early breakfast all participants have to report with their bikes at Ridge Park by 8.00hrs. Please ensure your baggage registration and collect Baggage Receipt from the concern officer.

9.00 hrs Arrival of Chief guest and other dignitaries.

9.10 hrs Personal interaction with participants by Chief Guest and Garlanding (A traditional welcome followed by welcome note by these dignitaries.


On 28th March 09 the Race will be finished at Rongpo which is approx 40 km away from Gangtok by 17.00hrs

On 29th March all participants will be brought back to Gangtok Hotel after their breakfast in the Morning 11.00Hrs Lunch will be served at Hotel

A AIR SHOW AND SKY DIVING WILL BE HELD BY INDIAN AIRFORCE AT 13.00 Hrs at Gangtok followed by a Gala Lunch hosted by Department for participants and AIRFORCE TEAM.

19.00 Hrs: Felicitation/ Prize Distribution Ceremony will be held in the Conference room of Hotel Mayur followed by a Gala Dinner.

On 30th March 09 Participants will be taken for a day tour to some of the tourist spot in and around Gangtok. Lunch will be served either in a Hotel en-route or in packet.

On 1st April 09 Participants are advised to vacate their room any time during the day. Any extended stay attract 50% normal tariff and have to make arrangement with official.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

India Calling.. Guts in you?

I got a message from my Sikkim Tourism Dept. contact Saroj a couple days ago. This is what I see:

and here is the soon to be updated and new webpage.

"The webpage is going to be on net by 15th Dec,

AIRINDIA is still considering our request and hopefully it will be resolved by all means in next couple of days.

INDIAN AIRFORCE & INDIAN ARMY has agreed to participate in this event and expect around 30 participants from them more over INDIAN AIRFORCE will have a skydiving show on 30th March (Our prize distribution Ceremony Day at Gangtok)

Nepal Mountain Biking Association in the meantime assure us to send their best team.

FIREFOX the MTB Cycle company is spreading the news among their customer and are going to be our technical partner and will provide free maintance and service to all bikers with route signage."

Ministry of Tourism, Government of India is all set to support this event like they had it in last year.

Just let me know how many friend are coming along with you and what is the present status of for getting our event enrol as official event with IMBA and what are our obligation and procedure involved at an earliest.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Cultural Considerations

1. Bartering is important. Negotiating prices on things from taxi's to fruit is a must. It is the buyer's responsibility to pay a fair price...

2. At airport go to government registered taxis. Hold onto receipt till you get to destination. Once they have the receipt they have their pay and can then find a way to work more money out of you.

3. Internet Cafe's are everywhere...

4. Can get a cheap cell phone, and a calling card to call home...

5. If you are a woman, getting traditional garb will make you're visit more comfortable, otherwise you're just an American floozy. It's called a Punjabi Suit...Costs about $3 there, it takes about 3 days to get made. You could have one made here, costs a bunch more..

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Traveling to India: Flights, Visas

Good search engines for flights.....
US - India


East coast travelers- JFK/NY- Delhi is cheapest that I found.
West Coasters- LA-Mumbai seems to be a good bet.

Once in India:
Fly to
The Sikkim tourism department will take care of you from there with a shuttle to Gantok.

I'm looking into the incountry flights right now. And waiting to see if there is a chance for discounts for international travelers.



Tuesday, September 30, 2008

India Stage Race: Ground Zero

This blog will be your source for up to date information on the 9 day stage race in India on March 20-29th 2009. This is the Race's home page...
My name is Harlan Price and I'll be acting as the US liaison for the race organizers. If you have questions about the race and it's logistics, I hope the answers you are looking for can be found here. If you have an unanswered question you can ask me or email
Mr. Saroj Nayak (sarojy2k@gmail.com) at the Sikkim Tourism department.
If you find out a useful piece of information please share it with us, and I'll post it to the site for the benefit of all.

Below you'll find some initial information. I plan in the next few days to organize the information and spruce up this site. Right now, get your plans sorted and mark the dates on the calender.
I just randomly met a gal who has been studying in India and says that the state of Sikkim is one of the most beautiful states in Inida. There you go...a random endorsement!
India, here we come....

Stage race in the North Eastern state of Sikkim in India.
The link has last years race details, but I am told they are the same for 2009. Last year only 38 people did the race, mostly do to the location. The entry fee of $500 gets you 12 days of being taken care of. 9 of those days are racing 15-42 miles a day on the mountainbike. They don't seem like long days, but the climbing is going to be the biggest challenge.
The numbers are a little confusing, and I've been in contact with the tourism department to get some clarification.
14,000m of climbing
highest elevation is 6600ft. But in the region with the third highest peak in the world.
three hotel nights
9nights in two person tents.
Food, breakfast, dinner

Flights from JFK to New Delhi are looking to be in the $1000 dollar range. But once there a second flight needs to be taken to the closest airport, BAGDOGRA AIRPORT.
KAYAK has the best search engine for finding flights.
The promoter is trying to get discounts on the flights for international racers.

If you are interested in going let me know. From the research I've been doing, the event will be the experience of a lifetime, at a very inexpensive price. The tourism department is very motivated to get international participation. If you want to ask them any questions direct your questions to me or Mr. Saroj Nayak (sarojy2k@gmail.com).

It looks like I am going to be the US public relations person for the race. So if you decide to sign up, let the promoter and myself know. We will do what we can to make the trip planning go as smoothly as possible.
Some related links:

I'm gathering more information daily.