The Best way to explore the Kathmandu valley is on a mountain bike. Nepal's diverse terrain is a mountain biker's dream adventure comes true. Mountain biking offers an environmentally sound way of exploring this magnificent country, its landscape and living heritage. There are plenty of dirt roads and trails in Nepal to meet every mountain biker wildest fantasy. Mountain biking is specially recommended if you wish to explore urban centers of Nepal such as Pokhara and Kathmandu as well as the countryside. Adventurous souls may plan extended trips to such exotic locales as Namche Bazaar, and western Nepal. You could even do the entire length of Nepal across the plains.
Bhaktapur to Banepa:
Bhaktapur (12km to the east of Kathmandu) to Banepa (14km. from Bhaktapur), a historical town on the way to Tibet, is terrific for mountain biking. If you want to avoid trucks, there is an old road from Bhaktapur to Banepa that goes via Tathal and Nala. From Banepa, you can take a side-trip south to Panauti (7km) or east to Dhulikhel (6km). An interesting circuit is Banepa to Dhulikhel (6km) to Namura (7km) to Panauti (8km) to Banepa (7km).
Kathmandu to Kodari:
The 114km highway linking Kathmandu with Kodari on the Chinese border follows the ancient trade route to Lhasa. Known as the Arniko Highway, this spectacular road leads east past Bhaktapur, Banepa, Dhulikhel and Dolaghat and then turns north following the course of the Sun Koshi and Bhote Koshi rivers. Picturesque villages and tranquil terraced fields against a backdrop of green hills are the scenic rewards on the trail. The trip takes four days up and down. Overnight at Dhulikhel or Barhabesi (88km from Kathmandu) and Tatopani (3km) before Kodari where hot springs are an added attraction.
Kathmandu to Daman:
The 75km stretch up to Daman on the Tribuvan highway has been described as the best bike ride in Nepal. Until the bypass through Mugling opened about two decades ago, this was the only road to India. The good news for bikers is that there is very little traffic on the highway now. The road spirals jup and down endless hills and passes through broad valleys and small villages. Exit the Kathmandu valley at Thankot (10km from Kathmandu) and on to Palung (65Km) and finally Daman (altitude 2,400m). There is a view tower here which offers an incredible 400km panorama of the Himalaya extending from Annapurna to Everest. The bike ride to Daman takes all day.
Balaju to Kakani:
The route to Kakani (altitude 1,982m) branches off at Balaju Bypass (3km to the northwest of Kathmandu central). It is a slow and easy ascent to this hill resort 23km northwest of Kathmandu. The trip offers a magnificent view of Ganesh Himal along with the fresh and serene atmosphere of the hills.