Odyssey Unplugged

I mentioned breathing upfront because the most direct fallout of thin air is altitude sickness, which is a critical factor in any circumstance, competitive or otherwise. And then of course, there’s the weather, which at these altitudes can change dramatically, with no warning whatsoever.

These challenges aside, I discover that riding a bike, especially a cruiser like the Thunderbird, is a lesson in the joys of keeping it simple.

We wake up in the morning, assemble for a route briefing and set off. The collective rhythmic thumping settles down into a comforting pattern as we ride across terrain that is sometimes scenic, sometimes hostile.

Because of the scarce population and hilly terrain, mobile phone networks are yet to arrive here. And soon enough, you begin to appreciate that. Since you’re not compulsively jabbing at a three-and-a-half-inch screen, you put that time to better use – talking to your fellow riders, hearing their stories, sharing laughs.