The BLM is Looking For Mountain Bikers

When people think of governmental departments and bureaucracy, they rarely think of anything good or exciting or fun. When people think of the Bureau of Land Management, probably nothing comes to mind. Those who follow the news and politics might remember that they were engaged in an armed standoff with a Nevada rancher named Cliven Bundy but that’s about it. It turns out that the Bureau of Land Management (or the BLM) is the federal agency in charge of the country’s public lands and making sure that they are cared for and unharmed, especially when commercial interests come into play.mountain-bikers-55372_640

The latest news from the BLM has nothing to do with armed militias or a stubborn farmer refusing to pay the money he owes the government. It actually has to do with mountain bikers. What about mountain bikers, you ask? That they are welcome and loved the BLM and that the BLM wants to help them find the best trails so they can ride with joy. They have partnered with the International Mountain Bicycling Association and MTB Project to create and launch a new section of the BLM website that is promising to change the way people approach mountain biking and choose which trails to ride.

The newest section of the website focuses on the top 20 locations for riding in the country and has both maps and interactive trail guides so that you can get a lay of the land before setting off on your adventure. The project is the brainchild of the current director of the BLM, Neil Kornze. He has been a biker since he was young and he realized that there was a disconnect between the BLM and mountain bikers — a large group of people that use BLM land with some frequency but rarely ever engage with the bureau. Seeing as how many mountain bikers end up working and caring for the trails they love to ride, working to reach them only makes sense. This is great news for bikers looking for prime riding locations and great news for the BLM. I know I can’t wait to get started!

If you’d like to read an interview with Neil Kornze and learn more, the link is here.

Check out the new website here too!

The Top 5 Indian Mountain Biking Destinations

When people think of mountain biking, India is far from where most minds go; most people think of the famous biking that can be found in the US and Europe. However, India is much more mountainous than most people realize and it has some of the most beautiful and unique biking trails the world has to offer. Starting with the north and working down south, India has an amazing culture that is open and friendly, perfect for people who are looking to explore the natural beauty and ruggedness of the mountains. Here are 5 of the top biking trails in India:

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Manali – Himachal Pradesh
  1. Manali – Himachal Pradesh: Manali is a tiny mountain town located in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh near the northern end of the Kullu valley. It’s at the foot of the Himalayan mountains and is known as “The Mountain Biking Capital of India” due to the number and variety of trails it offers. With everything ranging from downhill big mountain riding to cross-country climbs and singletracks, Manali has exploded in popularity as it becomes more and more well-known for biking.

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    Leh – Jammu and Kashmir
  2. Leh – Jammu and Kashmir: This is the second largest district in the country and is home to some truly beautiful landscapes. Leh has been a destination for mountain bikers for the past few decades and that doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon. It’s the home to some massive mountains that are great for freeriding and since it’s located in the Himalayas, you can cross that off your bucket list. If you get there by road, you’ll be able to see some trails you could ride as well as the landscape in general.

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    Pindari – Uttarakhand
  3. Pindari – Uttarakhand: For those into Enduro and some truly off-road biking, Pindari is the place to be. The Pindari Glacier is located in the upper reaches of the Kumaon Himalayas and is full of gorgeous villages and some truly spectacular natural trails with scenery that can only be dreamt of. With untouched trails and guided tours, Pindari is a one-of-a-kind biking spot.

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    Munnar – Kerala
  4. Munnar – Kerala: Located in the southwest, Kerala is very different in culture and climate than the north. However, it also has some world class biking. Munnar is full of tea gardens (including some of the highest in the world) and singletrack trails that are great for anyone from beginner to expert bikers. It also has some amazing guided tours.

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    Coorg – Karnataka
  5. Coorg – Karnataka: While Coorg might not be the easiest to get to, it’s perfect for people looking for all mountain trails and definitely worth the time and effort. The region is full of coffee plantations and wildlife, making for some fantastic mountain biking.

These are just 5 of the destinations that the massive and diverse country of India offers. The best way to find your favorite is to jump on a bike and go exploring yourself. Happy travels!

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.