A budding mountain biker dares the DH state of affairs (Chapter I) – OnlineKhabar
He units his followers on hearth when he’s out on his Trek Treatment-8. Because it have been to flaunt his charisma, he punches down on the main pedal, lifts the entrance wheel, and glides by doing a wheelie (using on rear-wheel with the entrance airborne). Honest and stunningly handsome, small surprise, fairly women fall head over heels to observe him.
That isn’t simply concerning the younger lad, Samir Tamang. Let’s try what the torchbearers of this journey sports activities must say about this upcoming mountain biker.
“Samir has what it takes to be a DH (downhill ) champ, and I’m safe in my perception, granting that he pursues his willpower, works exhausting, and sticks to an intensive coaching routine,” mentioned Prayash Tamang, CEO, Kathmandu Bike Station. Prayash is a well known face among the many mountain biking fraternity as a one-time racer and Nepal’s nationwide coach for the XC (cross-country) style for effectively over one-half decade.
Downhill mountain biking and enduro using are Samir’s ardour and forte. First, it was the XC or cross-country using. The later years noticed him change on to DH and enduro. Let’s get to know the place DH/ enduro using stands on the mountain biking footing.
Understanding DH self-discipline
Mountain biking lately in Nepal appears to have drawn an amazing fan following. Amongst a number of types of mountain biking relying on the ability stage, the three disciplines, particularly the cross-country (XC), downhill (DH), and enduro/all-mountain, are the commonest. Each newbie will get the ball rolling with XC using, although, which requires solely rudimentary ability, informal health and is by far the least excessive.
DH using/racing, however, is one other tune altogether from XC . . . like chalk and cheese. It’s categorised as an excessive sport as the chance of harm is method increased than XC using. Though the DH race observe is a fiddling one/two km max, speeds between 100 to 120 km/h aren’t unusual. It’s outright demanding and requires athletic litheness, third-level expertise, and ideal well being, to say nothing of—sheer guts.
It differs from XC on all counts—constructed of bikes, burliness, frame-geometry, suspensions, using types, and tracks. Aesthetically, too! The XC using is not any match for that pumping and surging peak adrenalin rush all the way down to nanoseconds because the rider blasts down, adopted by acrobatic jumps that catapult him into midair.
The DH self-discipline is just about defying gravity and racing towards the clock by blazing down near-vertical single-tracks tackling rock gardens, huge drops, gnarly root sections, and rock-drops. The riders manoeuvre as excessive as 20-foot gap-jumps (watch the video under, which additionally accommodates the MTB Freeride fashion) shredding down the path, which takes a bystander’s breath away. It’s each inch a sport no method lower out for the faint-hearted. For an informal observer, DH races can look something however plain insanity.
A DH race (staged with a single competing rider) is ludicrously brief (a most of 5 minutes) versus XC (1.5 hours). The winner is asserted based mostly on the quickest time logged in finishing the race observe.
Risks and Accidents infinite
Small surprise, on this excessive sport, the dangers run sky-high, and it invitations a number of accidents. Damaged bones, ruptured discs, smashed collar bones, and concussions are on the playing cards. The harm stats for an additional gravity-supported excessive sport, downhill snowboarding, usually in comparison with DH, stands at one harm to each 1,000 skiers to 1 harm for each 10 DH bikers.
Because of this alone, physique armours, the likes of knee guards, elbow pads, shin guards, neck brace, chest/again plates, and, by far a full-face helmet with chin guard, just like that utilized in motocross, are “obligatory” for a pro-DH racer.
If DH using noticed its beginning within the Seventies and bought its full recognition from the UCI, the primary UCI Mountain Bike World Championships occurred in Durango, Colorado, the USA in 1990 and featured solely XC and DH occasions.
The idea of enduro/all-mountain using bought underway later than the DH style within the closing years of the 90s. Enduro using/racing is kind of just like DH on downhill sections, however this self-discipline additionally combines an enormous slice of XC fashion—gnarlier, extra technical, and excessive from it, although. The enduro race finishes in levels, which may final over a number of days and contain steep climbs and “timed” descents with “impartial switch levels.”
No two minds, enduro using is, by far, extra adventurous than the DH. Each DH and enduro bikes, too, differ of their geometry, weight, tyre width, suspension journey, and frames. This using fashion can also be fraught with danger accidents just like DH, and chosen physique armours and full-face helmets for them are obligatory, too.
DH/enduro state of affairs in Nepal
The history of mountain biking in Nepal (Part II) surprisingly, started a bit over three a long time in the past. The 12 months 1993 was the crowning second for mountain biking in Nepal, nonetheless in its infancy, then. The primary-ever epic 32-km Kakani-Budhanilakantha race included as many as 45 foreigners (together with world-class riders) and 27 Nepali racers together with one of the best there have been: Sonam Gurung, Chimmi Gurung, and Shajjan Rajbanshi.
And, what’s extra, Prime Sport coated all the occasion by stay aerial protection from a chopper—an unprecedented feat in Nepal’s mountain biking historical past.
Because the DH fashion caught on within the worldwide area, underrated as a lesser breed in Nepal, it regularly began pulling downhill aficionados however not till early 2000. In 2008, the game took to new heights as Nepal hosted the primary of its form the 14th Asian Mountain Bike Championship at Chobhar, in Kathmandu, which included together with the XC, the DH class, too.
The Nepali riders bought the chance to pitch themselves towards the easiest of Asia. “However, it was solely in 2011 when NCA initiated into the MTB Nationwide Championship races, the DH self-discipline,” defined Umang Shrestha, the incumbent nationwide coach for DH division.
Previous and the current
“Among the many early architects of DH riders, the crème de la crème included Sajjan Rajbanshi, Buntay (Suraj Pandey), Praysh Tamang, Rupesh Man Shrestha, Kumar Pun, Nirakar Yakthumba, Tenzing Gurung, Santosh Rai (Enduro), ” mentioned Umang Shrestha. “I fell into that group, too,” he added additional a bit bashfully. Sajjan, thought of the primary Nepali DH racer to have participated abroad, was tagged ‘the Himalayan Hurricane’ within the US.
“Within the good previous days, Buntay dai (bro), Kumar Pun, Tenzing Gurung and myself usually took upon exploring the hills round Kathmandu and went to nice lengths, to construct jumps and trails,” reminisced Umang. “Repeatedly, we bumped into miserably irritating moments, however all of us stood our floor and caught collectively by thick and skinny,” he wound up.
Promising male DH riders within the elite class immediately embody Rajesh Magar, Nirav Shrestha, Prachit Thapa Magar, Suman Tamang, Roan (Buddhi) Tamang, Chris Keeling, Raman Agrawal, Deepak Jimme and Samir Tamang. However newfound younger and upcoming abilities are surfacing on the DH state of affairs. Among the many girls DH class, solely two riders, Nishma Shrestha and Jamuna Thapa, appear to spearhead the DH banner in Nepal. The DH platform thus begs for extra feminine riders. Nishma is the reigning nationwide champion.
Podium finishes and trophies
In a comparatively brief career-riding, Samir, with out the shadow of a doubt, has proven immense promise and class. He secured the third place within the seventh Junior Nationwide DH Championship 2016. He was solely 15 years previous then. Then adopted: gold within the Below-18 Second Inter-school MTB Prodigy Race 2017, silver within the sixth Himalayan Out of doors Competition 2017: Junior Class, runner-up within the eighth Himalayan Out of doors Competition, Elite-2019, and eighth within the Below-18 Asian Enduro Collection Nepal 2017.
MTB gurus converse
Let’s see what our DH coach Umang Shrestha has bought to say concerning the burgeoning rider, Samir Tamang. To cite in his personal phrases, “Samir Tamang as a younger and passionate rider has a number of potentials to excel within the DH class. If he does proceed the sports activities and stays in that self-discipline, I can say, he can revamp the DH state of affairs in Nepal and the subsequent few years vie for the Asian Video games, too.”
No flattery, Umang Shrestha (at 28) was designated the nationwide coach by the joint committee of the Nationwide Sports activities Council, Nepal Olympic Committee and Nepal Biking Affiliation for the DH (downhill) class for the thirteenth SAG (South Asian Video games) 2019 held in Kathmandu.
“For Nepal, it was a second of nice honour and glory because the Nepali riders swept away all of the podium standings: gold, silver, and bronze in males’s class and gold and silver within the girls’s,” Umang sounded excited when he advised me that.
Now, let’s mark these phrases from none apart from the legend–the four-time and reigning Nationwide Downhill Champion, and the Nationwide Geographic 2018 Adventurer of the 12 months, Rajesh Magar, aka RJ Ripper. He took DH racing to the subsequent stage and made Nepal proud by clinching worldwide medals (Mad Enduro 2018, Malaysia-Silver, and SAG 2019-Gold).
“I’ve identified Samir Tamang for over a 12 months and watched his efficiency within the junior class. The boy has monumental expertise and the making to face out within the DH/enduro self-discipline—no two minds about it,” shared the Champ his impression with this scribe.
“The one draw back to his headway, I’ve noticed of late,” Rajesh appeared to pause and resumed, “Appears his inclination in direction of spending extra time on ‘tips’, extra akin to the freeride self-discipline. He has what it takes to change into a future champ, but it surely’s time he skilled exhausting and centered on the technicalities of DH and enduro using.” Rajesh nearly sounded a bit reprimanding.
It then crossed my thoughts perhaps I ought to get in contact with Nishma Shrestha, the four-time Nationwide Ladies DH Champ, the SAG gold medalist, and the reigning nationwide titleholder, to know what she needed to say about Samir. We have been launched to one another about a few years in the past in Jomsom, Mustang once I was on a mountain biking tour of Higher Mustang.
“Samir Tamang is a gifted DH rider and has a aptitude for good tips, and a flamboyant fashion whereas using the path. With skilled coaching, he is usually a nice DH racer. He has a promising future if he continues his using and coaching, which can make him go the space,” summed up Nishma. Story continues.
Photographs: Courtesy Samir Tamang and the writer
Printed on August thirtieth, Sunday, 2020 10:44 AM