Mountain Bike Bhutan Event Info

(Looking for Bhutan Trail & Ultra instead?)

Overview: 25K and 50K, Saturday, 6 April, 2019

  • Pre-race packet pick up and race briefing are mandatory, and will take place in Gangtey the day prior to the race. All riders must be in Gangtey on this day.
  • 25K and 50K mountain bike events both start at 9:00 AM.
  • Finish line is at Gangtey Monastery.
  • Awards breakfast the day after the event.
  • Bhutanese culture festival the afternoon of the event.
  • Novice to experienced riders are all welcome.
  • We will be sending out multiple pre-race information emails starting 2 months prior to the race. Please make sure we have your correct email address.
  • For all registration information, please see the Registration page.

See detailed event information below

Travel to Bhutan Sports Festival

  • Experience a unique cultural immersion as well as the first ever endurance sports festival in Bhutan
  • Racing in and traveling to this event through the Bhutan Sports Festival travel package, will directly support the people of Bhutan as well as the endangered Black-Necked Cranes.
  • For information on travel to Bhutan, click
  • For more information on Phobjikha Valley and Bhutan click here.
  • Bike Rental: If you travel with Bhutan Sports Festival and do not wish to bring your own bike to the event, we can secure a bike rental for you. There will be an additional charge for rental.

Participants Receive

  • Opportunity to participate in the first ever international mountain bike race in Bhutan
  • A picturesque and remote course which circumnavigates the winter migration site of the protected Black-Necked Cranes
  • Finish at the auspicious Gangtey Monastery
  • Technical race t-shirt
  • Finishers medal
  • Awards breakfast the day after the event
  • Bhutanese culture festival the afternoon of the event
  • Bhutanese handcrafted awards for top competitors
  • Aid stations and on-course support
  • A unique opportunity to ride in an environmentally protected conservation reserve which exists specifically to host the Black-Necked Crane’s winter migration
  • An opportunity to race in the only carbon-negative country on the planet
  • The opportunity to support the Tarayana Foundation and the people of Phobjikha Valley through your race entry fee and travel package
  • Customized travel package when you book travel through the Bhutan Sports Festival
  • Bike Rental: If you travel with Bhutan Sports Festival and do not wish to bring your own bike to the event, we can secure a bike rental for you. There will be an additional charge for rental.

Awards

All awards are specially handcrafted by Bhutanese artists for this event. Each finisher will receive a Finishers Medal and a Finishers Certificate.

25K:

  • Open Division: Top 3 Male and Top 3 Female
  • Masters 50 and over Division: Top 3 Male and Top 3 Female

50K:

  • Open Division: Top 3 Male and Top 3 Female
  • Masters 50 and over Division: Top 3 Male and Top 3 Female

Special Awards

  • Award for the oldest race competitor

 Course Info

 Note From Organizers: One of our goals is to accommodate mountain bikers of all levels and abilities so you can experience this compelling country and culture while doing the sport you love. In that, we have chosen a course that is challenging but quite ridable for new to experienced riders, all through pristine traditional Bhutanese villages and protected lands. Phobjikha Valley is an area that defines Bhutanese culture and their commitment to protecting their environment. For more information on this special area, go to About Bhutan.

Route and Conditions: 25 Kilometer and 50 Kilometer (K)

Overview: Both the 25K and the 50K start and finish in the village of Gangtey, at the north end of the Phobjikha Valley. This Valley lies on the west side of the Black Mountains which separate western and central Bhutan. The entire Valley is enclosed by several ranges and is bisected by the Nake Chuu and Phag Chuu rivers. The Valley floor is carpeted with a special variety of dwarf bamboo which is the prime diet of the protected Black-Necked Crane.

Both events will start together, with the 25K riders looping back toward the start point prior to the 50K riders. Both courses are predominantly on single track, double track or fire-roads. Conditions on the course should be quite ridable.

Elevation: The general elevation in the valley is 3000m or 9800 ft. Since the course loops around the perimeter of the valley it rises and falls intermittently due to terrain changes, yet there are no major extended climbs  or descents on either route.

Weather: Though the course is mostly on hard pack dirt with some rocks as well as uneven terrain, the conditions can change up based on the weather. Average rainfall in this area this time of year is minimal, though it is possible to get some rain showers which can dramatically change up the surface conditions. Average daily temperatures this time of year are approximately 60F (15C). Temperatures early morning and at night will drop down to around 40-50F (~10C).

Villages and Culture: The entire race is in rural to remote Bhutan and intermittently dotted with villages. A village can constitute a couple to several homes. The homes in Phobjikha Valley are traditional Bhutanese homes and most of its inhabitants are farmers. The start and finish area is near the Gangtey Gonpa or monastery.

We will be emailing multiple race updates as the event draws near, so please make sure we have your correct email address. In those updates we’ll be offering current course conditions so you can make appropriate gear choices.

Route Map and Profile

Below is the current course route map for the 50K. Due to conditions over the winter, it is possible we will be making some course changes prior to the event. We will keep you apprised of any changes prior to the race.

Aid Stations

Aid stations are located approximately every 10-16k (6-10 miles) apart. Aid stations will feature bottled water, bananas and other products that will be disclosed prior to the race. There will be marker signs at each aid station designating your current ride distance.

Riders are required to have their own means to carry water and food in between aid stations. You will be riding through environmentally protected areas. Please pack out all your trash or dispose of it at an aid station.

We will be emailing multiple race updates as the event draws near, so please make sure we have your correct email address. In those updates we’ll be sharing updated aid station offerings so you can make appropriate fueling plans.

Toilets

We will let you know at the pre race briefing the location of toilet facilities on the route. We highly recommend you bring some toilet paper with you on the course. You will be riding through environmentally protected areas. Please pack out all your trash or dispose of it at an aid station.

Medical

Medical personnel will be available at the finish line or in a roving vehicle. We will have some medical supplies at select points along the course.

Timing

There will be undisclosed check points along the route where your location will be monitored. All riders must pass through all check points. All race results will be posted on the race website after the event is complete.

For information on travel to the Bhutan Sports Festival click here.
For information on Bhutan and the Phobjikha Valley click here.