I am going to cycle from Manali to Leh, as soon as I am ready. The trip is 475km up and down mountains. The altitudes range from 1.5-5K meters. This is dangerous stuff. Before you warn me against killing myself, understand that I will be acclimating to the altitude for at least a week before I begin the trek. I'll probably be taking Diamox, but I'm not sure. There are also other drugs available, but I'd like to keep all natural. I could for instance get Winstrol, or EPO to increase RBCs, and use them at a safe and low level... all this is legal in India... but I'd rather do it natural. I might cart along some oxygen just in case, as well... I will probably be going it alone. So, I am training at sea level in Goa. On a 45 pound single speed. I am soon to ride my first metric century. I intend to be able to ride a century by the time I leave for Dharamsala in two weeks to a meditation retreat in Dharamsala. After that it is off to Bangalore for more training. I feel like I've gotten in over a thousand base miles in the last month. I think it is now time to look for some hills, and start to incorporate, once or twice a week, repeated hill runs... to adjust me to those mountain passes up to 15K or more feet. There aren't many hills, but rest assured I will find one to go up and down repeatedly. I'm going to Bangalore soon, which is a bit higher, with more hills, and I should be able to get a geared bike there. I want to do some mountain biking there, which will be a nice addition to my road bike distance training, and will prepare me for h te bumpy roads between Manali and Leh. Is this crazy? Am I going to die? Can I get in adequate shape, if I ride hard daily, for the next 3-4 months to do this run? I am devoted. I think I can do it. I'm going to try, or get AMS trying, by god. Any advice would be appreciated. --------------------------------------------------- Okay, so as some of you know I am training in Goa (and soon to be training at some altitude in Dharamsala, then in Bangalore, then maybe back to Goa for some more) for making the Manali->Leh high alittude (up to 17,500 feet) Himalayan run in August. Probably mid-late August, cause I need all the time I can get to prepare. Cause I'm fat and hadn't cycled much before coming here. The pounds are coming off rapidly though. Equipment: I am attaching a picture of my bike so you get what I'm training on in Goa... which might help explain a few things, like why I am hesitant to add more miles, and why hills are real ****ing hard, and in general riding distance is more challenging here than anywhere else I've done it. Its kinda like mountain biking a logging trail. My bike weighs about 40 pounds. Maybe 30? But it feels almsot like a 35 pound plate to lift up to my shoulder. Maybe even a 45. And the shop in the picture... they don't have much air pressure in their compressor. So they can only fill my tires to about half the pressure that is normal and required. I got a pump, but it doesn't work well enough to get the tire to pressure eithe. And by the end of a ride, the pressure leaks out by about 25% anyway. So the tires bow out at the start, and quite alot at the end. Which is to say that it is harder to do 40 miles in Goa on my bike than it is to do 40 miles on flat groud with good roads on a road bike. But its flat. The nearest hill is about 15-20 miles away. So maybe that evens it out a bit. Okay, so here's my routine: I am up to 30-40 miles twice a week. This is on winding and relatively flat roads. On other days, I bike between 3-10 miles. Sometimes i just bike to the store, etc on my "off" days, but like as not I do a 10 mile loop around the village. Recovery ride. Okay, now you are probably thinking that i should be doing more cycling daily? Well... the best bike I can find is in the picture. Its seat is murder. I am worried about nerve damage. Shoudla brought my brooks. (I can get a better one to do Manali->Leh). Its a single speed, etc. Plus... I get damned sore. So, I try to do other stuff. I cross train. I swim in the ocean twice a day on days when I ride too. I swim out to the breakers and dive under the waves which get quite big (5-6 foot curling swells sometimes lately... HAVE to dive under those when they break on you). I swim around and body surf and its not quite intense cardio, but it is exhausting after a half an hour, so I think this is helping. In addition... I walk about 3-4 miles a day just living life. And I have started swimming laps in the two days between long rides (well, starting today). I was actually amazed at how much longer I can go in the pool lap wise than when I first got here. Now... diet. I haven't been carb loading the night/morning before a ride because I have been concerned about my weight. But I think I need to start. Because trying to climb that enormous hill/mountain at the end of 15-20 miles north was murder. I think I bonked for the first time, actually, just before getting there. I hadn't eaten enough for the ride. I got really weak and dizzy and stuff and had to stop at a store and get a soda. Which wasn't enough fuel for the hill. I am gonna start eating more as I up the mileage. So tonight I am carb loading. I'm going back to that hill, and I'm going to kick its ****ing ass. I'll carb load again early in the morning (get takehome noodles from restaurant). I found a hill about 15-20 miles away. Its a nice ride on the way to it. I made it to this hill last time, cause it was my first long ride north, instead of some north, then all the way south and back. In summary: I ride for distance twice a week, about 40 miles each time and increasing, I swim daily in an exercise manner, and I walk quite alot. Am I doing enough? I am going to start doing runs up and down that big hill I found (actually the first one I found...!) to practice for the passes in the mountains. And I am going to start bringing water/NaCL/KCl (via mashed banana)/juice/ drinks with me, 2 liters of the stuff, to keep me going. I am thinking about adding jogging once a week at night to help against bone density loss? Questions: Is the cross training really helping, or should I focus on getting more miles in, faster miles, and harder hill climbs? It feels like I'm pushing my body pretty hard right now, and all these varied activities seem to be "spreading the load," but I am not sure. Should I add jogging on days after a long ride, or the day before another long ride? Any tips would be appreciated. (Couldn't actually attach a bike pic on OT, but its a real piece of shit Indian hardtail touring bike).