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HANAH Rituals: Tour of the Dragon - The world's hardest one-day mountain bike adventure

HANAH Rituals: Tour of the Dragon - The world's hardest one-day mountain bike adventure

Follow HANAH and its founder Joel Einhorn on the adventure of a lifetime 

Join HANAH as we head to the Kingdom of Bhutan for the Tour of the Dragon, deemed "the world's toughest one-day mountain bike race."

Joel Einhorn, the founder of HANAH Life, was first invited to Bhutan on behalf of HANAH and to ride the Tour of the Dragon in 2017. He returned again in September, 2018 to compete in his second Tour of the Dragon, a grueling 268 kilometer (166 mile) one-day race that travels over four Himalayan mountain passes and has over 15,000 vertical feet of climbing. Completing the race is no small feat; only 50% of participants cross the finish line. 

 

Joel trained vigorously for months prior to the race, which starts at 2:00 a.m. on the first Saturday in September. With thousands of miles of cycling prep under his belt, and the knowledge of what to expect from his first endeavor the previous year, there are still a lot of unknowns when riding a bike over four Himalayan mountain passes. Mud slides, dangerous cliffs, thick mud, high winds, torrential downpours, steaming hot rivers valleys, and of course, countless rogue cows, dogs and dump trucks to dodge along the way. 

"The first ride at this altitude was a little tricky, because I'm not used to being at 3,500 meters. You'll go through five, six or seven different weather stations and climate changes and it really tests all aspects of your physical and mental abilities."  HANAH founder Joel Einhorn 

See what it takes to ride the Dragon in one of the most exclusive and well-protected travel destinations in the world.

The enchanted Kingdom of Bhutan 

Located in the eastern Himalayas, the country of Bhutan is a destination for adventure, nature, cultural exploration and spiritual growth. The Land of the Thunder Dragon is truly a majestic place—it’s a kingdom of magical herbs, sacred lakes and mountains, lost villages, deep mythology and cultural wonders. With 70% of the country covered in trees, it’s literally a carbon sink, and was recently named the first carbon negative country in the world.

Bhutan may be best known for creating “Gross National Happiness” (GNH) as the official index to measure the country’s prosperity and quality of life, instead of gross domestic product (GDP). Bhutan’s GNH is based on four pillars: good governance, sustainable socioeconomic development, environmental conservation, and the promotion and preservation of culture. Part of Bhutan’s philosophy champions a healthy, active lifestyle for its citizens, so in 2010, His Royal Highness Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck, president of the Bhutan Olympic committee, started the Tour of the Dragon to encourage its own citizens to get outside and ride bikes, and share some of Bhutan’s stunning countryside with visitors.

Rituals is an exclusive HANAH video series that explores the routines of some of the world’s most inspiring athletes, adventurers and entrepreneurs. In an effort to inspire, motivate and share ideas, they have graciously given us a peek into their own rituals. We hope you enjoy this very personal series. 

HANAH visits the land of the Thunder Dragon for the Tour of the Dragon: Photo courtesy of Justin Basien

Director/DP: Justin Bastien

Gear

Clothing Essentials:

  • Velotoze rubber helmet cover
  • Velotoze rubber full length shoe cover
  • Warm Windstopper gloves
  • Merino neck gaiter
  • Windstopper headband
  • Knee covers
  • Arm warmers
  • Bibs and over-shorts
  • Merino jersey and shorts
  • Mesh undershirts
  • Cold weather jacket
  • Plastic thin rain jacket

Tech Essentials:

  • Norco 29’er Hardtail MTB
  • Lights! Enough power for two nights 
  • Sidi Dragon MTB shoes
  • Allen keys
  • Extra tires
  • Extra tubes
  • Vaseline

Learn more about Bhutan and the Tour of the Dragon on our blog:

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