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Bikes. Parts. Chaos.


Dhruv Bogra and Ashim Shatsang Bogra


India. Currently touring the Indian Himalaya.

Dhruv and Ashim standing together holding flag on mountain road with loaded touring bikes

Who do you think you are anyway?

We are an adventure loving husband and wife team who want to find our bliss in the mountains cycling to passes and mesmerizing valleys, committed to making the world around us a better place by sharing stories of kindness, compassion, indigenous cultures and heritage, wildlife and natural habitats with the purpose of letting peace thrive in our communities.

Dhruv standing with loaded bike on bridge with river and mountains in background


I am 55 and have been a business leader in the retail fashion and sportswear industry for over 30 years, and have worked with many global brands in India. Eight years ago, when I was 47, I chose a new and alternative life of adventure cycling and touring, buoyed by my first serious mountain bike experience, riding the Manali - Leh highway to the highest motorable pass in the world in 2012. Hence, in 2016, I left my Retail Director job at Adidas, much to the shock of my work colleagues, family and friends, and cycled solo (with no previous touring experience) for 400 days from Deadhorse, Alaska to Cusco in Peru on my Surly Troll (named Quest), a distance of 10,000 miles and over 225,000 metres in elevation gain. I returned to New Delhi in 2017, and in the gap of that one year that it took me to find another job, I wrote my first published book on the journey - “Grit, Gravel and Gear,” which became a bestseller in the nonfiction category in India in 2019 and reached No. 9 in India’s largest bookstore chain, Crossword.

Dhruv riding fully loaded bike on mountain road

My work in the corporate sector continued, and since 2019, in spite of the tremendous pressures as a CEO, I continued to embark on short bikepacking expeditions to the Indian Himalaya. During the COVID years, I wrote my second book “Away,” which is based on my solo cycling expeditions into the Himalaya. From September 2023, I have taken a yearlong sabbatical from my company to pursue my purpose of following my bliss and cycling for peace. Ashim and I are touring to discover and explore the mighty Indian Himalaya on our beloved Surly bikes.

Ashim standing in front of fully loaded touring bike on side of road rock wall in background


I am 31 and still finding my way through life. I am an internationally certified yoga instructor and also love to dance! I belong to a famous indigenous and feared warrior tribe of Northeast India, the Tangkhul Naga (also called the Headhunters), and my roots are in the mountains of the Indian state of Manipur. I spent much of my childhood and youth years in the forest and in a very remote village near the Indo Burma border, which did not even have electricity until only a few years ago. I am the youngest in a family of nine siblings, but I am the only one in my large family to live in a big city in India. My first job was as a receptionist, then a beautician and makeup artist for hundreds of brides at North Indian weddings.

Ashim riding fully loaded touring bike up gravel mountain road

My exposure to the natural healing beliefs of North India led me to learn yoga professionally at the holy town of Rishikesh in India. I hope to inspire young women and girls as we cycle through small villages in the most remote parts of India. Most girls in small villages lack self-belief and confidence, and are filled with self doubt. I hope to encourage them to follow their dreams.

How did you both get into Bikes?


Dhruv introduced me to the exciting world of adventure cycling and I learned to ride a bicycle only fifteen months ago in a narrow lane in Delhi. He was very keen to begin a tour again at some point in the future, and the COVID years had also revealed to me that with life’s uncertainties, it’s probably better to live life fully! My first bicycle IS the Surly Bridge Club and it’s perfect for me. It was planned and assembled by Bums on the Saddle in Bangalore, and I adore it.

Dhruv took me on many training sessions through some small trails in nature parks in New Delhi, first without panniers and then with panniers. After the first 500 miles, I graduated to practicing riding the mountains. I undertook three training rides in the Himalayan states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand to get used to climbs, descents, and diverse weather conditions. I trained over 300 miles with panniers on all types of roads: paved, gravel, and rocky roads. Just before we embarked on our Pedal the Himalaya tour, we went on a fully equipped 150-mile ride from Dalhousie at 1800 metres ASL to my first high altitude pass at 3200 meters (10,000 ft) ASL, called Padri Pass in Jammu region. This ride also left me with a fracture on my right arm as I had a bad fall on the way down in a very remote part of the state with no medical facilities. We had to hire a pickup jeep to transport us 75 miles to the nearest clinic with an x-ray machine. Nonetheless, this made me stronger and more determined.


A life filled with building global brands in India, chasing high pressure retail targets and business plans for decades left me feeling exhausted and I felt that I had lost my way by my mid-forties. I felt I had not yet discovered the purpose of my life and hence the “Quest.” The dream of starting to bike again was ignited by a picture of a lone touring cyclist on a road leading to the expansive icy Patagonian peaks in the distant background. At the time, I worked in Mumbai, and so I went to the nearest bike shop and bought a MTB, a Trek 3700 – my first bike since college 30 years ago. Within a year of training on the “western ghats” (a range of mountains) near Mumbai, I had cycled to Khardung La, a 5350 metre pass in Ladakh, India. Our expedition guide was Ian Teunion, an Englishman who lived and cycle guided in Manali in those days. Hearing his touring stories, I was all fired up and began to dream, which actually led to a plan to tour the pan American highway three years later.

Tell Us About Your Surly Bikes

Fully loaded touring bikes leaning up agains brikc wall with stone tablets with colorful writing


In the autumn of 2015, I asked Arvind at Happy Earth India in Bangalore, to build a bike on a Surly frame for me. He recommended the Troll and from thereon, it took about four months to build the bike as parts are very difficult to get into India, especially the Rohloff Hub. At the time, in 2015, a serious touring culture hardly existed in India, so the nonexistent demand meant that the parts needed to build a “bomb-proof” bike all had to be imported from various countries! It’s a medium frame, with 26-inch Velocity aeroheat rims, Thorn reversible chainring, Shimano Deore Crankset, a Jones H Bar l, Gossamer seat post, Omega stem and Rohloff speedhub 500/14. I used to ride with Schwalbe Marathon tour plus tyres but now I ride with the Surly Extraterrestrial tyres. Imports take more than a month in India as dealers cannot import tyres into India anymore to promote the local industry. When she was finally ready, I named her “Quest” and she has been my companion since 2015. I replaced my long-trusted Brooks saddle with a Selle Italia ST vision Superflow saddle which is more comfortable and safer for me, as it puts less pressure on my perineum area. As one gets older, it’s very important for long distance male cyclists to take extra care of not just the sit bone but also the perineum.


My first and current bike is the Surly Bridge Club. It was built by Rohan’s “Bums on the Saddle” in Bangalore. It’s a black, small frame, with a Ukai wheelset of 27.5 rims as 26-inch rims were not available due to pandemic related supply chain issues. I have named my Surly “Mountain Queen,” and she has a Surly Moloko Bar, a Praxis chainring and crank, an 11-speed Shimano Deore Groupset, MKS Pedals and a Ritchey seat post and stem. I ride with Schwalbe Marathon Tour Plus tyres and a Sella Italia Evo Superflow saddle as it's super comfy.

Favourite Bike Related Memory

Fully loaded touring bike leaning against guard rail on valley road river and mountains in background


It’s so hard to name a favourite ride after 35,000 miles of cycling but a few rides stand out for their raw, remote, extremely demanding and beautiful routes and I will name a few here that tested both Quest (the Surly) and me, and left us wanting more adventure.

  • The Dalton Highway in Alaska was harsh, unforgiving and extremely beautiful all at once. It remains etched in my mind as the most transformative.
  • The Cassiar Highway in Nothern British Columbia, Canada with its glaciers, lakes, and bear encounters is unforgettable
  • The Icefield Parkway and Bow Valley, Canada
  • The Baja Peninsula, Mexico and Ride to Chiapas in Southern Mexico
  • Nazca to Cusco and the Sacred Valley in Peru
  • ⁠Old Hindustan
  • Tibet Road to Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • ⁠Trans Himalayan Highway to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh in India

Two images of Dhruv standing over full loaded bike in different landscapes

I love to absorb and record ancient cultures and indigenous customs. As I cycle through countries and states in India, I go to museums and archaeological sites, and these become a very integral part of my journey.

Ashim riding fully loaded touring bike up paved mountain road wearing colorful rain jacket


My favourite rides on the Surly Bridge Club, which I have named “Mountain Queen” have been:

  • Dalhousie to Padri Pass at 10,000 ft, Chamba, India (she also had a fall on this tour and fractured her hand)
  • ⁠Ascending to Sela Pass at 13,800 ft from Bomdi La on the way to Tawang, India
  • ⁠Cycling from Shillong to Mawphlang sacred forest in Meghalaya
  • And the ride from Legship to Pelling in Sikkim
  • Rides in Goa in the monsoon rains!

If you could ride anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Map of South America with Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and Buenos Aires circled


My intention is to cycle from Bolivia via Argentina and Chile to Ushuaia, and complete my Pan-American odyssey, which I had to end at Peru in 2017 due to lack of funds. The other beautiful places I want to tour are Iceland, Norway and Finland.

North American map with outline and focus on Canada


I want to cycle across Canada from coast to coast! And go where Mr. Bogra goes! (Would I have an option?!)

Where can people follow along with you?

We have an Instagram page (@thepedalnomads), which we have started for our Pedal the Himalaya Tour. During this Tour, until July 2024, we will cycle all the Himalayan states of India. Our odyssey will be 4,000 miles of mountain-only roads with an estimated elevation gain of over 250,000 metres. So far, we have cycled 1000 miles.


My page (@dhruvbogra)also has posts from the Arctic to Andes tour and all the Himalayan expeditions. You can also follow me on my Facebook page, Dhruv Bogra.

Editor's Note:

As with all Humanoids of Surly, the Humanoids whose story we get to share with you are compensated for their time and energy. Part of this compensation is in the form of a donation to a charity or organization of their choosing. Dhruv and Ashim have generously chosen to support our friends at Full Cycle in Minneapolis. They have not only selected them to receive their charitable donation but have also chosen to donate their personal compensation to Full Cycle as well. Thank you so much, Dhruv and Ashim!

To learn more about Full Cycle and how they support our local community through bikes, please watch the video we made below. If you'd like to donate to Full Cycle, smash this link: