Rad People Who Ride: Santosh Rai

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 The Rad People Who Ride blog series is our opportunity to highlight individuals who love bikes for all the right reasons. All of us at WTB are constantly crossing paths with folks whose lives revolve around anything and everything related to two wheels. While a passion for bikes always unites us in one way or another, there are some who stand out among them. Whether we've interacted through work, play or travel...Rad People Who Ride is a means of letting the rest of the world know how truly rad these people are. 

Santosh is part of a passionate group of people who are making mountain biking happen in Nepal. It an undebatable truth. The most well-known rider in the Nepalese mountain bike scene and ten-times over the most passionate. Most importantly, his fame isn't tied to podium finishes or ripping style, though he is incredibly fast and stylish. He's known for his incessant drive introduce more Nepalese to riding while also showing the international riding community what the Himalayas have to offer in terms of jaw-dropping singletrack.

I've been to Nepal two times in the last year or so and at some point in both of the trips, he either saved the trip from disaster or provided opportunities that made them even more unforgettable. On the most recent trip to Nepal...we blew up a rear hub and snapped the derailleur hanger on two bikes in the same descent. We limped our bikes back to Kathmandu with the understanding that we might have to ditch the bikes and finish the trip with some trekking. Santosh wasn't willing to be defeated by component failure. He clearly didn't even view it as an option. "Give me that hanger and two hours."

Within a minute, he had one of the local kids running the broken hanger to a machine shop across town. Like clockwork, the kid returned two hours later with a brass hanger weighing three times the aluminum hanger, but equally functional in every way. The thread even lined up perfectly. That's just one example of Santosh's combination of master problem solving and a tenacious drive to overcome every obstacle in a country where nothing is easy.  

Is it worth flying to Kathmandu and riding with Santosh via Himalayan Single Tracks? It'll be the best time and money you spend all year. The experience you have will cause you to return time and time again..I guarantee it. 

Give his Instagram a follow and let the FOMO set in while you purchase your flights. 


Santosh Rai

Home Shop and City:

Himalayan Single Track, Kathmandu, Nepal


Notable passions, feats of accomplishment, interests, goals, phobias and unusual experiences:

My passion is cycling. The more we ride, the more we can see. Accomplishments: Happiness, satisfaction and fitness. 

Interests: To explore more new singletrack.
Goal: To make the Himalaya a mountain bike destination.

Phobias: Landslides and a bad weather forecast

Favorite WTB product:

Volt saddle and Vigilante tires.

Favorite Ride:

Peaky Peak, in the Everest region.

Background, how’d you get into riding, what kept you going with it?

I was born in very remote area of Eastern Nepal. I had never seen any vehicles or bikes as a child. Luckily, I got a chance to visit Kathmandu when I grew older. My cousin was working for a rafting company and I also got to work in rafting company as a training guide. I work that job for 3 years and during that time I met many travelers from different countries. One of the clients took me on my first bike ride and I enjoyed it a lot. I was inspired from that day on. I changed my life's track and embraced MTB life. 

Tube or Tubeless, why?

Tubeless, because it's trusty and easier.

3 most important things to bring with you on a ride?

Belief, happiness and confidence.

Craziest thing you’ve seen or witnessed on a ride?

When we go around Annapurna on bikes, the hardest part is at an elevation of 18,097 feet. Yet people still ride it so easily even though it's really hard to push up. After completing it, I can see the satisfaction and happiness on their face. It makes me feel like a true guide. 

Most important lesson to teach the groms?

Believe in yourself and always listen to your trainer.


Left my wallet in… (fill it in):

In my in-laws home.

Anything you’d like to plug, courtesy of WTB’s blog?

I'd love to plug my business, Himalayan Single Track. If you ever find yourself in Nepal, please contact us and we'll take you to the highest mountain bike trails in the world! I'd also like to plug for Red Bull TV for all their live cycling shows...some really inspiring videos!

Care to see the derailleur hanger masterpiece? Here it is:

himalaya himalayan single track kathmandu mountain biking nepal rad people who ride santosh rai vigilante

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