Tour of the Dragon

At Pelela

Twenty-five bikers took part in the inaugural Tour of the Dragon yesterday.

The Dragon, a one-day bicycle ride from Bumthang to Thimphu, crosses 4 passes, all of them over 3,000 meters, and covers 268 kilometers through five dzongkhags. The breathtaking route offers an elevation gain of 4,000 meters, a whopping half of which is on the final ascent from Wangdiphodrang bridge to Dochula.

The Tour of the Dragon must be one of the more beautiful one-day bike rides in the world. It’s probably one of the most difficult ones too.

The official records are not yet out, but more than half of the participants completed yesterday’s ride. Ugen Yozer rode in first. Rinzin Norbu second. And HRH Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck, the inspiration of the Tour, third.

As everyone knows, virtually any bike race worth its salt will feature a casualty. And so it was with the inaugural Tour of the Dragon.

A biker came barreling down to Trongsa, 68 km from the start of the race. He looked left then right at the small group of spectators, ostensibly to see if any of them planned to cross the road. But what the fool didn’t see was a bump on the road. That bump threw him off. And he landed squarely on his jaw.

The medical team stitched him up and attended to his bruises. And about an hour and a half later the fool rejoined the race.

I was that crazy fool.

The Tour of the Dragon will take place on the first Saturday of every September.

Photo credit: Karma Loday, CEO, Yangphel Travel


Facebook Comments:


  1. Jabab Phub Dorji says

    Your Honourable,
    Congratulation on completing the “Tour of the Dragon”

  2. Ouch!!!
    Hey, hey, MASSIVE … ! :))
    You completed what you began.

  3. Highly commendable to know you didn’t give up the race.

    And as for the Tour itself hope this becomes an annual international event some day.

  4. Congratulations on coming 8th despite the one and half hour break. How are you? Are you in Bkk at the moment.Get well soon…And now since the Bicycle tour is over, your attention is required to the case filed at the High Court. I applaud the Gasa MP for such fine and smooth submissions to the Bench, it would be a pity if he isnt allowed to represent the case. No Lawyer can justify better than Dasho Damche, three cheers for him!!!.

  5. Congratulations for completing the tour and for winning a very handsome bet from the business moguls! Would you like to share some details about it? Any way, I wish you a quick recovery.

  6. Your Honourable,

    Congratulation on completing the “Tour of the Dragon” We wish you a quick recovery and see you returning home soon.

  7. Congrats Lyonpo! It takes a lot of spunk to complete the race after being injured quite badly. This is the spirit that should inspire our younger generation, that we should never give up in the face of adversity. So, get well soon and hope you will not be titled more” Massive than Massive”, once the Doc’s deal with your injured part.

  8. We congratulate you and the team for the successful completion of the mark of such a great event though some clouds came by the lovely tour.
    We would all like to wish and pray for your safe return la!!!

  9. This is one big crazy idea to bicycle from Bumthang to Thimphu in a day, a distance I can’t imagine covering even in a car. How could you do that?
    I didn’t think it would be possible but your team shocked me. This event(minus your fall ha ah ha) shall go in History. Get well soon.

  10. Get well soon. Two are better than one. Get well soon and continue your fight in making our democracy more healthier and not narrow minded as being done by OAG

  11. Hi Lyonpo,
    This race must have been a madness. It has an official distance of 271 kms and not 168.
    I hope you are recovering speedily and look forward to hearing from you soon. We wish you and Aum Tashi a pleasant stay in BKK

  12. Dear Tashel,
    You need this kind of madness to take this country forward to the 21st Century.

  13. Yigcho, you mean diving headlong to land on your jaws? No thanks. I like my jaws better than old Massive’s and will not put it on line even if I stand to gain millions!!!

  14. Congratulations, your execellency.

  15. TCB - ABTO says

    Sept 17th is the day for tour of the dragon this year. However, there are lots of website fine tuning and updating to be done on


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