This Self-Taught Nepali Mountain Biker Might Be Asia’s Fastest

Rajesh Magar started racing on a “Franken-bike” he built himself. Now he’s one of Asia’s top mountain bikers, poised to make a name on the world stage.
By Rachel Brown

Nepal is not exactly renowned for its mountain bikers. But in this corner of the Himalayas, the hardcore sport is on the rise—and 21-year-old Rajesh Magar is in the lead.

His phenomenal talent, infectious energy, and unexpected story have made him a National Geographic 2018 Adventurer of the Year.

“He’s not just a fast Nepali,” says Joey Schusler, a mountain biker and filmmaker who nominated Magar for the honor. “He’s truly a professional.”

“I’ve never, in my whole life of mountain biking, heard of or seen a story like this.”