MOUNTAIN BIKING IN CROATIA
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Sunset over the Adriatic from the mountain lodge at the end of day 2... all that climbing was indeed worth it... and surely the next day would all be downhill!
What did you think of your group leader?
Vlado is an olympic athlete through and through. Despite driving us hard for the first four days, hindsight made us realise that this was all for the right reasons. Very attentive, and hard to fault, but don't expect too much praise!
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
This is graded challenging due to the MASSIVE distances involved. The off road is all on double track (barring about half a mile!) and not technically tricky. But the distances and huge climbs (day 2 is about 2500m up!), especially in the mid-summer heat are tough. Fitness is definitely more of a pre-requisite than mountain biking prowess. The trip notes suggest that the route is 25% road, 75% off-road. Reverse this and you're probably about right. The off road is good when it's off road though.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Great trip. Great crowd. 4 very tough first days for the two of us who are used to a couple of hours of intense mountain biking in the UK as opposed to mountain bike touring which is really what this trip is all about. Two gripes then - first is explained above with regard to the lack of off road and rather a lot of on road distance (although we were always grateful for up on tarmac!). The other was that for two of the nights, the hotels were really uninspiring. Comfortable yes. But really, after a long day's ride ON HOLIDAY, the hotels need to be somewhere inspiring - whether that's in a cultural centre, panoramic location or so on. Day 2's mountain hut was absolutely spot on, as was Novum Castrum in Novigrad which is in a spectacular location on the coast for nights 4,5, and 6. Plitvice well worth a visit, and both the lake ride and trip through Pag unexpectedly lovely rides...