MOUNTAIN BIKING IN CROATIA
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
The most inspirational moment was on the second day - we had to do a long steady climb after putting in considerable mileage earlier that day and the day before - the long steady climb seemed to take for ever, but it was probably only a couple of hours - with the mountain refuge as a goal, drinks having been lined up outside and superb views towards the nearby coast, islands of the Adriatic and the Italian coast way in the distance.
What did you think of your group leader?
Our group leader Vlado was great. He had competed in the Montreal Olympics and didn't seem to have turned his training down much since then....! He and the driver of the van really did everything they could to ensure the trip was a success, we all enjoyed it and we all had fun (which we did) and that everyone was okay in all respects. The hire bikes were much better quality than I'd expected but if anything needed adjusting Vlado was there to do it straightaway.
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
My advice is definitely to go on this trip, having done some training...! I had done no mountain biking to speak of before and was fine although there were some fairly hair raising long descents which were exhilarating - but not for the timid. That said, I have done a fair amount of road biking - say 3 times a week over the past 6 months and felt I just got by in terms of the amount of preparation I'd done. Anyone who is an experienced mountain biker and reasonably fit would be fine.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Croatia is a beautiful country. When I went (early June 2012) it was very lush and not burned up by the sun at all; there were lots of wild flowers; the rivers were crysal clear and the lakes were a lovely blue/green colour. There were waterfalls, karst limestone mountain ranges, coastal islands and the sea was as clean and clear as you can possibly imagine, and there were not many tourists at all. Mountain biking is a great way to see the country.