Bicycle Touring Pro reader Nihad Bubica and his friend Tvrtko Otanovic were mountain bikers, but had never conducted a long-distance bicycle tour before. After reading a copy of The Bicycle Traveler’s Blueprint: The Definitive Guide To Long-Distance Bicycle Touring, however, the two young men decided to hit the road on an 11-day, 1,132 kilometer bike ride along the coast of Croatia from the border of Montenegro to the city of Rimini, Italy. This is their story:
What was your biggest fear when planning for your trip by bike? And how exactly did you overcome that fear?
We are mountain bikers and mountaineers and are physically in good shape, so we had no fear about traveling by bike. We knew we would make it. That said, it was our first long-distance bike ride and we didn’t know exactly what kind of equipment we would need. That’s when we found your book and video online and it helped us a lot. Thank you by the way!
What was the thing you liked most about your bicycle touring experience?
We crossed 3 countries and we did 103 kilometers per day without a day of rest. We proved our mental and physical durability and can now start working on bigger long-distance projects.
The next bike tour we plan to tackle will be a big challenge. We want to ride from Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina to Tokyo, Japan. We will inform you of the details a bit later.
What one thing did you learn from your bicycle tour?
I learned a lot about myself. The bike tour was the first time in my life where I had no roof over my head for eleven days straight and I didn’t know where I would sleep the next night. Every day after more than 100 kilometers of riding we would be tired and had to set up our camp and cook dinner. It was not always easy during these moments, but they did make the experience more fun.
I should also mention that I was not alone on the bike. My friend Tvrtko Otanovic was my wing-man. Without him it would be a much bigger piece of work. After a hard day and the occasional mental breakdown it’s important to have someone who will push you back to level. I have known Tvrtko for a long time and we always do crazy stuff like this together. I think that it’s important to have someone you can talk with and share stuff with.
Finally, I learned how to move past my own personal boundaries and to handle stuff that is beyond my current level of endurance. I pushed my bar higher every single day!
What piece of advice would you give to someone else who is thinking of conducting their own bicycle tour?
To people who are thinking of conducting their own adventure I have to give just one advice: You need to have a good reason for doing what you are doing. Difficult times during a bike tour is guaranteed. In moments of hunger, tiredness and pain you need to know why you are doing it. If you know why you are doing it then you can handle anything! It’s all about the fight!
2 thoughts on “Cycle Touring Along The Croatian Coastline With Nihad Bubica And Tvrtko Otanovic”
Wow! For a first time out that is quite an accomplishment. Congratulations on not killing each other haha. It is interesting that you chose the areas around Croatia & Hersegovina as it is one area I would like to do the Bike & Cruise Holiday, Island Hopping. If you have pictures along your travel route please share them. Thank you, Glen
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