Off-road Touring, Beautiful Balkans

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Gliga, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. windmills

    windmills Gnearly Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Hey Gliga,
    this is a gem of an RR!

    Your part of the world is all new to me, and being able to experience it through your report it pure pleasure.
    The scenery is simply stunning, your words (in not your native tongue) do a great job of describing how the ride felt.
    But best of all, the photography! Just beautiful! :clap
    Thank you very much for sharing it. I look forward to your next adventures.
  2. Gliga

    Gliga Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    118
    Location:
    Serbia
    It's time to wrap this ride up, time to ride home.

    As usual, I'm leaving it to the Sun and heat to get me out of the tent. But it takes to long today... As soon as I got head out of the tent it's clear why... Actually it's not clear at all. Completely overcast sky with low clouds. And it's cold. Well, colder considering the fact that last few days temperature was above 30 degrees (85 F).

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    I'm taking my time with morning routine. Walk to the spring, gathering driftwood for fire, making tea...

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    Feet over the edge, dam at lake Zaovinsko


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    One very happy guy


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    This is color photo. Sediments from water cover everything taking away all the colors


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    Victim from day one :)


    Time lapse video, breaking the camp down (are these videos showing??? I can't see them...)

    <object width="640" height="480"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ukT3FhZj_y0?hl=en_US&amp;version=3"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ukT3FhZj_y0?hl=en_US&amp;version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640" height="480" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>


    First up is a ride around lake Zaovinsko. I had great expectations from that ride. And again, when you have high hopes or expectations it's easy to be disappointed... Firstly, from the road going around the lake I expected more views of the lake its self.

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    Secondly, the road is not in great shape. Almost every corner is full of gravel so I had to be very careful.

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    And thirdly, how the fuck can I enjoy the ride when I go down after five minutes of riding? :muutt One of the side roads leading down to the lake. Front wheel got into the "rut" in slow corner. No damage done. Surprisingly how easy it is to pick the bike up in the morning, when you're not tired :D

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    Photo shoot at the dam separating lake Zaovinsko and another lake containing drinking water.

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    Blackberries, I'm to early :)


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    ACCESS DENIED, only measure guarding drinking water reservoir

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    After very enjoyable ride trough pine forest it's time to get off the mountain. I had great expectations from this road and this time I got what I hoped for. Picture this in your head: You're riding trough a forest. Road is nice and twisty. And then, just when you exit one of many corners you get The View. Drina river valley, almost straight below. 800 meters to the valley floor. Road is almost carved in the rock-face...

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    It's a sin to ride fast on roads like this and miss the views :)

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    Break at the source of shortest river in Serbia, 365 m long Vrelo river.

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    Earlier this year I rode shortest route from there to my hometown. Doing the same, not very spectacular, paved road two times in a year doesn't sound to appealing and besides, where's the fun in using the shortest route possible. Short glance at the map and plan is formed: I'm off to Uzice town. I have a friend living there and it would be nice opportunity to see each other.

    Road between Bajina Basta and Uzice is very fun to ride. Pavement is not in best condition but road has extreme shortage of straights and that's always a good thing. Getting into a nice rhythm, attacking every corner... You know, general enjoyment of riding a bike :)

    Another break at Kadinjaca hill, scene of large battle in WW2.

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    Between Uzice and Pozega town is absolutely worst section ever! That is part of the main road connecting Belgrade (Serbian capital city) with Adriatic coast in Montenegro. And it's holiday season. Heavy traffic with nervous drivers, speed well below legal limit... Very annoying.

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    This is from Uzice, WW2 tank.

    Luckily for me, in Pozega I'm leaving main road and very quickly there are almost no other vehicles around. There is a railroad museum in Pozega. I don't know if it's open for visitors but there is a large gap in the fence, not to far from main entrance :) Cool old trains...

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    I'm really enjoying last proper twisties as I approach Valjevo town. One last proper hill before I head toward plains... Road between Valjevo and Sabac is also special one. Gentle rolling hills, fast open corners, three lanes on most uphills and race-track pavement. Few years back I rode there on a bicycle with only one thought on my mind: I wish I'm on a bike right now! Now when I'm riding it on a bike I also have one thought: I wish I'm on a 600 sport bike :D Loaded 500 cc dualsport bike is simply to slow for this kind of roads...

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    And now just add some fast, open corners... :evil


    After Sabac it's back to boring straight roads across the plains. This is cruising territory. One last opportunity to warm up the tires is at Fruska Gora mountain, just before arriving back to Novi Sad. No photos there...

    Few kilometers before I get home first drops of rain start falling but I arrive home dry. Tonight there are no problems looking for a campsite 'thou it may be difficult to drive tent pegs into hardwood floor...



    And that's it. End of my first proper multiday bike trip. Few things were clear right then, most importantly: I WANT MORE!!! :ricky Few random thoughts, conclusions and impresions I'll write about in next post.

    And then we're off to part two. This thread is far from being over :evil
  3. Rango

    Rango Phaneropter

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    :clap
    Be assured, the video plays just fine.
    Always fun to watch stop time: logic in chaos.

    Very interesting railway museum: really old's cool. No tags, guides or fancy thrills that only diminish the experience. Nice discovery.

    As we are still entertained, bring it on. :freaky
  4. wimj

    wimj Wannabee adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
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    Location:
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    I really enjoyed the RR and the great photos, thanks! Never knew that area was so beautiful.

    One other thing that struck me: your exhaust is sooo shiny in every picture! Do you make a habit of cleaning it at every photo stop? :lol3

    Thanks again!
  5. EtronX

    EtronX Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    215
    Location:
    Norway
    I was lucky that day. I was riding to hard, and then I got a correction ;-)

    If I am ever in your neighbourhood I'll fire of a message. Same goes the other way if you ever come north to Norway :-)




    Don't look back, you are not going in that direction :-)
  6. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Gliga,
    Your photography is outstanding and your writing style is a joy to read. You really know how to bring the reader along for the entire experience. I am glad there will be a part 2. I can't wait to see more of your beautiful part of the World.
  7. Oroku

    Oroku Adventurer

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    Sombor, Serbia
    Well done! Nice roads, I passed most of them, but it's nice to remember of good times. :D

    Uzivao sam u putopisu, odlicne fotografije, dao si mi ideju za neke puteve koje nisam prosao, pa ce biti uvresteni u neku od ovogodisnji voznji. Pozdrav!
  8. luloadventure

    luloadventure - LULO -

    Joined:
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    Location:
    South of England
    .
    Great TRIP & Photos :bow

    ... thanks for sharing mate :beer
  9. 38thfoot

    38thfoot Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    great ride report, given me some food for thought. The last time I was in the Balkans I didn't get a chance to explore by bike but I can remember some great scenery and roads from my travels.

    cheers

    38
  10. daGeri

    daGeri Adventurer

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    Gliga thanks for sharing!!! Can’t wait for more! :clap

    I really anyoid your report! Looks like a perfekt ride and I want to go there too this year.

    Just waiting for the fu.. snow :puke1 to melt.
  11. Gliga

    Gliga Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Serbia
    It's time to start with next trip :)

    Because original trip was shortened due to bad weather forecast I had urge to complete it. In a month and a half which I spent home there was plenty of time to alternate original route. I ended with 11 planned riding days instead of original 5-6. Route was much more interesting and better thought of than originally. When I was planning first trip this part was done after everything else and by that time I lost enthusiasm for endless hours staring at Google Earth images...

    Some lessons learned from first trip, mostly about shorter daily distances and more flexibility with routes.

    In the end it turned into great ten day trip, just under 2000 km long with even more stupid tip-overs and, most importantly, with more great people met along the way.

    Just a "few" teaser pics for now, to get your attention. You guys are killing my photobucket bandwidth, thank you for that :clap Honestly, I never expected this thread to get popular as it did. It's slow and annoying process of selecting and uploading pictures for second time.

    Day one
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    Day two
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    Day three
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    Day four
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    Day five
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    Day six
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    Days seven (rest day) and day eight
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    Day nine
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    Day ten
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  12. Blackbert

    Blackbert Factory Rambler

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    Ok, that's all we need to convince us to come and ride. Bring on the tracks. :D

    No wait, there must be a few interesting stories to go with these pictures, and we would like to hear them. :ear
  13. Rango

    Rango Phaneropter

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    :clap
    Boy oh boy, you do spoil us!

    :*sip*
    All right, we're ready. Bring it on.
  14. daGeri

    daGeri Adventurer

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    Yes! :clap Waited so long for the update! :freaky

    What's the weather there currently? In Austria we had a very long Winter. Much longer than usual. Beginning of Mai there are a few days I would like to spend on the bike offroad touring. Do you expect much snow there at that time or will it be possible to drive your route?! :ear
  15. Twinmike

    Twinmike Grandpa

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    great that it goes on
    yeah, also interesting for me, i start my ride to the Balkan at 12 May
  16. MeinMotorrad

    MeinMotorrad Long timer

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    Just put 'em all on - they all look good to me.:clap
  17. Gliga

    Gliga Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Serbia
    Last few weeks weather was just plain stupid. Cold, rainy (snow in the mountains). After mild winter this came as a surprise... This is a webcam from Jahorina ski resort in Bosnia. As you can see everything is under snow. And my route goes even higher than this.

    http://www.jahorina.org/files/web-cam.php


    Even with normal springs, warmer than this, snow drifts can easily last through the May at higher altitudes simply because these mountain roads are not maintained or cleared.

    It all depends on weather in next few weeks... As it is now it would be gamble to ride this route in early May, just three weeks away.
  18. LethPhaos

    LethPhaos Been here awhile

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    Belgistan
    as long as weather's nice this june-july it's fine by me :D
  19. blacktiger

    blacktiger Tigers R great.

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    All your original photos have disappeared.
  20. Gliga

    Gliga Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Serbia
    I know, sorry about that. They will be back online in 2-3 days.


    In other news, today on a ride branch almost poked my eye out :eek1

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    No more open visor and trail trough overgrown bush for me. Disturbing few seconds until I was able to stop and actually reopen my eye.
    I was extremely lucky thou, half a centimeter to the left and it would be bye bye to the contact lens and possibly retina as well.

    This was a small sacrifice for an awesome ride that followed. :evil
    80-90 km of sand, luckily it is still damp and mostly hard-packed from all the rains. This was first time that I actually enjoyed riding sand. Finally got the confidence to go fast and let the bike dance underneath me :ricky :ricky

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    There was one 5 km long section that was plowed over... Very tiring and demanding.

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    We'll be back to original RR in next few days. I just don't have enough time to write and repost photos.