The Importance of Reconnaissance
Experience has taught me to never assume that perfection can’t be improved on, or that situations may change — hence the final recon trip. The most important ride of all.
In August, I completed the final recon of our Epic Trans-Croatia VIP trip, an experience which completely underlines the importance of reconnaissance. When I planned and rode the trip just two years ago, every kilometre was perfection. However, experience has taught me to never assume that perfection can’t be improved on, or that situations may change — hence one final recon trip.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Croatia is a country that allows us to plan incredible rides along the most picturesque coastline, but our first roadblock came from a geographical quirk. Part of the coastline is interrupted by Bosnia, something the Croatians are solving with a new bridge and highway. This new highway just happens to follow the exact road we had planned to ride! From roads being increased in size to roads that disappear — another section of the route simply disappears into unpaved gravel. These two extremes show exactly the need for re-riding the route and altering!
FIRE AND WATER
The incredible weather in Croatia is one of the charms of the country, but the extreme heat this summer has been consistently off the charts. One drawback of that is forest fires, which we witnessed above Makarska — we saw emergency aeroplanes dropping water to quell the flames high on the mountain.
Water became more of a hinderance than a help to us when we attempted a ferry crossing, however. It seems that Croatian ferries are not the most efficient, with long queues and a lottery like embarkation policy! We have found an alternative and much more reliable crossing, I am pleased to say! We wouldn’t want to miss out on the island hopping that makes Croatia such a special visit.
WORTH MY EFFORTS
The Epic Trans-Croatia trip is a special experience and ultimately well worth my efforts - riding through construction sites, forest fires, sitting in traffic jams and seeing roads unexpectedly end. I do these things just to make sure that we can offer you the best possible riding experience. You simply can’t plan a route on the internet, or from anecdotal advice. You have to climb on the bike and ride the roads. Refining and tuning until the routes are perfect. I am very pleased to say we have done that and I am very excited about introducing you to the roads of Croatia. Below is a summary of my personal highlights.
On Day 3 we hop aboard a (reliable!) ferry to Korčula and ride around one of the most beautiful of Croatia’s 1244 islands. You’ll experience challenging climbs through deep gorges and end the ride with a cold beer by the beach.
SLAYING THE BEAST
On Day 5 we the climb to the infamous Sveti Jure in the Biokovo Natural Park, from sea level all the way to 1762m. This is definitely in my top 10 favourite all-time climbs. We’ll also stop at the breathtaking Skywalk on the way down — not to be missed!
On Day 6 we take the ferry to Brač and ride around the island, or rather up and down the island! This route offers not only some of the most challenging climbs but also the most rewarding views. A truly epic journey across another of Croatia’s spectacular islands.
I invite you to join me when we depart for these special trips to Croatia. I challenge you not to be tempted! If nothing else, don’t let my recon efforts go in vain!!
EPIC Trans Croatia
Our trip combines the natural beauty of the Dalmatian Coast and our rides include several of the most picturesque sections of coastline. We ride two of the most beautiful islands in Croatia: Brač and Korčula. And of course, being Thomson, we couldn’t come to Croatia and not ride one of the toughest climbs in Europe, the 29km / 2000m (18 miles / 6,600ft) climb to Sveti Jure — an absolute epic climb both in terms of difficulty and incredible vistas.