Last year, about the same time as today, I was going around Google searching for some enduro gatherings, rides,… here in central EU/Balkans and curiously enough I came over a Serbian enduro challenge. Unfortunately I have been to late for last years edition of it, so I have decided I will make a mark on the calender so that I don’t miss it next year.
New year has passed and a new site was created for the race. I marked the date 22.5-24.5.2015 and asked around a bit if anyone wants to join. I was lucky enough that a good friend decided to join the ride. As we live around 750km from the race site and we have decided to ride our bikes there, do a race and ride back, we needed more than just a weekend off from work. And that is when we have decided to start on Thursday, after work and return on Monday evening.
So the fact that we are leaving for a race got me a bit worried and I packed more stuff for the bike that I might actually need. I had a redundancy planed for almost every occasion and the gear showed that. From oil, to coolant, clutch fluid, spark plug, levers, patches, engine block sealant, JB weld,… It might have been a bit of a overkill but better safe than sorry.
The departure day has arrived… I left the work early as I had 3h of riding to do to our meeting point. All packed up and ready to go I left for my first destination, Bregana border crossing.
Half way to the border it started pouring from the sky. But I was on my LC4 heading towards a adventure. I arrived to Bregana a few minutes early, just enough to stretch a little and grab a sandwich.
From here on out, there was 2 KTM’s riding towards the same goal. Since we were a bit tight on time for the first day and it was raining we took the Croatian highway from Samobor to Slavonski brod, which took another 3h of riding. Riding a enduro bike, without any fairing and with knobbly tires in pouring rain on highway is not my idea of fun ride, but it was a necessary evil to get half way towards our final destination.
In Slavonski Brod we have crossed the border into Bosnia and started looking for a place to sleep and dry out as we didn’t have any reservations. At 8:30pm we arrived at a good looking Motel Dvor in Derventa. Luckly the staff was great and though full on their regular rooms, they found a spot for us. Once here a marathon drying has begun.
In the morning we saddled up for another rainy day of riding. We headed south towards Tuzla on on the main road. It was slippery as hell, from all the oil and stuff on it, you could spin the rear wheel in 4-gear. Also the traffic was suicidal. We made a quick break just outside Tuzla to check the map, as my GPS was acting up the whole time.
From here we started looking for some gravel roads over the hills to get out of traffic. We have found a nice, about 30km, long stretch of gravel, unfortunately no pics as it was raining hard. When we came back to the main road and checked the map, I saw that we were really close to Srebrenica. On my wish we made a detour to there, as I wanted to see the memorial site for the victims of genocide. We didn’t take any pictures there as they were having a ceremony, so we looked for a far and went to get some gas.
We were really close to the border and weather was getting better. As soon as we crossed the border the rain stopped. So we took one last look towards Bosnian hills from which we have just descended.
And took a quick look down the road where we had to go.
From the border to race site and our hotel was just a 20km ride in DRY conditions for the first time in 2 days. Arriving at the hotel, we checked in and went to our rooms. Well lets just say that the rooms weren’t much…
I wanted to dry my gear outside, lets just say that it was a bit of a challenge getting to the balcony.
So we changed into our civil clothes and went to the race officials to get registered. Let me just say that the organisers really had put a lot of effort into organising this event, it was really top notch.
Now it was time to get the bikes ready for the race day. Lowering tyre pressure, getting rid of all the unnecessary gear and most importantly adding a start numbers to the bike.
Now it was time to go for a beer and than to bed, because after 2 rainy days in the saddle on our LC4’s we were really tired.
Stay tuned for part 2, the race day.