June 02, 2012 GMT
Best Biking day

I am sitting in a small café, somewhere nea Senj, with the sea just a few feet away.The sun is shining bright and I have just ordered a beer. A bit of a perfect situation, you may say, but it is nothing, compared to the day Betty and I have had on the road.

View from the top of my beer bottle...

By 8.30, I was out of the campsite. Today would be a hard 500 km day, but the roads looked very inviting. I was hoping to travel up the Croatian coast road and stop somewhere near Senj. Betty soon dispatched lines of traffic and the road opened out nicely. I was hoping to loose traffic as it took the motorway north, but it appears the coast road is a popular tourists route.

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The fabulous Croatian costal road...

Never mind, you don't travel by motorcycle to sit in a traffic jam! We skirted round coaches, motorhomes and caravans till the road became empty. On one side the mill pond still, blue green Adriatic, on the other, the imposing face of the Croatian mountains.

It was good to push Betty a bit. She had either been flogged down motorways, rattled to bits on knackered roads or being abused like a scooter.

Don't forget, she is a single cylinder bike. The piston that is rattleing around in the engine is bigger than the pistons in my 2.4 litre Tranny van. You feel every firing of the spark plug and the stresses and strains wear away chain and sprocket at a very quick rate.

So why? Well, the cornering grip of a single is phenomenon, you wind the throttle on so early, and the bike is so planted. Also if you are off road grip is much better. But, the noise... When on song, it is like Pavaroti has just bumped into Freddie Mercury!

Me on Cro road.jpg
Betty and I take a Kodak moment...

Lunch time was fast approaching and we were still 40 clicks from Split. Plan 2 came into action and I left the coast road, joining the toll motorway and put miles behind me at 130kph.

Plan 3 had spotted a mountain pass later on that joined the motorway to the coast road, so I stayed on the motorway for a whisle longer. I was feering how much this would cost. When I came off the motorway it came to an earth shattering 6 Euros!

So through a few small towns, I could see the mountains getting closer. Then up, up, through wooded valleys, but then, it was down, down. Surely I had not got to the 928 metres the pass was posted as being. Around a corner and the height was confirmed. In front of me lay the entire North Adriatic, pockmarked with islands, the sea still as a gargoyle. Below lay a road of hairpins that, i'm sure would bring a smile to someone's face.

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Wonderful views from the mountains above the coast...

So more and more fantastic coast road and more photo opertunities, till after over 500kms, I needed to stop.

And now I have to go. The sun sets and I really need to see this!

tea on cro road.jpg
One lump or two?...

Posted by David Bailey at June 02, 2012 05:26 PM GMT

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