Finding It // Croatia // John Braynard

Yeah, I’m lucky. My girl is into bikes too.

I travel a lot to ride bikes, normally off for long bro-weekends and often without my girlfriend. But I’ll be honest, she is a damn saint about it. She never says a word or bats an eye when I tell her about an upcoming trip (I am a dick. I plan the trips first then tell the girlfriend later – y’all know that trick). This year has been a bit of a stretch with nearly as many weekends on the road as at home. We were long due for a long weekend together on the road riding bikes. Last year we started a tradition – during Easter holiday we would pack the car and drive where the weather was sunny and warm. Lake Garda on the other side of the Alps from our home in Salzburg was the destination in 2015. For 2016, we decided to try something a bit more off the radar with Istria, Croatia.


What? Croatia? It isn’t a cycling destination in Europe, but it has potential one day. Also Jiri Pirazek has been there a few times and his pictures always caught my eye.


We had three drastically different days of riding. She was just on the tail-end of the flu so we took it fairly easy with no epic long odysseys or silly high climbs. For three days we didn’t even look at our watches, we just rode and joked around all damn day long. The first day was nearly all off-road exploring some of the inlets on the southern most tip of the peninsula. The second day was a long draw across Istria to one of the steepest climbs in the area with an amazing view overlooking the Croatian Isles. The final day we took a ferry over to Cres, one of the biggest islands in Croatia. It was absolutely gorgeous and one of the most memorable rides of my life. The water, the air, the empty roads…it was perfect.

At the end of the weekend we ate our weight in seafood, drank a few bottles of wine, and rode some bikes. What more is there really?