I was spending two months in Europe after finishing a study abroad program, and a group of friends had planned a bike tour in Croatia during the time I was there. Theirs was an organized tour with van transfers (Cycling Croatia), which didn’t really fit with what I was looking for on my trip, but I’d traveled with them before and knew we would have a good time together. So, I decided to see if I could do a solo bike tour, more or less following their itinerary. I would get more of a challenge, which is what I wanted, and I’d still get to see some of the country with my friends.
I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of flying with a bike, so I had found a place in Zagreb that would rent a bike for a one-way trip to Dubrovnik. Finding it took some work, as it’s run out of the back courtyard of the proprietor’s apartment building. We arrived there, worked our way into the building, and met one of the neighbors, who called the owner (Nedeljko) for us. Nedeljko turned out to be very helpful, and was willing to rent the bike for a one-way trip, with shipping back to be handled by the Croatian inter-city buses. I would ride to Dubrovnik, go to the bus station, pay the driver to take the bike back to Zagreb, and tell Nedeljko when the bus would be arriving. It sounded a little sketchy, but having no better option, I went for it, and outfitted it with the lightweight touring bags which constituted the entirety of my luggage.
After picking up the bike, we toured around Zagreb for a bit, and I started to plan out my itinerary. I’d be on the road a day before my friends, to be able to keep up with their van transfers.