With their unique climate, terrain and comparatively close distance from
Poland the Balkans seem pretty close to being an ideal location for
those in the mountain biking crowd looking for the perfect trail. Adding
the intriguing cultural mix, wild mountain ranges and the “terra
incognita” aspect to the equation just made us more eager to pack the
car and go there – Pathfinder crew simply had to roam south and see
this. Our next destination are Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Absolutely stunning scenery!

The Balkan states, especially Bosnia and Herzegovina and their capital
of Sarajevo still bring back the painful memories of war that happened
there back in the 1990’s. Even today you can still see the wounds it
inflicted on the city and the country. Ruined houses and bullet holes
are still easily found. In the countryside there is still plenty of
landmine warning signs. This is no reason however to cross off this
beautiful place from your mountain biking “must go to” list.

There’s still snow way up here!

Our first target was the Ploćno summit and its surroundings. It is a
huge mountain in fact that has its peak reaching up to 2228 meters above
sea level. The eastern slopes are easy enough for a road to be built on
– a road that can be easily taken by any mid-level off road vehicle, as
well as an enduro mountain bike.

_DSC9325 - Kopia

We decided to use the hairpin turns of the road were only to go uphill and to find our way down on the other side of the mountain – we were expecting to get a decent share of
downhill excitement there. That proved to be a great idea, the trail we
found started with a few hundred meters of a picturesquely exposed ridge
just to turn into a crazy steep slope covered only with tiny stones.

Photos never look as steep as real life… and this looks pretty steep

Luckily the trail itself descended the colluvium with traversing turns,
making it possible for us to ride it. Even though there was not much
flow in the riding we were overwhelmed with pride of riding what seemed
to be unrideable looking from the foothill of the mountain.


A couple of following days were spent exploring the trails in the

lower sections of the mountains – we found a lot of flowy fast riding
there. As it usually happens we could not leave the place unscathed, the
mountains had to show who’s the boss here. Thunderstorms and heavy
downpours forced us to flee south. As we were less than a hundred
kilometers from Croatian coastline, we packed our stuff into the car and
drove southbound.

_DSC9146_DSC9197 _DSC9228

After two hours’ drive we found ourselves in a
different climate. The sights were stunning – a coast where the sea
meets the mountains. This wonderful spot and it’s great trails
encouraged us to plan another trip – a trip to Croatia that will take
place this winter!

_DSC9293 - Kopia
Where the sea meets the mountains but hopefully not the rider!
_DSC9239 _DSC9281

Words & Photos: Mariusz Bryja

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