This was planned to be the highlight of the season. Unfortunately I failed.
I had quite a few all-day cycling adventures planned in 2019. I was specially preparing for this one and it took me quite some time to plan the whole route and to calculate whether I would be able to succeed in one day ride. I also had quite a few physical workouts the month before and the whole preparations went great. Since I am this kind of person that learn most of the mistakes while performing certain activities, this was also the case here.
The first mistake was that I packed too many stuff,... again! and I could definitely save a kilogram or two with the right packing approach, given that I was planning to get to my destination in one day. Weight is very important, especially on these long rides with a lot of climbs.
The route I planned had a total of 260 kilometers and 4300 altitude meters. I spent some time route planning, so I knew it by heart.
I started early in the dark and had some luck avoiding rain. Everything was fine for the first 100 kilometers. At around 120km I had some steep but quick climbs to make and after those I felt a little pain in my right knee. I said to myself it's just this kind of a ''exitement pain'' that sometimes occur.
The route continues over two climbs through the woods. It was really interesting to ride as there was a minefield around me all the time. Signs of minefield caution everywhere. Crazy.
But my knee got worse and worse. I somehow managed to make it over the first climb, but the descent was not pleasant as well. I really didn't want to end on a mine so I made it slowly to Dabar village and another ascent awaited me. The knee really sucked and when I started to climb the last one, it was already hurting so much that I was actually screaming and kind of biting to the top and made it barely.
Welcome tears of anger.
The descent to Otocac followed, where I had planned a lunch with my wife before leaving for the real hills. Yes, the real hills just didn't started yet. After the lunch I felt that I had to give it a try, albeit with pain. I continued my ascent towards the wilderness of Velebit but unfortunately I did not succeed.
The pain was too hard and with each press of the right pedal, I gasped. It no longer made sense. Fortunately I told Ria to wait down in the town for about half an hour more, just to see how I would feel. She was with me right away and I had to pack my bike and continue the journey by car.
But this is not the end of this story.
I got home after this summer vacations and the first thing was to examine my knee problems. I searched for some informations and quickly found the possible reason. With the help of my hairdresser who is a very keen cyclist, I found the right answer at bike fitter.
I went to meet Niko, a bike fitting specialist who properly set me up on my bike and voila. After a few months, I slowly got back in shape and the pain was gone. Body fit on a bike is so very important, which is why I really recommend it to all cyclists. And I must admit that I didn't make any kind of focus about bike fit before that happened so yeah, like I said before, another lesson learned. I will definitely do this route again and finish it properly.
Thanks again to Body Geometry Fit tehnician Niko Korber.