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Biking In The Balkans Dreaming of The Things To Come

It’s Friday the 10th of April in the year 2020, it is also a Bank Holiday and the sun is shining. I suspect as its Easter many people had the best laid plans of mince and men but then Covid-19 entered our lives. There will be so many disappointed people who are on enforced lockdowns or happily self isolating to get better or to not get infected. We have to look at this as just an inconvenience because it will pass, life will go on.

on a red bike over looking a bay in the Balkan Mountains

We can spend this time planning what we will be doing when freedom return, when we are back to the new norma. I for one will be planning my next adventure somewhere new and challenging. Of course until that time I will be cycling with the wife and no one else. It is important that at this time we do observe the rules on social distancing and help the NHS and the country. At Shockbox we want to share this little adventure that Anna undertook before the lockdown. Hopefully this will start the inspiration to dream and desire your next adventurous ride. I always use Shokbox, the bike box for International air travel.

What do you do with your bike box once you reach the destination?

Biking In The Balkans

Shokbox are only sharing  a few snippets of Anna’s journal of the journey. If you want to find out what happened and look at the stunning photographs you will have to read the rest on Anna’s blog. The link is at the end of the article.

The Balkans have always been attractive to me and there is a place I have wanted to check off of my Bucket List: The Bay of Kotor. This Bay, also known simply as Boka, is the winding bay of the Adriatic Sea in southwestern Montenegro that includes towering peaks and a rocky coastline dotted with beautiful waterside towns.

Anna Barrero

night Time labour view n the balkans

When I write about adventures, I like to think that what I write is what I would like to read when looking for trip advice– a bit of adventure combined with practical advice and highlights of the visit. In fact, I just try to inspire others to travel by bike because I think that it’s one of the most rewarding things one can do. Life on a bike is very simple. It forces you to minimize and focus on the essentials, and it comes down to the necessities. I particularly get a sense of freedom and happiness from this. I carry my house with me, and I am flexible and independent. But what do you need to pack for the ultimate cycle travel pack.

So, dear reader, if I may give you one piece of advice: travel -ideally by bike- as much as possible because money will return, but time won’t. Take your bike in a hard bike box.

Ideas on how to get your own bike abroad.


Getting there in one piece

The afternoon before our first stage, we left Barcelona headed towards Podgorica with an intermediate stop in Milan. We were afraid our bikes would get lost, so I checked for them from the window just after landing in Milan and again in the Podgorica airport. While they arrived safely at our destination, I saw one of the boxes fall 2 meters from the baggage conveyor belt. OMG!

The day before leaving I had contacted the owner of the apartment to ask her to pick us up at the airport, and there she was with a mini car waiting for us expecting to fit both of us and bikes inside. Well, she had to make two trips. Oriol was the first one to go to the apartment, and I waited for her to return. After she picked me up, she told me that winters in Montenegro are cold. Here we were, ready to face the cold winter on our bikes.

The first night we had dinner in a restaurant that the owner of the apartment recommended to us. We let the waiter choose what we ate, and what a good decision it was, especially since we didn’t understand anything printed on the menu. They served us “teletina ispod Saca” — a delicious local favorite with tasty meat and potatoes.

Before going to sleep we assembled the bikes and let them charge to be ready to rock for tomorrow’s first stage. To our surprise, nothing was damaged from the bike box fall at the airport!

The link to the rest of the story is at the bottom of the post.

Shokbox Strong & Durable

Of course it came as no surprise to us that there was no damage to the bike itself. We designed the Shokbox for these exact situations, knowing that baggage handlers just want to get luggage on and off the airplanes as quick as possible, accidents are bound to happen. With a Lifetime warranty we believe that you cant buy a better bike box than Shokbox

Light and Strong

Hand built in the UK, Shokbox is unique in its appearance and stands alone in performance. With sweeping lines and contours, we were purposeful in the design process, avoiding flat surface areas our smart design gives strength and added protection without increasing the overall weight or compromising internal security and impact integrity. Are all bike boxes created equal ? No we don’t thing so !

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Read Ted Kings advice on Gravel racing or cycling to loose weight.