Day 144 - Biograd na Moru
4 May 2022
Up early. Oats for breakfast and we are away. 55 km today and no real hills. We are on the EV8 for most of the journey. Biograd na Moru is a coastal village about halfway to Zadar. A good stopover. I am confused as to why today's ride is scheduled for 4h 45m and yesterday was longer, had more elevation, but was scheduled for 3h 50m.
“The mere attempt to examine my own confusion would consume volumes.” - James Agee
Straight up a hill before we roll onto the EV8. Only a few kilometers on busy roads today. The EV8 takes us on backroads for the most part. We are soon on gravel. As the day wears on, I realise why the time is so high. Gravel is slow going. You need to concerntrate. It is easy for the gravel to wash a tyre out. A fall for me or a stack for Shell.
It is fun riding. No cars. Olive groves and some ruins. We drop on and off the water. Another cloudless day so we have more of the aqua sea. We stop and rest at a few places. Neither of us is energetic today but the riding is fun.
There are poppies everywhere on the roadside. Bright red. I think about Jim Hogshire, author of Opium for the Masses. We can buy cigarettes, and alcohol and the world is hooked on oxycontin. These drugs kill millions, but they are ok. If I pick the dried flower head of a plant growing on the side of the road and steep in hot water, it is an offence.
Shell has gone brown in the sun. I ride behind her. Her shoulders are the colour of chocolate milk. She stops suddenly, in her best Russell Coight accent she tells me -
“What I have here is a skill, Grant. You might be great on the roads, with your strong legs, you might be fast, but it's not skill. Without me, and my gravel skills, you would be back there somewhere, lost, with no idea. Knowing which lines to take. You have no idea. This is a skill, Grant. It takes years to learn this. Watch and learn”
“I don't know where my road is going, but I know that I walk better when I hold your hand.” ― Alfred de Musset
The gravel gets a little tedious after a while. We get stretches of tar only to be back on gravel soon after. The last part of the ride is hilly and we are both relieved to arrive in Biograd na Moru.
We are a little early to check in so we head to the water to find some food. This is a tourist village. It is not tourist season and most places are shut. We find a place with an incredible view and average food. We will be having dinner tonight.
“Eating's not a bad way to get to know a place.” ― Michael Pollan
Our place is great. Old and a little dated but quiet with a nice breeze and a ceiling fan. Shell describes the hot water as tepid.
We take it easy for a few hours. My legs are sore and I am exhausted. I am also hungry and I am missing wine. We have a much needed break in Zadar after tomorrows ride. I think I will have wine. Rain is forecast for Friday.
One of the best opening lines ever -
“We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.” - Hunter S. Thompson
We head out for dinner. Something inexpensive. It is a warm evening and the beer comes in pints and looks ice cold. I would love a beer. I don’t have one. Another beautiful village on the same beautiful coast.
Home. Read. Relax.
Today's ride -