The Forest to the Sea

Riding Trials

The wind and heat that Woody worried about before we left have hit us hard in the last few days. The temperatures have crept into the mid 30s and there’s been a light but steady wind blowing from the south as we head southeast.

The wind’s the worst when you head directly into it. My legs really feel the added resistance and distances take much longer to traverse. Add the heat and rides become long and draining. We drink about 10 to 12 liters of water a day; most of it leaves our bodies through sweat.

Our way of coping has been to leave earlier and earlier in the morning, but, when it’s already 27 degrees at 6:30 with high humidity, that doesn’t even help too much. Ironically, the wind becomes our friend when we head eastwards more than south. Even though it still slows us some, the light breeze does wonders to cool us down by drying the sweat and letting our bodies natural cooling systems work.

Border crossings always boost our energy and morale. Two days we got into Croatia after a very long morning in the last part of Hungary and immediately felt new life. It may have had something to do with the cold water tap that was right next to the customs building. We let the water pour over our heads with extreme joy and laughed heartily. The border guards must have been second guessing letting us into their country. We absolutely jetted the last 60 km of that day and ended up in Osijek at about 7:00 to be let into our extremely wicked apartment with leather couched, flatscreen TVs and four very comfortable beds.

Crossing into Serbia yesterday gave us another bolt of glee but we had to eat fast as it was nearly three and we hadn’t ate yet (we were slowed because I got a flat). We ate cevapis (Balkan fast food), fries and pops which suited our hunger but not our riding. The last 40 km into Novi Sad were slow, on difficult roads with wind and traffic and boring. Novi Sad absolutely rocks though, as did eating in a beer garden on the Danube under the enormous fortress on a cliff (home of the famous Exit Music Festival) while the sun set below pink and blue skies and the quarter-moon rose high.

Ezra Anton

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