Map1Map2Map3

Riding on the motorway – why didn’t I try it sooner?!

28 April 2009

Along most of my path through Serbia, I’ve been travelling between the major towns: Subotica – Novi Sad – Belgrade – Nis. That means that, while there’s been a lovely motorway the whole way, I’ve been stuck on the now neglected old road. I didn’t intend to change that. But my navigation skills are sometimes lacking.

It was a real struggle getting up this morning. Despite having only covered about 115 miles in the previous two days, I was shattered. Following my alarm going off at six o’clock, I pressed snooze. And again. And again. And again… I got up at 8.15!

Serbia is not a flat country

The first couple of hours were painfully slow, partly down to the never-ending climb and partly due to the ever-present (but seemingly reduced) headwind. My average speed for the first hour was less than 6mph. But I only had 40 miles to Nis, where there was an option to stop for the night, so I wasn’t overly concerned.

After about 20 miles (and several hours), I found myself face to face with a toll-booth. I stopped and had a look for a while, and couldn’t quite work out whether it was taking me onto the motorway or not. It didn’t look like it, and I hadn’t seen any signs suggesting that it would, but I couldn’t think of any other reason for there being a barrier there. After a couple of minutes of thinking over my options, the man in the booth came out and beckoned me over to the side.

“Nis?”, he asked. I nodded. He beckoned me through the gap in the barrier and directed me along the road. Well, if the man says so, who am I to disagree? And there I was, cycling onto the motorway.

And it was brilliant!

It could have been partially down to the adrenaline of doing something that I clearly knew was illegal and, arguably, slightly foolish, but my speed immediately increased from under 10mph to a fairly respectable 13mph. That may not seem like a lot, but it felt like it. It turned out to be an absolute pleasure riding along the motorway, as the road surface was great, it cut through the hills rather than going up and down them, and I had a whole lane (the hard shoulder) to myself. Why hadn’t I done this sooner?

Before I knew it, I had covered the remaining 20 miles to Nis and arrived at the next toll. This time, a man came out immediately and pointed over to the far side. I wasn’t quite sure what he was expecting me to do, but nevertheless I cycled over there and looked for a way to continue my journey. Then, a whistle; the police!

I was politely informed that what I was doing was illegal, and that I could face a €3,000 fine. In response, I did my best impression of a poor innocent fool (something that comes naturally) and apologised profusely. When I asked which way to go from here, he rolled his eyes and pointed back to the motorway, allowing me to continue my journey into Nis! One of the things the policeman claimed during our conversation was that riding on the motorway was very dangerous. Had he ever tried riding on the other roads?!

Nis concentration camp

On your typical Serbian road, you have to weave in and out of the potholes along a road that’s barely wide enough for a car and a lorry. When you have two lorries passing each other at the same time as overtaking you, evasive action is required. The rest of the time, you merely have to cope with the turbulence as trucks thunder by at 60mph, doing everything you can to avoid either being blown off the road or sucked into the traffic.

However, on the motorway, the roads are smooth, the traffic is no heavier than elsewhere, it’s all going one way and, thanks to the hard shoulder, you have a good 12-feet between yourself and everyone else. It’s by far the safest place to ride!

Entering Nis, I was welcomed by Gile, who had emailed me a few days before. He took me on a little sightseeing tour, visiting the very small concentration camp and travelling around the fortress (which every Serbian city appears to have). By the time we’d reached the centre, it was about three o’clock and I had a decision to make. Stay in Nis, or get a bit closer to the Bulgarian border?

Solitary confinement at Nis concentration camp

Having lost my momentum in the very interesting concentration camp, I decided that it was time to stop for the day, thereby giving my body and, more importantly, my mind a bit of a break. Tomorrow, I have another decision to make. Apparently, the road out of Nis towards Sofia is very dangerous. No longer will I have the safety of a motorway to protect me. It is a simple Serbian road, winding over hills and through tunnels, carrying with it all the traffic that wants to head east towards Bulgaria and beyond. And there’s a lot of it.

Cycling along the motorway was the best decision I’ve made so far. Cycling out of Nis could be turn out to be the last one I make. There’s always a bloody decision to make!

A bullet-ridden wall at the concentration camp

This entry was posted on Tuesday, 28 April 2009 at 5:57 pm.

«

»

HeaderB

search

don't miss out!

There are loads of ways for you to keep up-to-date with my preparations and progress.

Facebook logo

Twitter logo

SPONSORS

McMurdo logo
Swift Technology logo
Register1 logo
DogCam
Mazars
Cotswold Outdoor
  • a little bit longer download cd
  • adobe x pro download trial
  • chica ye ye mp3 download free
  • afscheid vol 2 download
  • airport tycoon 3 ogg.dll download
  • canoscan lide download software
  • beastie boys the update download
  • asas do desejo download avi
  • atkins fisico quimica download portugues axels
  • billie jean download mp3
  • aplikacije za x8 download
  • autoroute 2010 download kostenlos
  • brenda outra metade cd download
  • adini kalbime yaz remix download
  • chattakkari new songs download
  • anisoara puica ce n as da download
  • advanced system optimiser 3 download
  • clannad ost download disc 1
  • cd rebelution 2012 download
  • chicken invader 2 download free full
  • a4tech pk 335 camera driver download free
  • acer travelmate 4100 bios download
  • amnesia download kostenlos vollversion
  • abre los cielos free download
  • android gingerbread keyboard apk download
  • bleach ost treachery free download
  • a cabana willian p young download free
  • armin van buuren 549 download
  • bot do sfgame download pl
  • chasing the sun download ulub
  • arcor wlan stick wn4501h lf ir treiber download
  • a dog's journey crystal download
  • andreea balan o straina download free
  • battleon points generator download
  • because im weary mp3 download
  • anders holte lemurian home coming download
  • baghtoy rikshawala original download
  • cheerleading mixes to download
  • bradberry orchestra mutation mp3 download
  • am2n1k m plus drivers download
  • artemesia bits pieces mp3 download
  • anatomie des menschen 3d download
  • candan ercetin unutursun mp3 download
  • batman darkest knight download
  • 20th century harmony download
  • atras da linha vermelha download rmvb
  • cam hack 3.0 download
  • civil engineering formulas download
  • bart pe builder download deutsch
  • bank soal snmptn download
  • bhavana hot video songs download
  • 3com 3c905c tx drivers download
  • 3ball mty intAntalo me prende download
  • blown away marc robillard download
  • clarion databases & sql download
  • che bella giornata download mega
  • britney spears s m mp3 download
  • cand trandafiri mor download fisierulmeu
  • bengali pujor gaan download
  • black swan download online free
  • cinema 4d r13 studio download mac
  • boni telugu movie download free
  • brand x music revolution download
  • adaptive signal processing book download
  • ballet songs for kids download
  • asas do desejo 1987 download
  • bhagavad gita ebook ormand download
  • astral projection music download
  • bonamana 4th album download
  • abc amber wmv converter download
  • bhavishya purana hindi download
  • birendra krishna vadra mahalaya download
  • blackbook of revenge download
  • brut google maps free download
  • cheat engine v.7.1 free download
  • club penguin money maker to download
  • benny benassi spaceship extended download
  • autocar india colloids download
  • cd ludmila ferber para download
  • banco de dados download free
  • cisco linksys re1000 software download
  • businessplan muster gratis download
  • canon pixma mp280 treiber download chip
  • akasha gange songs download
  • authentec fingerprint windows 7 download
  • battle bugs game download
  • aku tak biasa syahrini download
  • alberto iglesias music free download
  • besplatne igrice za nokiu download
  • bleach movie 4 no download
  • bedava gta kurtlar vadisi download
  • bachpan movie songs free download
  • cassia eller discografia download blogspot
  • basara 3 download joker
  • asus p7h55 m motherboard driver download
  • career development ppt download free
  • caAa as bruxas download on line
  • chandan das ghazals free download tamanna
  • clement marfo frontline champion download mp3
  • besplatan download domace i strane muzike
  • bodyguard songs free download southmp3.net
  • aventura llorar download mp3
  • canon mf3200 driver download for windows 7
  • canon pixma mg5150 driver download
  • aqw speed hack download
  • charity starts at home download zip
  • bulas de medicamentos para download
  • 3d&t manual de equipamentos download
  • bronco repair manual download
  • canon xti manual download
  • black ops dll files download
  • canon mp810 driver download
  • bratz rock angelz free download mp3
  • besplatan download call of duty
  • carter 4 tracklist deluxe download
  • blondie at the bbc download