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Sat Nov 11 2017: The End of an Era

We wait around Pula hoping for someone to buy my motorcycle. Maybe I should massage the ad a little bit?


This is what all motorcycle ads look like: Low-mileage R1200GS. Like new! Never dropped. Non-Smoker. Lady-driven. Needs nothing to certify

Finally, we are contacted by a very motivated buyer. He lives in Zagreb and says he will take it if his mechanic certifies that the bike is mechanically sound. We contact his mechanic, and discover to our surprise that he's the same guy we deal with all the time at the BMW dealership in town. Ohaiyu! So I just need to get the bike over there.

I figure there is little to lose relocating to Zagreb, since the market for motorcycles is larger in the big city. And if this buyer balks it'll still sell better there than here in tiny, tourist-town-Pula, where we've had no interest in over a week.

We pull up stakes and prepare ourselves for the move. Neda decides to keep her bike in Pula. It's still got some legs left, so we'll probably repatriate it back to Canada when our travels are over. We've got quite a bit of luggage to take with us so she hops on a bus to Zagreb.


Meanwhile, it's raining and it's 10°C outside. I prepare for a very cold and wet ride.

I should have known that my last ride on the R1200GS would be in the rain. Of course it would be. Of course...


At least the rain stops half-way to Zagreb. This is Neda's view from her warm and comfortable bus seat

By contrast, I have to combat high winds as the highway to the city goes up and over the northern mountain range of the Dinaric Alps. As the road climbs to higher elevations, I watch the external temperature gauge perform the slow, single digit countdown to 0°C. I don't have my cold weather gear on, since it was stolen. Just a sweater and my rainjacket.

OMG, I'm so cold from the windchill at highway speeds, and my bike veers from side-to-side as icy gusts of air threaten to blow me off the road. There might not even be a bike to sell before I get to Zagreb...

Knees gripping the sides of my old R1200GS, I tuck down low behind the windscreen, chest to the tank and it feels like I am hugging the bike goodbye on the entire ride. Aww.... I could have done with more enjoyable conditions for a farewell jaunt though.


Safe and sound! I get to the AirBnB in Zagreb first and Neda arrives later, towing two huge suitcases behind her. At least she was warm and dry...

Up here in the mountains, Zagreb is freezing cold. Especially compared to the warmer Istrian coast where we came from. At night, we have to pile on the blankets a few inches thick to stay warm. As soon as the bike is sold, we are outta here, heading to much warmer climates! :)


This is the market around the corner from where we are staying. Neda prefers shopping here than a grocery store

So there's bad news and good news...

I took the motorcycle into the BMW dealership, so the mechanic there could inspect it. But he called me the next day and told us the buyer had backed out because he found a problem with the bike. Guess why?

The rear wheel was wobbling laterally. Problem with the final drive.

Are you freakin' serious? Again!?!? Didn't I just get that fixed? I quickly check my records. Yes. I got the FD replaced 8000 kms ago. At this same friggin dealership!!! I was furious! Mainly because the bike had been sitting for a year and the warranty on the parts had already run out. I could feel my blood starting to boil and I was about to scream and yell over the phone, but then the mechanic asked me how much I was selling the bike for. When I told him the price, he immediately said he'd buy it himself. No haggling.

Oh.

Instant de-escalation.

Maybe I set the price too low? Or perhaps he felt bad that the FD he replaced had failed so quickly?

No, I think I set the price too low.

He was the perfect person to sell the bike to. He said he was going to use it as a donor bike for any R1200GS that came in and needed cheap, used parts. Even after a quarter-million kms, the engine and the electricals were still good.

Just that my fourth final drive on this trip had failed. SMH...


Not sad to see this bike go. I take my Ontario plates and high-tail it out of the dealership before the mechanic changes his mind

I walk out of the dealership and for the first time in thirteen years, I don't own a motorcycle. It's a weird feeling. I feel very much like a civilian. So very ordinary.

Every once in a while, Neda will drop a: "Do you even ride, bro?"

Nice.


There's a restaurant just around the corner from the dealership.
We celebrate (?) my motorcycle sale with meat

While Pula is known for its sea-food, Zagreb is well-known for their meat. We are taking advantage of these facts and my waistline is expanding at an alarming rate while in Croatia...


Neda does all her shopping at the outdoor markets

We head into the old historical centre to go searching for more food

More Zagreb meat-fest...

On this evening, candles are lit all over town in memoriam of the Fall of Vukovar

As Yugoslavia started breaking up in 1991, the Battle of Vukovar in eastern Croatia was particularly bloody, with Croatian civilians being executed in the streets by Serbian soldiers after the Fall of Vukovar. Every November, the entire nation remembers the people who died in Vukovar by lighting candles across the country.


One evening, our motorcycle friends in Zagreb, Danko and Nives, take us out for dinner

No, we didn't eat snow... They drove us out to a restaurant high up in the Medvednica mountains north of Zagreb. From outside the restaurant, we could see the city lights gleaming below us. This area is a popular hiking trail, and the restaurant is a spot where a lot of hikers stop to fuel up. Lots of good hearty food inside.


Danko invited his brother and another motorcycle buddy so we could tell them about our trip. You know what we did eat? A lot of meat!

I love it that in so many places that we travel to, we can meet up with like-minded bike people and it's because they've contacted us through the blog. We're primarily recording our trip for our old age, for that time when we're no longer able to swing a leg over a motorcycle. But the fact that so many other people are reading this as well and reaching out to us in real life is just amazing. Hvala, Danko i Nives and everyone who has ever fed us and given us a place for our bikes and us to sleep!


Want a career in International Motorcycle Travel? Then you have to attend a Jab Fair.

We're back to the business of planning for the next leg of our motorcycle trip. Where we're going, we need a whole different set of shots!

I have a secret. I'm not afraid of needles, but I hate looking at them being inserted under my skin. Makes me feel faint. I give blood and get shots all the time. But if I see that needle go in my arm, then that's it - I'm tits up unconscious on the floor.

I just don't see the Point...


One more sleep before RideDOT.com RTW continues! So exciting! I can't sleep so I take pictures of Neda dreaming of faraway lands instead!

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