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					ALPS + ADRIATIC ADVENTURE
8 days of old-world adventure and singletrack in Croatia and Slovenia!

1-888-423-7849 www.sacredrides.com ride@sacredrides.com

Croatia/Slovenia – Alps And Adriatic Singletrack XC Introduction
Join Sacred Rides Mountain Bike Holidays, Canada’s #1 MTB tour operator, for this incredible 9-day trip through up-and-coming European tourism hotspots Slovenia and Croatia. In addition to experiencing the incredible riding, there’ll be plenty of time for savouring the region’s many other delights, including fine wine and good food, local culture, and other adventure activities!
Ride Guide: 100% off-road, featuring a mix of smooth and technical XC singletrack with a mixture of ridge rides, fast singletrack downhill, and some challenging climbs. Suited to experienced bikers with a moderate to high level of fitness and intermediate to advanced technical skills. 2 guides are included. Skill Rating: 6 (out of 9) Fitness Rating: 3 (out of 5) Included: 9 nights accommodation in spectacular lodges and B&Bs, 2 experienced and certified guides, all breakfasts and lunches, 4 dinners, park entry fees, transportation during the tour and pickup and dropoff at Ljubljana airport (LJU). Not included: 5 dinners, airfare to Ljubljana, gratuities, alcoholic beverages.

Itinerary
Day 1. Arrive Ljubljana transfer to Mountain Bike Park. We will meet you at the Ljubljana Airport (Slovenia) at 4 pm and transfer to our hotel in the Karawanke Range of northern Slovenia, near the Austrian border. Our hotel for the first 3 nights is a charming Austrian-style guesthouse on an organic farm, high in the mountains. "Sound of Music" scenery surrounds us on all sides, as do miles and miles of singletrack. Dixi is our local host here and we will dine on fresh food from the farm tonight and prepare for an amazing first day. Day 2. Ride the trails of the Karawanke Range. Our first day starts off with a short climb, overlooking green fields and spectacular peaks. We'll drop in to some beautiful local forested singletrack for a 2,000-vertical-foot descent to the valley bottom. We'll have homemade soups and goulash at a beautiful local inn, next to a 500-year-old church, and then continue with more thrilling riding all afternoon, on trails hand-built by our lead guide Dixi and his son. After riding, we'll return to Dixi's inn for another delicious meal prepared fresh on the farm. Day 3. Lift-assisted riding in the Karawanke Range Across the valley from our hotel is a network of gorgeous singletrack, all accessed by chairlifts. We'll give the legs a bit of a break today and ride the lifts up (you can climb if you want the exercise!) and ride singletrack trails down. Tonight we're back at Dixi's for a final night in the Karawanke Range. Day 4. Underground mountain biking and spectacular Lake Bled This is one of the highlights of the trip: riding underground, in a centuries-old mine! We'll load up the van with our gear, then head to

the mine entrance. Our local guide will outfit us with headlamps and take us into the bowels of the earth, along an 8-kilometre long mineshaft. It's an otherwordly experience, and one of the coolest things you'll ever do on a mountain bike! After the ride, we'll sample another local singletrack, stop for lunch, then head to Lake Bled, a spectacular glacial lake in the Julian Alps. Day 5. Postojna mountain biking We'll start the day off with a swim in beautiful Lake Bled, then have breakfast by the lake before hopping in the van for the 1-hour drive to Postojna. Postojna sits near the Croatia border, and offers up some great local riding. For those with an subterranean fetish, you'll have the option to go underground again, this time to the renowned Postojna Caves, one of the most impressive cave systems in the world ,with over 20 km of caverns and passageways. Day 6. Croatia, here we come! We cross the border into Croatia after breakfast and drive to nearby Mt. Ucka. The Ucka Massif sits several thousand feet above the Adriatic Sea, and from the top we'll have fantastic views of the Italian Alps, the Adriatic and the many islands of the Croatia archipelago. Challenging singletrack trails drop all the way to the valley bottom, where lunch will be waiting for us at one of the local inns. After lunch, we're off on a local wine tour, visiting several local vineyards on our bike before heading to our hotel, a charming 15th-century baron's residence set in the Istrian hills, where the owners make their own whiskey and aren't afraid to share it with us! Day 7. Rovinj and sailing on the Adriatic After breakfast we'll hop in the van for the 1-hour drive to Rovinj, a beautiful medieval fishing village with narrow cobblestone streets and fantastic Adriatic vistas. We'll spend 3 nights here in a local

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Croatia/Slovenia – Alps And Adriatic Singletrack XC
guest house. After checking in, we'll meet our sailboat and our crew for a relaxing day of sailing on the Adriatic, visiting local islands and beaches along the way. Day 8. Istrian mountain biking Today we'll check out some of the local freeride trails built by keen locals. The mountain biking scene is just starting to develop in Istria and locals are busy building trails all over the peninsula. After the morning session we'll end up in Hum, known as the "smallest town in the world." A delicious local lunch awaits us before we head back out for another afternoon of trail fun. We'll finish off with a swim in the Adriatic before returning to our hotel. Day 9. Pazin Our last day in Croatia brings us another feast of trail riding. Along the way we'll visit Motovun, a beautiful medieval city on top of a hill where we'll enjoy spectacular views of Istria while we eat. In the afternoon we'll visit a local waterfall and sample a few more trails before returning to Rovinj for one last swim and our farewell dinner! Day 10. Return to Ljubljana After breakfast our van will take us back to Ljubljana where you can catch your flight home, or stay in this charming city for a few days to extend your vacation. n.b.: if you wish to stay in Rovinj, we can arrange transfers for you and book extra nights in our hotel.
Important: This day-to-day schedule should be taken only as a general guide. Although we update our itineraries every year, to take into account such things as: changes to biking routes and changes in the routing or availability of local transport, it is not possible to guarantee that any of our holidays will run exactly according to the proposed itinerary. A variety of factors, including adverse weather conditions and difficulties with transportation, can lead to enforced changes. The trip leader will make any changes that are necessary. The local currency in Croatia is the Kuna. Exchange rate: 1 US dollar = 5.6 Kunas (as of Feb. 9, 2009)

Visas + Passports
A valid passport (with at least 6 months validity remaining) is required to enter Slovenia (part of the European Union) or Croatia. No visa is required for residents of the U.S., Canada, U.K. and European Union. If you are a resident of a country not on this list, please check with your local passport office or Croatian embassy.

Group leaders
The group will be accompanied by 2 experienced local mountain biking guides who will also drive the support vehicle.

Equipment Checklist
•comfortable clothes for riding, such as biking jerseys and padded shorts. 3+ sets are ideal, 2 are a must. •lightweight, weather-resistant outerwear for riding in inclement weather. •warm clothing such as sweaters and fleece jackets and pants for nighttime. •swimwear and towels •sunglasses or some sort of eye protection for sunny and/or muddy days. •helmet and some sort of hydration system (bottles and/or Camelbak) •toiletries i.e. toothbrush, shampoo, soap •camera •flashlight •sunscreen and insect repellant •extra tubes for your bike •spare parts for your bike (we recommend bringing an extra rear derailleur hanger, a set of front and rear disc brake pads, and any specialty items for your bike that might be hard to find e.g. Magura brake levers)

Bike Rental
Bike rental costs $350 Cdn for the duration of the trip, for a quality Rocky Mountain front-suspension bike (FSR XC). Bike rentals include helmet and can be booked online.

Trip Details
Joining arrangements and transfers
For the scheduled pickup and dropoff times for your trip, please visit our schedule page at http://www.sacredrides.com/schedule. The pickup and dropoff for this trip occurs at Ljubljana International airport (code LJU). Please note that the pickup occurs at a set time; if your flight cannot arrive in time for the airport pickup, we recommend booking a flight that arrives a day or two earlier and spending some time in Ljubljana. We can also arrange a special transfer to the starting location of our trip, however the cost is quite expensive – please contact our office if you need to book a special pickup or dropoff. At the end of the trip, we will finish in the beautiful seaside town of Rovinj. This is an excellent place to relax after your trip is over. Extra nights in our hotel in Rovinj can be booked for $75 Cdn/per person/night, including breakfast. Extra nights can be booked online or added to your reservation at any time. On day 10, our shuttle will be leaving Rovinj in the morning, arriving at Ljubljana airport at approximately 1 pm. Should you wish to fly out this day, we recommend booking a flight that departs after 4 pm, to allow for unexpected delays.

Your Bike
We recommend a good-quality full-suspension XC bike with disc brakes. Front suspension and disc brakes are mandatory. We cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring that your bike is in perfect working condition before you start this trip. You are depending on your bike to transport you throughout your holiday, across demanding terrain. It is VITAL to ensure it is THOROUGHLY SERVICED to guarantee it is in good mechanical order before departure. If you are not mechanically minded, get your local bicycle dealer to service it for you. For home mechanics, points to note particularly are: a) check rims and if they are worn (concave) or cracked/dented replace with new rims to avoid wheel failure. b) check wheels are true and spoke tension is tight. c) check and grease ALL bearings and (QR’s) Quick release skewers. d) check / replace brake and gear cables. e) check disc / brake pads, mounts and cables. f) check (lube / threadlock and tighten) bolts (especially suspension pivots and bottom brackets). g) check chain, cassette and chain rings for wear. h) Have you got the right tyres, inner tubes and BIKE SPECIFIC SPARES? On a trip like this there will definitely need to be repairs and adjustments en-route. There will be the opportunity to buy limited spares initially.

Services included
Two experienced local mountain biking guides. All land transport including one or more support vehicles, 9 nights hotel/lodge/B+B accommodation, with all breakfasts and lunches, and 4 dinners, park entry fees, and a day of sailing in the Rovinj area.

Travelling with your bike
After years of travelling with our bikes, we find that the best way of transporting your bike is to use a purpose-made bike bag. Hard cases are heavy and bulky (often requiring additional fees on flights), and take up a lot of room in our transport vehicles and trailers. A purpose-made bike bag will protect your bike while allowing for ease of storage while not in use. We sell beautiful, handmade bike bags my Pika Packworks – for more information, please visit our website at http://www.sacredrides.com/store.html Another option, if you are not planning on travelling more than a few times with your bike, is a cardboard bike box. This is the same type of cardboard box that all new bikes are packed in when they arrive at a cycle shop. All cycle shops have more of these cardboard boxes than they can easily get rid of and they are usually more than happy to give them away to local customers. For a small fee, the shop will often pack your bike in one of these boxes for you. To fit your bike into a bag or one of these boxes you will first need to remove your pedals, and take out your seat post. Then take off your handlebars, which you should tape (masking tape) under the down tube, you may need to release your front brake cable for this, be wary of crimping hydraulic cables if you have disc brakes. Finally deflate your tyres and air shocks, take off your front wheel leaving the back wheel in place, and your bike should fit in the box. You will probably have to take the skewer out of the front wheel, and you should keep this in a padded bag with your pedals. If you use disks place a piece of cardboard between the pads to stop the pistons from popping out. If you are using a cardboard box, it is important to use as small a cardboard box as possible to fit your bike into, as a tight fit will help to protect your bike. A small bike box also helps to overcome potential problems at airport check-in. As an added precaution you should also fit a plastic fork end protector. These come with new bikes, and most cycle shops will have a few lying

Services not included
Travel Insurance, airfare to/from Ljubljana, tips for local staff, miscellaneous personal expenses - drinks, souvenirs etc.. 5 dinners are not included. Accommodation on day 10 is not included.

Spending money
Approximately $100 Cdn to cover the meals not included. If you intend to buy expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly (credit cards can be useful in this respect). By far the easiest way to obtain your travel cash is from ATM’s using a credit card or a debit card linked to the international plus or cirrus system - remember you will need your PIN number to do this. If you are bringing your travel money with you, we recommend that you use travellers’ cheques, which are easily exchanged in banks and bureaux de changes (usually commission free) and often attract better exchange rates than cash. US dollars, euros, and pounds Sterling are readily exchanged. Credit cards can be used to purchase goods and services in most shops, hotels and restaurants in Canada.

Spending money
The local currency in Slovenia is the Euro. Exchange rate: 1 Euro = 1.6 US dollars (as of Feb. 9, 2009)

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Croatia/Slovenia – Alps And Adriatic Singletrack XC
around - which they will let you have. Also purchase some pipe lagging (expanded foam tubing) from a hardware store and tape it around the frame’s tubes, shifters and back derailleur. You can also pack some of your clothing around the bike in plastic bags. Please be aware that taking your bike on a trip can entail its frequent loading onto support vehicles and while we will make all efforts to look after it, there is a good possibility of your bike being scratched. If you want to protect the paint work, you should consider keeping sections of the plastic pipe lagging taped onto your bike tubes throughout the trip especially for thin walled aluminium bikes like Cannondales / Ellsworth Truths etc. At the start of the biking, we flatten all our bike boxes for easy storage. We will be using the same boxes for the return flights and you will need to take with you an extra roll of packing tape to put your box back together and seal it for the return journey. Please DO NOT USE a purpose-made rigid bike box, as these are expensive, heavy (which puts you over your baggage allowance) and also too bulky to be easily stored or transported in the group’s support vehicle. If you have a rigid bike box, and would like to use it, please contact our office and we will make an exception for the first 2 or 3 requests. single client of the same sex. Depending on availability, it may be possible to book a single room (available online). n.b. your hotel on the final day (day 10) is not included in the tour price and can be booked as an extra.

Food
With the exception of 5 dinners, all meals are included in the trip cost. Food in Croatia and Slovenia is of the highest standard and plentiful!

Climate
The daytime temperatures in Slovenia and Croatia in the summer are quite mild, often hot. Evenings can get chilly in the mountains of Slovenia, but are generally warm on the Istrian peninsula. Daytime temperatures average 18-23 degrees in the mountains of Slovenia, and about 20-25 degrees on the Croatia coast. Although the weather is relatively stable at this time of year, we can expect some rainfall.

First Aid
A medical kit will accompany each trip. Our local leaders have appropriate wilderness first-aid training and are experienced in dealing with a range of medical problems associated with adventure travel. We recommend that you bring your own personal first aid kit consisting of the following: A broad spectrum antibiotic, antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Immodium) painkillers, bandages and blister treatment, Insect repellent (DEET) and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets are also a good idea

Accommodation
During this trip you will spend 3 nights at our beautiful mountain bike lodge in the Slovenian Alps, 1 night at a hotel in Bled, 1 night at a charming vineyard in Istria, and 3 nights at a guesthouse in Rovinj. Accommodation is arranged on a twin sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another

RESPONSIBLE RIDING
In 2006, we formulated and instituted a mandate for sustainable tourism entitled Responsible Riding. Based on the belief that mountain biking can make a positive difference in the world, Responsible Riding incorporates the following key elements:
1) All of our staff is local. They come from the communities where we ride and their wages go back into local communities. In Croatia and Slovenia, all of our guides live full-time in the area where they guide, and their wages go directly back into the community. 2) We use local suppliers and partners wherever possible. That means never using big box stores, purchasing local food and supplies, working with local sponsors and staying at locally owned campgrounds and hotels. Using local suppliers keeps dollars in the communities where we ride and helps them stay strong and vibrant 3) A portion of tour costs goes to local development and sustainability projects in the areas where we ride. In 2009, 1% of the cost of your tour will go to support local projects in the communities where you ride. 4) We contribute funds and time (e.g. trail-building) to the mountain biking communities in the areas where we ride. Every spring we visit communities such as Nelson and Golden and donate our time to local trail maintenance. We also donate money to their local mountain bike clubs. 5) We have our own non-profit organization, Bikes Without Borders, which distributes bicycles to communities in need in developing countries. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.bikeswithoutborders.org

6) We support local cultural projects and events. In Fernie and other BC communities, we help organize local mountain bike events and festivals. In Peru, we will visit 4 Inca archaeological sites, 3 of which are in remote areas that do not receive much tourism. Paying for entrance admissions and guides to these sites ensures their continued protection. 7) We have a stringent environmental code. We follow IMBA (International Mountain Biking Association) guidelines for reducing trail impact and these guidelines are passed on to our clients. 8) We have implemented a carbon offsets program. This is a relatively new concept aimed at offsetting the carbon emissions generated by business activity by investing in projects that reduce global carbon levels, such as treeplanting programs and renewable energy projects (e.g. wind farms). In 2008, Sacred Rides will be working with ZeroFootprint to calculate the total carbon emissions of its operations and will offset these emissions by investing in an equal amount of carbon offsetting programs. In addition, we will be instituting a voluntary program with our clients, encouraging them to offset the carbon impacts of their flights. We are working to design this program so that it is as easy to use and efficient as possible, thus encouraging its use.

To Book your Holiday:

There are 2 different ways to make your booking - over the telephone, or through our website. Whichever of these methods you choose, you must complete a booking form and forward this to us with a 25% deposit. We cannot confirm any booking until we receive your signed and fully completed booking form. Any unreasonable delay in submitting your booking form may jeopardise your place on your chosen holiday. We can usually hold you a place for 7 days while you make a final decision.

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