Video: Road Tripping Through the Balkan States

Oct 19, 2018
by zam  
Views: 4,762    Faves: 12    Comments: 0


Words and photo: adam marsal // video: marty smolik

We are a four-member group of people who love mountain biking including the European rider Richard ‘Gaspi’ Gasperotti as a head of the team. Our project has been called ’zam’ which is referring to Mongolian expression for a journey. We have started in Mongolia in 2012 and since then we have travelled across various countries such as New Mexico, Taiwan, Azerbaijan, Sardinia or our homeland the Czech Republic.

photo Adam Marsal
,zam crew - adam / gaspi / lukas / marty

This year, we were thinking about visiting Scotland but just a week before departure we changed our plans and eventually, we headed to Balkan. Our main goal was finding mountain biking communities in countries like Bosnia and Hercegovina or Kosovo that were affected by a war only a few years ago, or Monte Negro and Albania that count to less known if you consider mountain biking. In each country, we made great friends who guided us through their local trails and biking spots. We hope you'll enjoy the film and maybe get inspired to travel there by yourself.

photo Adam Marsal

poster zam7

Big thanks to the locals:
Theranda MTB Crew | Kosovo
Andi Qyqja | Bike Point Albania
Savages crew | www.savagescrew.com

zam7 team
rider Richard Gasperotti
camera Martin Smolík
photo Adam Maršál
holidayman Lukáš Jusko


31 Comments

  • + 4
 I believe that You were following me! In may 2017 I was on the opening of season at Treba Dh with Savages Crew (really great dh trail by the way!). And in this may I was in Albania taking part in enduro trip with Andi from Albania Off Road Cycling, and later I even take part in Albanian competitions (I''ve got 3rd place). Terrains over there are fantastic if You like natural trails, and people are awesome too. Recomend it for everybody!
  • + 3
 I just wrapped up a 10 day road trip through Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia. The entire time I was thinking, "these mountains are huge, surely there is some good biking to be had" and sure enough...
  • + 3
 I wish he had helped the little girl that was begging, even with just a gel or bar, instead of shutting the door in her face.
  • + 0
 Agreed. Mtb should be a door to share and support the idea to become better humans, in one way or another. Any sort of contribution to our human brothers, especially the young ones, our future, that live in a tough situation. I didn't understand really why to include such a cold scene in the video. Nice trails btw...
  • + 6
 No love for the Gypsies
  • + 1
 Disrespect towards the vulnerable and poor pisses me off. I think that part was supposed to be funny, and might be to a lot of people. It actually made me sad because it was such an uncompassionate response and it actually makes you guys seem like a bunch of douchbags that are out of touch with reality. The point is this: you guys are travelling, visiting countries, riding mountain bikes and drinking beer, right? YOU are the fortunate ones and you DO have more money. If that was a weekday, that girl probably wasn't in school because her parents force her to sell goods on the street. Next time something like this happens, particularly in a country that is more disadvantaged and has even gone through a recent war, I hope you reflect on what you will do. By the way your taste in music sucks. Grow the f*ck up.
  • - 1
 @Nicotp: +1000000. Well said.
  • + 6
 @Nicotp: Do you feel like a better person after you wrote this? Please, dont be hypocrite! You sounds like you are from salvation army and not mtbiker.
And if Im right, Gaspi helps to get bikes for children without parents!
  • + 10
 No no no, you should not contribute to the Romani (gypsy) system of begging and scamming. He is from central europe so he knows first hand what's up.
I would think like you if I hadn't any experience in the area.
  • - 4
flag plainsrider (Oct 20, 2018 at 12:27) (Below Threshold)
 @Nicotp: Agreed, you can't drive round in a Mercedes Vito with thousands of £'s worth of Mountain Bikes on the roof and claim you don't have any money. There was no need for that clip to be included in the video, if you are going to be a complete dick like that. Not big, not clever and just portrays Mountain Bikers in a poor light.
If we want to have trails to ride and people to welcome us, we can't go round being bellends.
  • + 1
 @razacr: Massage the ego's of those in the video's.
  • + 1
 Agreed, however all you ppl saying this is wrong she was probably the 50th or 500th person exactly the same that day yes you can help but you give to the ppl who are trying to help themselves not straight out begging. Yes I live in the balkans and yes I previously lived in asia so get off your high horses
  • + 2
 Gaspi, u should of came to Bulgaria, I don't know how Phill Atwill was in Greece and not here, we have the best mountains in the region, and no one is riding here...
  • + 1
 Looks like Jerome has just been Wink
  • + 2
 I think the guys had more fun with their drone than with the bikes.........
  • + 3
 I would be couscous to step outside of the road in Bosnia.
  • + 7
 Yeah you don't wanna fallafel those mountains. But JC seemed okay in Bulguria.
  • + 3
 If You have mines on Your mind mostly they are allready gone and most of the mountains are cleaned, if terrain has potential danger there are always markings. Terrains over there are awesome and even in high mountains everywhere You've got good paths or gravel roads that on Your bike You can use as amazing singletrails.
  • + 1
 @koshmarny: In Belgium, every year about 300.000 kg of ammo (including lots of (poison) grenades) are still dug up by farmers, builders,.. from WW I & II

Cleanup is hopefully better these days...
  • + 2
 @TheHill

Yes, but they've been there ages. The ones in Bosnia are more recent and not quite as deeply burried. Bulgaria doesn't have any BTW. Not part of ex Yugoslavia. Just watch out for the bears. As a proud half Belgian/Half Bulgarian, I would highly recommend visiting both places!
  • + 1
 @mikaeljc You would be missing out big time... I rode all across the country's mountains, Bosnia is one of the best places to ride.
  • + 1
 If you want to go for a ride in some place where you have never been before, just find some local riders and they will tell you everything that you need to knowWink Every place is different, every culture is different, so pleas inform yourself.
  • + 1
 @koshmarny: "most" and "mostly"
  • + 2
 Oddly, I can't get the clip of the cruise ship backing up and taking off out of my head. . .
  • + 1
 "We are from Czech republic and we know all too well your fraudulent begging scams little girl."
  • + 1
 Brdjanin: google maps says no...
  • + 2
 Land_Rover_Defender.
  • + 1
 This roadtrip deserves a photo epic!
  • + 1
 nice ive been thinking about visiting the area for biking
  • + 1
 Kosovo is Serbia !
  • + 0
 the bloke is a prick disrespect to little girl ,

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