Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Mountain: Velež, Brasina peak
Length: 43,5 km
Elevation gain: 1850 m
Maximum elevation: 1897 m
Technical difficulty: 3/5
Download GPS Track: Mostar Velež_cyclotrail
Date of ride: 14.04.2018.
Suitable for E-bike: Yes
Mostar, and mountain Velež are my first mountain biking experience in BiH and introduction is very interesting. In Slavic myhtology Veles, Volos or Voloh is god of earth, water and underground. He is often connected with dragons, cattle, musicians, magic, fortune and deceptions and is Perun’s main antagonist. Their rivalry is one of the main myths in Slavic mythology.
Before I went from Zagreb to town Ploče I made contact with Đani over social media. I’ve read some of his text on internet about biking, explored some of his routes that he drove, so i knew that he could give me very good informations where to ride in BiH. Finally we met in person in Croatia at the end of 2017. while we rode on Babina Gomila (one of hills near Neretva Valley). At the time all mountains in BiH were covered in snow, so I had to be patient and wait for snow to melt down. And then on april, I got invitation from Đani to visit mountain Velež with his friend Darko. I didn’t know much about route, I just knew that there was one way road up and down to the peak Brasina in combination of paved and unpaved road.
At the day of ride I was a little late so we rode later than we planned. Due to my delay and potential snowdrifts we shortened our ascent and started our climb at 9th km of gpx file. Later that showed as a good call, because at higher elevations there were still substantial amount of snow, and took us quite time to cross them.
If you want to avoid snowdrifts you should consider not riding this route between November and May. During summer it is very hot so you should bring enough water, even though there is a water tank (marked on gpx file). There isn’t many threes, so during summer you can’t hide from the sun, even in aprill I got sunburns. I wasn’t prepared for weather like this. The best time to visit this mountain is fall.
After the long ascent to the top we were rewarded with the great sightseeing in all directions. Even though the impression is diminished by ruins from military object, peak Brasina offers beautiful view on the northern Mostar valley and the slope toward Nevesinje.
As I learned later, Đani prepared little surprise at descent. He showed me a freeride route to Mostar, and Bike hut that was in process of construction at the time. Near bike hut there is a longest zip line in BiH where you can enjoy the view from different perspective. Later I found that this zip line was constructed as a result of cooperation between MTBA Mostar (bike association) and club of extreme sports SCORPIO. As president of MTBA Mostar, Đani had big share in that. At the bike hut there are also E-bikes so you can enjoy this route with less effort and sweat.
Bellow in panorama picture you can see the view on Mostar from sightseeing point near zip line Fortica.