The roads are a mixture of main, regional and local roads, completely surfaced with asphalt (save for a wooden bridge after CP2 and any eventual roadworks on the route). The condition of the surface ranges widely – from brand new to extremely broken and patched up. Comfort is a relative term in the case of ultradistance cycling but 28 mm tyres are perfectly fine for the job. Many riders have completed the route without issues even on 25 mm tyres, while some prefer 32 mm or larger tyres, which can only be more comfortable while not being significantly slower. The roads in Bosnia & Herzegovina are generally not too busy traffic-wise, except the urban area of Sarajevo. However some roads are narrow and generally in Bosnia & Herzegovina there is no “hard shoulder” for cyclists to ride on, e.g. you share the road with other traffic.

The country is quite hilly, as you may have figured out yourself by now, so there are lots of tunnels throughout the route, the longest one being a 2100 m long modern tunnel with lighting and sidewalks between CP5 and CP6 and a series of 39 consecutive tunnels (some short, some long and usually lit) approaching CP7. It is obligatory to go into “night mode” riding through the aforementioned sections, regardless of the time of day you happen to reach them. Of course, it’s advisable to use common sense and keep track of what’s going on behind you prior to entering any of the tunnels.

Also, while there’s normally no shortage of petrol stations and cafes along the main roads, except in the rural mountain areas, there’s a 100 km portion of the route between CP4 and CP5, specifically between Čapljina and Trebinje, that follows the famous Ćiro Bike Trail – an old narrow gauge railway converted to a (bumpy) public road and a marked cycling route. This portion of the route offers virtually no restocking options except a very nice hotel/restaurant in Ravno, as an oasis at about halfway of the aforementioned section. Also, this section might be quite intimidating if riding alone at night while it offers very nice views during daytime.

Although predetermined by locations of select natural beauties and touristic destinations, the 10 obligatory checkpoints are pretty evenly and logically dispersed throughout the route and all of them offer commercial accommodation at the spot or nearby, while some come with restaurants attached to them. For those with a healthy appetite, it’s convenient to make a short stop and have a full course lunch at CP3 during the first day, followed by getting accommodation near CP4 for the first night. This plan should suit all but the most dedicated riders – the ones that are trying to outsmart the stopwatch – that are going to ride throughout the night.

From then on, the tactics will determine the remainder of the individual logistics but CP6 – that marks the halfway point of the route – is another great spot for tasting local cuisine. Riders in the brevet category will find it convenient to plan the second nightly rest at CP7, while the quickest racers will have already passed CP8 by this time.

It might be a good analogy to say that the section from the START to CP7 is the “B” part of B-HARD, because from CP7 until the FINISH it definitely becomes “HARD”. This section is the “all hell breaks loose” part of the route, with mountain pass after mountain pass – containing Cima Coppi, e.g. the highest point of the whole route as well. However, everyone should be able to reach CP9 (or at least the mountain preceding it) at the end of the third day and have a good night’s rest there before starting a relatively short fourth day, with a casual finish in the evening by 11 PM. Slightly quicker riders will complete the course during the day, while the quickest ones will have already finished on the third day or third night.

For a virtual ride and full route synopsis from start to finish, continue to the checkpoints presentation: