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Travel to Slovenia and Croatia

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My wife and I are planning a three week bicycle tour this fall in Slovenia and Croatia. We have never been to this area and hope to get guidance on planning the trip. Our initial thoughts are to fly to Trieste, bike the Istria peninsular and some of the islands, and ride down the coast to Dubrovnik. Then train or bus to Ljubljana and ride - via the Julian alps back to Trieste. At this point we have no idea if this is feasible, for a couple of retired people, in the time we have available. Some help with the following would be great:
- What towns and sites to visit. What are the "must see" places to visit?
- Is Trieste a good city to start/end the trip? KLM has (almost) affordable flights
- How is train/bus transportation in the region?
- What is a good travel guide? How about good websites?
- We try to travel on a modest budget. Any thoughts on lodging, especially in Trieste?
- Any suggested bike routes, or roads to avoid?

Thanks in advance.

Jeff

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