Recreational events all about cycling this week

Vršič, 31 May - Recreational events of note taking place this week include three cycling challenges, with the most interesting one being a climb to the country's highest mountain pass on vintage single-gear bicycles.

Kranjska Gora
Vršič mountain pass
Photo: Tinkara Zupan/STA

The Red Bull Goni Pony event on Saturday will see participants using legendary Pony folding bicycles produced by Rog to climb Vršič, which at 1,611 meters is the highest mountain pass in the Eastern Julian Alps.

"Is there anyone who dares to claim that the ascent to the highest Slovenian road pass with a tiny folding bike without gears is not an extreme achievement and at the same time a lot of fun?", the organisers said.

The participants will be trying to conquer 13 kilometres of hairpin turns with the elevation difference between the start and finish of 801 metres. "The ascent will be difficult, but the descent will be fun."

On the same day, the Cycling Marathon of Cherries will organise a tour from the capital Ljubljana to Dobrovo in western Slovenia, with the route going through Idrija and Ajdovščina.

The first marathon was held in 1996, with around 300 participants crossing the finish line. The number of participants had been growing since, reaching a record of 1,385 cyclists in 2011.

"The oldest participant, the most numerous family and the most numerous club will receive awards at the finish line," the organisers said.

Another cycling event on Saturday will take place in Ptuj. Sponsored by poultry producer Perutnina Ptuj, the 15th Poli Marathon is the second biggest cycling event in Slovenia, according to the organisers.

You can pick between a 2-km, 21-km and 52-km long routes that will take you across the hilly surroundings of Slovenia's oldest town.

The 17th Climb to Celje Hut on Sunday will meanwhile take the participants on bicycles or on foot to a 440-metre ascent on seven kilometres of mountain road to the "popular tourist spot" above the city of Celje.

You are also invited to participate in an "Olympic run" as part of the Days of Sports event in Jesenice (NW) on Friday.

The main route for adult participants is some 8 kilometres long and will be determined on the spot before the start.

Children divided into three age categories and by gender will be running a shorter course in Podmežakla sport park.

© STA, 2017