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Mountain rescue team adds e-bikes to fleet

Ajdovščina, 4 June - The first electric mountain bike team in Slovenia has been launched. It will operate in Ajdovščina in the west of the country. The Mountain Rescue Association has warned that the number of accidents in the mountains has increased this year compared to 2020.

Vipava
The Upper Vipava Valley.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

A couple of electric mountain bikes will provide access to areas that cannot be accessed by car as well as help the Ajdovščina rescue team to get to the site of the accident more quickly. The Ajdovščina municipality purchased one of the bikes, whereas the other one was secured through a fund-raising campaign.

The Upper Vipava Valley is a hilly terrain with a lot of hard-to-reach areas, so the new addition to the team's fleet will come in handy, said Robert Kovač of Tolmin Mountain Rescue, which covers the local team, at Thursday's press conference presenting the new bike unit.

Search and rescue teams are deployed to emergencies that arise in hiking, mountain biking, paragliding and other adrenaline sports. There has been a rise in the number of extreme sports enthusiasts in the past 20 years.

Other rescue teams around the country have already expressed interest in launching a unit on bikes as well, Kovač said.

The Mountain Rescue Association has meanwhile urged extra caution in the mountains as the conditions there are still wintry, highlighting the dangers of slips, rock avalanches or careless selfie-taking.

There have been 179 accidents in the mountains this year so far, which compares to 492 in the entire 2020.

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© STA, 2021