Fun cycling ahead!

Finally something that’s cycling-related. When I first started out this site I had this grand vision of how I would ride my bike as far as the eye can see and bring you a million and one amazing stories. Since then my blog has been overrun by posts about hiking, random trips and other miscellaneous adventures. In the midst of all that, cycling has taken a back seat. It’s not that I’ve quit riding my bike, it’s just that I mostly do it on the same old routes and there’s really nothing much to write about.

Until now!

I’m pleased to report that in less than two weeks from now I’ll be taking part in a couple of rather promising cycling events with hopefully a big turnout, great company and nice weather. They’re both recreational events, meant purely for enjoyment on your bike and don’t fall into the category of racing in any real way. Here’s a brief overview of both of them.

AJM Team Time Ride 2016 – May 29th

The AJM Time Ride has over the years gained a reputation as a solid, well organised and much visited cycling event. The route starts in Kamnica, a suburb just north-west of Maribor and then winds it’s way for 25 kilometers and considerable height gains through the surrounding hills, forests and vineyards. Much of the route follows dirt roads, so the Specialized Diverge will probably be left at home, to be replaced by my Felt QX70, left on the picture below. Ever since the Diverge appeared at the house, the Felt has been somewhat pushed to the back and this will be a great opportunity to spend some time with the iron horse again.

IMG_9766
Preparations are under way! My friend Nejc brought his bike around and we gave it a good once-over, so it’ll be ready for the big day.

There’s a fun trick to the Time Ride. It’s not about getting to the finish first, rather it’s about being the most average team on the track. Teams of 2-4 riders set out together in short intervals and complete the preset route. Their time is logged and when all the teams finish, an average time is calculated as the benchmark. The team that gets closest to that average time is then considered the winner and takes home a holiday package in Malta, Turkey or Greece. Special prizes will be given out to the team with the best selfie from the top of the course, so we should definitely do something about that. I’ll be taking my GoPro with me, and we’ll see what we can come up with.

This is the first time I’ll be taking part in the event. I wanted to go for the last 2 years, but never managed due to other setbacks Here’s a video from 2014:

Apparently more than 150 teams have signed up already, which means upwards of 500 riders tackling the course. Let’s just hope the weather holds up. ­čÖé

8th Europark Bike Marathon – May 28th

Europark is the biggest shopping mall in Maribor and they’ve done a good job of organising an annual cycling event for the last couple of years. This is actually just a day before the Team Time Ride and even more laid back. The setup here is that there are 6 or so starting points all around the Styria region and then everyone meets up at the mall. Again there’ll be a prize giveaway from the sponsors, some music, food and beer.

Though it’s called a Marathon, in reality the route we’re taking is only about 40 kilometers long, so combined with getting to the start site and then back home it should make about 60-70, an mostly flat. I’ve done the event last year and won a wristwatch in the giveaway, but it turned out to be a shabby chic women’s watch with a rubber band and fake diamonds around the encasing. Gave it to my mom who was really pleased for the first five minutes, then never wore it again.

I’ll try to bring back at least some pictures if not videos from both of the events, so follow the blog and come back for more. I’ll try my best to get The Small Country Cyclist back into cycling waters, (though hiking is still cool, don’t forget that).

Hope to see you soon and have a great time! ­čÖé

 

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