Vrnil se je trend, ko otroci na koncu šolskega leta zbirajo denar za novo kolo. Vsaj v Kočevju je tako, odkar je skupina kolesarskih ljubiteljev na smučišču v Dolgi vasi uredila t. i. MTB trail center, v katerem se prepleta 12 kilometrov poti. Adrenalin ob vzponih, spustih, skokih, ovirah se poveča, če naletiš na medveda, pravi pobudnik projekta Janez Dejak, ki se je že srečal s kosmatincem...
Day 6 Pedalling with bears: Kočevje
Igor Kaligaric and Janez Dejak, the driving forces behind mountain biking in this region, are waiting in the dining room of our hotel, which is filled with paintings, statues, photographs and stories of bears. Igor greets us with a Canadian accent – it turns out he lived in BC for several years, before bringing his new trail-building skills back to a community in need of mountain biking. Janez, a cross-country racer with a penchant for eye-wateringly strong beverages, was involved from the start of Igor’s hometown project. Together, they’re the main instigators of the Melamin Bike Club.
After dinner we drive into the forest to check out the toils of the local riders. Since early 2016, Igor has spent every free moment shaping trails on the site of an abandoned ski slope. Now there are several options, starting from an easily climbable height (no shuttles here) and all feeding back to a small clubhouse. This is a social hub for the many varying characters who comprise the club. We join some of them there and toast Slovenia and head for a late-night walk in the woods – it seems like a good idea at the time. Having avoided any potentially life-ending meetings with the numerous bears that inhabit this great forest, we’re up and at ’em next morning. On arrival, there’s already a large congregation of folk, some sessioning the jump trail in the adjacent field, some lapping the techy singletrack, others just hanging out at the pump track.
This area provides neither the greatest elevation nor the most epic trails of our week, but the people and their sheer passion for a sport only recently discovered will stick in our minds forever.We finish another fantastic day with a trip to an old forester’s hut, where we cook freshly caught fish over the fire and toast, once again, a country full to the brim with warmly welcoming people.
Nekoč je šlo »na glavo«, zdaj je bolj uživaško
Pedalling with bears: Kočevje