Cycling and cycling infrastructure
Gorenjska (Upper Carniola), with its alpine character, is a recognised and desirable green destination for active and healthy holidays in nature, where the development of sports and tourism products is intertwined with unique nature. Gorenjska is far from being just about high mountains and mountain ranges, but the valleys and basins with their picturesque cultural landscapes and interesting villages are also of great interest. The pre-alpine lowland is very suitable for cycling, and the cycle and field paths and less-travelled local roads are an excellent testing ground for getting to know the region’s natural and cultural attractions and amenities. The existing and developing cycling infrastructure is also an incentive for more sustainable commuting, i.e., travelling to school, work and errands.
In Gorenjska, the most famous and popular cycling routes among cyclists are Jesenice-Kranjska Gora-Rateče (28 km) and Bohinjska Bistrica-Ribčev Laz (6 km). In recent years, local authorities have, also with the help of EU funding, newly built and upgraded more than 100 km of cycle routes, including Železniki-Selca, Naklo-Zadraga, Kokrica-Predoslje, Radovljica-Lesce; Škofja Loka-Virmaše and a number of safe cycling links in urban centres. The Infrastructure Directorate of the Republic of Slovenia, in cooperation with the municipalities of Bled and Bohinj, is currently building the much-awaited 20 km cycle route between Bled and Bohinjska Bistrica, and plans are underway for cycle links in the Poljanska and Selška valleys, between Jesenice and Lesce, and from the regional centre of Kranj to the hinterland settlements or neighbouring municipalities of Tržič, Preddvor, Šenčur, Cerklje na Gorenjskem and Škofja Loka. This, with the cooperation of local, regional and national institutions, provides a more appropriate cycling infrastructure, which is the basis for sustainable mobility and a higher share of mobility of residents and visitors by bicycle, while at the same time stimulating the development of tourism and a tourism offer adapted to cyclists. The Gorenjska Cycle Network and the Gorenjska.bike bike rental system are part of this infrastructure.
The Gorenjska Cycle Network (GKO) is a carefully designed network of 640 kilometres of national and local cycle links in Gorenjska and some neighbouring municipalities. The routes have been approved by all 24 municipalities involved and the Slovenian Infrastructure Directorate. The GKO is marked with uniform traffic signs for cyclists, and maps and routes are available in digital format. The network offers orientation, insight into the possibilities, makes your journey easier or may even encourage you to cycle. More about the network: https://www.gko.si/en/.
The bicycle rental system (bike sharing) in the Gorenjska region operates under the brand GORENJSKA.BIKE. In the municipality of Kranj and in Jesenice, local bicycle rental systems, KRsKOLESOM and JeseNICE Bikes, have been operating for almost a decade. In 2020, they were joined by three other municipalities in the Gorenjska region, Radovljica, Tržič and Naklo (as part of the project, co-financed by the ERDF). Together, they created Gorenjska.bike, the first regional bike rental system of its kind in Slovenia, allowing users to rent and return bikes with a single username anywhere in the region. In 2022, as part of the Rural Cycle Chain project (co-financed by the EAFRD), the system was first launched in Cerklje na Gorenjskem and Škofja Loka (eKOLOka), and in the same year it was relaunched in Bled.
The Gorenjska.bike network now offers 318 bicycles (45% are electric) at 60 stops (Kranj 29, Škofja Loka 9, Jesenice 6, Radovljica 5, Tržič 3, Naklo 3, Cerklje na Gorenjskem 2, Bled 3). More https://www.gorenjska.bike/.
Cyclists use bikes, whether they own them or borrow them from the Gorenjska.bike system, for two main reasons:
- we ride out of necessity, which means we cycle with a specific purpose and goal in mind, such as going to school, work or on errands. Our aim is to get to our destination as easily, quickly and safely as possible, while at the same time taking care of our health and reducing our negative impact on the environment,
- we drive for recreation or tourism, and we care a lot about the environment, safety on the road and comfort. For recreational cyclists, experiencing the surroundings and the ride itself is the main purpose and goal. On average, a recreational ride is between 25 and 50 kilometres, with a maximum of 80 kilometres.
Let us briefly present another story: in 2021, the Centre for Sustainable Mobility (CTM) opened its doors in Kranj, where Kranj citizens, as well as visitors to Kranj, can get basic information on the use of sustainable modes of everyday travel in the municipality of Kranj and in the wider Gorenjska region. The CTM is open to all users of public transport, cyclists, pedestrians, disabled people and car-sharing users, and parking and tourist information is also available. The CTM also operates a bicycle repair shop, and occasionally runs workshops for different target groups on sustainable mobility, road safety, safe cycling and the use of the bicycle rental system.