Thanks to the RAW Cycling Magazine I had the opportunity to be part of a cycling weekend in….Slovenia.
I never really had Slovenia high on my list to go ride a bike. But if the boys from the RAW Cycling Magazine thought it was a good idea, it must be a great idea. I was intrigued.
Only a short drive from the Austrian border our start location was in Bled. This is Bled:
Can it get any better? Located at a lake surrounded by historical features and a background full of mountains!
The mountains were stunning too. I am not sure if we just happen to ride the steepest passes or if Slovenia is full of Mortirolo-like climbs but here, the climbs were extra-tough. My favorite climb was Mangart pass. I love climbs that change the scenery constantly and have wide, open views over the countryside. All boxes checked for Mangart.
This climb is nicknamed Slovenia Mortirolo…. Steep, steep, steep!
From Kranjska Gora climbing up the Vrsic pass, every switchback has cobbles which makes it an interesting climb. At the top we were greeted by sheep. Sheep selfie was a must.
Beautiful. Just beautiful.
Those signs were not unusual. 18% was the sign with the highest gradient I saw during the weekend.
A different view from the Mangart climb. There is little traffic because the road stops at the top.
And the gang. What an amazing group. Every single person has a fascinating story and a true passion for cycling. The group consisted of frame builders The Draft and Belle Cycles, (Ex) Pro Cyclists Christian Meier (former Orica-BikeExchange Pro tour cyclist), Luis Leao, Elisa Scalambra, cycling photographers Brazo de Hierro, Marcel Batlle and Andrea Schiliro, Barcelona cycling coffee shop owner of On y Va, Pas Normal Studios ambassador Linita and the two guys and girl that made this weekend happen: Toni, Stefano and Mariona.
Below are the cycling routes of the three days. Although all three rides were fantastic, my favorite was the last day. I loved the climb up Vrsic from Kranjska Gora and the Mangart climb.
In case you are looking for accommodation suggestions:
I stayed in two budget accommodations, both very clean, single room with own bathroom.
Pension Pr Bevc, a few kilometers outside of Bled, right at the bottom of the climbs.
Hotel House Berghi, Kranjska Gora, I highly recommend it, especially because of its service. Super friendly staff!!!
My conclusion about this weekend in Slovenia:
- As a mountain lover Slovenia has some great climbs to offer.
- The roads are sometimes in rough shape.
- It is definitely a different experience, especially the language.
- The Slovenian people were incredibly friendly.
If you are looking to ride somewhere different, have a look at Slovenia, especially around the Triglavski National Park.