Marathon Franja BTC City, the annual celebration of cycling, is reaching beyond its original framework – instigated by BTC and in cooperation with the Ljubljana Cycling Network, it has painted Ljubljana’s dangerous cycling sections during Mobility Week and thus drawn attention to the importance of safety in traffic. It is during this very Mobility Week that one of the busiest roads in the centre of Ljubljana, Slovenska cesta, is closing from coffeehouse Evropa to Šubičeva Street. That part is from now on available only to cyclists, pedestrians and public transport.
Gorazd Penko, leader of the project Marathon Franja BTC City at cycling club Radenska Rog, said that upon permission of the City Municipality of Ljubljana they had acted on the initiative particularly with a view to raise awareness of the importance of cycling and traffic safety. “Cycling is considered one of the most massive sports in Slovenia, which is proven every year by more than 7.000 cyclists participating in the Marathon Franja BTC City. Considering that next year we are also organizing the World Championship for Recreational Cyclists in cooperation with BTC, we have decided to actively help draw attention to the importance of cycling for every individual. I believe that with the newly painted cycling tracks we have contributed to safer traffic and consequently promoted cycling as an excellent sport, which is suitable for daily recreation, and which makes for a healthy mind in a healthy body and does not pollute the environment”.
Marathon Franja BTC City is a recreational competition with a long-standing tradition in Slovenia, which took place already for the 32nd consecutive year this June. With its choice of cycling routes it is suitable for everyone – for the best cyclists out there, as well as for average recreational cyclists, families, and all those who only rarely find the time to get on a bicycle. But Marathon Franja BTC City is much more than that. In all these years of its traditional existence it has become a true all-Slovene celebration of cycling.
However, future goals reach even farther. With various activities, the organizers want to highlight cycling as a sport that facilitates a healthy lifestyle and is not a burden on the environment. At the same time they are aware that the Ljubljana cycling route is rather disconnected. “Marathon Franja BTC City has long since outgrown the boundaries of a simple sports competition and has become an all-Slovene celebration of cycling. It is also for this reason that BTC wanted to raise awareness of the importance of cycling in leading a healthy life and striving for a cleaner environment during Mobility Week. The cycling network in Ljubljana still has a lot of “holes”, which is why we hope that our markings will actively contribute to traffic safety,” said Maja Oven, Director of the Market Communication and Public Relations Sector of the BTC Company, which has supported the marathon as an all-Slovene campaign for raising awareness of the importance of cycling for a number of years now. The main theme of this year’s Mobility Week stresses the need to strive for a cleaner air and thereby diminish the appearance of numerous diseases tied to air pollution, which cycling definitely contributes to.
That Slovenia is becoming a cyclist-friendly country is additionally demonstrated by the World Championship for Recreational Cyclists, which Marathon Franja BTC City has been nominated for and which will take place in Slovenia next year. It will be hosted by Cycling Association Rog and shall proceed along the traditional route of Marathon Franja BTC City.
Maja Oven, Director of the Market Communication and Public Relations Sector
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