A Bike for Europe journey through history and culture in Serbia


The Bike for Europe South Team will travel for six days through Serbia, taking in the varied landscapes and cultures in four towns across the country.

After crossing over the Bulgarian border the first stop will be a brief one, in the town of Dimitrovgrad, a place where Serbian and Bulgarian culture and history exist side-by-side in a multi-ethnic town. Just a short 30km cycle further North is when the team will arrive in Pirot, in the South Eastern corner of the country, a town with beautiful scenery all around that is just perfect to take in while in the saddle. The Balkan Mountains give the city a stunning backdrop, and a number of rivers flow through the area, feeding into four lakes within the city. In both these places the team will be welcomed into the town, before meeting local cyclists and distributing material related to Bike for Europe.

Once they have departed Pirot the team will embark on a ride to Nis, the third largest city in the nation and one of the oldest continuous cities in Europe. The settlement has always been known as a natural gateway between the east and the west, and throughout its rich history has been culturally influenced by a range of civilisations, from Roman to Ottoman and Byzantine to Slavic. It therefore only seems apt that the team will spend time in this city on their way to Vienna!

By this point in the tour, after journeying through Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia, the South Team will have encountered many historical sites, however, one of the jewels in the crown of Balkan history will be their next stop. Before getting to Belgrade the team will go on an excursion to the ancient Roman city of Viminacium and to the Silver Lake, and also cycle alongside the banks of the River Danube on the Euro Velo 6 route, before stopping in Veliko Gradiste, right on the banks of the river, to ride alongside local cyclists before being part of an open air party, which will have music, traditional food and a bike related stand.

Next comes Belgrade, where there will be multiple events taking place in the Serbian capital. There will be an organised traditional Bike Fest, where the team will join hundreds of local cyclists on a tour around the whole city. There will also be cycling and bicycle repair workshops available for everybody, and in the municipality of New Belgrade a flagship event will take place, where there will be music, different NGOs and sport organisations in attendance, a press conference about the tour, and a competition for young local cyclists!

The final stop in Serbia before the team crosses over into Romania will be Zrenjanin, a town named after Zarko Zrejnanin, a Partisan leader and National Hero during the Second World War who was tortured by the Nazis, and killed while escaping re-capture. Here, alongside saying goodbye to Serbia, the team will meet local cyclists and talk about the tour itself.

All of the events in Serbia would not have been possible without the help of ISCA partner Yugo Cycling Campaign, an association that was founded 20 years ago with the aim of promoting a range of non-competitive cycling causes, including improving both safety and infrastructure in Serbia for cyclists, so that more people can use bikes in their daily loves. The organisation also educates young people about the benefits of cycling, and are passionate about environmental issues, hoping that they can make Serbian cities cleaner and healthier through the promotion of cycling.

Read more about Yugo Cycling Campaign here: http://www.bicikl.info/home.html

Check out which countries the Bike for Europe tour will travel through in September and organise a side event of your own: http://nowwebike.nowwemove.com/events/