“Bicycle trail Memories”
This past Sunday was an event for most Cyclist to get together for a good cause. The bike rally was a success and achievements taken place with extraordinary turnout with over 130 plus cyclist. Riders came from all over the country to be part of 25th anniversary. They even came from neighbouring countries of Germany Bosnia and Herzegovina. With the Collaboration of Protea Sport in Osijek and local Bicycle club “Udruga za rekreativin Biciklizam Kotrljaneri”(Association) from Osijek. The Journey started early on Sunday morning in front of Protea Sports store Osijek to get the last minute details and fill out registration forms. There was lots of important details to cover as it required safety vehicles and cyclist to understand the rules of the highway they were about to embark on. The Lions Club of Vukovar and Osijek, had put together some prizes for the day. Elementary schools had a chance to enter their songs for the contest of creating a Beautiful song for Vukovar.
A week later I had a chance to catch up with Dino Lončar on finding more about the “Bicycle trail of Memories”
What one of the common stories that riders talked about for this event?
Dino Lončar: “The stories that people talked about was only about hope, to light the candle at the Dunav, to bring some good memories, etc...
What was the highlights for you and the club?
Dino Lončar: “For songs about Vukovar, we wanted kids from elementary schools to write something about Vukovar. There was also a winning prize for best songs. Boy who wrote best song got a bicycle, and all equipment. 2nd and 3rd place got cycling gear, helmets, bells, lights... There was also charity work and that is what makes Kotrljaneri great. Charity work. We helped "Vukovarske Iskrice". People who attended this event, donated 10 kuna each for some gifts for little ones. There is also tradition/connection with Kotrljaneri i Iskrice. That was first club that Kotrljaneri donated something back in 2013. That was the main highlight.”
Was the ride quite at times how did they keep the spirits up with so many memories for some of the riders?
Dino Lončar: “The ride is never quite, everybody has something to talk about. Making jokes, cycling stories, stories from some other rides, etc…”
How did the group feel once the rally was done and the ceremonies were over?
Dino Lončar: “At the end of the event I personally felt relieved, happy, because being host for 130+ cyclists was stressful, little bit anxiety if everything’s going to be ok( weather, terrain). But at the end of the day, we were proud.”
For many taken part of “Bicycle trail of Memories” was emotional event bringing a lot of heart. It was a time to reflect and pay respects to families, friends, and fallen soldiers along the journey to Vukovar. With many check points along the way, it kept things going smoothly. Cyclist often gave a tap on shoulders of fellow riders for encouragement. There is a great presence of hope, as communities have started to rebuild. With many places of interest it is hard to say which place had the most impact as everyone had a different viewpoint. Many People gathered around landmarks such as the Vukovar Water Tower or the Hospital. The place all together was the place to be as many had brought candles to light in remembrance. It is a story about history and the future shaping of Croatia.
The closing ceremonies was the place to be with everyone coming together to pay their respects. It was a time also to catch up with what was going on with other riders and events. The participation of riders really made things happen with the money raised from registration going to amazing humanitarian cause. A young recipient received a new Mountain bike from the event. The children from Vukovarsko-Srijemske County were present as they were rewarded for written completion of songs contributed to the theme of “The Most beautiful songs of Vukovar.” In the end it was all about coming together to socializing and having memories to share. They were able to participate and give back to the community. There is a great presence of hope as communities have started to rebuild.
Special thanks to the people who put the event together with many Participants and volunteers.
Pictures were provided by Dino Lončar (Udruga za rekreativin Biciklizam Kotrljaneri”(Association) from Osijek
Written by James B. Mac Donald