Zagreb Cyclists Organize Marathon for Vukovar

By 11 November 2019

As reported by direktno, the Volunteer Cycling Society (DBD Potepuh) from Zagreb is organizing the Bicycle Marathon for Vukovar for the eighth year from November 15-18 to commemorate the victims of Vukovar. Fifty-two recreational cyclists from all over Croatia will ride about 350 km from Zagreb to Vukovar in three days, commemorating the anniversary of the breakdown of the city’s defense and paying tribute to the Croatian veterans and civilians killed during the siege and occupation.

The event begins on Friday, November 15th at 9:00 at Jelačić Square in Zagreb (the gathering of cyclists begins at 8:00) and they will bike to Kutina. On the second day, cyclists will again depart at 9:00 and ride from Kutina to Orubica, a picturesque village on the banks of the Sava River. On the third day, participants are expected to make their longest trek: 155 km from Orubica to Vukovar. On the fourth day, November 18th, which falls on the anniversary itself, the cyclists will be divided into two groups: those who have not been to Vukovar will visit the Memorial Cemetery and Ovcara, and the rest will join the memorial procession at the hospital. The participants will then return by train to Zagreb in the afternoon on the same day.

"Over the past seven years, the DBD Potepuh Vukovar Marathon has grown from a group ride of seventeen friends to the largest recreational cycling event commemorating the anniversary of the Homeland War, which we as organizers are particularly proud of," their statement read.

Although the association has been organizing group bicycle rides for several years in a row on the occasion of the military-police operations "Flash" and "Storm" (May 1 and August 5), the Vukovar marathon is regularly the most attended, despite happening during a colder time of the year and well outside of cycling season.

The Vukovar Cycling Marathon is not a race. Participants do not wear numbers or keep track of their time, but all ride together as a group at the same moderate pace. They carry the necessary provisions on their bicycles for a four-day trip away from home: a pad and a sleeping bag, cycling clothes for several days, "civilian" clothes for participating in the memorial procession, night riding and rain gear. "Despite these somewhat spartan conditions: cool riding temperatures and an insignificant registration fee, most of the participants are 'returnees' who have already participated in one (or more) of the DBD Potepuh cycling marathons. As organizers, this is our best confirmation of our work to date, and an impetus for organizing future similar recreational cycling meetings" the organizers added.

Information about the Volunteer Cycling Society (DBD Potepuh) and the marathon can be found here.

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