Original and Promising: the Future Bicycle Path Next to the Zagorje Train Tracks

By 1 March 2020

March 1, 2020 - Dražen Breitenfeld, a bicycle enthusiast who writes a cycling blog for tportal pedalled along the newly-reconstructed train tracks from Zaprešić to Zabok, where the future bicycle path should be.

Many of the nicest bike paths in Europe are related to the railroads in one way or another, Breitenfeld writes. The path he visited, which should soon become even more accessible to those on two wheels, starts in Zaprešić, and mostly follows the existing tracks to Zabok. To make the route more interesting, some of the already existing roads or village paths will be used in the bike path. The Krapina River has a small embankment, which can also be used to create a pleasant bicycle path on it. However, most of the path will be near the tracks, and since it's been recently renewed, all of the infrastructure the bikers need should be available to them. Train stations where it's going to be possible to board the train with your bike, restaurants and bars at or near those stations, many service roads etc.

If you want to make that trip these days, it's not impossible but the author says that you need to have a mountain bike, as the roads are not in the best of the conditions, and you should have reliable GPS device because at certain points it will help you find your way. Breitenfeld proposes that the entire length of the bicycle path be covered with asphalt, which is the idea I'm sure many nature and cycling lovers will find appalling. But, creating a pleasant path to Zabok will help take many weekend bike enthusiasts over the first 25 kilometres, and from there it'd be easy for them to continue exploring Zagorje: either go towards Tuheljske Toplice, the area around Sutla River, and even further, towards Sv. Križ and Krapina. Many of the tourist gems of Zagorje, castles, spas, restaurants, all of them would become more accessible and would attract many day tourists. Those who would use the path for serious training would make the 25 kilometres in an hour or so, but many cyclists prefer going slower, but enjoying the surroundings, explore, have a cup of coffee, a lunch, a piece of cake or a glass of wine - all of which can be found on this route. And you would be able to take the train home if you spent too much time in Zagorje or are too tired to bike back.

The coordinating body for cycling tourism with the Tourism Ministry has already scouted the possible bicycle path route, along with the people from Croatian Railways and towns Zaprešić and Zabok. This is the first necessary step of the project, which seems to attract a lot of support. And if you've ridden your bicycle in the area you might wonder how you'll be able to get to Zaprešić, as it's really no pleasant way to get on your bike from Zagreb to Zaprešić. There are two solutions, one already present, one in the works: there is a train going to Zaprešić from Zagreb and coming back, operating every 45 minutes or so. The proposed solution is creating a bicycle corridor from Zaprešić to the Medsave ferry-boat (which is worth a visit on its own!), which would allow the cyclists to return to Zagreb by the lakes south of the Sava River.

Hopefully, we'll be able to go to Zagorje on a charming bicycle path along the Zaprešić - Zabok railroad tracks. Not many people in Croatia appreciate the nature still around us enough, and how easily accessible it really is - and we should work hard at trying to make it more accessible for everyone to enjoy.

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