SARAJEVO, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) — For the 11th time in a row, “Giro di Sarajevo” bicycle race gathered cycling lovers of all generations to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) capital Sarajevo on late Sunday afternoon.
Some 2,500 participants from several BiH cities rode a 16 kilometers long route starting from a suburb in Sarajevo, through the main streets and ending at Wilson’s Promenade.
In 2007, when the first “Giro di Sarajevo” bicycle race was held, there were only 750 participants, one of the organizers Emir Hulusic said prior to the race, adding that for the past 11 years, the organization has done much to make this sport popular.
Nisad Selimovic, the organizer, told Xinhua that in 2008, the capital had no meter of adequate bicycle trails, and at that time, people could not imagine that 10 years later Sarajevo will have bicycle infrastructure with 30 kilometers of trails.
By participating in this cycling event that gathers the biggest number of participants, people of all age groups were carrying the message that BiH can, deserves and must invest more in cycling infrastructure because it is the solution to many problems Sarajevo faces every day.
The slogan of this year’s event was “A Circle Forward” which means that BiH heads toward the better bicycle infrastructure that is seen in other European countries.
Participants of this year’s “Giro di Sarajevo” bicycle race want to point out the necessity of implementation of modern infrastructure that will enable bikers to go to work and school as easily as possible, and in that way, to improve living conditions and take care of the environment, organizers told Xinhua.
Sarajevo Canton’s Minister of Culture and Sports Mirvad Kuric, who also participated in the event, expressed his satisfaction because the funds allocated for development of bicycling in Sarajevo bring real benefits to citizens.
“I am very much pleased with the great number of participants who have proved that we are continuing with bicycling development in Sarajevo,” Kuric said at the beginning of the race.
“We are extremely pleased after the 11th Giro di Sarajevo because we have again risen the event to a higher level,” Selimovic told Xinhua, adding that participants enjoyed the great party with live music after the race ended.
For the end, organizers pointed out the complete ignorance of cyclists’ rights in 2008 to inclusion in the country’s law after several years.
“Once again, participants sent the message that they are a positive force that drive things forward in Sarajevo,” Selimovic concluded.
Over the past 11 years, the number of cyclists in Sarajevo has increased to such an extent that now the community counts tens of thousands of active cyclists who use bicycles as alternative means of transport.