I volunteered to set up an Electric-Bike (E-Bike) testing area., during the European Mobility Week. I love to bicycle, but for transportation the E-Bike can replace your car, in lots of situations. We had 30 people test ride the E-Bike, all came back with huge smiles. One of the other participants also had an E-bike for testing. I talked with him and he said he was from Velenje (where?). He told me there are 60 km of separated bike paths in Velenje & you can get an E-Bike too!, I’m in. Continue reading
There’s not a lot of music options in Slovenia, so going to Milan to see a concert is a must, if you want live music. Neil Young is 70 and I’m 60, it’s probably our last time together. Milan was the closest that Neil Young got to Slovenia, so I bought an online ticket (39 euro just for shipping ($45)). I meet some people on my weekly Lubnick bike ride, who were going to see Neil Young at Piazzol Sul Brenta, about 2 hours away? They added the show after I already bought the Milan ticket. I was driving by the day after the show, so I decided to leave a day earlier and catch the show. Yep 2 Neil Young shows. Continue reading
I spent this winter researching potential bike trips and discovered the Drava River Route. It runs from Italy through Austria and ends in Slovenia. The train can be used to start or finish the trip. From Toblacher, Italy, for 400 km along the Drava River, through East Austria to Ptuj in Slovenia. Continue reading
It’s so weird having so much free time, called retirement. I’m able to pick things that interest me, whether it’s visiting museums, biking, or proposing new ideas for active tourism here in Skofja Loka. When I was working, I was lucky to go to one movie during Film Festivals in Portland. Ljubljana had a documentary film festival, I picked 10 movies, 2 alternates to see, Natasa could only find 2 (different ones). Some things are frustrating. Continue reading
The security is very tight here in Paris. I’ve been on about 20 airplanes in the last couple years, I’ve never had my luggage inspected like I did after landing in Paris. There’s a no gathering or protesting restriction in place in Paris. I’m here for the march, marking the final day of COP21 meetings.
I decided to go visit the COP21 meeting location on my first day in Paris. I was surprised how little security there was compared to other places I’d visited. Continue reading
We have busy lives here in Skofja Loka, I was in Bristol Dec. 3-7, 2015, I’m just now getting this blog post together. Saturday I took a felting workshop in Ljubljana. This time I made a wool felt hat. it was 4.5 hours of standing and working the wool, (felting!). It killed me!
At first I was just coming to Bristol to see Courtney Barnett. When I started doing some research I discovered Bristol was similar to Portland in many ways. They have approximately the same populations, Bristol 440,000 Portland 610,000. Bike lanes, great healthy restaurants, mass transit and an active political scene.
I made my hostel reservations 6 weeks before I arrived. I requested a 6 share room, they said no problem. When I arrived I ended up in a 14 share room. I was the only traveler at the hostel, everyone else was living here. When I was in Spain the official government policy was for the young people to leave and go work in another country. Many took the advice, the hostel was filled with people mostly from Spain and France. I met a Spanish kid, 26 years old (I’m 60), who had a dish washing job and was super happy about it. I hope people appreciate what they have. The European youth unemployment is high, that makes the U.K. an attractive destination, for young people trying to find their way. The UK set a limit of 120,00 immigrants a year, instead 330,000 moved in.
BRISTOL PHOTOS FROM MY FIRST COUPLE DAYS
After making all my reservations, plane, hotel, trains I needed a ticket for Courtney Barnett, sold out! I had to buy an online scalper ticket, I hate those guys, but thanks. The British Parliament was debating bombing Syria while I was in the U.K. The first night in Bristol there was a demonstration against the war.
I prefer to travel using my bicycle, but not in the winter. I think winter travel is some of the best travel when using public transportation to get around. There are no lines anywhere: restaurants, museums, tourist attractions and most accommodation is discounted too. I just bring my warm clothes and rent a bike as the weather permits. The Bristol bike rentals weren’t operating, (a bad thing about winter travel) so my only option was an E-Bike-I was in Heaven. I love the E-bike.
I first rode to the CLIFTON SUSPENSION BRIDGE which opened in 1864. It was straight up hill, no problem, I gotta E-Bike. Then to the train station and the start of the bike path to Bath, (the city!). At the train station was a mobile bike repair van/shop, drop off your bike on the way to work and pick it up on the way home, great business model.
BRISTOL to BATH BIKE PATH
The 11 mile path to Bath was great, no cars, none. There were bridges whenever there was a road crossing. The English Ivy is winning, it’s everywhere. I needed more time in Bath, I tried to get the bike rental shop guy to open sooner than 10, nope.
I walked around Bristol too, shock. I read where the best fish and chips were, so I walked there. It took me about 45 minutes, I couldn’t wait to sit down and eat, it was only takeaway-no seats. I ate in on a brick wall in front of someones house, it was good and greasy.
There was some good bike stuff going on. There was ROLL FOR THE SOUL CAFE 2 blocks from the Hostel.
BRADLEY WIGGINS FROM THE UK WON THE 2012 TOUR DE FRANCE
Walking around my first night I ran into TEMPLE CYCLE’S Pop-up shop. He had beautifully handcrafted bicycles and accessories. The accessories is what really caught my attention. In Europe you find yourself carrying your bike up stairs to your apartment or at the train station. Be sure to check his website for some cool accessories for your bike.
MEANWHILE BACK IN SLOVENIA
LJUBLJANA is the European Green Capital for 2016. From being a city which was previously dominated by car transport the focus is now on public transport and on pedestrian and cycling networks. Three quarters of the entire territory of Ljubljana are green areas. These areas include contiguous aquatic, forest and agricultural areas.
Ljubljana has implemented numerous urban green measures over the past decade including the planting of more than 2,000 trees, the building of five new parks and revitalization of the embankments of the River Sava. In addition, in 2010 the Slovenian city declared 1,400 ha of the territory as forest of special purpose in being valuable as a CO2 sink. (cut and pasted ;))
Hey America did you see that? Ljubljana recognizes trees are worth more than just money, they help the planet breathe.
Some things here in Slovenia seem bureaucratic, compared to America, but the environmental foresight is something I really respect. We need America to start adopting some things that are done here in Slovenia. No clear-cutting forest only selective harvest. Better for wildlife and water quality. They mow the trees down in America, replant them like corn and spray chemicals to prevent anything else from growing. It poisons nearby streams and people, enough said.
I’m so happy here with Natasa and living in Skofja Loka, Slovenia. I feel like I’ve been re-born.
Thanks for Reading (& commenting)
NEXT: PARIS CRITICAL MASS CLIMATE RIDE, FINALLY WENT TO THE TOP OF THE EIFFEL TOWER, COP21, MADONNA CONCERT, CLIMATE MARCH/PROTEST
YOU NEVER RIDE ALONE WHEN THERE’S A BIKE SHOW IN TOWN
EUROBIKE was a super event, for everything bike. Even how to clean them.
i want to buy an electric tandem bike for touring with Natasa. I think we could really cover some territory , with a little help.
EuroBike is packed full of bike enthusiast. NUTCASE HELMETS, had a couple of their helmet artist paint full size “ART” near their booth. They were going auction off the paintings to raise money for WORLD BICYCLE RELIEF, you too can make a donation today!
I sent Natasa post cards (everyday), so I had to ride to town to the post office. The bike is the best for “discovering” what’s going on. I came across the farmers market, I bought a salmon sandwich, figs, fruit cobbler and blueberries, brought my lunch to Eurobike.
MARKET SQUARE ART SCULPTURES
If pedaling wasn’t enough? You can now use hand cranks and your arm power too.
I came to look at electric bikes, so here’s a few of them:
THIS IS THE DIAVELO ELECTRIC BIKE (video) CALLED, AFTER 5. COMING TO AMERICA IN 2014. WHAT A GREAT WAY TO ENJOY THE GOLDEN AGE OF RETIREMENT.
PROTANIUM BIKES WERE QUITE EYE CATCHING. I LIKE THE LOOKS, BUT IF YOU HAVE A “FAST” E-BIKE, SOME FRONT OR FULL SHOCKS CAN REALLY SMOOTH OUT THE RIDE, ESPECIALLY OVER SPEED BUMPS! THEY HAVE A SHAFT DRIVE VERSION (video) TOO
I’M GETTING OLDER AND THE STEP THROUGH DESIGN IS VERY APPEALING. ESPECIALLY IF YOUR RUNNING A LOT OF ERRANDS AND ARE GETTING OFF AND ON A LOT.(or wearing a dress).
LEARN MORE ABOUT E-BIKES WITH THESE LINKS:
ELECTRICBIKE.COM TOP 10 THINGS ABOUT E-BIKES: KITS, MID-DRIVES, LIGHTEST, MOST EXPESNSIVE, UTILITARIAN, FASTEST, HOME GARAGE AND ILLEGAL
PETE’S ELECTRICBIKEREPORT.COM REVIEWS THE LATEST IN E-BIKE TECHNOLOGY AND YOU CAN SIGN UP FOR HIS NEWSLETTER.
ELECTRIC-BIKES.COM HOW TO BUY AN E-BIKE AND OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION
FLYKYL SMART WHEEL STAND ALONE E-WHEEL KIT, WORKS WITH SMART PHONE
PETE’S ELECTRICBIKEREPORT.COM E-BIKE PHOTO GALLERY FROM EUROBIKE 2014
I went to some travel seminars and they are making tours that include E-Bike charging stations along the way, to keep you coming back!
They had bins and bins of bike related publications.
BACK TO EUROBIKE
EVERYONE WHO HAS A BIKE THEY WANT PEOPLE TO SEE, THEY BRING IT TO EUROBIKE.
I reached the saturation point, I couldn’t look at anymore bike stuff, interesting or not. I was done. I rode my bike to EuroBike and sold my last day ticket. It was the public day and it was PACKED, glad I wasn’t going in. I rIde next door to the Zeppelin Airport.
I PAID 3 EURO ($4) FOR A CUP OF COFFEE SO I COULD SIT AND WATCH THE ZEPPELIN LAND AND TAKE OFF, RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. OF COURSE THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY WIFI (free or paid)?
I had been planning another adventure to Crete, Greece. I was going to visit Vincent, the French cyclist I rode with in Greece. He’s working on a farm. But after nearly 17 months and 19 countries, I’m done. EuroBike, Germany is my last country for awhile. I keep thinking the blog will end, but no. I’ve got more stories about our adventures in Skofja Loka and were going to Croatia next month, it’s only a 2 1/2 hour drive, we set a 3 hour limit to how far were willing to drive for a little vacation.
Thanks for Reading and Commenting (for those that have something to say)