On Sunday, September 17th, around 200 cycling enthusiasts pedalled through the streets of Split to express their views on sustainable mobility or its lack thereof.
Organized by Sunce, the traditional Split Bike Ride emphasized the importance of addressing the climate crisis and provided an opportunity for reflection on the environmental impact of transportation. For twelve consecutive years, this event has highlighted the issue of congested roads, promoted alternative forms of transportation, and offered ideas for improving cycling infrastructure in Split.
“This year’s Bike Ride would not have been possible without our partners: the City of Split, the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, Split Parking, and the Split Tourist Board. Together, we have sought to raise citizens’ awareness of the importance of sustainable mobility in tackling the climate crisis. Encouraging alternative modes of transportation, such as cycling and public transit, plays a crucial role in addressing the climate crisis. Cycling is not only environmentally friendly but also a fun way to get around that doesn’t pollute the air. If we all think a little more about how we move, we can help create a more pleasant and healthier living environment,” emphasized organizer Tihana Arapović, an expert from Sunce.
“I am thrilled by the turnout and the length of this year’s route. I hope that each year, the route will get longer, and that we will have some daily-use bike lanes in Split,” said Dario, one of the participants.
Deputy Mayor Bojan Ivošević welcomed the gathered participants and also took part in the Split Bike Ride route himself. “We are working on the urban mobility of the city of Split because the car is not the solution for everything. We hope that citizens will support the upcoming changes,” he said briefly.
The Bike Ride began with registration near the Church of St. Frane at 3:30 PM. At 4 PM, all registered cyclists embarked on a bike ride through the city streets, heading towards the finish line at Đardin. Refreshments were provided for participants at Đardin, including stands offering fruits, juices, and healthy snacks. The entertainment program at Đardin featured a raffle, the Bike Ride Challenge, and an Eco Quiz, all accompanied by music.
“In collaboration with donors, Sunce prepared over 30 individual prizes for the raffle and Bike Ride Challenge at Đardin. Apart from the main prize, a bike from Extreme Bike Shop, other attractive prizes were donated by Red Adventures, Promet Split, Iris Adventures, Fitness Centra Joker, Ekran, bio&bio, City Spa, Konoba & Pizzeria Maslina, UpCafe, Frizerski salon Like, and Split Parking,” said Arapović.
After drawing ten terns and six cinqvinis, the main prize of the raffle was won by Marko Marulić, a teacher from IV. Gymnasium in Split. “I brought 40 students and lent them my bikes so they could participate in this year’s Bike Ride. It’s truly incredible that I won the main prize, a bike!” said Natalija.
To ensure everything ran smoothly, Sunce employees received valuable assistance from volunteers from the Natural Science, Health, and Tourism-Hospitality School in Split, as well as from the Sea Scouts Unit Spinut. They helped at the stands, managed the entertainment program, and guided cyclists during the ride.
Competitions in the Spirit of the Sinj Alka and Knowledge The Bike Ride Challenge, a competition that garnered significant attention, was held in the spirit of the Sinj tradition. Eleven participants had the opportunity to showcase their cycling skills, competing in precision and concentration. Luka won the Zipline for Two, the main prize of the Bike Ride Challenge.
“Thank you. It will be great in Omiš!” Luka exclaimed briefly to the gathered crowd.
The Eco Quiz proved to be an excellent opportunity for fun, learning about cycling and Sunce, and winning prizes. Most of the attendees raised their hands to answer cycling-related questions, while the resourceful ones gained knowledge about other topics at the Sunce information stand.
Joining or Donating for Split’s Future During the fun part at Đardin, visitors had the chance to learn about Sunce’s work at the information stand and join the organization for free on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.
“Anyone who supports Sunce’s vision, mission, and goals can become a member. The annual membership fee for employed individuals is 10 EUR, while it’s 5 EUR for the unemployed, students, and retirees. Additionally, if you volunteer for 10 hours or more, you are exempt from paying the membership fee for the current year. Membership directly supports nature and environmental protection and contributes to sustainable development,” explained Margita Gospodnetić from Sunce.
As one of the leading organizations for nature and environmental protection in Croatia, Sunce has been working for 25 years to protect nature and the environment. Their results are based on expertise, perseverance, and enthusiasm, and their impact extends beyond Croatia’s borders.
“On the occasion of Sunce’s 25th anniversary, we invite you to join us in shaping a sunnier future for our planet through donations. Even the smallest donation is important to us. It may not ‘save the planet,’ but it sends us a message of support for our efforts, which motivates and delights us immensely,” concluded Tihana Arapović.