The number of bicyclists is growing by 9% each year. A healthier lifestyle, parking lot problems, finances – something made quite a lot of citizens of Novi Sad take up cycling.
Much attention was paid to the cycling infrastructure in the last decade; thus, Novi Sad now has a 90-kilometer long cycle path and more than 700 bike racks, gradually turning into the Serbian Amsterdam, in addition to already being the Serbian Athens. This proves the fact that Novi Sad was declared world champion in winter cycling in 2018, when it was estimated that, during winter, around 1400 citizens of Novi Sad go to work, school or uni by bike.
The cycle paths lead past the most important city locations, roads and more – both recreational bicyclists and tourists can visit some of the places near Novi Sad, and can also try a more extreme type of cycling in Fruška Gora, where mountain biking has become quite popular in the last couple of years. One of the three corridors of the EuroVelo 6, which is a cycling route that connects the Atlantic Ocean and the Black Sea, is passing through Novi Sad. A 23-kilometer long cycle path runs along the Danube, connecting Novi Sad and Begeč. The old nucleus of the city, the Museum of Vojvodina, Petrovaradin Fortress, Gallery Square, are just some of the spots suitable for on-bike visiting. Čenej, Futog and Veternik, places with a lot of ethno restaurants (called ‘salaš’ in Serbian) and fish restaurants (called ‘čarda’ in Serbian), are also suitable and available for bicyclists. Sremska Kamenica and Sremski Karlovci offer cycle paths along the Danube bank leading to Fruška Gora, which is a real cyclist attraction – here, you can find 16 monasteries that you can visit during your biking trip, as well as mountain dorms and residencies that offer different activities. Starting from Karlovci and passing through Stražilovo, you will get to the grave of the great Branko Radičević, and then to the Grgeteg, Krušedol and other monasteries as well. Passing Iriški Venac, you will get to ‘Crveni Čot’, the highest peak of Fruška Gora, leading you to the famous Remeta monastery. Experienced cyclists can go to the Koviljsko-Petrovaradinski Bogland, the nature reserve. But make sure you go there when the weather is nice, since the road is steep and demanding.
Bukovac is particularly interesting for extreme cycling. It has a suitable terrain and it’s also the only such terrain in Fruška Gora. With 5000 square meters, it is convenient for the bicyclists of different abilities. Bukovac is often hosting international races. Any fan of this sport can use the terrain for free. In the city, bike tricks are performed in the skate park, the famous gathering place in Limanski park.
Rent a Bike
In 2010, in the example of the big European cities fighting for a healthier environment due to negative consequences of climate change, the NS Bike System was formed. It allows citizens and tourists to rent bikes and explore the city for a whole day. Bicycle lovers can rent their bikes at 11 locations in the city at an affordable price. The NS Bike System spots in the city are at the following locations: next to the main entrance of the Štrand beach, Railway Station, Serbian National Theatre, inside the campus, in Rumenačka Street, Jovana Dučića Street, at the corner of Podgorička and Narodnog Fronta streets, as well as Novosadski Quay and Marka Miljanova streets, lastly, you can find the bike spot in Preradovićeva Street in Petrovaradin. The system is automated, so the users can return the bike at the nearest NS Bike System location after using it.
Two Wheels History
- In 1886, the first bike club was founded in Novi Sad
- 1894 Józef Kles opened a bike shop in the Dunavska Street, and then, soon after, his rival Bene Forgač opened a bike shop too in what is today known as Pašićeva Street
- In 1898, a velodrome, cycle-racing track, was built
- In 1900, at the discretion of Steva Adamović, the city got its first organized cycle path at the place of today’s parking lot behind Matica Srpska.
- In 1900, the first bike race in the region was organised. Darko Ribnikar, brother of Vladislav Ribnikar, the founder of ‘Politika’ (Serbian daily newspaper) won the race.
- In 1901, a huge international race was organised with Ivan Sarić, who competed on a damaged bike, coming out as a winner.
- In 1925, the ‘Anhiles’ bike club was founded, with 30 club members, including women.
- The first Vojvodina championship, covering the Novi Sad – Bačka Planka – Novi Sad route, was held in 1927.
Author: Leona Pap Photo: Jelena Ivanović, Vladimir Veličković