The Slovenia Times

No Mountain too High for Vintage Pony Bicycle


Lenart Noč was the fastest, clocking in less than 48 minutes between the town of Kranjska Gora and the mountain pass of Vršič.

The 13.6-km ascent to Vršič, which lies at an altitude of 1,611 metres, would be business as usual on a state-of-the art bicycle.

But a Pony is an ordinary bicycle with no gears which used to be produced by Rog, a Ljubljana-based factory which closed shop years ago.

Every child but also many adults wanted to have one at its height in the 1970s and 1980s in Slovenia, as well as Yugoslavia.

Yesterday's first race "Red Bull Goni Pony" brought together a mixture of professional and recreational athletes, as well as vintage stuff lovers.

While Lenart's time of 47 minutes and 47 seconds earned him victory among men, Jasmina Jelovšek won among women with one hour and four minutes.

Jelovšek said after the race: "When I learnt about the race I looked for a Pony and repaired it and it took me all the way to the top without any problem."

"This is a great bike...its only problem is that it is a bit old," added the recreational triathletes.

Those who attended the race for fun rather than competition took almost two hours to arrive at the "Vršič 1,611 m" sign.

With a retro touch being as important as the competition, many participants wore sports suits from their parents from the 1970s and 1980s.

But arriving at the top was perhaps easier than descending Vršič on a bike that was not built for mountains, and designed years before mountain bicycles became popular.


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