Due to the gentle terrain and preservation of the environment, Bjelovar-Bilogora County has the ideal conditions for cycloturism and it is among the Croatian counties with well-developed cycling routes that cover all parts of the county
The development of cyclotourism in Bjelovar-Bilogora County
It is one of the riches of Bjelovar-Bilogora County that boasts more than 400 kilometres of cycling trails and routes of importance both for the county and internationally, and in order to further develop cyclotourism in our area and to have better conditions for enthusiasts who love this type of tourism, Bjelovar-Bilogora County is constantly investing in and organising numerous activities.
In the three phases of the cyclotourism project development so far, Bjelovar-Bilogora County has invested around 1.5 million kunas by securing funds from the Ministry of Tourism and its own funds.
It should be noted that to date, as part of these three phases, information boards have been made and installed on the county bicycle route, solar posts for bicycle recharging have been installed, a mobile application for bicycle trails and routes in Bjelovar-Bilogora County has also been developed.
A traffic feasibility study has been drafted for relocating the county route to roads with lower traffic intensity and new bicycle signs have been installed, a traffic feasibility study for the revitalisation of the old Bjelovar - Garešnica railway with branches for Grubišno Polje and Banova Jaruga has been drafted, a new bicycle map of Bjelovar-Bilogora County has been made, a traffic feasibility study for a new bicycle route in the area of the Municipality of Kapela has been drafted and bicycle signs have been placed.
7 bicycle rest areas have also been equipped with a covered gazebo, a table and two benches, an information board and a bicycle stand on the routes Bjelovar - Prgomelje, Daruvar, Grubišno Polje - Grbavac, Veliki Grđevac, Berek - Oštri Zid and Kapela, and a norm for bike & bed accommodation has been drafted.
Bjelovar-Bilogora County has thus made a huge step forward and it is embedded on the cycling maps of Croatia. However, investments in the cycling tourism development in our area do not stop there; they continue with the activities planned for this year.
In fact, Bjelovar-Bilogora County is applying for the 4th phase of the cyclotourism development project in Bjelovar-Bilogora County to a public invitation to tender of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports for the allocation of funds for the Cyclotourism Development Programme on the continent in 2021.
The programme worth 402,000 Croatian Kuna would cover the following activities:
- the drafting of traffic feasibility studies for tracing and marking cyclotourism routes: the Kapela – Plavnice Route, which would connect the town of Bjelovar and the Municipality of Kapela along the Bjelovacka stream, 6.4 km long
- The Zrinska Route, which would connect the municipality of Kapela with the Municipality of Zrinski Topolovac, 38.4 km long
- The Daruvar-Sirač Spring Route, which would connect the town of Daruvar and the Municipality of Sirač, 41.2 km long
- the making of 159 bicycle signs for marking the mentioned routes
- the drafting of a preliminary construction project for the construction of a cyclotourism route in the corridor of the former Bjelovar-Garešnica railway with branches to Banova Jaruga and Grubišno Polje for obtaining a location permit
Such a constructed and arranged trail, 76.3 km long, is planned to include the tourist and catering possibilities and this route will be one of the backbones of the tourism development in our county.
This is another step forward in the development of Bjelovar-Bilogora County as an attractive cyclotourism destination, wherein the quality of the tourism supply and demand on the continent is improved.
"Since 2017, from its inception and the beginning of the cyclotourism development to the present day, we can be proud of everything that has been done. It has been recognised that cyclotourism is a fast-growing branch of tourism in general. In 2020, regardless of the pandemic of COVID 19, the projects that we as professionals proposed, were realised using our own county funds. One of the projects was a promotional feature video that we filmed to present our county. As part of all our projects, the project of revitalisation of the old Bjelovar-Garešnica railway with branches for Grubišno Polje and Banova Jaruga was also carried out. It is the project that we have been developing for four consecutive years in order to build foundations so that the project could one day be developed as one of a kind, a unique project in continental Croatia", said the coordinator for the cyclotourism development in Bjelovar-Bilogora Hrvoje Supančić.
"I’d like to thank everyone who participated with their great effort, engagement and vision when it comes to investing in the cyclotourism development; employees of the County, the Tourist Board, the Regional Development Agency, as well as the cyclists who have been actively involved in making what we think is crucial, and that is the cycling infrastructure. In the last four years we had the full support of the Ministry of Tourism for three years, but last year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the tender was cancelled, so the County provided funding for everything we are going to present today. I can say that a lot has been done in those 4 years. We currently have 7 trails that are completely mapped; which is over 400 km on county roads, as well as on the links between municipalities and cities. We also have what is very important for tourism and that is a mobile application that allows all cyclists to be guided by a mobile phone along the route they want to go through the county on. With the finalisation of this application, we will expand everything that we have done with three more bike routes that will connect parts of our county. We have not given up on the main attraction when it comes to cycling, and that is the use of the railway between Bjelovar and Garešnica, which is no longer in operation. We requested and obtained the consent of Croatian Railways to the conceptual design and the possibility of producing the main project. With this, we will take a huge step forward. We are also ready to issue the first bike & bed signs, i.e. the opportunity to reach our family farms, restaurants, hotels by bicycle and that they are all ready to receive cyclists to spend the night at their premises and then they can continue their cycling route", said the mayor, Damir Bajs.