To Lake Bled - Skipping About the Continent - CycleBlaze

June 13, 2022

To Lake Bled

My destination today was Lake Bled, the iconic alpine lake located in the Julian Alps. I’d wanted to get an early start as I needed to make a detour to a local bike store to pick up an accessory for my electronic shifters. I dropped the bicycle travel bag off at the hotel desk for storage and then was underway, easily navigating the well-marked bike lanes of Ljubljana. Unlike Paris, the bike lanes here not in the street but run side by side with pedestrian lanes, both of which are located on very wide “sidewalks” that parallel the street, usually in both directions. Also unlike Paris, cars, bikes, and people move in an orderly and controlled fashion, with everyone religiously obeying the traffic signals. Most impressive was how extensive the bike infrastructure is – at almost every point in today’s route there was a dedicated bike lane to avoid heavily trafficked roads. Even more amazing, cyclists had the right of way at most crossings and the cars gave way  – even at round-abouts! And folks back home ask why I prefer cycling in Europe as opposed to the U.S.! 

About ten miles into the ride, including the detour, I cleared the sprawl of Ljubljana and was I in the rural outskirts, passing through small farmsteads and villages. The day was cloudy and the Julian peaks were barely visible in the distance. Rain showers were predicted for later this afternoon so I didn’t tarry too much. However, by the time I reached  Škofja Loka, blue skies had begun to appear and the sun was trying to poke through. I stopped for coffee and a treat, enjoying the little sunshine and a parade of schoolchildren on a local field trip. After a two-week break, it was great to be back on the road. 

A2U bike shop - a friendly smile and no charge for my small plastic Di2 wrench
Heart 1 Comment 0
Low hills and the faint outline of mountains in the distance
Heart 3 Comment 0
In Medvode - Chapel of the Mother of God in the foreground with the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist on the hill
Heart 4 Comment 0
RWGPS directed me down the stairs and through the tunnel. Although there was a channel for bikes, I deemed it too steep and rerouted.
Heart 1 Comment 0
On the way to Škofja Loka
Heart 4 Comment 0
There is a bit of blue sky entering Škofja Loka
Heart 3 Comment 0
In Škofja Loka, my stop for cake and a coffee
Heart 3 Comment 1
Scott AndersonWe just passed through Skofja Loka on our way to Lake Bled also, but I was really attracted to it. If we ever make it back to Slovenia it’s a town I’d like to stay overnight in.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
In Škofja Loka
Heart 4 Comment 0
Field trip!!
Heart 5 Comment 0
More blue sky as I got ready to leave Škofja Loka
Heart 3 Comment 0

The next five miles were among the best of the day- on small roads through fields of golden wheat with the Julian peaks rising against a brilliant blue sky. But the magic ended much too soon and I found myself traveling the bike lanes of Kranj, the third largest city in Slovenia. I began looking for a shady place to stop for lunch, but there were few green spaces and very little shade. I finally spotted a shelter in the middle of a round-about on highway 412. It wasn’t ideal, but it worked fine in a pinch and I enjoyed a twenty minute break munching my breakfast sandwich while watching traffic circle the round-about through the shelter's slatted walls.

Blue skies, mountain peaks and my first stretch of gravel
Heart 2 Comment 0
On the way to Kranj
Heart 2 Comment 0
High lines and high peaks
Heart 3 Comment 0
Fields of grain surrounded by mountain peaks - two of my favorite things
Heart 2 Comment 0
Vivien George is looking forward to what's ahead
Heart 2 Comment 0
The rectangular fields of gold and green I'd spotted from the sky just a few days ago
Heart 6 Comment 0
I was not alone in thinking this was a great road for cycling
Heart 3 Comment 0
Any port in a storm, or any shade when hungry
Heart 4 Comment 0
My lunchtime view
Heart 0 Comment 0

It turned out that I stopped for lunch at just the right time. There was no bike lane beyond the round-about, but there was a 1.3 mile climb on highway 412, topping out at 14%. Early in the climb I was basically forced off the road by two huge and very wide trucks - luckily there was a roadside patch of gravel where I could wait until it was safe to continue on. Even better, the stretch on 412 was fairly brief and the remainder of the ride to Bled was on small farm roads or dedicated bike lanes.

I’d heard that Lake Bled had gotten very touristy, but coming into Bled was even more crazy than I’d imagined, with bumper to bumper traffic from Lesce to Bled. Thank goodness for the bike path! I’m staying two nights at Lake Bled in a small pension on the southwest side of the lake. It’s a bit off the lake and quiet, but a short walk down the hill took me to a traditional Slovenian restaurant by the lake where I enjoyed fish soup and seafood risotto. By the time I finished dinner, the sun had dipped below the mountains and it was too late for photos of Lake Bled and the island. Not to mention the fact that left my camera at the pension. Tomorrow, I promise.

On the way to Lake Bled
Heart 5 Comment 0
Most of the cows I've spotted in Slovenia aren't as curious as the French cows. This little bull calf gave me a long look, but then scurried off to mum.
Heart 2 Comment 0
On the way to Lake Bled
Heart 3 Comment 0
Crossing the Sava River
Heart 1 Comment 0
Evidence from my iPhone 5 that I am indeed in Lake Bled
Heart 2 Comment 0
A young boy and his snail, my companions on the walk home after dinner
Heart 5 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0

Today's ride: 47 miles (76 km)
Total: 1,253 miles (2,017 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 11
Comment on this entry Comment 0