We are proud to present one of our Bike Students – Miroslav Matic, who was a model for some of our campaigns and promo materials.
Miro, You recently moved to Germany because of business which is also connected to cycling. What was the main reason, where do You work now and how did You settle?
First of all, one cycling greeting to all Bike Students and all who follow Bikademy.
Main reason of this moving is classic story, pursuit for better perspective. It all happened very fast. Based on friend’s recommendation who lives in Germany for a while, I made online application. And in one week got an interview, got a job and moved to Germany.
I currently work as bike repairman in big family company “Zweirad Wurdinger“, that exists in this business over a 100 years. As I ride a bike, going to competitions and have about 4 years experience in sales and repairing bikes, it suits me very well. I was accepted great by bosses and other coleague workers. And for me it’s a big surprise that many sold bikes are actualy e-bikes, since e-bikes are recently popular in Croatia, here it is usual vehicle. The main reason is maybe all kinds of leasing and loans, and also government stimulations. That is the reason why many older people use bikes in every day life.
Lately You send us many photos of cycling through region and it looks great. What is Your impression?
I live in Vilshofen an der Donau, 25 km from Passau. The city is placed where river Vils meet Danube. By that it is settled on famous cycling route “Donau radweg”, that follow Danube to Black See. It is surrounded by hills (up to 500 m) near National Park “Bayericher Wald”. The whole county has rich history and historical places such castles with woods, rivers and small hills and exactly that makes this region great cycling destination. This part is recognized by many cycling tourists from all around the World. Locals also use bikes and for recreations and as a transport vehicle in everyday life.
What is the main difference between this region and continental part of Croatia when we talk about cycling tourism?
I would rather say that similarity is big, and that is maybe the main reason why all this new situation suits me from the beginning. Danube is here like our river Sava and hills are like Dilj, Papuk and Psunj in Slavonia.
The difference is that this potential is recognized by local authorities and they invest large sums in restoring historical sights and expanding cycling infrstructure. For example, since this region fos famous for mining, many narrow-gauge railways are turned into cycling routes more than 50 km long with info tables that show the life of this rwgion how it used to be. all those routes are far from main roads and are in nature. There are also “knight paths”, well marked, with old castles. All of that make one great story with so many choices for cyclists and other tourists.
You told earlier that there are many foreign cyclists?
I saw them myself and I talked with local cycling guides – foreign cyclists visit this region through the whole year, not only during the season.
They usualy come by river cruisers and the rest of them in their own arrangement, wanted free ride and exploring region.
I think that here is the only cycling pause during strong winter, and even then You can walk all ths routes. There is big number of locals who work as tourist guides beside their usual jobs. And interesting thing is that there is still demand for new guides.
Guides here has to pass special training with history lessons also. That tells us how serious is approach is here in field of cycling tourism.
Can region Slavonia become cycling destnation?
As I said earlier, there is big similarity between this region and Slavonia whit its own special offer. Also, all those cruiser passes our rivers but that potential is weakly exploited. There is space in progress, and there are ideas and quality people. But I think that there is inertia and indifference of local authorities and people who are decision makers in our region, and all of that inhibit all good ideas and possibilities. Sometimes it’s enough just to copy something that works…