The final (third) stage of 'Konavle 100KM' bikeathon finished in the late afternoon hours on Sunday, May 12, 2013.
The enthusiastic (and intrepid, no doubt) cyclists had to wait out a downpour that postponed the start of the final stage scheduled at 4pm to then, without trouble or hesitation, pedal off toward the demanding Konavle hills route fairly soon after.
The final stage, startline in Cavtat. Courtesy of Agroturizam Konavle (click to enlarge).
Luka Čupić (fastest overall after stage two), Ivan Banović (fastest after stage one), and Adrian Bokarica spearheaded the bunch of cyclers for most of the three-day race to, as expected, clock in at the top three positions.
Luka Čupić, Ivan Banović, Adrian Bokarica. Courtesy of Agroturizam Konavle (click to enlarge).
More than just a showcase of endurance and sportsmanship, this, the second edition of the demanding annual bikeathon 'Konavle 100KM', was again all throughout imbued with the robust enthusiasm overtly emanating from each of the amateur cyclists, and so much so that even someone like myself, who hadn't touched the bike since the third grade, was moved to giving a serious thought about joining them next year.
The obvious thrill and dedication of each of the huffing-and-puffing competitors aside, one could easily discern that, that which for years, decades and centuries underlined an athlete's worldview. That, the sometimes unspoken of but always understood notion, though perhaps in times passed called differently (or not at all), is what we moderns dub 'the true spirit of olympism'.
The laurels may be reserved for winners but, in my mind, they all become winners the instant they showed up at the startline and undertook this endeavor. And we ought to honor them as such.
Though a far cry from an organized urban cycling network of venues (designated street lanes, traffic signals and bike maps, underground sheds and outside racks, which hold thousands of bikes under guardrouter, etc.), and even further (read: light years) away from biking becoming the core to the transportation infrastructure, Cavtat and the region of Konavle have been making great strides toward incorporating bicycle in its already eco-friendly culture and healthy lifestyle.