Bikefest in Kálnica has become such an iconic event that you never hesitate whether to come or not, you simply go and meet all your friends there. On the last weekend in May, already the 6th year of this greatest and most remarkable mountain bike event in Slovakia took place. No other event compares to Kálnica as far as the number and variety of test bikes, contest disciplines and supporting events both for children and adults are concerned. Everyone who call themselves a biker finds a way to have fun here.
I have participated in all the bikefest years so far, as a contestant, spectator and exhibitor. I have to say that the organizers always work really hard and do a great job, managing to improve the quality of the event every year.
So, how was Bikefest in Kálnica this year? It took place on May 27 to May 29, 2016. It has grown since the previous year again. More people, more bikes, more races. 400 test bicycles, 50 exhibitors, plenty of cultural events, kids zone. Guarded bicycle storage, excellent beer, free entry, camping for participants. Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour races with bronze status, dual pumptrack, XC Eliminator, Enduro, XC Uphill, AirBeg, Dual Slalom, Marathon, Downhill.
EUR 1.800 prize money and packed start lists.
The entire festival was almost flawless. Organization of all the contests was top-level, and I didn't encounter any significant problem. Brilliant spectators and warm sunny weather emphasized the friendly atmosphere of the festival. Visitors to the Expo Zone could test real gems. No notable biking company was missing. The system of bike rental is perfect – just another reason for me to praise the organizers.
Naturally, even this event leaves some space for improvement and enhancement. Personally, I don't like the kind of music (chiefly electronic music) presented within the event and I like the night programme neither. However, this is just my personal opinion as I prefer guitar based music. Better balance in this respect would definitely be beneficial. Another, more important issue to address, is hygiene at the festival. The number of toilets, showers and washbasins should be increased, as well as care of those facilities. Yet as I see the effort of the organizers to upgrade the festival in all aspects, I believe any flies will be soon removed from the ointment.
The conclusion I have come to is unequivocal: There is no other event which may compare to this one in our country. Anyone with biker's blood circulating in their veins can't wait to attend the following year of the event.
Author: Peter Jež
Here is a brief list of results of the main contests:
The 49 kms long marathon track was dominated by Czech biker Marek Rauchfuss representing Kellys Bike Ranch Team, the winner of XC Extreme Uphill is his teammate Michal Bubílek.
A thrilling duel could be seen at Enduro Race, with only 17 seconds of difference between the first and fourth racer in the finish. The winner is Jan Javorník representing Bikestrike, shortly ahead of Slovak rider Maťej Vitko from Specialized team and Jiří Šimara. In the Women's Category, Andrea Hilcerová got gold, Jana Horáková silver and Dominika Durčáková bronze medal.
For complete results, see Sportsoft website.