Sep 28 2012


If you’ve been following me on social media I’m sure you noticed a bunch of posts tagged with #3010 at the beginning of September, along with some stunning photos of Slovenia. While it was fun to document the trip this way, it was such an amazing experience, I thought it deserved a full post. This was a trip for my 40th birthday (thus the #3010 hash) and it was truly a once in a lifetime experience.

First let me start out by stating how much my wife Greeley rocks! She’s truly amazing. This trip was her idea and she spent a lot of time and energy making sure it went off smoothly and that everyone was very well taken care of. Everything from arranging the trip logistics to putting together our schwag bags (complete with Tour of Thirty-Ten (spelled out in Slovenian), individually named “Cutters” tee-shirts, to adjusting last minute travel. Not to mention convincing 9 of my good friends to join me and then surprising me with the whole thing. I don’t even have the words to describe how appreciative I am.

We chose Slovenia to get a little off the beaten path in Europe (and I had always wanted to go to the Balkens). And we were not disappointed. Slovenia is a beautiful country with rolling geen hills and high mountains. The people are friendly and very welcoming to visitors. There’s great history and wonderful sight seeing.

Ljubljana. Ljubljana is a beautiful city, the capital of Slovenia. At only about 300,000 residents it’s a pretty managable size. A few years ago they closed off the city center to traffic and as a result its extremely pedestrian friendly with many outdoor cafes and bars. Three bridges mark the center of town and the entire city is watched over by the Ljubljana Castle from which there are pretty amazing vistas.

Below are a few pictures from town as well as 360 panoramas from the city center and Ljubljana Castle. While the weather was damp during our stay, the city was alive with color and history. I could write an entire post about our adventures there (including a fun evening sampling beers from around Europe at Patrick’s Pub in the town center as well as our rain-soaked (and failed) search for a karaoke bar culminating in Ari playing DJ at the Rock Bar (which specialized in American Rock music, but seemed to be missing the mark on what Americans really think of as classic American rock). Below are also a handful of pictures of our first day’s ride from Ljubljana to the resort town of Bled (with a few stops on the way to see the beautiful small country towns).


View down the river from one of the many bridges in the city

Locks on a bridge rail signifying couples’ love for each other

Great night shot in downtown Ljubljana

The morning pre-ride briefing

The food was great in Slovenia

On the road!

Team #3010 – day 1 on the bikes

Stopping to confer with our guide Ron in a town square


Bled. After two days in Ljubljana we hopped on our bikes and rode approximately 75k to the resort town of Bled. Our hotel was right on the lake (the lake view below was from my room in the hotel) and truly stunning. There was some kind of EU security summit going on when we arrived and the hotel was crawling with special security service officers (complete with ear pieces and several with large automatic weaponry on display). We had an extremely memorable dinner on the veranda of the hotel overlooking the lake. This spectacular venue was our home for two nights, as we went on an out and back ride the next day, stopping for a hike up to Savica Waterfall and to take a cable car ride up 1535 meters to Mt Vogel where we were treated to amazing views of the Julian Alps.

Stopping along the road with Pete

I can’t describe how clear this water is. Amazing!

View from my hotel room on Lake Bled

Walker taking the warning sign a bit too seriously

Ready to roll…

Savica Waterfall

Our transport up Mt. Vogel

Kransjka Gora. It’s hard to describe exactly how amazingly scenic our ride through Triglav National Park was as we rode from Bled to the town of Kransjka Gora. This was an incredibly fun and relaxing day or riding (with the occasional crazy incline to push up). We also took what turned out to be my favorite picture of the trip at the start of this day – Ari and I recreating the classic Tour de France “smoking” photo. It’s the first one below (and since a few people have asked, no – it wasn’t photoshopped). We managed to ride into both Austria and Italy on the day’s ride as well, which was pretty neat.

An intimate portrait of the Tour de #3010

Our omni-present Autin Lehman yellow support van

A brief foray into Austria


And this wasn’t even the steepest hill we went up!

Pete was excited to take a quick side-trip into Italy

The gang ready to head out for the day

On the road

Vrsic Pass (the Queen’s Stage). Today was an epic climb up Vrsic Pass. 24 numbered hairpin turns on the way up to the top of the pass (all of those hairpins were cobbles as well, which added to the ambiance of the day) and 26 on the way down. There’s an embedded video of the descent, which included my crashing hard after my front tire went flat. About a minute after I was patched up, Brad took a more serious spill and ended up with 4 stitches and a new tooth (courtesy of a 3-D printer in the dentist’s office which Brad was pretty excited about). Scary but glad that everyone ended up ok.

The aftermath of Brad’s crash

Putting things back together after my fall

Ari celebrating his KOM

Top of the pass

That’s a lot of switchbacks!

Brad, Ryan and Jason actually decided to run up the pass (yikes!)

More beautiful scenery!

Northern Italy (the King’s Stage). What a great way to end an unforgettable week. From our overnight in Slovenia we headed into northern Italy to both catch yet more beautiful scenery as well as to stop for some wine tasting and a tour of what Bobby Stuckey from Frasca assured us was the best prosciutto in the world. An amazing end to an amazing week!

All in a hard day’s work

Our personalized Cutters tee’s courtesy of Greeley



The best prosciutto ever

Ready to head out for the King’s Stage