Lejla Tanović

Sarajevo is ideal for mountain biking

Having worked with Turkey’s Salcano Cappadocia, Greece’s SMF and Spain’s Brújula, law graduate and BiH’s No. 1 biker, Lejla Tanović, is preparing for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo with her own Sarajevo club, Puls.

Updated: 2019/10/01

With 11 national titles and four first-place wins in Balkan mountain bike contests, each win gives her more UCI points, bringing her closer to meeting Olympic qualification standards.

- Normally, the points are gained by three team members, so that one can go to the Olympics, but, since I’m the only one from BiH in this category, I have to participate in as many races as possible, and my great trainer, Amar Njemčević, is preparing me.

She finds Sarajevo’s surroundings perfect for mountain biking, despite the need for more cycling infrastructure.

- We need better signage on mountain trails and many more biking parks, with cable cars, which will make for an easy ascent when training exclusively for downhill techniques.

A variety of terrains

Lejla prefers riding around Trebević, with its technically demanding trails and many tree roots. She prepares for races on rocky terrain up on Čavljak, as it has the same surface, and she rides on the flat terrain of Herzegovina in winter.

While the cable car makes Trebević more accessible, she hopes that there will soon be trails from Vidikovac to Bistrik.

- The summer season on Bjelašnica would be more complete by making a bike path in the forest parallel to the ski lanes. Also, mountain hotels should include services for bicyclists – racks, washing and repair….

She’s glad so many different international races, like the Giro di Sarajevo, the Sarajevo Half Marathon, Vučko Trail…, are bringing more and more athletes to our city, and she’d like to see improved public transport, to make attractions more accessible to visitors.

- Colleagues from all over the world admire our nature, whether during a visit or when following the photos from rides that I put on social networking sites.

She describes Sarajevo as always full, a diverse city with a good atmosphere, whose cheery residents are always ready to lend a hand.

Visitors find it odd that this city is so special, yet little known, and they love the fact that most cafes have Wi-Fi.

Fond of good coffee, she’s keen to have some at Cordoba and Metropolis, and she often selects a unique copper coffee set from Kazandžiluk for the special people in her life.

She says Sarajevo is special for its healthy food, organic and domestic products.

- Those who visit want to try the famous pita and ćevapi in Čaršija, and I recommend lamb at Bašča Kod Ene and Brajlović, fish at Luka Sarajevo and Libertas, and pizza at Kod Mahira and Cheers.

As for special things to do, she suggests an evening stroll along Wilson’s Promenade, a visit to Vrelo Bosne, Vijećnica, the National Museum, the National and Youth Theaters, enjoying Sarajevo festivals….