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Temporary exhibition

Photographic exhibition: BMX in Slovenia (1986 – 2023)

Photographic exhibition: BMX in Slovenia (1986 – 2023)

Ten authors have captured the extraordinary pulse of the almost forty-year-old BMX subculture in Slovenia in 63 dynamic and, at the same time, documentary photographs. They are (were) involved in this attractive cycling discipline, which has had the status of an Olympic sport since 2008, as its participants or fellow passengers.

BMX – Bicycle Moto X – originated in the United States as a companion sport to motorcycle or motocross trials. Originally the sport, with 20-inch wheels, was intended for children but with its gradual development, adults have also become involved in BMX.

The initial and basic branch of BMX was race, a discipline that takes place on specially adapted tracks with bumps and jumps. This later developed in several directions. Today, there are BMX race and BMX freestyle. The latter is divided into sub-genres: park (performing tricks on dedicated objects), flatland (bicycle dancing) and dirt (competing on objects made of earth).

The beginnings of BMX cycling in Slovenia go back to Maribor in the second half of the nineteen eighties. The pioneer and, at the same time, main initiator and driving force behind the construction of the first dedicated BMX track in the former Yugoslavia, was a well-known cycling devotee, Lojze Fajdiga. With the help of like-minded people, with strong local support and in cooperation with various sponsors, the track in Maribor was opened on May 24, 1986 according to the plans of the architect Milan Eržen. It soon became the host of numerous national and republican  championships and international races, and smaller, local competitions, which were mainly intended for the entertainment of younger BMX riders.

Slovene competitors were eager to prove themselves and succeed. Simon Eržen was one of the first to achieve exceptional results abroad.

The desire to have its own BMX track also smouldered in the capital of the republic at the time. Three years after Maribor, on July 3, 1990, a BMX facility made to the plans of Milan Eržen was also officially opened in Ljubljana.

In the second half of the 1990s, interest in competitive BMX races in Slovenia somewhat declined. The flatland discipline became more and more popular. Simon Stojko Falk, three-times world champion in this discipline, showed his skills in it.

Some of the main actors of the BMX racing discipline, Simon Eržen, Peter Caf and Tomaž Jeras, with their successes abroad, ensured that this discipline did not completely sink into oblivion at the turn of the millennium.

Both BMX sports facilities, in Maribor and Ljubljana, have undergone quite a few changes to date. With a renovated track, Maribor also got an excellent competitor, later the first professional coach, Tilen Frank, who today is the driving force of the only real BMX club in Slovenia, the BSX Racing Team (all other clubs in Slovenia are generally cycling clubs with BMX sections). Ljubljana also got a slightly more modern infrastructure with the third and current version of the Ljubljana track, managed by Ljubljana KD Rajd.

BMX of the 21th century, with all its changes, was marked by Miha Čeh, who became European champion in the 8-year-old category in 2016 and took Slovenia to the very top of Europe.

Almost at the same time, Jaka Remec made his way towards the European and world top in the BMX park discipline. In a discipline for which there are no suitable facilities and proper conditions for training in Slovenia, Jaka has been measuring himself against the best freestyle competitors in the world for several seasons.

The continuation and popularization of BMX cycling was ensured by young competitors Mak Breznik Falk and Jošt Ložar, who put Slovenia on the European BMX map again in 2021 and 2022: Breznik Falk with his first victory in the European Cup and Ložar with third place in the European Championship.

Uroš Ložar

The exhibition was made possible by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia.


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