It burns up on the hill
The suitable car park in Tacen should be your starting point for this route. Go southwest towards the village of Smlednik. If the day is gloomy, perhaps even foggy, this reminds us of the funny postcard from Šmarna gora Hill, which is completely white, blank and naked on the front side, having only a short text on the bottom edge saying: "A view of Ljubljana in fog from Šmarna gora". Cut with the bicycle through the fog like a knife would go through a cream cake and push your pedals on the main road through the village of Vikrče, and then continue the ride along the foothills of Grmada , past the village of Spodnje Pirniče, straight towards north.
You are slowly leaving Grmada behind. At the roundabout near the golf course go straight again and you will be warmed up by the time you reach Smlednik, while the climb on the slope will take some breath from your lungs. If this is not enough for you, you can treat yourself with an "extra warm-up" climb (read: more than a kilometre of really steep macadam road) to the ruins of the old Smlednik Castle . It is a beautiful place and with a bit of imagination, you could visualise the scenes from the folk tale about the lord of Smlednik castle, a hopelessly passionate gambler, who one night, when he allegedly played cards against the devil himself, first gambled away all his possessions, then his youngest daughter, and finally, his soul. The daughter, who was turned into a snake with a spell, supposedly still guards the treasure tied in three bundles under the ruins of the castle.
If you are warm around the heart without the extra warm-up, you can lock up your bicycle, leave it to rest for some time and take a walk to the castle through Kalvarija , a monument consisting of fourteen chapels depicting the Stations of the Cross. It is an original and not really frequent architectural peculiarity, which was ordered to be built by Baron Franc of Smlednik in 1772. He envisioned chapels built on the slope of the castle hill directed exactly towards the Blood Shrine near the church in Valburga. Since this piece of land was not his property, he purchased it, concluding with the owner a commutative contract, one of the first such contracts partially written in Slovenian.
When you get on your bicycle again, visit the Church of St. Urlich , one of the biggest churches in Slovenia. It was constructed between 1847 and 1851. Nearby is a Baroque chapel with a statue of St. Urlich and frescoes made by the students of Slovenian painter Leopold Layer (1752-1828). Then, just like the Counts of Andechs left the old castle and settled in the valley, follow their path to the next village with a manor, Valburga. A Renaissance style manor with a park was built there in the 18th century, which is today called Lazarini Manor in remembrance of its last owners. Nearby is the Church of St. Walburga , while the abovementioned Blood Shrine stands in the field to the south from it. When you leave all these landmarks behind, go straight towards the village of Trboje. The road is nice for cycling, although it is somewhat narrow in certain sections.
A trap which can be a pleasant one
In Trboje, you will have a nice opportunity to miss the planned direction. Should you go straight along the main road, you would get to Trboje Lake . However, a decision was made that water activities will be skipped, so you should pay attention when you reach Trboje. When you get to the crossroads in the centre of the village (a chapel is on the left, a monument to the National Liberation War is on the right), turn right before the monument. Keep to the left at the next crossroads and get your bicycle and your body into the right rhythm as you go along the main road. Only a stone's throw away is Voklo , an interesting village which got its name after a pond, around which the village was built. Turn left at the stop sign and you will see a church door about a hundred of metres in front of you. There, in front of the Church of St. Bartholomew, the signpost points to the right, towards the village of Šenčur.
Under the motorway to Šenčur
It is not even noticeable from the bicycle seat that the underpass you will go through actually goes under the Gorenjska motorway. At the first roundabout that follows, it is clear from afar that you have to go straight if you want to get to Šenčur. You will therefore go along Gasilska cesta Road past the cemetery and the Church of St. George , whose defensive wall has been partially preserved. Turks used to wreak havoc in this area many times and the local people used to turn their heads in fear towards Straža, a hill above the village of Olševek north from Šenčur, to see when a signal fire on its top will again announce their arrival. Like on Grmada, signal fires were also lit on Straža during the invasions of the Turks. At the crossroads, continue the ride along Pipanova cesta Road. You will go through a well tended maple tree alley , which represents a monument to cultivated nature. When the tree alley ends, you have to open your eyes wide if you want to find the sign for Velesovska cesta Road on the info board full of streets and names. Now turn right. Namely, the main road goes slightly to the left towards Visoko and Luže, from where you could also get to Cerklje or Dvorije and Grad, where you are destined, but a "shortcut" through the fields will be more suitable. Do not turn to the village of Srednja vas, but keep to the right and go towards Velesovo.
"There, under the hill, stands a little cloister – Velesovo ..."
In Velesovo, turn left at the stop sign and cycle for some three hundred meters to the village of Trata, where you turn right towards Cerklje. If you are in the mood for art and still have enough energy, you will not be sorry if you go straight at the crossroads and take a look at two beautiful churches – the Church of St. Margaret in Trata (not far away on the right) and the Church of the Annunciation of Virgin Mary in Adergas (some 600 metres ahead). The Church of the Annunciation of Virgin Mary has been extended with the oldest nun's monastery in Slovenia, the Convent of Dominican Sisters (white nuns). The renowned Mary's Chapel used to stand at the place where the church stands today; the legend about its creation is described below.
Around the Cerklje parish
Return to the crossroads, where you have to turn left towards Cerklje. Soon after Češnjevek, you will see Strmol Castle . The path to the castle leads through a tree alley.
Strmol Castle was first mentioned in 1287 as the inherited property of the Strmol nobles. The Strmol family was followed by many different owners, while today the castle is used by the state for protocol events. In the romantic peace and quiet of the well tended castle park, one can easily imagine pages and princesses joyfully playing on the grass among the decorative shrubs. It is really worth the visit. When you return to the main road, turn left (do not turn right towards Cerklje) and cycle to the end of the village of Dvorje, where the castle's farm used to be. At the church of St. Nicholas turn left to the village of Grad, and after some hundred metres (before Tonač Pizza Restaurant) turn right towards the village of Pšata. You are now on the road which locals call "Pod gorami" (below the hills). It is very narrow, but enjoyable. It goes through fields and pastures, and numerous cows and horses graze along it carefree. When you get to the crossroads (there is a sign on the left), go straight through Pšata. The village was first mentioned in 1238 as Pischat, and together with the Church of St. Margaret, it belonged for at least 300 years to the Komenda parish; the people of Pšata were embraced again by the Cerklje parish only after the reforms by Joseph II.
From Kurja vas to "town paths"
The road through the village of Kurja vas will take you to Poženik. The most interesting building in the area is a white modern manor under the hill at the end of the village, which was supposed to substitute the former Poženik Castle, not a stone of which is now left standing. At leat the first impression is such... While going through the village of Poženik , follow the signposts for Šmartno, where you turn left before the Church of St. Martin and along the Pšata Stream reach the village of Zalog pri Cerkljah. Here you have to turn left again to the main road and through the village of Klanec (the name suits it well – klanec = slope), before you finally make a stop in Komenda. The historical centre of Komenda is made of the Baroque parish Church of St. Peter with a square embellished by masterpieces by Jože Plečnik , Šmid Manor with a large fountain, two mighty linden trees (the bigger one is more than 700 years old), a Gothic beacon on the southern side of the old part of the cemetery, the Glavar Benefice House with a library and a memorial room, and Glavar Hospital or Špital from 1804 across the street. If you take some time off for sightseeing, you will not be sorry, and having something to eat would also suit you well. Then you can hop on your bike again and hit the road to Moste!
When you get to Moste for the first time on bicycle from this direction, it is best to turn left at the crossing with the road towards Brnik, and then to leave it after a few tens of metres (just before the petrol station) by turning right – direction of Suhadole. You are now cycling on an almost empty village road and "following you nose", as your old aunt would say, until you see a large industrial complex (Hidrotehnik) on your right. If you went straight, you would get to Mengeš, while our route goes right just after the fence. The board says Vodice. Hooray! The road is beautiful – even when the weather is rainy! Before you know it, you reach Koseze, where you turn left, past Koseze Pond. You are nearing the village of Šinkov Turn, but this time you will pass it by (because of the climb), so you will take the road below. When you get to the main road, go left towards Selo and onwards to Vojsko, in a word - home. The road is excellent, there is not much traffic, while the views from it are unique.
At the crossroads with the notable plague column from 1668, turn left (the right turn leads towards Skaručna and Vodice). Now you will have to be more careful, as the road here is busier and the kilometres that you have covered are already taking their toll, aren't they? The overpass near Povodje will take you across the motorway, and when you get to Šmartno, turn right at the church, go to the nearby crossroads, at which you repeat the drill (right once more) and dash off towards Tacen.
This path is never lonesome. Even when the weather is somewhat strange, you will run into enthusiasts on bicycles – going in both directions. Even on days when real winter and snow show their teeth and when only memories of the kilometres cycled in the past season are more or less all what has left from the cycling feats, this route is literally made for cyclists. The roads throughout the entire route are carefully and regularly maintained and ploughed, while the surroundings are (even in the winter) unique. Good luck!