Thursday, 17 May 2012

Cycling in Moscow

At last, cycling weather.

I couldn’t find much information about opportunities to ride bicycles in Moscow before we arrived. What I did see was not encouraging. In particular I recall watching a You Tube video shot by some nutty guy cycling through the Moscow traffic with a camera strapped to his head. It was pretty scary. 

My winter explorations by foot and ski had convinced me there would be places to ride once the snow disappeared. There are plenty of large parks and there is a path along the river, though I didn’t know how far this went. The main problem would be linking them together. There was no way I was riding on those roads.

I have no idea whether it is legal to ride bicycles on the footpath in Moscow. But what the heck – people park on the pavement and I have even seen motorists drive along it looking for somewhere to park. A bicycle is comparatively innocuous. So I have become a footpath cyclist. Thus far, no one has taken the slightest bit of notice.

Last Saturday we took a ride along the northern bank of the river. So far I have measured 22 kilometres of cycle friendly path. The route ends at a road and a wall about 6 kilometres east of the Kremlin, but to the west, it follows the long bend in the river past Sparrow Hills, at least as far as the skyscrapers of Moscow City. 

Me cycling beside the Moscow River. The Kremlin walls in the background (photo by Wendy)
I see few other cyclists, and most of those, like me, are on the footpath. This is not a bicycle-friendly city. With a bit of patience and care though, it is not only possible, but an enjoyable way to get around. 

Wendy on one of the very few marked cycle paths in Moscow. The skyscrapers of Moscow City (which is several kilometres from the Kremlin) in the background, Sparrow Hills across the river on the left.
Of course, painting a bit of green on the footpath in no way negates a driver's right to park on it.
A few kilometres further on the green paint has run out. The covered bridge at Kievskaya in the middle distance..


  1. Got to love those Russians. I have done a lot of traveling by bike, but never to Russia - partly because I think it has a reputation for being unfriendly to cyclists, and considering that, the language barrier also worries me. But maybe I'll do a little more research and see what I can find - it does look like a beautiful place.

  2. I have lived in Moscow for a little over three years as well. Moscow, Indiana.That's how I inadvertently negotiated this rediculous website, blog, or whatever it is referred to. Having never blogged (?) I'm not even sure if anyone will read my observations, however, I'll probably feel better. Anyway...
    I'ts difficult for me to fathom the audacity of a city that only provides 22 km (so far) of bicycle friendly terrain before your beloved green paint runs out. That is not nearly enough ground to cover while you are enjoying pedaling around with a hat on that appears that you're preparing to be shot out of a cannon. I can't blame you for going to a foreign country and ignoring their ordinances regarding foot paths because you're on the verge of a tantrum. I guess that comes with being painfully aware of the phrase (probably from a very young age)" comparatively innocuous ". It must have taken surgical precision to navigate that bridge without any green lines to steer by. And did you actually ride into that death trap of a forest (trees, NO GREEN LINES )? In my opinion you showed wreckless disregard.

    Ok I'm getting bored. My name is Mike. I too have a bike. It's powered by a 750 four stroke DOHC with 4 carbs. Happy riding Pee Wee !