Biking in Moscow
At first glance, Moscow does not seem like the ideal place to ride your bike. The busy roads and sometimes unpredictable driving of the locals can easily turn your calm ride into a nightmare.
That being said, Moscow is actively changing and the mayor is taking measures that have had a real impact for bikers and pedestrians. Large sidewalks have been created on many roads and to the delight of bike-lovers, bicycle paths have finally appeared in the capital. This is a real advance for the city. The city’s parliament is actively trying to motivate the Muscovites to use more their bikes to move around the city as too lighten the traffic flow. Ads have been installed for example in the metro that describe people’s experience on going to work by bike. Whether you believe it a good way to have positive emotions or morning sport before sitting the whole day in front of desk, using your bike is without any doubt a great thing for yourself and for the community.
As well as transforming the city to the advantage of bikers, the city has also put into place a bike rental system called “Velobike”. The objective of the project as stated on the official site is: “ to creative an alternative to cars and public transport, to give habitants and tourists an affordable way of transport for short distances”. To this day, the city counts 300 “stations” where it is possible for any registered member to rent a bike and a total of 2700 bikes.
To register for the project, you should visit the site www.velobike.ru or download the application where you will need to give basic identification information (name, surname, email…). It is essential to have a VISA or Mastercard card to pay the fees. Once your are registered, you have the choice between to main options. The first option is rental for one day, which cost 150 roubles with a 1000 rouble deposit. The other option is a monthly fee, available for 500 roubles and also a deposit of the same amount as for the first option. After this initial fee, all rentals for less than 30 minutes are free and then you will have to pay for extra time (the price list is available on this page: http://velobike.ru/rates/)
Registering in this system is something that I would definitely recommend. The changes that have been brought to the city and especially to the road network has made cycling is Moscow much safer and more enjoyable. It is a great way to see the city and discover new places that you often miss out on if you always travel underground with the metro.