One Steppe at a Time – (Not) Cycling in Moscow

I am in Moscow this week and I’m trying to remember the last occasion I was in such a cycling un-friendly city. It’s got me stumped. I have covered a fair few global miles in my time and cannot readily think of a single place – certainly not another capital city – where I would be less inclined to get my bike out and tootle off to see some sights or get in some miles. I spent 4 hours today travelling around the city by car and only saw one solitary rider. And even he was on the pavement. I visited a shopping centre in the outskirts and found a priceless piece of cycling unhelpfulness. Outside the main entrance was a sign with a large ‘P’ and a pictogram of a bike. Nothing to actually lock a bike to. Just the sign.

Moscow Bike Parking

Moscow’s traffic problems are legendary and have become the main feature of any visit to the city. The transfer from the main airport can easily take up to 3 hours to cover the 26miles by car. It’s currently 3.15pm on a Thursday afternoon and over half the total distance of Moscow’s three inner ring roads (there are 6 in total and two more are planned) are showing solid red on the Google maps traffic indicator. This is before ‘rush hour’ actually starts. Entire days have been added to my trip to allow for the traffic between three points less than 50km apart. People live in constant fear of simply being caught up in the volume of cars on the roads. And then there are the roads themselves…

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