From free to my accommodation clients to $15-25/day for others. Various locations, with the main cluster 15 min. walk from Metro Alexeyevskaya, right by the entrance to Sokolniki. Easy rental terms, with no contracts do sign or deposit to make the say it’s normally done here for responsible clients. Bike tours of Moscow, or outings to the countryside, can be organized on request.
Most of rooms and apartments on my list come with a bike. Alexandra’s has a hybrid bike equipped for long trips, with saddlebags, a set of tools, lights and reflectors and such. Irina will let you use her mountain bike if you stay at her place. My apartment on the canal come with an very basic but comfortable city bike. Dimitry with two antique-shop style rooms just off Maroseyka will avail two Soviet-era bikes made at a tank factory, and an identical one is permanently assigned to my camper. Oh, how could I forget charming Snejana with her $25-30/night room in Tushino and superbly smooth three-speed roadster?!! They are available at no extra fee to accommodation clients. And yes, you can group them as you like – if of course they are available – provided you move them back and forth yourself.
Not renting an apartment or a room from us? No problem. Make a $15-25 per bike per day contribution towards their upkeep, convince me I’ll get them back undamaged, and they are yours. When not in use 3-4 of them tend to gravitate to a garage right by the entrance to the north part of the Sokolniki park near Metro Alexeyevskaya. Easy access to Losiny Ostrov (Moose Island), which opens up for you the entire east end of Moscow. Not far from VDNKh and the Botanical Gardens.
Delivery of two bikes to the center of Moscow is possible if I’m free. To bring more to any required location would require the use of a car, which is a very different game in Moscow traffic, and which goes contrary to my desire to make my tiny – microscopic – infinitesimal – input to reducing Moscow traffic hell. So two bikes at a time only if you insist on having them delivered. I’ll expect a $25 per trip contribution towards my beer therapy. Consider travelling to Metro Alexeyevskaya. It is no more than 20 min. from Tretyakovskaya or Kitay-Gorod or Turgenevskaya.
Please write to make preliminary arrangements and call +7 985 217 3241 to discuss details. Please DON’T CALL with general enquiries though.
This one, assigned to Alexandra’s apartment, is equipped with lights, tools, and saddlebags. Distances in this area of Moscow are large, and terrain at times tough, so the cross-country bike stays here. From the vicinity of Metro Alexeyevskaya you can easily access the city center via Catherine Park, then the nearly empty boulevard with a Russian solder holding babies and 3-4 generals and field-marshals, then Tvetnoy (the one with bronze clowns) and you are on the Boulevard Ring. Or go through Sokolniki and you emerge by the three stations. Moose Island park will take you all the way to east end, to Izmailovo, which has another huge park. Or, again via a boulevard that minimizes exposure to traffic, you can get to Ostankino, VDNKh, and the Botanical Gardens. And a huge empty industrial zone. It is not for everyone but I find it attractive in a way. So this location requires a serious and equipped bike.
This one is assigned to my apartment on the canal but in fact tends to migrate to Alexeyevskaya, where other bikes are. The original plan was to have them evenly distributed to their individual posts but it appears that bikes are entities of social and gregarious nature. Although I’m not I let them live the life they want as long as they do the job they were procured to do. So this one is now at Alexeyevskaya, by the north entrance to Sokolniki. This bike is light, simple, and very well balanced. No time or effort is required to get used to it. If you haven’t been on a bike since your early days that’s the one for you.
Below are a few random photos, notes, and observations on cycling in Moscow.
I ran into a real moose when exploring the part of Sokolniki adjacent to the Moose Island park. Don’t try to coming up to them that close unless you suffer death wish and/or can read their faces and tell just at what moment they will shred you up with their sharp front hooves. This is a good example of the “parallel worlds” nature of Moscow. Even most locals have no idea these live among them.
- No, I don’t view bike rental as serious business. Don’t expect ass-licking service. Keep it easy for me and I’ll do it. Act like assholes and the experiment’s over.
- I will not share the particulars publicly for the fear of being accused of discrimination or even racism but I will avail bikes – or anything else of value – only to representatives of cultures known for responsibility and respect for property. If you have revolutionaries, terrorists, or even lager louts among your relatives or ancestors, my services are unavailable or restricted. You MUST have low risk tolerance hard-wired in you to borrow my bikes. Gee, I like how it came out. I’ve been looking for months for a PC way of phrasing my hard-earned right to prejudice.
Something nice to finish it off. This year bicycle stands started appearing in Moscow. Probably for the first time it city’s history. Here is one right by Red Square:
A few more were noticed by shopping malls and fashionable spots. I’m also pleased to share my observation that cyclists do not get honked at or run over as often as they were 14(?) years ago, when I last tried cycling in Moscow.
Rush hour in Moscow. With a bike you are in a parallel world. Now crowds, no cars. The first few rides will be tough but if you survive these Moscow will turn into an empty park. Tuesday, middle of the day, Kitay-Gorod. Speaking of parallel worlds, see the Sololniki moose above.
Another rush-hour. Olimpiysky Prospekt. Permanent jams, crowded sidewalks. But with a bicycle it is a tranquil park. Again, don’t expect your Moscow turn into that instantly but with a bit of practice you’ll soon learn how to stay in a different dimention.
- bedandbike.ru/ – A hostel in Saint-Petesburg that offers bikes and bike trips around Saint-Petersburg.
- rctc.ru/index.html – Russian Cycle Touring Club, English page
- http://velotransunion.ru/english – Promotion of bicycles as a real transportation alternative. A blanket organization for everything “pro-bike” in Russia.
- Miscellaneous bicycle clubs, Moscow based, Russian only: veloturist.ru, velokatim.ru, forum.velomania.ru.
- http://www.katushkin.ru – A database for finding a buddy for bike riding.