Moscow Residents Switch to Winter-Style Bikes to Get Around Town
Russians don't let winter keep them indoors.
Bikes as a way to get around town were virtually non-existent in Moscow 5 years ago, people just weren't used to the idea, and then there was the long winter to consider.
But since then, Muscovites have gone bike-crazy, as if to make up for all those years. The city has built extensive bike lanes in Moscow's huge network or parks, and along major streets. A new trend is now modifying bikes to be used in winter-time, using tires with metal studs in them.
With bikes fixed for the winter, modified snow tires and all the needed accessories, they have found a healthy and fun alternative to public transportation.
This is a report from the Russian national evening TV news. Full transcript below:
More and more Moscow residents continue using two-wheeled transportation even in the winter. Modern bicycles can go on ice and over snow banks. As it turns out even a regular bike can be made winter-proof. Eduard Punegov knows how to do it.
Lyudmila carefully checks her bike every day, she lubes the chain and tightens the screws, if needed. Lyudmila, biker:
"The hands are always dirty and should be washed."
7 years ago Lyudmila stopped using public transport and started riding the bike. Her commute takes 50 minutes, twice as fast as before. The girl covers 2,500 km in a year. She won't give up bike riding even in the winter.
"It's cold in the winter, but either way, I choose beautiful routes: parks, nice landscapes, which inspire me and help to keep up the good mood. Moreover, it's fitness, keeps you in good shape and gives you a fresh look."
For Fyodor, biking is a hobby. This year he started using this fatbike. Actually, it was invented to ride on the beach, but its thick tires with low pressure perfectly suit our off-road conditions.
Fyodor Marusov, biker:
"The infrastructure for biking in the winter already exists. If a person has a park or forest on the way to work, he can experiment with the thickness of a tire or the protector."
This is a self-made three-wheeled bike made from a wheelchair and a scooter. The constructor of the bike even made a speed selection mechanism, including reverse gear.
"Forward, there we go. We are going forward. Everything is moving, everything is turning."
There are many self-made models of bikes that Russians create for the cold season. And all for an extraordinary sensation. Everybody decides for themselves whether or not to close the biking season. Experts advise to prepare the bike for the cold weather. That means not only to change the tires, but also to use a special winter lubricant that will keep the chain and other mechanisms from wearing out. Experts say it's necessary to lube the chain after every 50 km. The bike will perform well even at extremely low temperatures. And it's advisable to change the tires with the first ice.
Vladimir Seleznyov, shop assistant:
"These spikes prevent from losing traction and falling down. You can compare it with summer rubber, which is softer, and without spikes. It's not suited for winter."
-Does it sell? -
Yes, it does. In fact, bike riding in the winter is becoming more and more popular.
To understand how popular winter biking is, it's worth remembering these images. Thousands of Muscovites participated in the bike parade in -30°Celsius weather, wearing fur coats and mittens. This year we'll see even more participants. The winter bike parade will take place on February 11, 2018. Eduard Punegov, Dmitriy Shestukhin, Alexander Travkin, Aida Burasheva, Vesti
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