Transit Thursday: Do It Like the Russians Do

Russian cyclist stands next to his road bike.

Today’s blog post is basically a hats-off salute to a group of cyclists that are really taking their riding to the next level: Russians. That’s right. In Moscow, a city with some of the worst traffic in the world where your hands will definitely go numb and snot will definitely freeze on your face, ridership keeps going up.

Why?

A cycling group named Velonotte is mixing biking, culture, history, and community to create a movement on two wheels.

One ride drew in 5,000 riders wearing headphones and listening to an audio track about the historical locations they’d be passing. Other events have amassed up to 10,000 riders. It’s a beautiful mixture of all the different reasons people choose to hop on their bikes: exercise, entertainment, community, travel, and more.

The founders of Velonotte are using cycling culture to change the young, urban perception of everything from architecture to individual expression in Moscow. “People still need to show that they have a lot of money with a car and an iPhone… we are trying to change that opinion.” Creating this cycling community is not only powerful in its social effects in the young, urban population but also in its potential to change the face of public transit in Moscow.

Though the Triangle is undoubtedly more bike-friendly than Russia, we think cycling get-togethers could absolutely benefit the area. Creating better community among riders, getting people on their bikes and on the roads for the first time, and fostering a greater appreciation for the cities we live in seem like great reasons to encourage groups like this in the Triangle.

Lucky for you, we already know how to find some group rides near you. Benelux Cafe in Raleigh has a weekly Tuesday night ride and the ReCYCLEry in Carrboro has the scoop on biking events in the area.

What would convince you to join in group rides in the Triangle? Are there any historical or interesting sites you think would deserve to be included?

Share your thoughts in the comments!

 

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