Every year, hundreds of thousands of Muscovites eagerly await the start of the cycling season. And indeed, Moscow has no shortage of places to cycle. Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city in shaded parks and blooming gardens and learn about the history of the capital while riding along the embankments and the city's historical centre. This article will tell you about the most popular routes amongst Moscow's cyclists.
With almost 800 kilometres of dedicated bike lanes and bikeways in the streets and parks of the capital, riding your bike around the city's most beautiful places is easier than ever. And it's no problem if you don't have your own: Moscow has an extensive bike rental network that currently includes almost five hundred docking stations and continues to expand every year.
The capital's main bike path is 16 kilometres long and stretches all the way from Gorky Park (or rather, from Krymsky Bridge and Muzeon Park) to Victory Park. The bikeway is 3 metres wide, which allows cyclists to avoid oncoming traffic without trouble. Even beginners will feel at home amongst its leisurely traffic while taking in the aesthetically pleasing modern landscape design. This promenade on two wheels passes along the Moskva River, through Neskuchny Garden and Sparrow Hills. Experienced cyclists refer to this route as 'The Four Bridges'.
If you turn right from Vorobyovskaya Embankment onto Berezhkovskaya and Taras Shevchenko embankments, you'll eventually end up in Moscow City, where you'll find 3 more bridges: Borodinsky, Novoarbatsky, and Bagration. This makes the route 3 kilometres shorter, but no less picturesque.
The central route (the route going through the very centre of Moscow) will take you from Rozhdestvensky Boulevard to the Moscow Hermitage Garden. And although this bikeway is only 9 kilometres long, it is better suited to very experienced cyclists who feel confident in heavy car traffic.
While travelling along Tsvetnoy and Strastnoy boulevards and the Garden Ring, you'll have an opportunity to visit Pushkinsky Garden Square and Patriarch Ponds, Tverskaya Street and Novy Arbat, as well as admire the Mossovet Theatre and the Satire Theatre, the Aquarium Garden, the Mikhail Bulgakov Museum, and Sadovo-Triumfalny Garden Square.
There is also a longer route that passes along the banks of the Moskva River and is suitable for confident cyclists and promising beginners alike. This 29-kilometre-long bikeway starts at Nagatinskaya Embankment and ends with an amazing view of Moscow City's glittering skyscrapers.
After crossing the river via Novospassky Bridge, the route continues along Kotelnicheskaya, Kremlevskaya, Moskvoretskaya, Prechistenskaya, and nearly a dozen other embankments with views of Red Square, Zaryadye Park, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the Alley of Glory, Luzhniki, and numerous other Moscow landmarks.
If you're still not tired out after cycling all this way along the embankments and still feel like pedalling, you can continue your trip with a visit to Krasnaya Presnya Park.
This route for beginners is almost 3 times shorter than the previous one: starting at Universitet metro station, this route can be completed in a single academic hour (45 minutes) and passes through avenues of apple trees planted by generations of students and professors of Russia's biggest university.
The bikeway goes along Vernadsky Avenue before turning onto Universitetsky Avenue and continuing towards Moscow State University's observation deck, at which point it takes another turn towards the university's main building. From there, you go around Stalin's legendary high-rises, ending up at the Botanical Garden close to the Faculty of Biology, where you can see blooming lilacs in spring. What a beauty!
This excellent cycling route allows you to enjoy the beauty of the city centre before continuing your ride in the tree-lined paths of the park. What's more, this route is only 7 kilometres long. The park also offers bike rental services.
Starting at Bolshoy Ustinsky Bridge, this route crosses the river, passes Ustinsky Garden Square, and heads along Yauzsky Boulevard, seamlessly switching to first Pokrovsky and then Chistoprudny boulevards. From there, it heads along the Boulevard Ring to Turgenevskaya metro station, where you'll make a turn onto Academician Sakharov Avenue. From the roundabout, proceed towards Komsomolskaya metro station and continue along Krasnoprudnaya, then along Rusakovskaya Street. Once you reach Sokolniki metro station, continue on to the park along the boulevard.
This route features a treasure trove of landmarks, taking in such sights as Chistye Prudy, Sretensky Boulevard, the Sovremennik Theatre, and Komsomolskaya Square. Not to mention a bike ride in Sokolniki Park itself, of course.
If you're completely free, love nature, and are prepared to go on an at least 3-hour-long bike ride, try to complete this 33-kilometre route. Along the way, you can visit 5 different Moscow parks: starting at Sokolniki, you pass Yekaterininsky Park on Prospekt Mira, Muzeon, Gorky Park, and Neskuchny Garden, before triumphantly finishing your route at Presnensky Park.
On this route, the most important part is to avoid superstition and stay away from the Central Alley to avoid getting slowed down by crowds of slow-paced pedestrians.
If you follow this advice, you're sure to enjoy the entirety of this 13-kilometre-long ride as your two-wheeled companion takes you to the restored pavilions of VDNH, the Tsitsin Main Botanical Garden, the Rock Garden, Ostankino Park and the Sheremetyev Palace, where you can take outstanding selfies next to Ostankino Tower.
The Elk Island National Park is the largest forest within Moscow city limits, and you can be sure that a semi-wild corner like this is guaranteed to have bikeways and bike paths. Deep within the forest, you can breathe as much fresh air as you want, hand-feed the squirrels, and even run into a moose. And if you happen to lose your way and find yourself at the Verkhneyauzsskiye moors, make sure to say hello to the local beavers.
It's best to start this forest route from Babaevsky Pond, which is the location of an observation deck and an oasis of civilisation in the form of a bike rental area. From there, you should ride along Abramtsevskaya to the Bumazhnaya forest road. Before you get to the Clinical Hospital, go north towards the Losinaya Biostation ('Moose Biostation'), Elk Pond, and Polyana Skazok ('The Glade of Fairy Tales').
However, some cyclists go to parks not for their tranquility but for more extreme pursuits. Adventurous types will enjoy the Lianozovo BMX complex, which is equipped with ramps and jumps. Located in Altufyevo Estate Park, this complex of impressively large installations for athletes of any skill level is truly gigantic, occupying an area of 2,500 square metres. More than 150 people ride here every day, while the noise-damping coating of the complex prevents them from disturbing the peace of nearby residents. The complex also features a 1.3-kilometre-long 'civillian' bikeway.
Dusseldorfsky Park in Maryino has a BMX velodrome for extreme cycling as well. Meanwhile, less professional cyclists can enjoy a ride in Moscow's 850th Anniversary Park, which stretches along the Moskva River. The famous 5.4-kilometre-long path from Maryino to Kapotnya is regarded by cyclists as one of the best bikeways in the capital. You can also take a comfortable ride in the district's smaller parks, which include Bratislavsky Park, the Memorial Park of the Heroes of the 1812 Patriotic War, and Artem Borovik Park.
Nagornaya's bike park with its dirt pump track is situated within walking distance of Nagornaya metro station or 1.5 kilometres from the Verkhniye Kotly station on the Moscow Central Circle. It's worth remembering that you can take your bike onto trains free of charge. This is the only official extreme cycling spot in Moscow: located on a ski slope, the bike park has illuminated slopes and a lift that operates 2 days a week.
First of all, we would like to note that since its large-scale restoration, Fili Park has been a real pleasure to ride in. It offers 8 kilometres of bikeways and several hills, but the best place for a peaceful bike ride in Fili is the picturesque embankment of the Moskva River. You can continue your ride in Krylatskoye along its rowing canal or cycling track.
Krylatskoye is a great spot for professionals and amateurs alike as long as you're in great shape. This is because the cycling track features big changes in elevation, steep ascents, and fast descents where experienced riders can reach speeds of up to 100 km/h! As such, this is a demanding route, and those who decide to visit Krylatskoye will have to have given it their best. Just make sure to obey the traffic rules.
This park has routes for everyone, regardless of their preferences or ability. Those who prefer calm rides can take the park's paved paths, while fans of extreme cycling replace skiers in summertime by riding in the park's ravines and slaloming down its small hills fitted with jumps. You can also combine a calm bike ride along the bikeways and paths with steep ascents and quick descents.
One of the most popular routes is the 7.5-kilometre-long 'Bitsevsky Park – Chertanovskaya Street', which begins near Bitsevsky Park metro station and follows bike paths deep into the forest. An important thing to keep in mind is to look where your bike is going: it is a forest, after all, so there may be holes and bumps along the way. For this reason, it's easier and safer to follow the bike path that starts at Belyaevo station and continues along Miklukho-Maklaya Street through Bitsevsky Park and towards Chertanovskaya metro station.
The whole of Izmailovsky Park is crossed by an even and comfortable bike path equipped with traffic signs and illumination. The route begins on Terletsky Proezd and continues along the central alley of Terletsky Forest Park, where you can have a peaceful ride in the shade of the trees of Izmailovsky Park, along Svobodny Avenue and Bolshoy Kupavensky Proezd, until you reach the Big Ferris Wheel. The total length of the route is 10 kilometres. Fans of extreme sport will appreciate Izmailovsky Park's bike jump.
There are dozens of cycling routes passing through Kuzminki Park, as it has an extensive network of branching and even paths. You can keep riding for 2 or 3 hours or you can complete your entire route in just half an hour, in which case you might want to take advantage of the park's bike rental located close to the cinema. The picturesque 8-kilometre-long bike path that passes by the Ponomarka River can be completed in just 40 minutes. No matter where you head – to Kuzminovsky Ponds, to Shibaevsky Pond, or to Lytkarinsky Forest – you'll eventually end up back where you started.
Over the past few years, 7 new bikeways have been constructed in the Northwestern District of Moscow. After its restoration, Mitino Landscape Park gained a 4.5-kilometre-long cycle lane with road markings, while the rental bikes available at the park even include tandems.
A comfortable cycling area connecting South and North Tushino has appeared on Svobody Street. The cycling route in South Tushino's Salyut Park is 1.2 kilometres long. However, the district's residents also enjoy cycling along Isakovsky Street, the garden squares on Pyatnitskoye Highway, and the left bank of the Skhodnya River.
Meanwhile, the cycling area of the North Tushino museum and park complex has been expanded with a 3-kilometre-long closed-circuit track that spans the whole park and has a special coating. And now it's finally open to cyclists who want to take a comfortable ride and enjoy the beauty of the western bank of the Khimki reservoir.
Only 5 years ago, Moscow cyclists were complaining that the area along the Yauza River – which boasts varied architecture and numerous parks, narrow European-like streets, and amazing nature – was not very suitable for cycling. Today, the route connecting the Moscow Region to the centre of the Russian capital attracts experienced cyclists and recreational riders alike.
For example, you can take the new well-maintained bikeways to travel from Sokolniki Park to Mytishchi, located about 20 kilometres away. It is equipped with bicycle parking, traffic signs and illumination, and there is an underpass going under the Moscow Ring Road from the direction of Moscow. That said, there's always room for improvement, so work to provide better infrastructure for cyclists will continue: in the future, the route along the Yauza River is set to be extended by about 40 kilometres.
Experienced cyclists also say that warm summer nights are a great time for a bike ride around Moscow. That's because the capital appears in a different light at night. Its buildings, bridges, trees, and lawns are beautifully and brightly lit up, and rides around familiar places can become truly romantic trips.
For romantics, 9 kilometres shouldn't be a problem, so make sure to invite your significant other on a special nighttime journey from Moscow City to Red Square. This ride takes in magnificent night views of the capital and its landmarks, including Hotel Ukraina, Kievsky railway station, and the Square of Europe, Borodinsky Bridge, the House of the Government of the Russian Federation, and the Rostov Embankment.
My Region programme of the Moscow Mayor offers equal development terms for all city districts considering their specifics. The programme takes into account the opinions and needs of residents of specific districts, builds new spaces for recreation, sports, and cultural entertainment, renovates old ones, and creates a convenient urban environment. From now on, a comfortable and modern city is not just about the city centre.
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