публикация №1446057570, версия для печати

TWO WHEELS TO FREEDOM (essay from Moscow)

Дата публикации: 28 октября 2015
Автор: Anton Razmakhnin
Публикатор: БЦБ LIBRARY.BY (номер депонирования: BY-1446057570)

The bicycle is almost an ideal means for moving about a city during the summer months. There are no traffic jams for the two-wheeled vehicles, while cycling to and from work provides excellent exercise - on par with going to a fitness club. Incidentally, it's inaccurate to think that cycling only develops leg muscles: a cyclist must use all of his-muscles to ride. And what is better, taking the stifling metro train or dashing along the beautiful streets quick as the wind? It would seem that the answer is obvious. Why then do most Muscovites only cycle through a park during the evening, if at all? The answer to this question, alas, lies on the surface.

The majority of those who have ever tried cycling in Moscow shudder at the thought afterward: "Never again!". And they never advise children to attempt it. Cycling in our city can be a horrible experience. The problem is that because there are no cycling lanes, cyclists don't have much of a choice - either ride on the sidewalk, or share the road with the vehicles. Although traffic rules prescribe the second option, the majority of cyclists choose the first as the safest. This, however, is not only against the law, but also involves two serious problems.

First, the uneasy relationship between cycling enthusiasts and pedestrians: whoever ventures to cycle along the sidewalk of the Garden Ring during rush hour is bound to get an earful. Second, in quite a few places in the city there are no sidewalks at all. To get from one part of Moscow to another, cyclists often have to go down tunnels or up overpasses, together with the cars. This is an extremely stressful experience. For example, the tunnel under Kosygin Street, which leads from central Moscow to Moscow State University on Vorobyovy Hills, is a stretch where motorists as a general rule drive at a speed of at least 60 kph. Furthermore, there is a solid concrete wall on the right, so if a car passes a cyclist on the left, one needs nerves of steel not to swerve one way or the other: any such move would be fatal.

On other roads in the Russian capital, heavy traffic also turns any cyclist into a potential suicide. And drivers also become nervous when they see a cyclist: Any careless maneuver near a bicycle or Razor scooter can land the driver in the dock. So a careful motorist will always give a cyclist a wide berth.

This summer (2015), the situation on the Moscow roads has become even more complex and less predictable. The number of cars, bicycles and scooters has visibly increased - especially the scooters. Both de jure (according to the traffic code, scooters with engine capacity not exceeding 50 cc are classified as 'mechanical transport facilities') and de facto, the scooter is a bicycle minus the pedals. Many opt for the scooter: with current fume concentrations in Moscow, it is not very good for a person's health to ride along city avenues for very long, which is exactly what cyclists do. As for proneness to injury, scooter riders and cyclists are equally exposed and vulnerable.

And now please watch this video about life of cyclist in Moscow city:

VIDEO: Cyclists vs Swiss ambassador (October 2015)

Опубликовано 28 октября 2015 года

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КЛЮЧЕВЫЕ СЛОВА (нажмите для поиска): bicycle, moto, scooter

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