How to travel by bicycle in Russia: ideas and suggestions

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Day trips in Russia

Newcomers can test their “strength” on a one-day trip – the roads should not be complicated and the distances should not be too long. For first-time riders, study the route carefully, taking into account not only the length of the road, but also the conditions: there should be no long climbs and no high mountain passes. The flatter the road, the better. Do not ride close to crowded and busy large traffic lanes, even if conditions permit.  Also, make sure carry your Russian invitation letter with your visa

Route: Levutov – Pavlovsky town

Distance: 65 km

From Reutov (metro station “Novokosino”) outside Moscow, via Saltykovsk, Zheleznodorozhny, Fedurnovo, then turn to Biserovo, to Staraya Kupavna, then to Elektrostal via Ivashevo, and finally to Pavlovsky Posad via Subbotino, the intercity electric train This is a good route for newcomers to the town of Pavlovsky Posad (Vokhna or Pavlovsky Posad station).

This route is good for beginners: the terrain remains almost unchanged throughout the route. It’s mainly asphalt, but it’s quiet, with a rural landscape and few cars. Also, there are many intercity train stations along the way – if you get tired, you can take the train back to Moscow.

Image by cattu from Pixabay 

For the uninitiated, there are plenty of suitable roads around Moscow. The entire Moscow region is dotted with railway lines, so it is not necessary to make a circular route. You can take an intercity train to one station and back from another. There are many convenient route options around most Russian cities. You can make your own route, or take the advice of experienced travelers and use an already prepared route map.

Two-day trips in Russia

If you can travel 60-70 km per day, it’s no problem and you’ll be able to ride for two days. First of all, you need to solve your overnight problem: will you stay in a hotel, borrow a private house or pitch your own tent? Be sure to take the weather into account and take extra things that will keep you warm or heated.

When choosing your route, add some “hills” on the way, but not too steep.

Keep an eye on your bike. Ideally, it should be carefully checked and tested two days before departure; if you don’t know much about bike parts, you should have a full “car check” at a good mechanic’s shop to remove all faults in time.

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Route: ride along Nizhny Novgorod and rest on the Volga

Distance: 140 km

This is a self-guided route with picturesque Volga forests, where you will have to pitch a tent on the road overnight. You don’t have to think about the schedule of electric trains or buses, even if you are delayed on the way, don’t worry.

From Nizhny Novgorod, you will pass through the town of Bor (you can cross the Volga by cable car). Next, head to Ivanovskoye. On the way, note the unique, interlocking bi-level railroad: it is no longer in use, but the original structure is still there. Then go in the direction of Yurasovo, where you will turn to Maloye Utkino, then to Beryozovka, to Vypolzovo, then to the Volga River, to Apraksino, passing through the hill fortress with its ancient earthen embankment. Hillfort, which retains its ancient earthen berm.

Image by Ирина Кудрявцева from Pixabay 

After that, follow Orlovo, Belkino, Yamnovo, Zavrazhnoye, Selishi. After passing through Zhukovka, you can go straight through the forest to the bank of the Volga River and find a place to pitch your tent.

The next day, go in the direction of Pumra, then through Vagankovo, Orekhovo, Markovo, turn left at Matveyevka, go to Vatoma, then through Put’kovo and back to the banks of the Volga, then to the town of Pol, and then to Nizhny Novgorod.

There are many suitable two-day rides in the Volga Valley, around the Voronezh region, around the cities along the Golden Ring and in the Crimean steppe.

Multi-day rides in Russia

Riding for several days in a row is a very serious matter and you need to be physically prepared. For the first time, choose a route that is not too difficult and not extreme, because riding a few days in a row is not at all the same as riding 100 km in a week. Please estimate that it is more comfortable to travel 70-80 km per day on the plains and with much less hills.

Check to see if there are any settlements along the way – it depends on whether you’ll be carrying a lot of food, or if you can buy all your food along the way. But whenever and wherever you go, make sure you have drinking water on you. Please do not forget to constantly replenish your supplies and have an emergency reserve – about 1.5 liters of water per person. 

Route: “Crimean coast: from Kerch to Alushta”

Distance: 270 km, 5-7 days

We have intentionally divided the trip on this route into several days, as it depends a lot on your fitness and desire to visit the sights – which will be seen on the way, and quite a lot of them. There will be some mountain passes – if you feel tired as you pass them, it is always possible to set up camp early and prepare for an overnight stay. Almost the entire road runs along the coastline. If you don’t want to pitch a tent, you can easily find a place to spend the night in the resort.

Get off the ferry to Kerch and head directly to the Feodossia steppe. Pass through the town of Ordzhonikidze and head to Koktebel. Be prepared for a long and tiring uphill climb. If you don’t want to tire yourself out that much, then sacrifice some of the scenic views and take a different route – along the Simferopol highway.

From Koktebeli there is a difficult mountain road leading to Sudak. The strongest will can cycle to the town of “Novyi Svit” in one day, while the rest of the people should go to the village of Morske and then to Alushta via Rybache and Malorichens’ke. From Alushta, you can take a bicycle and a trolleybus to Simferopol, from where you can return by plane or return to Kerch by bus or taxi.

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