BICYCLING IN VLADIVOSTOK

  • Photo: Anton Valton
  • Text: Ekaterina Shved, Aleksey Zaitsev (Look at Vladivostok)

Despite its hills, rises, and narrow walkways, Vladivostok loves bicycles. You can ride on the waterfront, cross the city from north to south or even to go to Russkiy Island the or Shamora area.

In Vladivostok, there is an active cycling community, Velodom, which is always taking new members into its ranks. There are constant excursions, joint rides, bicycle polo, bicycle quests, and other interesting events.

If you do not have a bicycle with you, you can rent one for a time from a bike rental. There are many located in different areas of the city.

THE FEFU CAMPUS

The shoreline campus of FEFU is one of the most popular vacation destinations among Vladivostok’s citizens and guests. It is the longest and the newest, and the landscape of the island allows for riding on flat roads, as well as experiencing hills and small crossings. Entrance to the FEFU campus is free for everyone, but cars must be left outside the perimeter.

Just a few minutes from the campus building is the the largest bicycle rental in Vladivostok, “Sam Sebe Velosiped.” It is located in the former School Number 5, near the Universtetskaya Naberezhnaya. There is now an extreme sports school located here called, “Tochka Prityazheniya.”

At Sam Sebe Velosiped, from April to November there are 120 different bikes: from ordinary to mountain, BMX and hydraulic. The cost to rent is 150 rubles/hour, 500 rubles/day, and 700 rubles/24 hours. Bigger bicycles (chic customs, tandems, adult tricycles, electric bicycles) cost from 250 rubles/hour. Bicycle racks can be provided for transportation convenience on long distances for 250 rubles per day, and repairs and can also be provided.

In order to rent a bicycle, a copy of proof of identity or a cash deposit of 5,000 to 7,000 rubles is needed. For any questions you can contact by phone +7 (423) 209-57-67. Sam Sebe Velosiped on campus is open on weekdays from 11:00AM to 10:00PM, and on weekends from 10:00AM to 10:00PM.

For weekends, it is advised to book bicycles in advance. Payment can be made in cash or by bankcard.

For fans of extreme sports, the school has a soft funbox (an obstacle with a foam rubber pad underneath) and a foamed rubber pit. Here bicycle lovers can work out more complex tricks, which can then be taken out onto the city’s hard streets.

Downtown area

In the city center there is a branch of Sam Sebe Velosiped located in the guest house Gallery & More (4B Fokina Street). There are five bikes, rental price per hour is 150 rubles, and per day is 800 rubles. The security deposit requires either a passport (or drivers license), or 7,500 rubles.

You can ride in the center of Vladivostok, along the waterfront of Sportivnaya Gavana, and it’s also worth riding along the first section of the Tropa Zdorovya (Path of Health) to Nevelsky MGU Stadium. In the foreseeable future, the city authorities plan to extend the Tropa Zdorovya from the Tokarev lighthouse to the Vtoraya Rechka area.

On the Sportivnaya Naberezhnaya, opposite the Olimpiyets Sports Complex, there is a ramp for extreme sports for both beginners and experienced riders. This is a solid ramp made of plywood, so its not so easy to “fly off” it. Entrance here is free at any time of the day.

TSESAREVICHA NABEREZHNAYA

The Tsesarevicha Naberezhnaya is another popular vacation spot for townspeople on bicycles. It is located on the shores of the Zolotoy Rog Bay, with stunning views of the Zolotoy Bridge. Many choose this place not only for its length, but also for its cared-for appearance.

The local bike rental has 50 bikes, including childrens. Rental of two-and three-wheeled bicycles costs 200 rubles/hour, adults 250 rubles/hour, and mountain bikes are 300 rubles/hour.

To rent a bicycle, you need to leave a document or a cash deposit (several thousand rubles, depending on the model). The rental includes protective gear: knee pads and helmets. The rental service is open from 01:00PM to 12:00PM, and may be closed in cloudy weather.

There is also a mini-ramp located on the waterfront for thrill-seekers. They start mainly in the evening, when most of the vacationers have left. Despite the apparent simplicity of the ramp, it allows for the performance of quite difficult tricks.

VTORAYA RECHKA

There are 15 bicycles in Solnishko Park (15B Borodinskaya Street) where a branch of the bicycle rental shop Sam Sebe Velosiped is also located. As a rule, riders are found here along the green areas of the Vtoraya Rechka (in addition to Solnishko Park, there is the Square on Davydova, Park Pobedy, and Square Very I Nadezhdy (Square of Faith and Hope), as well as the comparatively straight sidewalks of Russkaya and Borodinskaya Streets.

SUBURBS

Bicycles can be rented at the Sergey Lazlo Park of Culture and Recreation (26 Desyataya Street). Here you will find 14 models for adults, 7 for children, including for even the youngest riders. Training wheels are put on all children’s bicycles, and there are even strollers with pedals. The rental price is 200 rubles/hour (150 rubles/half-hour). Children, respectively, are 150 and 100 rubles.

The rental office is open daily, depending on the weather, from 11:00AM to 09:00PM. The terms are standard: you need to leave your passport details and your phone number. You can ride along the park paths or outside of the park: Near the bus stop with the self-explanatory name Sanatornaya, is a beautiful spot with many walking areas.

There is also bicycle rental in the minimarket chain Hakuna Matata (near the Fetisov Arena Concert and Sporting Complex and in Lazurnaya Bay. Bicycles are available here as an additional service and payment is made by credit card. The rental service is open year round, because bicycles are often rented here for the winter race “Tour de Papenberg,” held on the ice of Novik Harbor (Russkiy Island). Only mountain bikes are available and cost 200 rubles/hour, 800 rubles/day (the rental office is open until 10:00PM).

A website has been launched for rental customers сахарныйключ.рф which shows suburban routes. Beginning bicycle lovers tend to ride around the Fetisov Arena and the Sadgorod railway stop. Those with more experience ride around the Bogataya Reservoir in the Lazurnaya Bay Area, where they can return their bicycles to the rental chain’s other office (at the former post of Shamora).

CONCLUSION: CITY TRAFFIC

Despite the fact that cycling has recently been actively developing, it is necessary to ride cautiously along the city streets. Motorists in Vladivostok consider themselves the dominant class, and have a condescending view of cyclists. In turn, not all bicycle lovers consider it their duty to adequately know the traffic rules. Cycling activists are trying to remedy this by holding lectures, but so far the results leave much to be desired.

Also, in Vladivostok there are no bicycle paths and only a small amount of bicycle parking has been built. However, the situation is slowly but surely changing and city authorities are actively cooperating with the cycling community in these areas. Currently, everyone is awaiting the reconstruction of the Park Minniy Gorodok, where dedicated cycling lanes may appear.

Happy cycling in Vladivostok!

Come to Vladivostok!

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