How about trying to ride a bike in Riga?
If you love cycling and you are planning to visit the city it could be worth wile to know a few tips on the local bike riding culture.
Despite what some more reluctant locals may say – Riga is almost perfect for cycling – the roads are generally wide, it is ok to ride on pedestrian areas, traffic is reasonable, no big hills.
Where is the catch?
There are, as of writing this article, just a few cycling roads in the Central area of the City – so you will have to share the road with cars or pedestrians. So there we have prepared some tips to survive the streets of Riga as a cyclist:
- In Latvia we ride on the RIGHT hand side of the road.
- It IS OK and LEGAL (as of 2013) to ride on the pedestrian walks – as long as you are not disturbing the pedestrian traffic, pedestrians have the upper-hand there.
- We recommend riding on the pedestrian walks – it is safer.
- Cyclists must use a cycling lane if there is one marked.
- Cyclists are at the bottom of the traffic “pecking order” – always make sure that the road is clear for you to go.
- Even if the traffic light is green – still make sure yourself that there are no cars coming.
- If you plan to leave the bike, even for just 1 minute, make sure you lock it to something big and sturdy – bike theft is on the rise. Also use a proper lock.
- Use bright and reflective clothing on night time, if have use lights too.
What to do next?
So you got yourself a bike – make sure that:
- the brakes are working
- tyres are pumped
- seats are adjusted to your height
- you can reach the ground with your feet
- you feel comfortable on the bike
We advise for cyclists to leave the Old Town of Riga, as it is not easy to ride on the cobblestones there, and go to the Central District or to the levelly suburbs, many of them date back to 19th century, like Moscow District, Grīziņkalns, Āgenskalns, Ķīpsala, Kalniema Iela and others.
Hopefully this will make your cycling experience in Riga more enjoyable, feel free to contact us if you want to rent bikes or join one of our cycling tours of Riga or just find our rental shop and visit us – look for Riga Explorers Club.