25 May 2010

St. Petersburg Cycle Chic

Sankt Peterburg - Bicycle Portrait
Just returned from a killer weekend in Saint Petersburg. Goodness me, that is a city that knows how to party.

I was invited by the Royal Danish Consulate General for the opening of the Dreams on Wheels exhibition. This is the first of a series of three or four posts about St. Petersburg Cycle Chic.

These shots are from the streets of the city, showing the blossoming bicycle culture. Dottie, from Let's Go Ride a Bike, let me know that Trisha was there last year and we were interested to see if there is an increase in the number of bicycles in the city.

By all accounts, things are heading in the right direction. And then some.

Sankt Peterburg - Bicycle Traffic
Four bicycles all at once! Wonderful to see.
Sankt Peterburg - Bike Boys
Bike boys cruisin'.
Sankt Peterburg - Sunset Ride
Sunset Ride.

I saw many more bikes than I was expecting and certainly more upright bikes than I would have hoped. Choppers and BMX's are quite popular in Russia and the mountain bike, dwindling in numbers among urban cyclists in the rest of the world, lives on in Eastern European and Russian cities. Simply because there is a lack of choice at bike shops, from what the locals tell me in every city in the region.

There is no bicycle infrastructure to speak of. I certainly never saw any on the streets. There were many bicycles in the traffic and many rolled casually along the sidewalks at a pedestrian pace.

Sankt Peterburg - Couple Sankt Peterburg - Drive Thru Sankt Peterburg - Bicycle Sankt Peterburg - Mobile Mobility Sankt Peterburg - Three Transport Forms Sankt Peterburg - Floral Basket Sankt Peterburg - Traffic Sankt Peterburg - Bicycle Portrait2

Sankt Peterburg - Reggae
Cool cat from a Reggae Bicycle Club.


Maarja said...

can't agree more about the infrastructure. even though we consider Estonia amongst the
Nordic countries (by we I mean estonians), there are no bicycle lanes. that cannot be said about helsinki, copenhagen or any other developed city. that really makes me want to live in one of those. if there were bicycle lanes, there would be a lot more cyclists, the air would be cleaner and life better. :) I don't know how, but please help us get the lanes.

bike master said...

don't feel too bad, Maarja.
believe it or not, Estonia and most other Nordic countries are far, far ahead of the u.s. when it comes to dedicated cycling infrastructure.
sure, there are urban areas here (particularly in California and Oregon) that have been making great strides in making cyclists feel safe and welcome, but most of this country is lagging way behind in attitudes, perception and investment in cycling infrastructure. here are a couple of examples of the challenges we face:


and recent article from a local newspaper:


when i read articles like these, i often find myself asking "when will we (americans) ever learn?
Europe is paradise for cyclists, and like you, i dream of living in a great bike-friendly city like Amsterdam or Copenhagen. i just wish that they had some mountains to climb!

organize your cycling community and take back the streets. we have been successful here with some significant victories, but at the same time we often experience some setbacks as well.


don't give up... i know that things can change for the better- both in Estonia and here in the u.s.

yours in cycling solidarity,
dave f.

Kristin Tieche said...

OMG - the guy in orange and green is so cute! As are the other muscled/tattooed hotties. Thanks for sharing these beauties from your trip! Hope you enjoyed the vodka.

Colville-Andersen said...

KT: The vodka almost killed me :-)

André said...


About the infrastructures, and talking about my country, here is Lisbon they invested on some cycle lanes and according to some people the nunmber of peoples in bikes is growing...slowly...but growing :)

And what a surprise when today I catched this on tv:


Finally some cycle chic from Portugal. It´s in Azores by the way...which is very hilly so was a (pleasant) surprise watch this...let´s change some minds!

Cheers and again...great blog!

André said...

*here IN Lisbon (but I don´t live there. Up north instead.)

André said...

geez... *the number of persons!