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Zoya: East Siberian Bicyclist

Zoya: East Siberian Bicyclist

UlAN-UDE, EAST SIBERIA: Zoya, 28, was riding what looked like a mountain bike in the center of Ulan-Ude just as snow started to fall on this day in late April.

Zoya said she heads the Ulan-Ude bicycling community that she created three years ago.

It all started when she began biking by herself around the city. She soon became friends with other bikers and they began to organize day rides outside of town.

Thereafter, she decided to set up the community with one of the goals being to get drivers and the government to accept that bicyclists “have the right to exist.”

Drivers still tend to block bike riders and there are no official places to park bicycles, she said.

Zoya said biking has become more popular in the city in the last few years – justifying in her view the parking spots.

Her Ulan-Ude bicycling community social page has nearly 2,000 followers now.

Zoya said the local government has set aside 150,000 rubles to create bicycle parking spots around Ulan-Ude this summer.

Zoya said her dream is to take a long ride through Central and East Asia. When I asked if she would ride back to Ulan-Ude from Asia, she said no as “Russian roads are dangerous.”

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