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30,000 cyclists to take part in parade in Moscow today

Government drive to get cyclists out more has begun in earnest

30,000 cyclists are to gather in Moscow today as part of the biggest ever cycle parade the country has seen.

To encourage locals to the event, the government is promising discounts on rental bikes and free entertainment, including bike washing and games.

Traffic will be stopped to allow riders to navigate a route in a parade open to all over the age of 14.

The government bills the event as a chance to support bicycle infrastructure in Moscow - and two more parades will be held in July and September, according to the TASS news agency.

The ride also features a "selfie zone" where cyclists can promote cycling on social media. Each selfie-taker will be given a board where he or she can write a dream about the development of cycling in Moscow before taking the picture and uploading it to social media with the hashtag #bikesafety.

The organisers expect several Moscow city officials as well as representatives from the French and German embassies to take part along with the general public.

Just last week Russia held a "Cycling to Work" campaign, with over 10,000 residents of the Russian capital city taking part in it.

More than 60 large companies, the government of Moscow and some federal agencies announced their intention to join the campaign, according to the Mayor’s office website.

"More than 10,000 people will take part in the campaign. Opting for using bicycles will give the participants lots of good memories and bonuses. ‘Energizing kiosks’ with free water, fruit and other eats and drinks will appear in the streets of Moscow," the website reports.

Throughout the day, a variety of the city’s cafes, restaurants, bike repair shops and even beauty salons will grant discounts and bonuses to visitors riding bicycles. There will be also special tariffs for bicycle rental services in the city. It will be also possible to carry bicycles free of charge on suburban trains.

The campaign was designed to show that private cars and public transport could be supplemented by a bicycle.


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