MOSCOW – For hundreds of Muscovites, the fact that the temperature had plunged to minus-27 Celsius (minus-17 F) was no reason to avoid going for a group bicycle ride.
About 500 cyclists, many equipped with fur hats and other nonstandard gear, held a ride of about eight kilometres (five miles) along the Moscow River on Sunday as the capital shivered through a fierce cold snap. Sunday was the last of Russia’s winter holiday period that stretches from New Year’s through Orthodox Christmas.
The roundtrip ride from a residential area to the Kremlin was the second annual iteration of a winter ride aimed at demonstrating that bicycles can be year-round transport. The popularity of cycling in Moscow has soared in recent years as city authorities improve paths for two-wheelers to navigate the notoriously traffic-choked city.