Ask any local and they will have an opinion on cycling in Riga. There are violent pedestrians who push cyclists off pavements, drivers that toot their horns dare a cyclist cross their path, and daredevil cyclists weaving their way through rush hour traffic without a helmet. There are also the pacifist cyclists, pedestrians and drivers who dream of a harmonious traffic flow.
Since lawmakers are planning to introduce new legislation directly aimed at cyclists from autumn 2015, and this has been widely discussed in the media, everyone feels they have become an expert in city planning. It can’t be said that the council is ignoring the demand for an organised infrastructure but there is a long way to go until Riga can really call itself a bike-friendly city.
In the meantime, if you don’t mind dodging the odd pothole, waving the odd middle finger at rude drivers or screeching for old biddies to get out of your way, Riga is actually fun to explore by bike and we would encourage you to do so! Here are some the routes we like to take at weekends.
Āgenskalns, Mārupe and Torņakalns
Photo: Krists Luhaers