Московский велопарад / Moscow Bike Parade

Bicyclist in Moscow

Audio content: Moscow residents describe their experience cycling in the city.
Visual content: Members of Moscow’s cycling community, some in festive costumes.

Video available at Певрый канал.

Moscow’s aggressive traffic and capricious weather are no barrier to the bicyclists featured in this post’s video! Although the Moscow Metro is, quite rightly, the most famous means of transportation associated with the city, the bicycling movement has also been making a mark in Moscow over the past several years. The bicycle sharing program Велобайк began in 2013 and has grown to include 380 automated rental points around the city. Bicycle paths and marked lanes (велодорожки, велополосы) have appeared in a few places, as you can see in this map provided by the advocacy group Веломосква. The people in the video featured here are taking part in a nighttime bike parade in July 2017. These organized rides, featuring roads closed to traffic and a festive, casual atmosphere, appear to take place about four times a year — so you might be able to join a parade yourself if you end up in Moscow at some point! The transcript below highlights some of the more easily understandable comments by parade participants.

Заметки о языке: Some of the richness of Russian verbs of motion is visible in the transcribed passage. We see the multidirectional imperfective verb “ездить,” the unidirectional imperfective verb “ехать” and the perfective verb “поехать.” “Ездить” comes up when one of the speakers is referring to his commute in general, both to and from work; “ехать” (conj. еду, едешь) appears as soon as he wishes to refer specifically to one leg of the trip, i.e. describing the literal process of motion in a single direction; and “поехать” appears when the correspondent wants to say “let’s set off!”.

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Moscow bicycle parade

Watch the video at Первый канал.


Russian Transcript


Мария Коршунова, участница велопарада: Зимний велопарад вспомните, сколько народу было? Даже больше чем сейчас. Сейчас все по отпускам уже поразъехались.

Константин Богдаев, участник парада: Я использую в повседневной жизни — езжу на работу, с работы. Если я на машине два часа еду домой, то на велосипеде – 40 минут.

Корреспондент Первого канала: Год за годом они отвоевывают себе городское пространство. Право на жизнь в большом городе велосипедистам приходится доказывать. И перемены к лучшему видны — особенно из-за руля велосипеда.

Евгений Шароватов, участник велопарада: Если лет пять назад вообще было никак, с огромными… огромные бордюры, там… то есть, я каждый раз спешивался, то сейчас потихонечку улучшается.

Корреспондент: Организаторы рассчитывали, что третий ночной велопарад будет рекордным по числу участников, но многие в последний момент остались дома.

Владимир Кумов, организатор парада: Мы ожидали около 20 тысяч, но, конечно, погода внесла свои коррективы. И даже не погода, а прогноз погоды. Сегодня многие просто испугались, что будет апокалипсис. На самом деле погода достаточно приятная.

Корреспондент: Сегодня с самого утра шел дождь, погода как бы проверяла решимость велосипедистов выйти на старт. Но дождь не прекратился, а велосипедисты приехали и стартовали. Поедем за ними, посмотрим, что из этого получится.

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English Translation


Maria Korshunova, bike parade participant: Do you recall the winter bike parade, how many people were there? Even more than now. Now everyone has already gone off on their vacations. [The verb разъехаться suggests a group of people all travelling off in different directions to destinations far enough away that a vehicle is required.]

Konstantin Bogdaev, bike parade participant: I use [a bike] in my day-to-day life. I ride to work, from work. While I spend two hours driving home in a car, on a bike it’s 40 minutes.

Channel One correspondent: Year by year they battle and win some of the city space for themselves. It’s necessary for bicyclists to prove they have the right to life in the big city. And changes for the better are visible — especially from behind the handlebars of a bike.

Evgeny Sharovatov, bike parade participant: If about five years ago there was just no way at all, with huge… huge curbs… I mean, I hopped off onto my feet every time — now it is getting better gradually.

Channel One correspondent: The organizers were counting on it that the third nighttime bike parade would set a record for the number of participants, but at the last moment many people ended up staying home.

Vladimir Kumov, parade organizer: We were expecting about 20 thousand, but, of course, the weather made its adjustments [lit., “brought in some corrections” to the plan]. And it was not even the weather [itself], but the weather forecast. Today lots of people simply got scared that there would be an “apocalypse.” In actuality the weather is fairly pleasant.

Channel One correspondent: Today it rained starting from the morning. The weather, so to speak, was testing the resolve of the bicyclists to come out to the starting point. But the rain did not stop and [nevertheless] the bicyclists came and started off. Let’s ride off after them, take a look, see what comes of this.

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