Country Holidays

Green advice for cycling



Green advice for cycling
How to choose the route
Safety





Green advice for cycling

  • Good for you!  The bike is an environmentally friendly thing which brings you closer to nature and helps you to protect the environment at the global level.

  • Remember, however, that the bike is friendly toward the environment and other people only if the same can be said about you.

  • Avoid riding on fragile ground cover such as moss, dunes, steep river banks, etc.  The bike will leave deep tracks that won’t disappear for years.

  • When on your bike, stick with trails and other areas that are appropriate for biking.

  • When packing or shopping at the local store, think about how much trash you’ll be producing, because you are going to have to tote it with you.

How to chosse the route

The cycling routes are classified in 3 levels of difficulty, depending on the road surface, relief and other conditions:
Easy - for relaxing rides, for families with children and for seniors;
Medium - for active and fit travelers;
Hard  - for those enjoying rough terrain, orienteering and active sports demanding physical strength and effort.

Good to know: be aware that the situation on the route can change depending on the season of the year, human activities (e.g., roads damaged by heavy vehicles like log trucks), intensity of traffic in particular times.  In some places, tourist infrastructure elements, signposting, marking can be damaged.  Consult with the ground managers of the cycling routes regarding the road conditions before your trip!

Season: the best time for cycling in Latvia is from May to September. If the spring and autumn is warm, the season may start in April and end in October. Some cycling routes are especially worth doing at particular times of the season, like, during bird migration, in springtime when bird-cherries or dandelions are in blossoms adding great nature experiences to your trip.

Safey

  • Avoid big roads with intensive traffic – choose small rural and forest roads.  There are lots of them in Latvia, and then tend to be quite a bit more interesting in terms of what you’ll see along the way.

  • If you can’t avoid a busy road, stick to the side and watch your situation carefully.  Make sure that your bike has a mirror.  We really don’t recommend that you ever ride along the country’s major highways.

  • If you’re on a road and in a group, ride single file, not next to one another.

  • Avoid roads when it’s dark outside.  If you’ve ever driven a car at night, you’ll understand why we’re telling you this.

  • If there is a bike path along a road, use it.

  • Bikers sometimes become pedestrians, so make sure that you read our advice for green hikers.

  • Be collegial – you’re not the only person on the road.

  • Be nice to your head – always use a helmet.

  • Even if your bike outfit is bright and colourful, wear a reflective yellow vest anyway.  That will make you more visible even during the day.  Perhaps a driver will slow down, thinking that you are someone else.

  • Don’t be a Sunday driver.  Put mud flaps on your bike to protect your things and your bicycle chain.

  • When you get on your bike for the first time in the spring or after a longer pause, avoid behaving like a young colt that’s just been let out to pasture.

  • Watch your speed and your distance from other riders and other people on the road.  This is a simple matter of safety.

  • If you have leased a bike, take good care of it.  Surely you’ve had an experience with a leased bike that is not in good shape.  Someone was careless with it.

  • Check the leased bike before you take it.  Test the front tyre brakes so that your friends won’t have to visit the pharmacist to help you after a fall.

  • In a group, always watch what other riders are doing and in what direction they’re heading.
    When you’re going to shift directions or engage in some other manoeuvre, always look over your shoulder to see what’s there.

  • For longer rides, use a bicycle pouch that’s above the back wheel.  That will be much more comfortable than a backpack.

  • When packing, don’t just put in things to fix your bike or its tyres, keep yourself and your friends in mind, as well.  We hope you won’t need any medical treatment, but you never know.

  • Put a seat on your bike and bring the little one along.  That’ll produce some of the kid’s first memories.

  • You’ll find local beer or wine, but save it until the evening when you’ve parked your bike carefully in a farm’s shed.

  • Never, ever leave your bike unsupervised.  If  you do, then make sure that you’ve read our advice for hikers!

  • Read Latvia’s traffic rules insofar as they apply to bikers.

  • Do you and your child have rights?  This isn’t just a formality.