There have been several attempts to set up bike rental in Kandalaksha, most recently, in Summer 2012, by the Belomorye hotel. None succeeded.
But I just got a word that a new one, this time by big-time cycling fanatics, is brewing. At the head of it is a character who claims out loud that, had humanity opted for bicycles as the main mode of locomotion, things would stink much less than they now do. I, as a skeptic, pointed to China and Cambodgia and other places full of both bikes and violence. To that an older member of the cycling cult responded saying that bikes must be “by choice, not out of need”, and I was beaten.
As a former enthusiast of this mode of transportation in my pre- giant beer-belly days I’m monitoring the bike rental scene and will announce out loud when/if that happens.
Bikes make every sense here. The city is a tad too large for walking but just perfect for cycling. Roads are smooth. Local driving culture is the most civilized I’ve seen in Russia, probably because Finland is a common destination for Kandalaksha drivers, and Finns are the nazis of safe driving, with traffic fines that teach a lesson that lasts for generations.
Info on bike rental will appear here. I may neglect to do that so feel free to ask if there have been any news on that front. If you are truly desperate, you can borrow our two.
This is my bike. Used to love it thinking it was French-made. OK, I am not a big fan of the French but they know something about comfort and elegance. Then one day I turned it over and saw a horrible “Made in China” stiker, and that was the end of the love affair. The skeleton was found headless by the garbage dumpster. The head is a haircomb bought in one of Moscow’s new fashionable bookstores. The Republic I think.