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Latvian cities and the countryside can easily be visited by bicycle – you can go wherever you want, stop when and where you wish. Moreover, when going by bicycle, landscapes and sightseeing places can be seen better than when hurrying by car. You can reach every place when going by bicycle – suddenly notice magnificent castle, travel along the sea, a nature path or old city centres.
Bicycles are becoming a more and more popular means of transport; almost every fourth inhabitant has a bicycle of his/her own. The network of bicycle paths is developing, and if you do not have a bicycle of your own, there a lot of places to rent one. In many places in Latvia there are bike rentals and tourist accommodations in the countryside and many small towns offer this service for their guests.
When travelling by train to Jūrmala, you can get out at Bulduri or Ķemeri and rent a bicycle from the train station’s bike rental shops – it is possible to travel around the resort city by bicycle. There is a bike rental shop in Valmiera, Cēsu Street 29, and experienced cyclists can travel approximately 20 kilometres and back to Brenguļi, where a tasty local beer is brewed.
For safety reasons, do not leave the bicycle in a remote location. Rather, leave it in a place where there are a lot of people and lock it up using a good U-shaped lock. A good option is to lock the bicycle in a paid parking place or to ask an ice-cream shop worker, employees of a tourist information centre, etc., to look after it. It is advised to leave the bicycle in video-surveillance camera zone. For your own safety, use a reflective vest and helmet and travel using bicycle paths where it is possible.
When travelling by bicycle, anyone can choose where to go. It can be either a trip for several days where you take everything necessary for the trip with you, or one-day trips where you can visit towns and their surroundings by bicycle. Rural tourism association “Lauku ceļotājs” (Countryside Traveller) offers several bicycle tourism opportunities on its webpage.
Bicycle races are very popular in Latvia as well – people who love an active way of life can participate in the popular mountain bike series SEB MTB, the Riga Bicycle Marathon and even the Vienības brauciens (Unity Race), which takes place every year in Sigulda at the beginning of September and lets you test your skills in both serious races or lets you enjoy cycling on a large and joyful team.
Green Railways in Latvia
There are 5 greenway lines that are part of the Green Railways network. Green Railways are the greenways network in Northern Latvia and Southern Estonia, which passes through the picturesque landscapes and forests, and can be used by cyclists, hikers, horse riding, and skiing during the wintertime. The trails run mostly on gravel and forest roads. Green railways trail and connection routes are signposted.