Recently I’ve received great news from Ilze Marga, head of the “Sunny Days Library” Service Point of the Riga Central Library. On the last day of May Latvian cycling librarians have done the first joint ride from Zasulauks to Jūrmala.
So here comes Ilze’s story:
Even though each of the Latvian cycling librarians have started to practice a long time ago, only the previous weekend we have finally met for a joint ride to the closest Riga suburb resort city of Jūrmala (in translation from Latvian – the city of the seaside). The weather was quite grateful – sunny, but coldish.
We met at the scheduled time at the train station of Zasulauks. Two of us – Inese and I – live near the train station. After a moment Silvija joined us – she managed to cycle 4 km from the city centre to here. The longest stretch from Ķengarags (a neighbourhood of Riga) to here did another Ilze, in total she can add 20 km to our joint distance. That is why she took her friend Diāna with her – to cheer her ride.
From the left: Ilze Marga, Silvija Tretjakova, Ilze Čilipāne and Ilze's friend Diāna, photo by Inese Kupfere
We were glad about a chance to learn about each other more. If I had met Silvija several times, then with others we have met only virtually. So we set off. Inese and I have used this cycle route for our individual practices before. That is why we took the lead. We fenced the railway track and the tram track, the road section where repair works were going on, and here we are on the cycle path. I need to admit Riga can’t be proud of good quality of cycle paths. The layer of cycle paths are quite rugged and damaged, but we were optimistic!
We headed forward bravely. We passed sever neighbourhoods of Riga: Zolitūde, Imanta, Babīte. And headed towards the city of Jūrmala. We cycled via winding road through the pine forest, passing by a swampy land, we overcame a few of hills, and here we are in the city of Jūrmala. As Ilze and her friend Diāna cycled more than we did, they went to “Hesburger” to have something to eat. They also needed to inflate Diāna’s bicycle tires. Meanwhile Silvija, Inese and I went to the seashore of Bulduri (neighbourhood of the city of Jūrmala).
Ilze Marga and Silvija Tretjakova, photo by Inese Kupfere
After a while we reached the seaside, did some snapshots on the background of the sea, had a little rest and started to discuss several issues concerning to upcoming unconference Cycling for Libraries. Shortly we started our way back to Riga and we enjoyed the attraction of the city of Jūrmala.
On our way to Riga, photo by Inese Kupfere
Silvija was surprised about the load of this cycle path. It is really popular not only among the cyclists, but also among the nearby residents (who are walking with their dogs), skaters, runners and motorcyclists. You need to be really cautious and respect the other path users. A conclusion can be drawn – a lot of people in Riga are keen on active way of life and a lot more cycle paths in good condition are needed. There are many cycling activities going on in Riga right now. And we really hope that with our participation in Cycling for Libraries we are going to promote awareness of the changes needed concerning to improvement of cycling facilities in Riga and Latvia.
P.S. My bike computer says we have cycled a distance of 47 km. 🙂
Marga, Ilze. Latvijas velo-bibliotekāru pirmais kopīgais velobrauciens. In: LBB Jauno speciālistu sekcijas emuārs [online]. Rīga : LBB jauno speciālistu sekcija, 2011-05-04 [cited 2011-05-04]. Available: http://lbbjss.wordpress.com/2011/05/04/latvijas-velo-bibliotekaru-pirmais-kopigais-velobrauciens/