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Before cycling. Photo by N. Shchapov. April 1902. Main Archive of Moscow

The department has preserved documents on the rules of cycling, which were in force until 1917.

Initially, cycling was the entertainment of wealthy people, but by the end of the 19th century in Moscow, this two-wheeled vehicle had become an affordable means of transportation. IN Glavarchiv preserved documents on the rules of cycling, which were in force until 1917.

Catania at night and in the morning

In the second half of the 19th century, bicycles could be found everywhere in the city; at the same time, the Moscow Society of Amateur Cyclists arose. And in 1888, by order of the Moscow Governor-General Vladimir Dolgorukov, they were allowed to ride along the boulevards from dusk until eight in the morning and around the clock outside the city. However, the number of cyclists was growing rapidly and there were some inconveniences.

For example, in the report of the Moscow Chief of Police Vladimir Dolgorukov in May 1890, it was said that such a large number of cyclists in the evenings began to interfere with the walking townspeople, especially in parks. In Petrovsky Park, it was forbidden to ride bicycles along the side alleys, but allowed in all other places. Therefore, cyclists with lanterns often frightened horses harnessed to carriages. Pedestrians on the sidewalks were also alarmed. All this indicated that there was an urgent need to determine and establish routes and times for cycling trips.

The Chief of Police proposed to cancel the evening skiing in the parks. Cyclists could ride from five to 11 am on the average roads of Petrovsky Park, intended for horse riding. It was also proposed to cancel evening cycling along the boulevards, leaving only morning ones – from eight in the morning. This proposal was approved by the chairman of the Moscow Society of Amateur Cyclists to avoid reproaches. The Moscow Governor-General also supported the idea.

However, some athletes tried to challenge the ban – they referred to the fact that movement and fresh air are good for health. But the rules remained in effect, and in August 1890 new restrictions were introduced.

Collisions with passers-by

Additions to the ban appeared due to the fact that many cyclists began to actively use Mikhalkovskoye highway (now Mikhalkovskaya street between Bolshaya Akademicheskaya street and Golovinskoye highway), roads in Petrovsko-Razumovsky, as well as near the Petrovskaya Agricultural Academy (now it is the Russian State Agrarian university).

Mikhalkovskoe highway was narrow and had no sidewalks, and near the main building of the academy there was a steam railway station, near which there were many people, especially on holidays. Athletes, despite the academy’s bans, continued to travel there, and collisions with passers-by became frequent. Therefore, the restrictions also affected this area. But this and other prohibitions could in no way affect the growth in the number of cyclists.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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