A total of ten thousand rides were chalked up so far this year, according to the data compiled by Sixt, the brand name known more for its car rental services in Europe. Local riders took advantage of 70% of all the services provided, riding on average for about 3 hours per rental.
Foreign visitors tended to keep their rent-a-bikes for as long as a week, using them to explore Riga, Jurmala and the nearby surroundings. More than 200 persons took advantage of the chance to become regular ‘subscribers’ to the bike-rental service, allowing them to grab a bike regularly to get around town when necessary.
Bicycle traffic is perhaps the fastest and most convenient way to travel between various downtown locations, estimate advocates of the emissions-free mode of transport.
Despite the onset of the season’s cold weather, Sixt will keep thirty bikes equipped with winter tires on hand at the five most-popular rental stands at key locations in Riga’s center, as well as in the outlying Pārdaugava and hipster-friendly Miera street neighborhood.
“The bike-riding culture has really taken off in Riga,” says Sixt Baltic representative Arnis Jaudzems. “The gradual development of the infrastructure, combined with favorable weather conditions allows us to travel by bike even during the colder months. The Scandinavian experience shows that winter weather is hardly a deterrent anymore. The main thing is to have the proper clothing and a positive attitude,” he said.