Between the two quite different capitals – the cosy medieval Tallinn and the Metropolis Riga there are two worlds:
- In the Estonia you may find a National Cycle Route network which was signed long years ago, in Latvia only in 2010 some regional routes started
- In Latvia there almost no signs, bad gravel roads, very few bicycle pathes and specially around the capital a hell of a traffic
Still the safest and most comfortable way to leave Riga in the direction of Estonia is to take the train to Sigulda. That's how you may skip to leave the capital.
But if your determined to cycle there is an alternative we found for you in the BaltiCCycle booklet "Latvia by bicycle" (see below). Despite of some few short parts you may avoid bad gravel of main roads in Latvia
Where NOT to cycle
Many people prefer to take the motorway "Via Baltica" to the north! The motorway? I know it looks like a nice coastal road, but mainly it is the main motorway in the Baltic States going from South to North.
The situation gradually got better due to the construction of the a bicycle path in Riga from the centre to Mežaparks in the North and the new bypass motorway around Saulkrasti which took away the traffic on the road passing the town.
Still there are enough parts along the "Via Baltica" left and you have no alternative if you're once on it!
As well the motorway to Sigulda is ready for cyclists! Almost up to Sigulda it has 4 lanes and is not very crowded – only afterwards it gets uncomfortable,
But it leads 40 km directly and that's -frankly saying – boring
Take the secondary road via Ulbroka. Despite of the main traffic hours (commuting cars) there is a comfortable cycling possible