Tirana

Cycling

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Back in the good old days when there were 600 cars in Albania, everyone had a bicycle. Now, in Tirana at least, it’s pretty much the other way round. Bicycles were so much a part of the Hoxha regime in fact that there are those who tick all the right boxes as apparent natural cyclists nowadays who refuse to own and ride them for political reasons. There are of course other reasons for choosing not to get on a bicycle in Tirana, the most obvious one being the way people drive their cars. Much in the same way as jogging can be seen as a sign of a civilised society, so it is with cycling. Accordingly, pretty much the only people you’ll see risking their lives on two wheels in the Albanian capital are old men buying bread and children riding in the safety of the city’s vehicle-free parks. Renting a bicycle in Tirana is considerably easier than it was, with people such as the Tirana Backpacker Hostel (www.tiranahostel.com) and the excellent Ecovolis (www.ecovolis.com) both offering rental for a good price.

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