The bike ride is surely among the oldest and most beloved of ITMO university’s traditions. Since 2014, the event has taken place biannually, in spring and autumn. May 22 saw the 17th bike ride, which attracted nearly a hundred students and staff members.

As usual, the participants, led by Rector Vladimir Vasilyev and First Vice Rector Daria Kozlova, took off from the Krestovsky Island metro station on a route which offered a scenic view of the Neva Bay, Lakhta Center, and Gazprom Arena.

This time, the route became four kilometers longer. As opposed to last year’s path, which reached the 300th Anniversary of St. Petersburg Park before looping back to Gazprom Arena, this one extended all the way to the recently-opened new embankment near Lakhta Center.

Additionally, the cyclists could take part in the ITMO Pulse, a study as part of the be healthy project – an university-wide initiative which promotes healthy lifestyle habits, such as proper nutrition, while also popularizing taking care of one’s mental and physical well-being. Students of Master’s programs Science Communication and Public Health Sciences asked all participants with a smartwatch or a fitness tracker to measure their heart rate before and after the ride. The resulting data will be used by the students to create various infographics.

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ITMO.NEWS asked members of ITMO.Family about what they do in order to stay healthy and fit and why exercising together with one’s colleagues is a great idea.

Ekaterina Morozova

an assistant at the Institute of International Development and Partnership

Ekaterina Morozova. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

Ekaterina Morozova. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

I started working at ITMO only recently, so this is my first bike ride with the rector. I came here because I enjoy cycling, but also wanted to be a part of ITMO’s culture while getting to know my colleagues better. And, last but not least, the weather is just wonderful today. As for my favorite exercises, besides cycling and mountain bike orienteering, I like Tai chi, which is a type of Chinese martial arts. Ultimately, I think helping the environment is just as important as staying healthy and fit, and so I have been a volunteer of the Razdelny Sbor (“waste sorting”) association for more than 10 years.

Alexandra Gorkovskaya

a third-year student at the Center for Chemical Engineering

Sofia Gorkovskaya and Alexandra Gorkovskaya. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

Sofia Gorkovskaya and Alexandra Gorkovskaya. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

It’s been a goal of mine to take part in one of these bike rides for more than two years, but I never could make it. Finally, I managed to get here, and I even brought my sister – she’s in school now, but wants to one day study at ITMO’s Faculty of Control Systems and Robotics. In my free time, I like to cycle and hit the gym, while my sister does fencing. Our family as a whole takes health and fitness very seriously, especially when it comes to nutrition: we track our daily macronutrients intake, stick to a healthy diet, and avoid eating too much fast food and sugar. In fact, during weekends, oatmeal is the breakfast of choice in our family. 

Roman Selishchev

a student of the Information Systems and Technologies program

Roman Selishchev. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

Roman Selishchev. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

I am a member of ITMO’s cycling club IRBIS, so I came out here to find other like-minded cyclists and try and recruit them into the club. I’ve been going on such rides with the other members every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday for an entire year. Right now, there are 34 of us in the club, with five members taking part in most rides. We welcome everyone, regardless of whether they are a student or a staff member.

Alina Amanova

a manager at the Creative and Corporate Projects Planning Center

Maria Vandzhurak and Alina Amanova from the Creative and Corporate Projects Planning Center. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

Maria Vandzhurak and Alina Amanova from the Creative and Corporate Projects Planning Center. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

I like cycling in general, and sharing it with my colleagues – one of whom joined me on this ride – makes it even better. This is my co-worker’s first such ride, while for me it's the second. In summer, I often either ride bicycles or walk (with 20 km per day not out of the ordinary for me), while in winter, I exercise at the gym. I also went hiking in the mountains for the first time ever last year, and I want to do it again. I’m also planning to go on a weekend trek through the Leningrad Oblast in June with some of my other colleagues. So, as you can see, I try to stay healthy and fit, even going through regular medical check-ups, such as this winter’s study from be healthy.