35 years after the world’s worst nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, keen cyclists are heading to the region for a special bike tour through the Exclusion Zone.
Cycling tours are the latest trend in Chernobyl. In the spring of 1986 near the Ukraine city of Pripyat, one of the reactors at the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl caught fire and exploded. Radioactive elements were scattered over a wide area. The disaster forced more than 100,000 people from their homes. Now radiation levels there are tolerable for limited periods of time.
Bike trips are only possible through a certified guide, and people are forbidden from eating and drinking in the zone. The group experiences the remnants of the tragedy and visits local celebrities, like Maria Ilchenko, who returned to her home only months after the disaster in 1986.
In 2019 over 120,000 people visited the area. Authorities hope to reach pre-pandemic figures with these special bike tours.
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