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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

First Person

MTValery Gusev sitting in his bike-cab.
Valery Gusev, 38, bike-cab driver:

When I was a child I liked non-traditional forms of transport -- electric cabs, bike cars. At the age of 12, they gave me a technical achievement award in the Pioneers for making a one-person car.

"After school I went to a medical institute. I studied until the fifth year, and not long from getting my diploma I stopped training: I didn't pass the exam. I went on to work as night watchman in a dental institute, then a pizza deliveryman, and then a medical consultant in a pharmacy.

"I started working here last year. Moscow is on seven hills. That means you go up very slowly, but then descend at great speed. The clients can get into a trance -- people have forgotten their phones five times.

"There are approximately 20 journeys in a day, and we do 50 kilometers to 70 kilometers, half of that with clients. We can go anywhere as long as we return to the base on Ulitsa Petrovka by 11 p.m. But in practice, it's often not far from Tverskaya Ulitsa. The longest journey I did was from Chistiye Prudy to Avtozavodskaya. I got there in 20 minutes, the client paid 1,000 rubles.

"The minimum fare is 100 rubles, which takes you about one kilometer. Officially drivers earn 100 rubles a day. Unofficially? It's a commercial secret.

"Flirting happens. Two girls, very young, around 20, went from Pushkinskaya to Okhotny Ryad. We went very fast, they were delighted. When we got to Manezh Square, these two girls, in very short skirts, put one leg up on the side of the cab. I didn't want to attract the attention of the police so I quickly asked them to sit normally.

"It's no more dangerous than being on a motorbike, or even being a pedestrian. I was never in an accident -- all the others drivers see you, and like a bike we stay in the safe zone near the pavement.

"I got the necessary skills for this work from nature: My legs are in good physical form. There's a desire that you have a driver's license. I used to have one, but didn't renew it.

"This work leads to physical tiredness. It doesn't lead to moral tiredness, that feeling that you're incredibly bored by work and don't want to do it again, which is a big advantage."