Hundreds brave sub-zero temperatures for Moscow bike ride

Wrapped in warm clothes a cyclist has her pet dog accompanying her during a winter bike parade in Moscow on Sunday (Jan 8, 2017).
Wrapped in warm clothes a cyclist has her pet dog accompanying her during a winter bike parade in Moscow on Sunday (Jan 8, 2017). PHOTO: EPA
Cyclists pass by the Kremlin as they take part in a winter bike parade in Moscow on Sunday (Jan 8, 2017).
Cyclists pass by the Kremlin as they take part in a winter bike parade in Moscow on Sunday (Jan 8, 2017).PHOTO: EPA
Cyclists with their vehicles gather in frigid temperatures before the start of a winter bike parade in Moscow on Sunday (Jan 8, 2017).
Cyclists with their vehicles gather in frigid temperatures before the start of a winter bike parade in Moscow on Sunday (Jan 8, 2017). PHOTO: EPA

MOSCOW (AFP) - Hundreds of hardy cyclists on Sunday braved temperatures as low as minus 27 degrees celsius in Moscow to complete a mass bike ride through the snow-bound Russian capital.

Participants - some dressed in outfits of Santa Claus and his Russian equivalent, Ded Moroz - pedalled along the bank of the frozen Moscow river in front of the Kremlin walls.

Authorities said that "over 500" people took part in the 15-kilometre event - designed to promote cycling in the sprawling city - after organisers refused to call it off despite a danger warning over the freezing temperatures.

"Not one of the participants of the winter bike parade ended up going to the doctors after it finished," Moscow authorities said in a statement.

The Russian capital is currently in the grips of a severe cold snap that has seen temperatures plunge around Europe.

At least 23 people have been left dead by the frigid temperatures across the continent.

Russian media reported that Moscow recorded its coldest Orthodox Christmas Night for 120 years from Friday to Saturday with temperatures pushing minus 30.

Temperatures in the Russian capital are expected to rise over the next few days to hit around minus seven celsius on Tuesday.