More Awesomeness in Richmond

Another reason I love my home town: Richmond has 40 miles of world-class single-track bicycle trails. I’ve been on a few of them, although, I do confess, I don’t ride nearly as fast as the two guys in this short video! (Nor can I do the neat wheelie tricks up and down stairs.)

What I find especially cool is that the biking enthusiasts — trail gnomes, in their own parlance — help maintain the trails for everyone’s benefit. They clear routes of fallen trees and debris (as shown in the clip), prune vegetation and repair sections worn away by run-off. It’s an all-volunteer effort.

Biking trails in wild public spaces in the center of the city are a rarity and a gem.

– JAB

9 Responses to More Awesomeness in Richmond

  1. Ya sure. I can imagine a family with their kids sharing a nature walk with these idiots. These are the same kind of guys that took over many of the hiking trails in the Cascades and nearly caused me to take a steep tumble down a mountain side from speed demons on a barely ‘single lane’ trail.

    • Ya gotten love the lead in – ‘this does not damage the trail’

      Come on guys, please tell us why your antics not ripping up public property, and why your antics don’t threaten others trying to use those trails.

      • Reed,
        When they aren’t riding the trails and engaged in their, “antics,” the mountain bikers from MORE are the same folks who built the trails and maintain them. Ask Nathan Burrell.

        RVA owes a great deal to these dedicated volunteers who have created a huge asset to our community. (Anyone recall Outside Magazine naming RVA as the Best River Town last year? Our urban trail system was a major part of the win.)

        Granted there’s no excuse for improper trail etiquette, but don’t be too critical of folks having some fun and building a great community.

    • In the city of Richmond there hundreds of volunteers that come out every weekend, fall through spring to build and maintain the trails that everyone can use. The city of Richmond trails department designs and maintains these trails along with volunteers. The trail design is focused on the multi-use (hiker, runners cyclists, dog walker, birders etc) and terrain in mind. The design standards are based on research and experience. The trails are built to be sustainable. Just 10 short years ago the only trails in Richmond were adopted trails that were short treks to the river. Since then the trails have been built on the north side of the river Forest Hill Park and Dogwood Dell the park is now being used by legitimate users and the crime has fallen. Plus the trails give access to all of the neighborhoods that line the park.

      Sure there are cyclists that are rude and have bad behavior, just like many motorist that are rude and dangerous.

      Richmond MORE has built a hiking only trail in Dogwood Dell. It is marked no bikes. Please take the time to go and enjoy that trail.

    • Darrell, which video were you watching where you saw any idiots?

  2. only 40 miles?

  3. Yes ,biking as recreation is great,but the plan to turn a street in the Fan into “Floydgracht”is full of problems.

    • Les,

      What, specifically, are the problems? How could it be done better? (Since the plans haven’t even been started yet, clearly you know something we don’t!)

      Are you comfortable riding your bike on city streets? Would you be at ease having your wife or 10 year old child riding in the city?

      The fact is, until, “non-cyclists” are comfortable riding in town – to work, school, errands, exercise – we will never shift modes and get people out of their cars. Over 40% of all trips made in America are less than three miles so don’t tell me riding a bike for transportation can never happen here.

      Bike infrastructure is the cheapest transportation investment around (often merely paint on the pavement) and when you consider the myriad of benefits – decreased traffic congestion, health, livability, environmental, business attraction) I could argue it gives the highest ROI. (Look at bike Mecca Portland. They’ve spent 1% of their transportation budget on bike/ped infrastructure and its one of the hottest places to live for educated millennialist.

      We need to have some vision and realize that the world is changing and bikes are a real and viable mode in a Twenty First Century transportation system.

      Floyd Ave is the first real bike infrastructure in RVA and mark my words: in ten years Floyd Ave will be a hotter address for the 30 somethings than Windsor Farms!

      If we build it they- the millennials, the moms, the dads, the grandmas , the non-Lycra crowd and we will see the beginnings of transformation in the River City.

  4. spending some time at Urbanna this weekend and took the bikes.

    Of course the only folks who can actually use bikes on the main drag on the deputy dawg types but if you stay off the main drag you can enjoy the festival, a whole lot of oysters, an agreeable complement of wine – and dodging the throngs … of baby carriages, dogs, the clueless who stop dead in the flow to contemplate their navels… and assorted other group zaniness.

    Of course no visit to Urbanna would be complete without watching the parade and the marvelous and fascinating Khedive Shriners .

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