Tag Archives: biking

Rails to Trails: Riding the Virginia Capital Trail

Virginia Capital Trail map [Rails to Trails]

Virginia Capital Trail map [Rails to Trails]

I’m a big fan of the Virginia Capital Trail. It is beautiful, well-planned, well-maintained, and has become a tremendous asset for Virginia, not just Richmond and Williamsburg. As a planner, it set the bar high for the next trails to follow.

As a rider on the trail, I’ve been more of a tourist than purely out for a ride. I’ve toured much of the 52-mile trail along Route 5 by car, but I’m fascinated by the possibilities for new perspectives from the seat of my bike. Clearly, I’m not alone, as the trail is bringing people by the thousands out for a spin (see numbers the VCT’s daily counter).

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Richmond has a good thing going with its trails network

richmondtrailforumRichmond’s great network of hiking and biking trails are no accident. They were advocated for, planned and built by trail users. Volunteers have worked with city park staff for more than two decades to develop and maintain the trails and our region is better for them.

Over that time, Richmond has become more known as a great outdoors town. The trails are just part of the reason. We need to remain dedicated to protecting what we have and fight for more trails, especially ones that help connect neighborhoods, schools, commercial areas, employment centers and more.
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Goal reached: 4,000 miles biked in 2016

1001161117editI really got into biking in 2016. My effort was more than just fitness, I really wanted to replace automobile miles with biking miles. For an entire year, I worked to eliminate as many car trips as I could with a bike trip.

It worked out pretty well and I have the numbers to help tell the story. Continue reading

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MTB Project eats up Richmond’s singletrack trails

Belle Isle Bike Skills Park

Credit: Leslie Kehmeier

The Richmond region is a great place to ride a mountain bike. We’ve got huge parks with trails. We’ve got small parks with trails. We’ve got trails along both banks of the James River. We’ve got trails in the urban core of the city and plenty out in the counties too.

REI’s MTB Project sent writer/photographer Leslie Kehmeier to Richmond to find out what we’re all about for their Epicenter series, which was “created in partnership with PeopleForBikes, is a series highlighting communities that have invested in cycling infrastructure and grown into full-blown mountain bike destinations as a result.” Continue reading

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Local efforts are the backbone of a national cycling network

U.S. Bike Route 1 crosses U.S. Bike Route 76 near Ashland, Va.

Credit: Dana Carolyn

The November 2016 issue of Planning magazine had a detailed and well-written article entitled “Bikes Across America” about the efforts to build a national cycling network across the United States.

Now that I’m a transportation planner at the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission, I can see how much coordination and work is behind this type of tall task. A national bike network will take decades to complete, but each locality and region can help speed things up with incremental improvements.   Continue reading

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Fun ride on the Southside: Tobacco Heritage Trail

As a part of my work as a transportation planner with the Richmond Regional Transportation Planning Organization (part of the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission), I was given a chance to study and ride the Tobacco Heritage Trail, a rail-to-trail east of South Hill.

I was given a chance to share my experience with the Virginia Bicycling Federation. and they were kind enough to post my story on their website. Give it a read, please. And while you’re there, take a moment to read up on the organization — if you are a cyclist in Virginia, you’ve likely benefited from their dedication to improving the laws on cycling in the Commonwealth.

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Counting what you can’t see: Downsides of Data-Based Transportation Planning

Richmond Rides bike tour in Church Hill.

I am a transportation planner. My job is primarily focused on bike and pedestrian planning, which I love. But planners cannot wave a magic wand to create the infrastructure needed to better accommodate those modes of transit.

Planning requires data and information to quantify projects. Everything costs money and elected or appointed officials are not likely to blindly approve projects because somebody wants them built. But how do you best account for pedestrians and cyclists? Continue reading

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