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Posted In: Road Biking

2015 races give RVA a year to become bicycle friendly

Andy Thompson

September 30, 2014 11:54am

As a cycling enthusiast, one who’s fired up for the UCI World Championships next year in Richmond, I appreciated that the Times-Dispatch sent reporter Louis Llovio to Ponferrada, Spain to cover this year’s races and give us a sense of what to expect this time next year.

Llovio’s coverage wasn’t focused on the races themselves, so you had to go elsewhere to find out that Polish rider Michael Kwiatkowski was the surprise winner in the men’s road race. Instead, Llovio wrote about the Spanish city’s preparations for the race; he asked whether Richmond can expect similar crowds — upwards of 400,000 went to Ponferrada for the races; what traffic issues might arise here in Richmond based on what he saw in Spain; and he covered Mayor Dwight Jones and other local officials in Spain as they pitched Richmond as a city worth the trip for European cycling fans.

New bike lane on the MLK Bridge linking downtown with the north side of Church Hill. Credit:

New bike lane on the MLK Bridge linking downtown with the north side of Church Hill. Credit:

Meanwhile, back here in the RVA, our friends at Richmond Region Tourism released a slick video (above) touting the area as a cycling destination for 2015 and beyond. If you’ve got a bike collecting dust in the garage, it’ll make you want to pull it out and get riding.

And speaking of what makes people want to get riding, I’m seeing bike lanes — not sharrows, but actual bike lanes — pop up in very logical, very overdue places like the MLK Bridge and Forest Hill Avenue. For a city with woefully few bike lanes, these signs of progress, while limited, are very positive. Now if we could just get the city to start work on the Brown’s Island Dam Walk — officials say it will be completed by September 2015 — we’d be well on our way to showing the world that Richmond does right by its bicyclists and pedestrians.

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?