Friday is National Bike to Work Day, when cities encourage commuters to ditch their cars for bikes.
But cycling enthusiasts take to the streets of Hampton Roads throughout May as as part of a national celebration of cycling promoted by the League of American Cyclists. The festivities have something for every type of cyclist – there are bike-to-work events across the region, a ‘night ride’ in Norfolk’s NEON district and laid-back rides through Norfolk.
The gloomy weather for much of May brought rain at some Bike Month events on Hampton Roads. But the sky has cleared – for now – and you can still hit the road for dozens of events planned for the rest of the month.
“The month isn’t over yet,” said Kyle Lippiatt, manager of East Coast Bikes in Norfolk, which sponsors several events. “We still have a few things planned, and I hope there will be a good turnout.”
Here is a sampling of the events taking place in South Hampton Roads.
In Norfolk, several cycling events come with added intrigue.
A nighttime “Glow Ride” will light up the NEON District on Friday at 8:30 p.m.. Bikers are expected to meet at The Plot at 8:00 p.m., dressed in glow-in-the-dark gear, flashing lights and glow sticks.
Animal lovers can visit the Virginia Zoo on Wheels on May 26. The “Zoo Tour” takes place rain or shine from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Ticket prices range from $5 to $15 and can be purchased at the zoo website.
East Coast Bikes is sponsoring a ride to the zoo from the store that evening, Lippiatt said. The group leaves at 4:30 p.m.
“It will just be a normal day at the zoo, but everyone on the bike,” Lippiatt said.
A botanical tour through West Ghent departs from Taylor Elementary School on May 28 at 10 a.m. A Master Gardener will lead the way and teach cyclists about the gardens along the Elizabeth River Trail.
The schedule for the month of the city’s bike is available on citycentrenorfolk.org/explore/norfolk-bike-month.
Cyclists across the country will be ditching their cars on Friday as part of National Bike to Work Day. As Hampton Roads towns encourage people to bike to work, some are planning events.
Virginia Beach is inviting residents to take a six-mile drive at 9 a.m. Friday from the Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation Administration Building at 2154 Landstown Road. Cyclists will need a bike and helmet for the 6-mile round trip, which will follow shared-use trails and on-road bike paths.
In Norfolk, commuter cyclists can stop at eight stops near downtown from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. for water, fruit, and other goodies. The full pit stop map is available in Norfolk city center website.
Portsmouth is hosting a lunchtime bike ride on Friday. The event runs from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. at the Atlantic Union Bank Pavilion, passes through Olde Towne and back to the Pavilion. Riders under 15 must wear a helmet.
A long list of casual cycling events for all skill types is planned for the rest of the month.
The lineup includes Saturday morning boombox bike rides led by Norfolk record store Freshtopia. They take off Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. from the record store, located at 532 West 35th Street.
On Sundays, riders can relax at Local Bike Shop NFK’s Slo-Mo rides, which start at 10 a.m. each week. People must meet at 10 a.m. at the shop to join the ride.
Local Bike Shop also organizes “super casual” rides on Wednesdays. These start at 6:30 p.m. from the shop, but people have to meet there 30 minutes before.
Ali Sullivan, 757-677-1974, [email protected]