Road Cycling

How to coast through the rest of Bike Month – The Virginian-Pilot

Friday is national Bike to Work Day, when cities encourage commuters to ditch their cars for bicycles.

But cycling enthusiasts are taking to Hampton Roads streets throughout the month of May as part of a nationwide cycling celebration promoted by the League of American Bicyclists. The festivities have something for every type of cyclist — there are bike to work events across the region, a night time “glow ride” through Norfolk’s NEON District and laid back rides through Norfolk.

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Dreary weather for much of May rained down on some bike month events throughout Hampton Roads. But skies have cleared — for now — and you can still hit the road at dozens of events slated for the remainder of the month.

“The month isn’t over yet,” said Kyle Lippiatt, manager of East Coast Bikes in Norfolk, which is sponsoring several events. “We still have a few things planned, and I hope that there’s a great turnout.”

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Here’s a sampling of the events happening in south Hampton Roads.

In Norfolk, several bike events come with added intrigue.

A nighttime “Glow Ride” will light up the NEON District Friday at 8:30 p.m. Bikers should meet at The Plot at 8:00 p.m. decked out in glow-in-the-dark clothes, flashing lights and glow sticks.

Animal lovers can tour the Virginia Zoo on wheels on May 26. The “Tour de Zoo” is happening rain or shine from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets range in price from $5-$15 and can be purchased on the zoo’s website.

East Coast Bikes is sponsoring a ride to the Zoo from the shop that night, Lippiatt said. The group leaves at 4:30 p.m.

“It’s just going to be a regular day at the Zoo but everybody on their bikes,” Lippiatt said.

A botanical tour through West Ghent leaves from Taylor Elementary School May 28 at 10 a.m. A master gardener will lead the way, teaching cyclists about gardens along the Elizabeth River Trail.

The city’s bike month schedule is available at downtownnorfolk.org/explore/norfolk-bike-month.

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Riders across the country will ditch their cars Friday as part of nationwide Bike to Work Day. While cities across Hampton Roads are encouraging people to bicycle to work, some are planning events.

Virginia Beach is inviting residents to take a six-mile ride at 9 a.m. Friday, starting from the Virginia Beach Parks and Rec Administration Building, located at 2154 Landstown Road. Riders will need a bicycle and helmet for the 6-mile round trip, which will follow shared-use paths and road bike lanes.

In Norfolk, commuter cyclists can stop at eight pit stops near downtown from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. for water, fruit and other giveaways. The full map of pit stops is available on the downtown Norfolk website.

Portsmouth is hosting a lunchtime bike ride Friday. The event runs from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. at the Atlantic Union Bank Pavilion, proceeds through Olde Towne, and returns to the Pavilion. Riders younger than 15 are required to wear helmets.

A long list of laidback bike events for all skill types are slated for the remainder of the month.

The lineup includes Saturday morning boombox bike rides led by Norfolk record store Freshtopia. They take off on Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. from the record store, located at 532 West 35th Street.

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On Sundays, cyclists can take it easy at Local Bike Shop NFK’s Slo-Mo rides, which start at 10 a.m. every week. People should meet at 10 a.m. at the shop to join the ride.

Local Bike Shop also hosts “super casual” Wednesday rides. Those start at 6:30 p.m. from the shop, but people should meet there 30 minutes beforehand.

Ali Sullivan, 757-677-1974, ali.sullivan@virginiamedia.com