“There's a reason people on bikes smile more.”

Tessa McKenzie, Instructor

Cycling feels like freedom: you’re balanced, self-propelled and totally in charge. You decide exactly where to go, how to get there and how quickly to travel. If you see something that catches your eye, you can pull off the road, which isn't as easy to do in a car. Cycling gives you time to think and time to choose not to think. You can, as they say, let it go. 

I remember the first time I rode my bike in a city better than I remember the first time I rode a bike. I was 21 years old, broke, didn’t own a car (see: broke) and living in Portland. That first ride—a jaunt to Trader Joe's in a downpour—was memorable and included three bridges, rush hour traffic, and two sizable city hills. At first, I was terrified to ride alongside cars and buses in the pouring rain. But within five minutes, I forgot about the rain and my fears evaporated.

Now a Richmonder, I love riding around my city. I biked to BOHO—and here are the

“10 Things I Saw:”

  1. My parked car. Bye bye! I am fortunate to now have enough money to own a reliable car. But I let it collect dust from April to October. 
  2. RVA bumper stickers. I lost count after 10. Thankfully I spotted zero Trump stickers. Zero!
  3. My Neighbors. I saw all of them on their front porches: two digging in their gardens and one walking a dog. It give me a chance to say hello and be closer to my ‘hood. 
  4. Potholey pavement. Yes, potholey is a word. Potholes are literally a pain in the arse when biking. At first my route felt similar to riding the cobbles on Libby Hill, but I’ve learned to safely swerve around these craters and reroute accordingly. 
  5. Roadkill. I get very emotional and distracted when I have to swerve around a carcass. Poor guy.
  6. People driving in the bike lane. It’s for bikes, people!
  7. Newly painted green bike sharrows on Floyd Ave. Bike signage makes my heart sing. 
  8. Monument Avenue tailgating. Cruising past the people playing cornhole and having a BBQ on the gorgeous grassy median is pure bliss. 
  9. BOHO bike rack. I have a thing for bike rack design. This is by far the strangest bike rack in Richmond. Totally cool. Totally BOHO.
  10. Alas, I spot the BOHO blue building. Daymaker! Let’s rock the bike!

 

Anyone can bike. It's not just for the MAMIL (middle aged man in lycra). More importantly, it's not just men. Women of all ages and fitness levels to travel by bike on a daily basis—some even do it in heels! When I commute to work by bike, I'm (mostly) on time and fully awake by the time I get there.

And, as if you needed another reason, May is Bike Month in Richmond. It’s prime season for getting out there to explore our great city on two wheels. Ride your bike to BOHO nine times and we’ll give you a free ride. Plus, you’ll never get stuck in traffic, and you’ll always have a parking spot. Now that’s hard to beat! Grab a frequent biker’s card at the front desk today and start pedaling your way to a free class.