Celebrate May on Two Wheels—Your Guide to Bike Month in the Region
What was once seen as a childhood mode of transportation, bikes are having a moment (you know this if you’ve tried to purchase one in the last two years). The weather is warmer, gas is expensive, and we live in a great place for cycling—there’s no better time to get back on a bike! Heck, the whole month of May is dedicated to them! We hope you take time this month to hop on two wheels and celebrate Bike Month.
Get You a Bike!
First things first—you have to HAVE a bike to RIDE a bike. Not sure you want to invest in a bike? Totally understandable. Hit up Roanoke Mountain Adventures or Alleghany Outdoors for rental options. This is an affordable way to get back into the sport without a large financial commitment. Or, if you are looking to purchase a bike, we’re lucky to have several shops with knowledgeable folks to help you find something that fits your skill level and budget. Check out American Flyer, Cardinal Bikes, East Coasters, Just the Right Gear, or Roanoke Mountain Adventures.
With 30 + miles of paved greenway through the region, this is a great place to start your Bike Month celebration! You can find easy parking, amenities like water fountains and restrooms along the way, places to stop for a bite or beverage, and you’ll get to experience views of your community only accessible by bike! Point of pride: the Roanoke River Greenway has been named “Best Urban Park’ by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine for good reason—it’s accessible to a variety of ages and abilities (not to mention it’s pretty easy on the eyes).
Want company on your ride? There are several local bike shops/groups that offer free social rides to any and everyone. It’s a great way to meet people and learn about biking rules and etiquette. Check out our event calendar to find a ride meeting up near you.
Want more of a challenge (and less of a crowd)? There are hundreds of miles of natural surface trail in the region. In fact, Virginia’s Blue Ridge has been named a Silver-Level Ride Center by the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA). Carvins Cove, Explore Park, Mill Mountain, and Waid Park are all excellent mountain biking options right in your backyard.
New to mountain biking? Head to Morningside Park for beginner mountain bike trails built by Blue Ridge Off-Road Cyclists and funded by grants from Virginia Outdoors Foundation and Project Outside. In fact, our friends at Humble Hustle are offering a youth beginner mountain biking outing on May 14! It’s free for kids 10 and up, and bikes and helmets are provided! Click here to learn more.
Bikes are place makers, community builders, and therapy. A nice greenway ride can do wonders for your peace of mind. Cycling is more than a fun pastime; bikes connect people (literally and figuratively). The cycling community in this area is welcoming, knowledgeable, and passionate. No matter your skill level or preferred biking method (road, gravel, trail), there is a group for you. And this month is the perfect time to try bike commuting. The mental and physical benefits are numerous, and you’ll get a more intimate look at your community while on a bike as opposed to a car. And of course, take note of the calm you bring to the office after riding in on your bike.
For children, bikes are a means of exercise, socialization, and transportation. Find that inner child and embrace your bicycle this month! There is no shortage of ways to do so round these parts. Share photos of your Bike Month celebrations with us using #roanokeoutside.