Despite Hampton Roads’ reputation as a car-centric region, the City of Norfolk is emerging as one of the seven cities leading the way in bike facility investment and cycle-centric infrastructure.
Last fall, the city installed a series of protected bike lanes throughout the Ghent neighborhood. As warm weather approaches, drivers should be prepared to see increased ridership along the loop and throughout the streets of Norfolk because May marks Norfolk’s 7th Annual Bike Month.
Spearheaded by a collaboration between the Norfolk Bike and Pedestrian Trails Commission, Downtown Norfolk Council, and the City of Norfolk, Bike Month showcases some of Norfolk’s premiere cycle events, including the NEON Glow Ride.
Starting at 8pm on Friday, May 19th at the Plot in the NEON District (776 Granby Street, across from Push Comedy Theater), cyclists will gather for Norfolk’s LARGEST night-time critical mass bike ride. Riders are encouraged to deck out their bikes in neon lights, flashing LEDs, glow sticks, blinkers, disco balls, strobes, Christmas string lights synchronized to Dream Theater’s ‘The Best of Times’ — you get the point. The brighter the bike, the better. Feel free to break out that old neon lime jump suit you have had since sophomore year of college or sport some razzle dazzle spandex on your trusty (or rusty) bike.
The event is free and all ages are welcome to attend. There will be a short safety briefing prior to the ~5 mile bike ride. Helmets are encouraged. Riders will reconvene at the PLOT and are encouraged to stop by local Zeke’s or enjoy some post-ride snacks from assembled food trucks. Folks can ride to the event, but also can find parking on-street or in Bank/York Street garages.
For those who don’t care to cycle, or perhaps are ‘taking a break’ from the relationship with their bicycle, there are non-riding events as well during the month of May. In conjunction with Norfolk Bike Month, the Flick-It! Fridays crew will be hosting a special viewing of the 80’s cult classic, RAD on Friday, May 12th at 9:15PM.
The movie viewing is a benefit for Bike the US for MS, a Virginia-based non-profit dedicated to raising awareness for multiple sclerosis research and home modifications for patients. The event is sponsored by Smartmouth Brewing Company, based locally in Norfolk’s Chelsea neighborhood, and Hund’s Re-Cycle Factory on Colley Ave. Smartmouth beer will be on tap at the theater and there will be plenty of raffle giveaways including shirts, lights, and other collectable swag.
The City of Norfolk is continuing to keep the wheels in motion to build a cycling culture and provide better bike facilities for residents and visitors. Whether you’d like to take a ride around town, or enjoy local events that support worthy causes, Bike Month has got it all.
Check out the calendar HERE for more May Bike Month events.