Breakaway RVA is your new favorite way to cycle socially

You sign up, you ride around, you end up at a surprise location, and you pay zero dollars. It starts this Thursday. Do you even need to be more convinced?

Photo by: Khánh Hmoong

We’re working on being a better bike city, right? We’ve got the Floyd Avenue RVA Bike/Walk Street, we’ve got the bike share coming soon, we’ve got some laws that are maybe in place to possibly prevent people from parking in bike lanes…it’s happening!

So now what? We bike hang, of course!

Breakaway RVA is your way to do just that–ride around town at a leisurely pace, hang with old and new friends, and maybe learn a little bit about the city you live in. AND! An element of mystery??

Here’s how it works:

You sigh up online and let them know what part of town you live in–that part’s easy enough–and then you’re sent a confirmation email, which will reveal your starting point. You’ll be grouped with other people in your neighborhood, and those little tributary rides will have official leaders who will lead you to the main artery. There, you’ll join up like a big peloton held together by love, and you’ll all end up safe and exhilarated at an undisclosed location.

That undisclosed final location is promised to include something fun: think beer, a live talk, music, something of that nature. It’s about both the journey and the destination–and honestly, we should take both of those into consideration way more often.

Organizers were inspired by a similar event in Colorado–“Getting out and riding en masse in the city to a different location where you didn’t know you were going…” says Sydney Lester, one of Breakaway RVA’s founders. “Just the fact that that many people were riding in the street was so fun.”

Josh Son, who’s an urban planner with the City, realized that there are a lot of people in Richmond who don’t get out much, at least not in a way that allows them to explore everything the city has to offer. “There’s an opportunity to use biking as a way to get people exposed to all of what Richmond can be,” he says. And as an added bonus, it’ll help spread the belief that you may not need to be as reliant on your car as you think you are.

The full list of founding members–Brian Beard, Trevor Dickerson, Daniel Klein, Tangee Moore, Andrew Lester, Sydney Lester, and Josh Son–is one that’s helpful in its volume. The free monthly event needs lots of partners in order to get off the ground, and they’ve been able to use their network to find bike-supportive organizations to help out. At the inaugural event on May 26th, Relay Foods, Boho Cycle Studio, and River City Food Tours, among others, have lent their support.

Try out Breakaway RVA this Thursday, May 26th. Sign up for your location here (route origins include: Southside, Northside, Museum District, Jackson Ward, Church Hill, and Manchester). Rides start as early as 6:30 PM (Church Hill and Manchester have the latest start times at 7:00 PM, and I am making all sorts of sleuthy guesses based on that information).

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Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

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