I moved to the Richmond, VA area back in early October, and my riding frequency has dropped off a lot for many of the reasons you might expect–stress of move/settling into new job, not knowing routes/safe roads, weather getting colder, days getting shorter, etc. While I was connected with someone who helped show me a good loop to use for a starting point for general riding, I haven’t had as much luck trying to size up routes via Strava Heat Maps, etc. As a result, my ride frequency has suffered, and I’m having a little trouble staying motivated to just sit on the trainer. Didn’t quite anticipate how much lack of familiarity/comfort with routes would affect my motivation to ride. Also, while there are a number of group rides/organizations that host rides, I’m just curious if there are any other TR forum members in the area that might shed a bit more light on the best options.
If anyone in the area is interested in adding some riding partners to their outings, or if you can share good routes/loops for training, intervals, general riding, etc., please let me know! Any advice or outreach is appreciated.
I live up in Northern Virginia, but I’ve used RidewithGPS to join the Richmond Area Bicycle Association (zero cost) to access their route library. 150 routes from 5 to 100 miles.
I find this to be a great tool for route identification and design. It’s the one my local clubs all use for route dissemination as well. You have to pay for the fancy features, but even the 100% free version is pretty darn awesome.
As mimod mentioned RABA is a great resource for group rides and routes all over the area. Depending on where you are the Virginia Capital Trail runs from downtown Richmond to Jamestown (~52 miles) and is a great, car-less, way to ride. I know one of the local shops, CBC, does weekend rides (Sat: Gravel at Poco or Road from downtown shop, Sun: Road (fast) from downtown shop) as well and I suspect others may as well.
I’ve only been riding a few years now but I find the area in general is pretty conducive to cycling and most suburbs turn to country pretty quickly which is great. There are roads like Hull Street, Midlothian Parkway, Broad Street, etc etc that I wouldn’t ride on other than maybe quick jumps to smaller roads.
raba.org is a great resource. Join for a nominal membership fee. I live in the Richmond area and, at times, ride from my house. Typically, however I travel to 4 Mile Creek Park which is part of the Capital trail. There are a lot of great routes that peel off the trail and back. Here’s one I did on the 13th (30.9 mi Ride Activity on November 13, 2021 by Frank J. on Strava). Check the RABA site and their listing of group rides. They also have 2 group rides on Zwift per week.
Welcome to RVA! All good suggestions here. I have met lots of great riding friends through the CBC rides. Feel free to message me if there are particular parts of the area that are of interest or kinds of riding. Or anything else!
I live in DC but have gone down to Richmond a few times to ride. I enjoy mountain biking in Pocahontas State Park. I believe there’s also gravel (and maybe road) options inside the park as well. I also did the Capital Trail out and back with a couple bros (we started/finished in Williamsburg) but managed a trip up Libby Hill.
I am in Virginia Beach. The Capital Trail is nice if you want to just ride, but not train. There are way to many walkers, hikers, and casual riders on the trail to get an adequate workout. I have a couple rides I do in Williamsburg that take you on parts of the trail, but we use them as warmup, cool down, or recovery from the actual ride.
I like to go to York River State Park and ride. My training partner and myself just did IM Chattanooga and used a course from the park to train for the hills. We could get 80 miles and close to 3k in climbing with very little traffic.
Do you ride gravel/mountain?
Follow the Outpost on socials, they host gravel rides pretty regularly.
There’s a regular MTB ride out of Basic City on Thursdays. Coqui does MTB rides on Weds. Vasen has an MTB ride on Sat mornings (I think).
Folks have mentioned CBC, good rides sat and sun. I think outpost does a rotating gravel/road ride out of the shop on Sat mornings.
If you do ride Gravel, Virginia Endurance Series will start up in late Jan/early Feb. Look for them on Facebook. Series of very fun, free gravel rides mostly out in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg areas. Highly recommend these.
If you don’t ride mountain, it’s great place to start, you can string together 50 miles of trail riding in the city, Pocahontas state park has another 40ish and Charlottesville, Roanoke and Stokesville are a blast.