Tips for Planning and Leading a Family-Friendly Bike Ride

May is Bike Month, and here in Richmond, we are fortunate to have BikeWalk RVA’s awesome calendar of events letting us know what great activities and rides are available for individuals, groups, and families across the city and Greater Richmond area. We can hop on a Star Wars themed ride with the kids, make some great Strava Art while flexing both your literal and creative muscles, or just go on a fun ride with your friends and family!

When the excitement of Bike Month activities dies down in June, fear not! Take control and plan and lead your own ride!

Students who participated in Mary Munford’s Bike to School Day had the opportunity to stay after school for bike decorating and a parade around the school property. Principal Muzik and his Monarchs stopped for a group picture before rolling out!

1.) Invite Riders – Determine who you want to ride, and target them using social media, an online invitation, or email.

2.) Plan the Route – Take into consideration the skill level and size of your group. Take advantage of bikeways and roads with bike lanes, or generally slower, more manageable traffic patterns. It’s important to be aware of traffic patterns along the route for that specific day of the week and time of day. Use social media or online mapping tools to share this information with your group.

3.) Share Information – Make sure that participants know the skill level required for the ride, the meeting place, start times, the route, and any pertinent details about the ride’s destination.

4.) Make It Fun! – Themed rides encourage riders to decorate their bikes and wear coordinating colors! Offer a prize to the best bike decorator or most eccentric outfit.

5.) Ride Safely – Be sure to keep a comfortable pace that acknowledges both the group size and skill level of the group members, as well as road and traffic conditions. Use hand signals and make sure you are vocal, sharing conditions and hazards with the riders. Assign an established rider to bring up the rear and keep an eye out for any issues that may arise. Model safe behavior, good riding etiquette, and check that all equipment is in safe working condition before you begin.

The past few months have provided us with the opportunity to log a lot of miles, and we’re excited to be expanding our participating schools’ bike fleets with the help of Richmond’s own Pello Bikes. A dozen new bikes are making their way into our schools this bike month, with another dozen to follow!

Mayor Stoney on a Pello Bike at Mary Munford Elementary!

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