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Virginia celebrates Bike to School Day

Students are encouraged to get their bikes ready for the sixth annual National Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 10. This year, nearly 200 Virginia schools have listed events, and more Bike to School events are expected to be held throughout May, which is National Bike Month.

bike to school dayParents, as well as organizers in schools, towns, public health and transportation organizations are planning supervised bike trains, group rides and other activities to highlight the benefits of safe, student-powered transportation.

Last year saw record-breaking participation, with 213 schools taking part. It marked the greatest number of events in Virginia since Bike to School Day began in 2012. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the agency that administers the Federal Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS) in Virginia, is hoping to see the event continue to grow.

“Bike to School day has been gaining traction in Virginia each year since it started,” said Rob Williams, VDOT’s Safe Routes to School coordinator. “The students who participate in Bike to School Day absolutely love it and, as a result, many schools have made it an annual event.”

To find a participating school near you, or for more information, see the following websites:

During National Bike Month, everyone is encouraged to bike; it’s not just for students. “There are biking opportunities throughout Virginia for all ages and skill levels,” said John Bolecek, VDOT’s statewide bicycle and pedestrian planner.

The commonwealth has 855 miles of U.S. Bike Routes 1, 76 and 176, as well as many locations for off-road mountain biking. The Virginia Capital Trail, a fifty-plus mile shared-use path connecting Williamsburg to Richmond, was completed in September 2015 and has recorded more than 616,813 counts from bicyclists and pedestrians.

Would you like to know more about how traffic laws apply to bicyclists? Bicyclists and motorists basically have the same rights and duties, and the laws governing traffic regulation apply equally to both. Information on laws and safety tips is available at www.virginiadot.org/programs/bk-laws.asp  and sharevaroads.org.

If you’re looking for places to bike in Virginia, VDOT’s bike map offers routes and information of most interest to cyclists.  Maps can be ordered or viewed at www.virginiadot.org/bikemap/default.asp.



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