Summer Games – Natalie, Bike a Greenway

Enjoy another Summer Games entry sent to us through email. Natalie and her family explored the Virginia Capital Bike Trail for Part III, Bike a Greenway.

From Natalie:

We went on the first part of the Virginia Capital Bike Trail, which is under construction and eventually will connect Richmond to Jamestown and Williamsburg. This spring, we rode one of the longer sections in the middle, but we hadn’t ridden the part that was in town.

You start by going through a door-sized opening in the flood wall, near the canal walk downtown. There are some odd but somehow pleasing sculptures back there (which can’t be seen from the road because of the flood wall) and a map. The first half mile goes along the old canal under the train trestle. They put a corrugated metal roof under the tracks to keep hot oil from falling on people using the trail. This first section ends at Shiplock Park, and it’s just a mile long. My child liked that there was a small stop sign and railroad crossing sign just for the cyclists near the end of the trail!

We looked around the ship lock and rode back by the old tobacco warehouses that are now condos and apartments, and then parked at pizza place for lunch. Not a long ride at all, but it was nice to get out and it was too hot (mid 90s) for a more involved ride.

I guess this could be considered a greenway and exploring a new area. We don’t have anything called a greenway here, and the only other bike trails are for mountain bikers who like technical rides. I’m looking forward to when the Bike Trail is completed in a few years and hope more of it follows the river!

{Thank you, Natalie! Very interesting to see how this trail snakes under the highways.}

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5 thoughts on “Summer Games – Natalie, Bike a Greenway

  1. Jennifer S. says:

    Hey, I’m from Richmond, too. I agree that our area is lacking in greenways, but the East Coast Greenway is planned to go through Richmond and connect to the Capital Trail ridden by Natalie. The East Coast Greenway will go from Canada to Key West. It is many years from completion, and more support is needed. Check out http://www.greenway.org for more info.

  2. Amy says:

    Hey cool! They had just started work on this right about the same time we moved away from Richmond. We used to pass by there all the time on our evening walks to Belle Isle. Glad to see it’s progressing! I just now found out that my husband has never been to Colonial Williamsburg, so I’m thinking that once it’s complete we’ll make a trip back to ride it.

  3. Willis says:

    Very nice…I am a little disappointed in the progress outside of town though. While they have completed this section by the flood wall and sections near Williamsburg, as soon as you hit the Canal Locks park the paved section that is separated from the roadway ends for a grand total of less than a mile of paved section in the city. Not a problem for me to rid eon the streets but I won’t be bringing my 2 year old son there anytime soon. Thanks Dottie for highlighting our city (and our citizens!) on your blog! I’ll be posting a link to this on mine today!

  4. Debbie says:

    Great photos. I’m in the Richmond area too. I’m just getting into bicycling (as a grown-up!) and look forward to checking out this trail. It will be great when it goes all the way to Williamsburg.

  5. Beth says:

    Hey Dottie,
    Great shots of the downtown section of the Va. Cap. Trail. It’s just a 1/2 mile, but it’s something–enough to get people excited about how fun and beautiful it will be once complete. If you’re frustrated by the progress, I urge you to send a note to Mayor Jones and your city council member. They are all supportive, but it would be nice if somehow they were all as passionate as we are to see it complete. They have a lot on their plates, so we need to keep this one the most visible. Thanks again for your support of this very cool future addition to downtown Richmond (and beyond!).
    (go to http://www.virginiacapitaltrail.org to get fully updated on the progress and how you can get involved.)

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