04 April 2024

How to Celebrate National Bike Month in Norfolk

May is National Bike Month, a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling and encourage more individuals to give biking a try. Not only is biking a great form of exercise and fun way to explore the great outdoors; it’s also an environmentally friendly way to get around town. The City of Norfolk has taken great strides in recent years to evolve into a bike-friendly city. With nearly 60 miles of dedicated bike lanes and shared lane markings, Norfolk has many options for bringing more power to the pedal. 

2024 marks the 13th Annual Norfolk Bike Month, and the city will celebrate with 31 days of rides and plenty of opportunities to get the wheels rolling. This city-wide community celebration is sponsored by Lime and organized by the City of Norfolk, Downtown Norfolk Council, Hampton Roads Transit, TRAFFIX, the Elizabeth River Trail and others. Whether you’re riding for fun, fitness or with family, biking means taking part in a movement for safer streets, connected communities, a healthier planet and happier people. No matter if you’re a local or visiting Norfolk during the month of May, we encourage you to park the car, grab a helmet and navigate on two wheels during National Bike Month and beyond.

Where to Bike

Bike Lanes

@h8pavmt, Instagram

Norfolk currently has 35.8 miles of bike lanes, 31.8 miles of sharrows (lanes dedicated for vehicles and bikers to share) and 11.1 miles of off-road shared use paths. This map of Norfolk’s bike lanes can help you chart your course before your journey to ensure you’re traveling on the safest bike-friendly routes.

Elizabeth River Trail

Image courtesy of ERT

This 10.5-mile urban biking and pedestrian trail is an enjoyable way to explore Norfolk on two wheels. The trail journeys steadily along the Elizabeth River connecting the neighborhoods of Downtown, Freemason, Chelsea, Ghent, Larchmont and Lochhaven. Along the way, you’ll encounter many attractions and restaurants worth taking a break for. 

Norfolk Botanical Garden

Pedal through the petals during Norfolk Botanical Garden’s bike nights held April 1–Oct. 15 from 4–7 p.m. With 175 acres and 14 miles of paved and unpaved paths, the garden is a safe and scenic option for getting exercise while immersing yourself in a lush world of botanical beauty.

Northside Park

@NorfolkVA, Twitter

Norfolk may not have been on your radar for places to mountain bike, but perhaps it should be. Northside Park is a 62-acre public park featuring a skate park, tennis courts and ball fields. In recent years, volunteers from a volunteer organization Bike Norfolk have worked to develop access to mountain biking trails within the park, resulting in three separate but connecting trails for a total of 2.2 miles of single track. 

Norfolk’s Bike Shops and Rentals

East Coast Bicycles

@eastcoastbicycles, Instagram

Time for a new ride? East Coast Bicycles sells a fantastic assortment of road bikes, mountain bikes, comfort bikes, cruisers, hybrids and recumbents, plus electric bikes. Their knowledgeable and professional team will go above and beyond to help you select the best bike for your needs. Plus, they’ve got all the accessories, clothing, parts and safety gear to keep you cruising in style. Check out their social media pages to keep up with group ride events. 

Hund’s Recycle Factory

Giving new meaning to the term recycle, Hund’s breathes new life into old bikes by recycling, reusing and rearranging the parts to create custom rides. In addition to used bikes, they can help you find a new bike you love by placing orders from some of their favorite brands. They also have a team of experienced cyclists and repair techs who can help you repair or restore the bike you currently own. 

Lime

@seldenmarket, Instagram

Perhaps you’re familiar with the Lime scooter share program that provides on-demand transportation solutions to help people seamlessly move throughout their neighborhoods and across the community to meet their daily needs. Did you know that you can also rent bicycles through Lime? Simply download the app, view nearby rentals, scan the QR code or enter a number to unlock, then enjoy the ride. Don’t forget to lock up safely when finished and park curbside or at any public bike rack. 

Slow and Steady Bikes and Goods

Occupying the recently vacated Colley Ave. location of Local Bike Shop NFK, Slow and Steady is brand new, but ready to repair your bikes within less than a week. According to its website, the shop is, “A community driven, bicycle oriented marketplace meant to foster a healthier and more sustainable Norfolk by combining the love for cycling with access to thoughtfully curated goods. We aim to create a unique and inclusive space that serves as a hub for bike enthusiasts and the community, offering not only unique bicycles and cycling accessories but also a shared space for bike education, events, and service.”

OV Bicycle Shop

Head to Ocean View to find your perfect two-wheeled match at OV Bicycle Shop. They have a variety of bikes available for test rides and purchase, whether you’re looking for a beach cruiser, mountain bike or road bike. Their team is also equipped to provide maintenance, repairs or a free 21-point checkup. 

Pedego Electric Bikes 

Courtesy of Pedego Bikes

Does your biking need a little boost? Head Downtown to Pedego Electric Bikes. The electric-assist empowers peddlers to go farther and faster, allowing you to see more in less time. You can certainly purchase your own Pedego to go, but if you just want to try it out, Pedego offers rentals for a full day, half day or 24 hours. Locals and helmets are included with every rental, and delivery service is available for full day and weekly rentals. You can even rent a kids’ trailer to bring the littles along on your smooth journey.

Siren Skate Shop

@sirenskateshop, Instagram

Whether you’re rolling on skates, boards or bikes, Siren is here to keep you on your wheels. Conveniently located across from Northside Park, Siren carries an assortment of bikes, plus standout accessories like colorful tires, pedals, handlebars, seats and more to keep you on cycles and in style. 

Celebrate Sustainably

Want to know how your personal bicycling journeys are positively impacting the environment? Download the Traffix app by Hampton Roads Transit, available for Apple or Android devices. Participants see how much money they’re saving in commuting expenses, how many calories they’re burning by not driving and how much they’re helping to reduce CO2 emissions. You can earn rewards and receive real-time data on your progress. 

2024 Bike Month Events

DowntownNorfolk.com has begun compiling a list of Bike Month events. So far, here’s what’s on tap:

Hit the ground rolling and enjoy spring weather and many events!

Bike Expo May 1
Stop by Slover for the 5th Annual Norfolk Bike Expo from 5 – 7 PM. Stop by the ERT table, meet other bike focused organizations, and enter a raffle to win a prize!

Bike Night at the Zoo May 3
The Virginia Zoo invites you to this unique opportunity to ride your bike in the Zoo! The ERT will be hosting a bike helmet decorating station at the family-friendly event from 5 – 8 PM.

ERT x NKR Group Paddle May 4
It’s back! We’re excited to bring back the Group Paddle Series with Norfolk Kayak Rentals and are offering five opportunities to join us on the river and see the trail and our city from a different perspective. A limited number of free kayak rentals are available and anyone can bring their own kayak, canoe, or SUP. 

Tour de ORF May 5
This monthly group ride is open to cyclists of all skill levels. Starting and ending at Smartmouth Brewing, enjoy a leisurely, hour-long, 10-mile, group ride.

Freemason Walking Tour May 11
Led by Norfolk Tour Company, this free tour will explore life along the ERT in the Freemason Neighborhood. No registration is required for this event.

Bike to Work Day May 17
Whether you are actually biking to work, or enjoying a morning ride while you work from home, stop by one, or all, of the 10 Bike to Work Day stations. Be sure to stop by the ERT table at Orapax Street & Raleigh Avenue where we’ll be joined by Smartmouth Brewing and REI!

Bikes, Brews, & Baseball May 19
Spend a Sunday afternoon hitting it out of the park with ERT. Meet up with the group at Benchtop Brewing Company, then slide into first base along the Elizabeth River Trail to Harbor Park, and then hit a home run with the Norfolk Tides!

Discounted tickets are available!

Trail Beautification Day May 24
Led by Norfolk Master Gardeners on the fourth Friday of each month, Trail Beautification Days are a perfect opportunity to get outside and get your hands a little dirty. Volunteers will be helping to clean up the ERT Donor Sculpture garden bed and plant new native plants. 

Colonial Place Gardens Botanical Bike Tour May 25
Explore the secret gardens in the Colonial Place Neighborhood! Led by a Norfolk Master Gardener, this leisurely group bike ride will make multiple stops to see the beautiful gardens hiding behind fences.

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