If you’re considering switching to biking or walking as a healthier, cleaner alternative to driving for your daily commute, or simply enjoying taking advantage of the region’s greenways, trails, and bike paths for recreational use, the Roanoke and New River Valleys and the Region 2000 area offer ample opportunities for a safe and enjoyable experience.
Even if your trip is long, consider walking or biking for part of your trip. Use one of the Park & Ride Lots or you can walk or ride to the bus and put your bike on the bus.
COMMUTING BY BIKE
Cycling to work or school is simple, healthy, clean, and economical. We have gathered a compilation safety and commuter tips and resources to assist all bicyclists – from beginner to advanced – have a safe and fun bicycling experience.
Finding a Biking or Walking Route
Would you like to bike or walk to work, school, transit or shopping? Developing the best route to your destination is not always easy and often requires trial and error in finding the best route. Travel time, road conditions, bicycle facilities, traffic flow and geography are all considered when planning your route.
Commuter Routes: We have developed a number of designated bike routes for commuters, tried and tested by local bike clubs, along primary roads, greenways, and trails in the region guiding commuters primarily within Roanoke, Blacksburg, and Lynchburg cities. We want to hear from you. If you have a route that is well tested and would like to share it with others, let us know.
Walking Routes: Would like to walk to the store, transit, shopping, or school? Look for your neighborhood’s Walkscore to learn how walkable your neighborhood is and possibly discover the great places that are closer and easier to walk or bike to than you think.
Safety should always be a top concern for cyclists riding on the street with cars. There are a number of steps that bicyclists can take to improve both their safety and that of the motorists on the road. Bicyclists should always ride with caution, obey all traffic laws and follow these key Road Cycling Safety Best Practices and Rules of the Road.
Our Guide to Bicycle Commuting contains a lot of information on safety, route planning, and understanding the rules of the road. One of the most important rules is this: Bicycles are vehicles on the road like any other, with the same rights and responsibilities as other vehicles, including obeying all traffic lights and signs, signalling appropriately, and sharing the road. When commuting by bicycle, your best safety tip is to be predictable – if you act like other vehicles on the road, drivers will know what to expect from you and will treat you with respect.
Details to Consider
Commuting by bicycle forces you to consider the weather and make plans for transporting clothes, work or school supplies, and other necessities. In addition, having a secondary transportation option, in the event of an emergency is important. Local Planner and avid cyclists Shane Sawyer has developed the Guide to Bicycle Commuting (link to edited/shortened version of Shane’s summary) that outlines some great tips and considerations for commuting by bicycle to work.
Guaranteed Ride Home: RIDE Solutions Guaranteed Ride Home Program provides any registered member a freed ride home in the event of an emergency. This bike commuting “insurance policy” is your assurance you will not get stranded at work.
Transporting Bikes on Buses: Sometimes the distance to bike to work is too far or there is a gap in route options, this is a great opportunity to take advantage of local buses. All of the buses in Blacksburg, Roanoke, and Lynchburg are equipped with bike racks located on the front of the bus.
Bike Shops, Clubs, and Resources: Within the southwestern RIDE Solutions region of New River and Roanoke Valleys and greater Lynchburg area is a wealth of opportunities with which to experience our beautiful rolling terrain and plentiful rivers. Further, there are many cyclists and bike shops in the area to provide you with information, expertise, and bicycling camaraderie – you can find local shops on our Interactive Bike Map.
COMMUTING BY WALKING
Walking is the most common and used form of transportation. It is also one of the easiest and least expense forms of exercise. However, in a car-centric world, developing a strategy to ensure you stay safe and visible is important. Further, expanding the pedestrian environment – sidewalk, crosswalks, pedestrian islands, etc. – has become a focus and desire for all of the localities within the RIDE Solutions region.
How Walkable is Your Neighborhood?
Get your neighborhood’s Walkscore to learn how walkable your neighborhood is. The Walkscore tool will rate the overall walkability of your home address, including access to things like grocery stores, restaurants, shopping, and so forth.