RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A professional bicycle racer from Germany who is expected to possibly finish in the top five in the professional category gave Richmond glowing reviews, John Degenkolb said, “It’s a great place it’s a great place for hospitality, from the people here they are so friendly, you really feel they enjoy and love to have this big event in this town and in the city, it’s great to be here to get this friendly welcome here,” said Degenkolb as he and his teammates rode off from the Carytown Bicycle Co. bike shop.
The co-owner of Carytown Bicycle Co. said Richmond has come a long way in making the community more bicycle friendly, “I think it’s going to bring awareness we’re already seeing it with improvements on the roads, more people are paying attention to cyclists, I kind of look at it like a shot in the arm. Probably a three to five year step in road improvements, Chesterfield County has 300 -350 odd miles of trails and greenways in their masterplans that they’re trying to get through. So it’s neat to see Richmond progressing to where it’s going to support cycling for not just recreation but also commuting, cut down on congestion to give people an alternative to driving,” said Mullins.
He added that Richmond still has a way to go in becoming a bicycle town, “Last year I was out in Colorado Springs and Portland and Seattle and we’re about 20-years behind that,” said Mullins.
In the meantime, one local hotel is riding the bicycle wave. The Jefferson Hotel purchased six bikes for overnight guests to ride free of charge,” Because it’s something we think our guests would enjoy while staying with us. We don’t have a lot of canoes we don’t have hang-gliding to be done but we have Richmond as a bike community we have great access and great lanes and great things to see,” said Mark Paterson with the Jefferson Hotel.