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Bike rental launches near Richmond end of Virginia Capital Trail

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PHOTO: Courtney Cotton

RICHMOND, Va. —  Traffic during the  first seven months of the Virginia Capital Trail was strong, and its success will only continue to grow with a new bike rental service.

“The Kickstand” will provide bike rentals, service and sales along the multi-use trails, which stretches over 50 miles from Richmond to Jamestown. The soft-opening of the service launches on July 16.

Richmond Cycling Corps (RCC) helped organize and implement the service, and all proceeds generated from The Kickstand will kick back to the RCC, a nonprofit which creates and coaches cycling teams for the most at-risk children living in the projects. Founder Craig Dodson started the RCC in 2010, and was just recognized as a CNN national hero for his efforts to help break the cycle of poverty.

Dodson thanked the Richmond Bicycle Studio for their help, and the Robins Foundation for underwriting the project.

“Also, we want to give the City of Richmond, VA a shout out,” he wrote on Facebook. “Because of some really forward-thinking/fast-acting folks within City Hall, this concept became a reality.”

The service will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. After July 16, the weekday hours will be Wednesday through Friday, 7 a.m. to noon and 4 to 8 p.m.

The opening weekend rental price for a bike includes a helmet and lock and is $7/hour, $25/half-day, and $35/full day for any bike (excluding tandem).

Riders will be able to select single-rider, tandem and kids’ bikes from The Kona Bicycle Co., along with kids trailers.

Look for the big, sea-foam colored trailers that are about 10-feet from the trail near the former Lehigh Cement Towers, on Wharf Street, before Rockett’s Landing. There will be parking available.

Former LeHigh Cement on Wharf

Former LeHigh Cement on Wharf

Virginia Capitol Trail — 10 years in the making

Since the trail opened in fall 2015,  cyclists and pedestrians have used the trail almost 300,000 times, according to Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). The organization now offers public data to display daily and historical trail usage. On average, there are 162 daily visits to the trail, based on data from the sensors in six locations.

The paved path is eight to 10-feet wide for shared use. It parallels most of the scenic Route 5 corridor, which travels through a wellspring of historic, environmental and cultural resources from previous capitals in Jamestown and Williamsburg to the modern government seat in Richmond.

The most utilized part of the trail is near the city, at Almond Creek. Since Sept. 9, 2015, over the trail has been accessed over 115,000  times, with a daily average of 380 visitors.

Further east, Herring Creek has the second-highest usage, with over 54,000 uses since tracking began.

The RCC practices on a track built  on an abandoned 15 acres behind Armstrong High School, in the inner city.  A video with founder Craig Dodson is below.