Monday, June 30, 2008

Bicycling in Fredericksburg (updated)

Today's FLS lead off today with a front page article on Bicycling around the Fredericksburg area. As good as the article was at bringing up the major issues for people wanting to ride in and around the city, it missed a few vital bits of information.

The article had some good tips for bikers, however, I would move their last tip to #1 - wear a helmet. I see this missing safety gear every day I'm out, and I wouldn't think of leaving the house without my helmet. Maybe it's my tendency to cut it too close on trees, or my general lack of trust of drivers, especially those talking on their cell phone. Please, please, please wear a helmet.

The Fredericksburg area does have a bicycle organization supported by the city. They have put together a plan for city riding trails. The pathways plan has become part of the City's comprehensive plan. All new road projects are expected to have bike lanes or pathways large enough for pedestrians and bicycles such as Cowan Blvd. Unfortunately legacy roadways are a difficult fix.

Just this weekend this group was opening up the Smith Run trail (see blog post here). This trail connects several streets and neighborhoods. I like this trail addition because it allows me to ride from Rt3 to Cowan Blvd, which then connects me to downtown, all without having to ride on Rt3 or the Blue & Grey parkway.

Just this week, the city received notice that they will receive a $410k grant from VDOT for work on the Rappahannock Heritage Trail. This work will go toward extending the existing trail and connecting to the canal trail.

The Rappahannock River Heritage Trail will begin where the established Canal Trail ends at Princess Anne Street, then will cross over to Caroline Street, and follow along the Rappahannock River down Riverside Drive. The trail then goes up Fall Hill, to the other end of the Canal Trail at the Fall Hill bridge, forming a complete loop.

The article did mention work on the Virginia Central Trail, which is a rail bed that once extended from the Fredericksburg canal (train station) all the way into Orange County. This will be a nice easy flat ride from I-95 to downtown once completed.

[Update 6/30]
A few more links that I failed to mention before: (Fredericksburg Bike Club) (Mountain Bike Trails & Racing) (Team from Bike Works downtown) (Bike Shop on Rt 3)

Get out and bike more.


Andrew Flusche said...


Thanks for pointing out the article. Although it's not comforting to hear that a lady was just killed on her bike. Scary stuff.

Are any of the area cycling trails smooth enough for road bikes? The typical trails I've seen in Virginia have been intended for mountain bikes. That's all good and fine, but it will shred my tires in about 5 feet. :)

And yes, wear a helmet. Always. No excuses.


Bryan said...

Most of the new trails that are planned are going to be paved pathways, so they should work well with a road bike. That said, Smith Run is more of a walking path/mountain bike trail. I'm pretty sure the VCR trail is going to be paved when it's done. The Cowan Blvd trail (really a big paved sidewalk) is a paved route. Of course there is the canal path. The trail on up to the old locks on the Rappahannock isn't paved, but it is hard packed crushed gravel.

G. said...

So glad I found your blog about events/news in Fredericksburg. Thanks for the update on the biking trails. I'm relatively new to the area and while I've become familiar with the Canal path, I didn't know about the others. I'll definitely go explore now.

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