The Truth Behind the Anthem Moonlight Ride
By all accounts, the Anthem Moonlight Ride was a smashing success! See Richmond Outside’s article and the latest Sports Backers’ blog post on it. The largest bike ride in the Richmond region drew over 3,000 riders of all ages and abilities, including whole multi-generational families, to ride 8- or 17-mile courses, totally free of vehicles, through the City of Richmond and Henrico County.
So what’s the truth about the Moonlight Ride? Walking through the crowds, one thing easy to spot is that most of the riders, costumed or light-clad or not, were not serious cyclists (though there were some!). This ride is unique in its ability to attract folks who like bikes but who don’t define themselves by them. Regular folks like your neighbors, coworkers, and their families. And guess what they want.
They want to ride free from vehicle traffic! They want spaces to ride that are safe, comfortable, and inviting, where they don’t have to stop-and-start at every intersection – streets designed with everyday people riding bikes in mind. They see that the Richmond region has a lot of potential to build these types of spaces to connect where they live to where they work, learn, play, and shop.
There was also no shortage of helmets or lights. When there are spaces that make sense for regular folks on bikes, where it doesn’t take an intrepid, individualistic rider to brave car-centric conditions, following the rules and best practices of riding isn’t much of a stretch.