Sports Backers Blog

Halloween Light Giveaway Encourages Safe Cycling

Bike Walk RVA and VCU RamBikes are teaming up for a 'Trick or Treat' event to provide bike lights for cyclists along Floyd Avenue.

By: Ali Crissman

What happens when Bike Walk RVA and VCU RamBikes come together to put on a Halloween event?  It means safer cyclists on the streets of Richmond, of course.

On Thursday, October 31st from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Bike Walk RVA, a program of the Sports Backers, and VCU RamBikes will be holding a trick-or-treat bike light giveaway on Floyd Avenue in Richmond.  Representatives from the two organizations will be stationed in the Fan near the intersection of Floyd and Morris Street and in the Museum District near the intersection of Floyd and Belmont Avenue.

“We’ve heard recently from concerned residents that cyclists riding without lights on Floyd Avenue is a major problem for them, and it’s working against our efforts to make Floyd Avenue into a great ‘bike/walk street',” said Max Hepp-Buchanan, director of Bike Walk RVA. “The first thing we thought of to address the issue was to get a bunch of bike lights and partner with VCU RamBikes to give them out.”

During the event, tables stocked with free front and rear bike light sets, cyclist safety information, and candy will be set up at each participating end of Floyd Avenue. Anyone riding on Floyd Avenue without bike lights will be handed a set of the free lights in an effort to make cyclists in the area more visible, and to engage them in a dialogue about cyclist safety and traffic laws. In addition to the bike lights, the cyclists will also be given a postcard with safety information, including the fines and penalties for breaking certain traffic laws.

Brantley Tyndall, Alternative Transportation Coordinator at VCU, stressed the importance of cyclists using bike lights.

“Using lights at night is critical to cyclists’ visibility, in addition to being a legal requirement,” he said. “VCU RamBikes was awarded a grant for lights and reflective leg bands from the Virginia Bicycle Federation to be distributed to riders on and around VCU campuses as an educational opportunity to show riders just how effective they are, and at such little cost.”

Hepp-Buchanan said this event is important for making the roads of Richmond accessible for all users.

“This is just one step in a long process of educating cyclists, drivers, and pedestrians about how to safely share our streets,” he said. “Plus, it’s getting dark earlier and the nights are longer, so fall is a great time to emphasize the importance of riding with lights.”

Both emphasized that the overall goal of the event is to increase light usage by cyclists riding in the dark.

“The hope is that light usage will increase among riders, making traffic interactions among cyclists, drivers, and pedestrians safer, more intuitive, and more orderly,” Tyndall said.

For more information about the event, contact Max Hepp-Buchanan, Bike Walk RVA director, at 804-285-9495 or at [email protected]

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