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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How is mountain biking around Richmond? I'm considering a move to the area. I've seen some videos of the trails on Belle Isle, but I don't know of anything else. I know the mountains are just a few hours away, which is awesome, but I'm wondering what there is in the way of after work or quick weekend rides. Thanks.
 

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Hey man, there are clearly people that should chime in that know Richmond better than I do, since I travel up that way from Virginia Beach to hit The James River Park System. I'd be happy in Richmond for afterwork rides for sure, then you are 30 from Williamsburg and can go west as well as needed. I hear Pocohantas is great as well but I haven't ridden it. Check out EVMA on facebook and there is a Ride Richmond Group as well I think. Once you link up with some peeps, I think you'll find it pretty rad.
 

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Richmond is awesome for mtb. You can ride from the front door of many Richmond neighborhoods to the main James River Park System for a good 10 mile loop. There are also a few other parks that you can link everything to for a 40-50 mile loop if you don't mind hitting some road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I decided to take the job in Richmond and I'll be moving there in the summer. Great to see that there is good riding nearby. Thanks guys!
 

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Once you have Richmond rides figured out branch out to both the east and west. Freedom Trails in Williamsburg, and Walnut Creek/O-Hill/Sherando/Preddy Creek in the Charlottesville area are all worth the drive. Preddy is a bit short on mileage though, so stack it with another spot or some other activity to make the trip worth it.
 

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High Bridge State Park @ Farmville VA is now chiming in with decent single track. Opening Day for the new advanced loop is June 4, 2014. Makes it worth the drive to take the family for a rails to trails ride.
 

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Natty Dread
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Bumping this thread back up. It's clear to me that Richmond is one of the best cities to move to if you are a serious MTB'er that wants city life with close in trail access. I drawn to it because it's affordable, central to the Northeast (Grew up in Maine) and the Southeast (for epic Appalachia mtb year round), you can ride year round in town and it seems to be a decent city in terms of livability i.e. stuff to do in the way food, drink, arts etc. I work in the ocean container shipping industry so getting a job out that way is feasible. I'd be moving from Oakland, California which is located near all kinds of amazing MTB but I'm honestly tired of this expensive, elitist rat race. Need to bail in the next couple of years and want a bike-centric community. Don't worry if I move to RVA I won't pay above market for a house like almost every Calif transplant does and thereby inflating your housing prices and pushing local buyers out. This is all very hypothetical. Though I do want to plan a visit soon. I've spent time in Harrisonburg and enjoyed that. Though RVA is more appealing given it's a city and more central within the state. Would RVA keep a late 30s single guy entertained or should I find a wife first? Thanks for your thoughts.
 

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The riding in Richmond is great! I had a friend who knows it all well and we did it all one day, Buttermilk, Dogwood Dell, Poop Loop, all over the place and it was all great! I have been wanting to go back down since to do it again. We did 24 miles and stopped for lunch/beer at Legends, took a swim in the James River, had a great time!
 

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I work downtown Richmond and have been running trails on my lunch break. Its amazing how much there is to ride in such an urban/city environment. Not just flat trails, but gnarly singletrack on the Northbank, Bells Isle skills park (with 2 well kept pump tracks and obstacles for a quick session), rock gardens, overlooks of the river, bridges and connectors to get to every other place so as mentioned before you can connect multiple park trail systems to make it as epic or quick as you want. Richmond goes out of their way to be like this, and it shows!
 

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RVA also has great class 3+ white water (with year round boatable water levels) down town if you are into boating. I'm in Charlottesville and go there several times a year to paddle. I haven't ridden Belle isle, but have ridden at Pocahontas and it's very nice. 1-1/2 hrs west and your at Sherando for the big mountain experience.
 

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Traveled to Richmond and rode the entire James River Park System during a sunny Wednesday afternoon last month. Fascinating and very entertaining trail system. Great variety of trails, conditions, and environments. My hat is off to the team working the network. Obviously a huge expenditure of effort to build and maintain the trails and supporting infrastructure. Good work! Glad I visited.

Not sure I’ll ever go back. The trails were packed with hikers, runners, and dog walkers. In many places, could not make it more than 60 seconds without having to stop and maneuver around others out enjoying the area. Throw in the traffic and lack of parking…. Can’t imagine what the weekend looks like.

Hopefully the locals have these challenges figured out and can find a way to enjoy the fruits of their labor
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Traveled to Richmond and rode the entire James River Park System during a sunny Wednesday afternoon last month. Fascinating and very entertaining trail system. Great variety of trails, conditions, and environments. My hat is off to the team working the network. Obviously a huge expenditure of effort to build and maintain the trails and supporting infrastructure. Good work! Glad I visited.

Not sure I’ll ever go back. The trails were packed with hikers, runners, and dog walkers. In many places, could not make it more than 60 seconds without having to stop and maneuver around others out enjoying the area. Throw in the traffic and lack of parking…. Can’t imagine what the weekend looks like.

Hopefully the locals have these challenges figured out and can find a way to enjoy the fruits of their labor
Cool to see this thread back at the top. It's been almost 2 years since I moved to Richmond, and it's been great for my family, career, and of course the riding. You're right about the packed trails Bob. It may have been a little worse than usual during your stay Bob, since that was the first really nice weather we've had this year. On the weekends, I either ride very early or go to Pocahontas state park instead. There are also some semi-unofficial trails outside of the main JRPS loop that don't get nearly as much traffic.
 

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I don't ride JRPS often, but when I do it's usually later in the day and rarely see the crowd mentioned on the trail.
I guess most folks are morning people.
 

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Traveled to Richmond and rode the entire James River Park System during a sunny Wednesday afternoon last month. Fascinating and very entertaining trail system. Great variety of trails, conditions, and environments. My hat is off to the team working the network. Obviously a huge expenditure of effort to build and maintain the trails and supporting infrastructure. Good work! Glad I visited.

Not sure I’ll ever go back. The trails were packed with hikers, runners, and dog walkers. In many places, could not make it more than 60 seconds without having to stop and maneuver around others out enjoying the area. Throw in the traffic and lack of parking…. Can’t imagine what the weekend looks like.

Hopefully the locals have these challenges figured out and can find a way to enjoy the fruits of their labor
That is a challenge -- because it is such a great trail and park system in an urban setting, nice weather brings out the hordes. I typically ride JRPS late fall, winter, early spring when the general use is reduced. Going early or late can help. Night riding is another option to enjoy some solitude on the trail.
 
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