WILLIAMSBURG — Each year, BikeWalk Williamsburg holds various events and programs to promote bicycle safety and encourage the community to bike and walk to more places.
Its latest effort is the Bicycle Co-Op Project, in which they refurbish and repurpose old bikes to make them rideable and sell them to individuals based on their ability to pay.
BikeWalk Williamsburg board member Allen Turnbull said that this applies to those who cannot afford a bicycle at all.
Some of the project’s leaders are currently searching for spaces in the area to lease for a Co-Op Project shop.
The shop would provide a space for the community to come in and learn about safe bicycling practices, as well as bring their bikes in to work on repairs with help from volunteers.
“Very few folks have a bike stand and tools to do their maintenance and repair at home,” he said. “But they can come into the co-op, make an appointment, rent a stand and use the facilities.”
It would also be used to train youth in operating such a facility.
Turnbull said that they are hoping to sign a lease on a space in the next month.
The Bicycle Co-Op Project is one of BikeWalk’s various programs that support their mission of making Williamsburg, James City County and York County bike and walk friendly communities.
Each year on the first Saturday of May, the Colonial Parkway is shut down to motor vehicles so people can bike, walk or run.
The 2021 event was modified to allow for social distancing by taking place over the entire weekend, as opposed to just one day.
Reed Nester, BikeWalk board member and chair for the Historic Triangle Bicycle Advisory Committee, said that BikeWalk is currently working with NPS on the possibility of having a monthly weekend closure for Pedal the Parkway.
“It’s great to be able to promote bicycling in the community,” Nester said.
BikeWalk also promotes bicycle safety and skills for youth by working with WJCC schools on after-school bike clubs.
BikeWalk mentors third-fifth grade students from Norge Elementary, James Blaine Blayton Elementary and Clara Byrd Baker Elementary to teach them about bicycle repair and operations, as well as help them gain skills and self confidence.
“It means a lot to us because we know they’re going to carry those skills forward,” Turnbull said.
BikeWalk is always looking for volunteers to expand the amount of community events and programs, Turnbull said.
Part of BikeWalk’s advocacy is also urging city officials to have bicycle lanes repaved and restriped to make them bigger and safer for bicyclists on the roads.