Charlottesville Parks and Recreation launches free bike rental program for the summer

Charlottesville Parks and Recreation launches free bike rental program for the summer
Bikes (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The city of Charlottesville is helping families get out the house and get active with a free activity. People are now able to rent a bike to go for a ride on city trails.

Charlottesville Parks and Recreation is kicking off its free bike rental for the summer. The program is a way for families to get more active while places still have restrictions due to COVID-19.

“Once the pandemic hit, I read an article that bike sales were soaring. So, we had all of these bikes just sitting around and I thought we could do something for the community while we’re shut down,” Kate Purnell, Parks and Recreation Program Manager said.

At first, the program only had adult bikes, but the city collaborated with the Safe Routes to School program to have bikes for children as well.

“City schools have six fleets of kids bikes and right now they’re not being used because it’s summertime because it’s COVID-19, so we decided to take some of those bikes and slide them over,” Kyle Rodland, Safe Routes to School Coordinator said.

Families that do decide to ride will have more options for upgraded trails.

“We just revamped the mountain bike trails that are behind the Y. They are branded as the triangle trails. The triangle trails are a system of trails that are perfect for mountain bikers of all abilities,” Rodland said.

Since COVID-19 is still going around, bikes and helmets are sanitized after each two-hour bike rental use.

“Everyone’s kind of been cooped up inside. Exercise is great for mental health, mental wellness and physical wellness. If we can support that and have some free activities and kind of break down that barrier of affordability and accessibility for people then we’re happy to do so,” Purnell said.

Bike rentals are available on Thursday afternoons from 3-7 p.m and Fridays from 9 a.m – 1 p.m. through August 25.

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