Virtual Bike Series keeps people moving on the Elizabeth River Trail

Posted at 1:23 PM, May 10, 2020

NORFOLK, Va. - Whether you're walking, biking or just taking in the scenery, there's a little something for everyone on the Elizabeth River Trail.

The beautiful 10.5 mile trail starts at Harbor Park in Norfolk, weaving in and out of neighborhoods and delighting the people who adventure on its pathway.

"People are really using the trail as an amenity to get out there, feel the fresh air, [etc]. Remember that the birds are still chirping, the trees are out there and you get exercise which is also really, really important," said Cheryl White, the executive director of the Elizabeth River Trail Foundation.

Since March, White said their digital counters have shown about 75% more people are using the trail. She can't say for sure it's because of the coronavirus restrictions, but the timing matches.

Following the state's orders, the board has been making sure to emphasize social distancing. Along the trail you will notice signs encouraging social distancing as well as messages on social media. White said the foundation also has a "trail ambassador" who monitors what's happening day-to-day.

The foundation has also started a new initiative called the Virtual Bike Series. It's a way to keep people engaged and raise awareness about Bike Month.

"We have a collection of these routes and rides that really have never been pushed out beyond the event page, so since we can't gather as a group to bike, we can definitely distribute that route," White said.

Every Friday, a new ride is shared. People can do it at their own time and speed and are encouraged to post a picture when they are done. White told News 3 it offers a sense a community when we're forced to live six feet apart.

"There's also just the element of connectivity. I think during quarantine, it can be really easy to feel isolated. So if you were out on the trail and you get that connection to nature it just kinda restores your faith that we're going to get through this," White said.

Also, remember, if a section of the trail is too crowded, you can head a few miles down the road to a less congested area.