Slow Ride Virginia Beach:  Ride for a Cause on May 20th

In 2014, Pungo-resident Steve Lambert bought two bikes.  He and his wife had just had a baby girl and wanted an activity to do together as a family.  After months of sticking to quiet Pungo roads, the Lamberts decided to venture out to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.  His wife, being new to biking, was nervous about “the idea of an urban setting where there’s vehicles, pedestrians and other bikes and crazy physical environments that effect how you move around” according to Lambert.  He stated “It was crazy at first but she got more and more comfortable, even with our kids along.  It takes time to feel comfortable biking on the boardwalk though let alone the trolley lanes or roads where you are allowed to share the road.”

It’s known to most Virginia Beach bikers that our local roads aren’t too conducive to riding, especially for leisure purposes.  Lambert, who works for the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization as an Active Transportation Planner, came up with the idea of starting a public bike event.  He had been paying a lot of attention to a phenomenon that was taking place in his hometown of Detroit called Slow Roll Detroit.  Lambert explained “They would get thousands of people biking in Detroit.  Even in neighborhoods some would think unsafe.  They took over the streets.  It blew my mind.  In the planning world, it’s called “critical mass” and it basically means that you have the amount of people that are critical to control the street. This phenomenon was growing and growing.”

With Lambert’s background in public transportation, he decided he wanted to create a free, public event that was designed for the average biker to attend with the mission of allowing people to feel safe biking while having fun. He also wanted to help local businesses, as these events are hosted at restaurants or breweries along the oceanfront.  Lambert reported “My goal was to make an event where families and friends could bike in a group comfortably and enjoy the wonderful sites that we have here.  Hopefully, one day, people see this and they will build the facilities we could use.”  As of now, Lambert reports, the City of Virginia Beach is not assisting in the Slow Ride events despite his requests.

The first Slow Ride event in 2016 had over 100 bikers.  “It was awesome” Lambert stated.  He then decided to use these events as fundraisers to help out charities and friends raising money for various causes.  Last year, Slow Ride hosted 4 events and helped raise money for charities such as Roc Solid Foundation and White House to White House: A Relay to End Homelessness.  “My goal is to get something going that is more frequent and it grows naturally into a community event that can rotate throughout the city and maybe one day expand to other regions such as downtown Norfolk. Hopefully each event can raise funds or awareness for a group.  And hopefully can tag team certain events in the city like the Vibe First Fridays, Farmers markets, concerts, etc.” says Lambert.

This year, Slow Ride is kicking off it’s season on May 20th at Murphy’s Irish Pub from 2-5pm to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society which is a charity that hits close to home for Lambert.  He and three friends are raising money for this organization in honor of one of their teammates who battled Lymphoma this past fall.  They plan to run the New York Marathon in November 2017 as part of their fundraising efforts.
If you do not have a bike but still want to join in on the fun, come hang out and eat/drink/dance the afternoon away while you enjoy live music.  Murphy’s is generously donating 15% of all it’s sales to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Date:  May 20th 2-5pm

Location:  Murphy’s Irish Pub (2914 Pacific Ave) located on the corner of Pacific and 30th at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Benefitting:  The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Ride:  The ride will begin and end at Murphy’s Irish Pub. It will include a 4.5 mile bike ride down Atlantic Ave, around the Rudee Inlet loop and then back up Atlantic Ave to Murphy’s.  Lambert, along with a few others, will be leading the bike ride.

Raffles:  Workmans’ Beach cruiser generously donated by Surf and Adventure Co, custom-made items such as cornhole boards, artwork from local artist Grace & Glee, gift cards to local restaurants, fitness packages donated by My Ride Studios and Evofit, and many more.   $10 for beach cruiser raffle tickets, $5 raffle tickets for all other items.  Raffle drawings will take place at 4:30.  MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN!

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