University of Virginia Marks National Bicycle Week With Lunch-And-Learn Class

The University of Virginia is celebrating National Bicycle Week by hosting a "Bike Commuting 101" Lunch-and-Learn session Thursday from noon to 1 p.m. in room 1120 of the Claude Moore Nursing Education Building.

The class, led by U.Va. employee and cyclist Rob Cook, will review the basics of what a commuter needs to have and needs to know to try bike commuting. The class is designed to prepare for Friday's "Bike to Work Day," the culmination of National Bicycle Week.

On Bike to Work Day, "energizing stations" will be set up around Charlottesville to provide encouragement, refreshments and information to bike commuters – especially those trying it for the first time. The U.Va. station will be at Jordan Hall.

Rebecca White, director of the Department of Parking and Transportation, was among the speakers Monday at a National Bicycling Week event outside Charlottesville City Hall. White focused on the many steps the University has taken to accommodate bicyclists.

"We have recurring bicycle education classes on maintenance and safety, rules of the road and commuting tips," she said. "We have created additional bicycle parking, including covered bike parking inside the Central Grounds Parking Garage on Emmet Street. We have also installed a bicycle fix-it station outside Clark Hall that will make it easier for people to perform their own repairs and maintenance."

White noted that the University has also worked closely with the city of Charlottesville and Albemarle County to assist bicyclists, including painting "sharrow" markings on Alderman Road.

"Sharrow is a system of road markings that remind motorists and bicyclists that they are sharing the road with each other," White said. "The city has installed sharrow lanes as well."

The University was recently recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a top-50 bicycle-friendly university, White said.

"At U.Va., we have many students, faculty and staff who view a bicycle as a primary mode of transportation," she said.

— By Matt Kelly