8/1: Roam NRV bike share ceremonial ride

The Roam New River Valley (NRV) bike share officially hit the streets over the weekend, and partner localities are planning an official kick-off event and ceremonial ride for August 1. Join Roam NRV for a fun ride on the Huckleberry Trail from the New River Valley Mall to downtown Blacksburg. The event will kick off near the trail entrance behind Kohl’s in Christiansburg at 10 a.m. and conclude at Blacksburg’s Market Square Park with light refreshments and closing remarks at noon.

Participants may choose to ride to the Merrimac Road trailhead (approximately 1.8 miles) or make the full ride to Miller Street in Blacksburg and then on to Market Square Park (approximately 7 miles). Shuttle transportation will be provided from Merrimac Road and Market Square Park back to the New River Valley Mall. Individuals wishing to ride only to Merrimac are invited to drive to the Miller Street trail head to join participants for the final short ride to Market Square Park. Bikes will be available at Miller Street and there will be free parking in the Harrell Street lot.

To ride a Roam NRV bike during the ceremonial event, contact Christiansburg Public Relations Director Melissa Demmitt at (540) 382-6128, ext. 1150 or mdemmitt@christiansburg.org to reserve a bike. There is no charge for the event; however, there’s a limited supply of bikes for the day. Participants wishing to ride a Roam NRV bike must be 16 years of age or older. The community is also encouraged to bring their own bicycles to join along in the ride.

About Roam NRV
The Towns of Christiansburg and Blacksburg, Montgomery County and Virginia Tech have teamed up with private mobility company Gotcha and local bike shop Bike Barn, to bring the bike share system to the area. Roam NRV, operated by Gotcha and administered by Blacksburg Transit, will begin with 12 hubs and 75 bikes distributed across the towns, and university campus. The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation is supporting the program with start-up funding of $200,000, along with $50,000 in matching funds from the local participating partners. It is anticipated that ongoing operational costs will come from a combination of grant funds, local funds from the partners, bike share memberships, and sponsorships.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to offer our region yet another option for alternative transportation,” said Blacksburg Transit Director Tom Fox. “Not only is a bike share program an environmentally sound solution, but it speaks to the quality of life in our communities and meets the needs of our citizens and visitors alike.”

Around the world, the bike sharing phenomenon has received increasing attention as the answer to affordable, accessible, and environmentally conscious public transportation. Bike shares deliver a variety of mobility, economic, health, and safety benefits as well.

How it Works
It’s as easy as finding an orange Roam NRV bike at one of the 12 hubs, deciding how long you’d like to ride, paying by credit card, and hitting the road. Take a quick 15 minute spin for $1; ride an hour for $4; sign up for
unlimited access in a 24-hour period for $10 or get really serious and sign up for a $20 monthly or $60 annual membership. Bicycle reservations and rentals can be made via a smartphone app, or online at http://gotchabike.com/roamnrv/.

About Gotcha

Gotcha, based in Charleston, South Carolina is the only fully customizable, turnkey bike share system in the U.S., custom tailored for cities, towns, and universities. Their smart bikes are tech-enabled, tracked with GPS technology, equipped with anti-theft devices, and can be locked at any bike rack.

“The residents and leaders involved in this project share Gotcha’s core values of bringing communities together through sustainable, alternative forms of transportation. As a result, we’ve already seen enthusiasm for Roam NRV, and I’m certain a regional bike share system will enhance the already high quality of life of the New River Valley,” said Sean Flood, CEO of Gotcha.

For more information visit GotchaBike.com; or follow us on our Facebook page and Instagram.