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Clean Commute Challenge and upcoming cycling events in Virginia

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Cyclists have hit the trails and roads across Virginia this spring. May is National Bike Month, a great time to enjoy being outdoors in Virginia. Riding a bike is good exercise for people of all ages and also helps keep the air clean.

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Friday, May 16, is National Bike to Work Day. Special events are planned in Lynchburg, Roanoke and the New River Valley to celebrate the day.

Many cyclists are training for upcoming spring and summer cycling events. Whether you're a weekend warrior or a hard-core cyclist, here are some upcoming events to enjoy. Register at the links for each event.

The Clean Commute Challenge is taking place during the month of May in Lynchburg, Roanoke and the New River Valley. Register at the website and pledge to use a clean commute mode to work for one or more days during the month of May.

This friendly competition, organized by RIDE Solutions, provides a fun and easy way to explore clean commute opportunities in your community. Choose a day to try a clean commute mode, or think outside the box and carpool, bike, bus, walk or telecommute every day of the month.

The Storming of Thunder Ridge takes place on Sunday, May 18, starting at the Jamerson YMCA. There will be four routes for cyclists, ranging from 27 miles to 100 miles.

The 75-mile metric and 100-mile century rides include the 13-mile ascent of Thunder Ridge, the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, followed by a rest stop and fast descent from the Parkway.

With the Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop and challenge, cyclists can't go wrong as they ride at their own pace. The Storming of Thunder Ridge Bicycle Ride is a fund-raiser benefiting the YMCA of Central Virginia’s Community Support Campaign.

Cyclists have the option of camping on the YMCA's soccer field the night before the event, with use of the Y's pool, sauna and other facilities. The post-ride celebration features lots of food and fun with your cycling friends.

The Bike Virginia Tour will be held over a six day period from June 20-25. Bike Virginia heads east this year, with headquarters located at Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield for the first half of the tour and at Chickahominy Riverfront Park near Williamsburg for the second half of the tour.

Participants can choose single day rides, multiple days or the all-inclusive package. Most days, there will be multiple route choices, with varying distances and difficulty levels.

Come join in the fun and enjoy beautiful routes, live music, catered meals, vendor displays, camping fun and fellowship with cyclist friends during the Bike Virginia Tour.

Enjoy these National Bike to Work Day and Bike Month options in Lynchburg, Roanoke or the New River Valley.

In Lynchburg, enjoy a Clean Commute Breakfast at Depot Grille in downtown Lynchburg from 7-9 a.m. on May 16. There's also a Morning Commute Convoy taking off from Riverside Park on Rivermont Avenue at 7:30 a.m. Ride on the trail or down Rivermont Avenue and end in downtown Lynchburg. On Friday night

On Friday night, head to Riverviews Artspace on Jefferson Street at 6:30 p.m. for the Lynchburg screening of the Bike Shorts Film Festival, a collection of locally, nationally, and internationally produced short films that feature a bicycle.

In Roanoke, celebrate National Bike to Work Day on May 16 at one of Roanoke’s best little coffee shops, the Little Green Hive at 16 Church St. in Downtown Roanoke. All commuters who ride a bike, carpool, walk, use transit or take the Clean Commute Challenge this May are welcome to attend.

On May 31, cyclists will meet at mile marker 25.5 near the 9th Street Bridge on the Roanoke River Greenway at 10:30 a.m. for History on the Greenway. The event, presented by the Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation, features a guided bike ride with interpretation of historic sites along the way.

In the New River Valley, the 23rd Annual Wilderness Road Ride takes place Saturday, May 24. The scenic and historical adventure begins at the Dedmon Center at Radford University and travels through the beautiful New River Valley, following part of Daniel Boone’s Wilderness Road.

The Wilderness Road Ride features four routes to choose from ranging from a 29 mile relaxed ride to a 79 mile challenge. There's also a kids bike safety class and fun ride in the park.

New River Valley cyclists who have been enjoying Clean Commute Fridays during May will meet at Blacksburg Farmers Market from 7-9 a.m. on Friday, May 30. Visit with your fellow cyclists and have a cup of coffee and a pastry to start your day.

Enjoy National Bike Month in Virginia. If you haven't already registered for the Clean Commute Challenge, it's easy to do. Just visit the website and sign up to do your part to help the environment and enjoy a morning bike ride this month.

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