Video: A River City Rip

Sep 4, 2013 at 17:00
Sep 4, 2013
by Ryan Thompson  
 
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Views: 26,373    Faves: 132    Comments: 5


Who says you can’t have fun on a 3 mile trail loop located in the heart of an urban metropolis?

For the most part, riders living around large urban centers are relegated to creating lines off staircases or any concrete structures that look doable. Sure, fun can be had on the street, but it can never replace that feeling you get from dancing with your bike in and out of corners on a narrow stretch of single track. But that type of trail riding can’t be found living in the pits of a concrete jungle. Or can it?

Richmond VA skyline.

In the city of Richmond, Virginia, a burgeoning bike culture has helped shape a unique perspective on city planning and trail building possibilities within an urban center. Surprisingly, Richmond is home to over 40 miles of world-class singletrack trails, most of which sit right smack in the middle of the city’s downtown. Richmond’s local James River Park system and trail building organization, RaMORE, have somehow managed to get the very most riding enjoyment out of the extremely small stretch of available green space that hugs the banks of the mighty James river which cuts the city in two.

Ripping the flowing ribbon of singletrack that makes this trail loop so fun.

This short film captures the essence and fun that can be had riding one of Richmond’s more popular trail loops, Forest Hill Park. If you’re ever planning a trip to Richmond, or passing through, be sure to bring your bike. You won’t regret it!

Trail map of the 2.9 mile Forest Hill Park loop.

Cheers!
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84 Comments

  • + 28
 this is the best video i have watched all year. its real and it relates to most pf us who really ride. It is the kinda video that makes me want to ride.....like now.
  • + 8
 I know! Finally a video that is realistic to most of the people on here's level of riding, nice job PB
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  • + 10
 stoked to see local trails on PB.
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  • + 5
 FINALLY RVA IS ON THE HOMEPAGE!!
I love these trails, I ride them at least 4 times a week and I live really close to the James. RVA has an AMAZING riding scene and it's about time it got some notice!!

btw, great vid guys, saw it at the Where The Trail Ends screening and thought it may be the best edit of the JRPS ever. you guys should have including the North Bank and Buttermilk though, that's where the real shredding is Smile
  • + 2
 Thanks. We put together a rough cut of sections of both Northbank and Buttermilk... www.pinkbike.com/video/298097 . We plan on putting together proper edits of these two trails as well as Dogwood Dell in the future...stay tuned!
  • + 1
 yeah man if i can help at all lemme know. me and my friend have been trying to make an edit the last few rides but it's never worked because we always ruin the ride if we get off and film every 3 minutes. but we'll get there!
  • + 1
 RideKore - awesome video. Also, that "rough" cut of Northbank/Buttermilk is great. You have no idea how homesick these vids are making my wife and I. Can't wait to see more of your stuff!!!
  • + 1
 Thanks for the kind words. It was a fun (and challenging) shoot. Hopefully there will be more to come. Cheers.
  • + 1
 @cecald why'd you move man??
  • + 1
 @mfbeast12

Joined the Foreign Service and am riding in Nepal for now ;-)
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  • + 5
 takes notes city of portland...a city that claims its the bike capital but where riding is illegal everywhere. Liking the optimism in the vid! The confederate museum is a must hit in Richmond, no joke its got amazing stuff in it.
  • + 1
 does the photographer know he was in poision ivy at 3:57
  • + 1
 Yes, the trails are littered with poison ivy...all the more reason to keep it on the trail Smile
  • + 1
 Yep..I did notice the 3 pointed leaf of death while filming. I'm highly allergic to the stuff but luckily I didn't get it too bad.
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  • + 7
 Refreshing to see a video about a quick ride in ones own backyard, riding like the majority of us do. Excellent video, got me stoked.
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  • + 3
 Great to see my hometown on PB! Loved the Forest Hill loop combined with the rest of the James River Park system. Always thought that Richmond was such an amazing city to have fun singletrack, flat water and white water kayaking right in the middle of the city. Miss it tons!
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  • + 3
 This is a lot like Edmonton AB.(where I live) We have a whole river valley with trails all throughout it. Really cool to see a video that shows almost the same kinda stuff that we got here!
  • + 2
 So true. I had the luck of spending last summer in Edmonton. The river valley and the whole green belt stretching through the heart of the city just blew me away! Smile Nothing in terms of parks I've seen anywhere else comes even close to it. You guys are so lucky! Unfortunately, I didn't have my bike with me Frown I hope I can come back some day!
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  • + 1
 Nice Video, Cool to see other urban riding areas! In the Minneapolis/St. Paul area we have 85 miles of single track built and maintained by MORC
www.morcmtb.org/trailreviews/index.html

2 hours north of us Duluth is in the process of building 100 miles of single track in the next 5 years! It is a great way to use under utilized open/park space! Hope to see more of this popping up!
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  • + 1
 Nice to see urban VA riding on PinkBike! Born and raised outside of Roanoke, but now living in NM. I'll have to bring my bike the next time I head back east to visit family/friends. Funny, a co-worker just told me about a mtb race that he participated in (Richmond) earlier in the summer.
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  • + 1
 I'm from RVA, and moved away in search of more riding opportunities.

My folks still live there and when I come visit I always try and ride the River trails. Years ago, we cut a section going from Buttermilk West, along the train tracks to the Powhite Park. You could ride nearly 30 miles of mostly singletrack downtown. Is this section still rideable? Does anyone go out there? Jimmy MacMillan?

I poked around west of the Nickel Bridge a little bit when I was home this year and it didn't look like anyone was out there much...
  • + 1
 That section of trail west of the Nickel bridge is on private land. RaMORE and other area cycling advocacy groups are working getting access to this green space to connect the James River Park Trails and Powhite. Check out the Forest Hill and Dogwood Dell trail additions next time you're in town. Enjoy the beautiful trails in western NC...love riding down there!!!
  • + 1
 It is still rideable. Jimmy is out here a lot. He's pretty involved in the riding scene. Also, a pump track was built which I actually helped with inside a little skills area on Belle Isle. It's amazing, I've seen so many little kids out on the pump track just shredding it. There was a 4 year old on one of those bikes for kids without pedals railing berms like a pro just the other day. We're also hosting the 2015 World Champs for road. RVA is gettin legit!
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  • + 1
 Nice Video and great music! But the second time I watched I was so bored, because every shot is taken at ground level except for a few. You need to have variety in your film shots and its annoying to see your head get cut off as you get closer to the camera! Nice Video though and I'm just trying to give suggestions!
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  • + 5
 i only ride park...
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  • + 3
 Huge props to the Richmond MORE guys who built and maintain these amazing trails, really appreciate the hard work!
  • + 1
 Agreed!!! We couldn't do it without their dedication and hard work!
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  • + 1
 These trails were the only thing that kept me sane while living in Virginia after moving there from Cali. Good to see them on here! Philly has some top notch riding in the city too, kind of similar to these trails.
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  • + 1
 Philadelphia has a 20 mile loop situated in the middle of 1.5 million people. That's not including the other 20 mile loop, and the other 8 mile loop. All within city limits. Just sayin.
  • + 1
 Meh. Town I live in have 60 miles within city limits and only has 10,000 people. Hour to Seattle. 4 to Whistler. Just sayin.
  • + 1
 Mmm the Wiss is wonderful
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  • + 3
 Yooo what up! Haha I ride these trails all the time, sweet to see them on the homepage.
  • + 1
 i was like holy shit am i seeing right for a second? #RVA www.pinkbike.com/photo/9874702
yo i heard you met my bro @rvamtb at freedom the other day. we should ride sometime
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  • + 1
 Another great urban trail system is a the Urban Wilderness in Knoxville, TN. They have 42 miles of trails within two miles of downtown.
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  • + 1
 I'm moving here in January and I'm really not looking forward to it considering I'm losing all the amazing NW trail options I have where I currently live
  • + 3
 youll have some great trails 2 hours away haha. anyways cool to see some virginia trails on here....now we need some from harrisonburg up there
  • + 5
 also you can buy crack on the trail in Richmond, pretty convenient if you're into that sort of thing.
  • + 1
 either of you two happen to know where the nearest FR oriented trails are? Or at least a some trails with some decent elevation gain/loss?
  • + 3
 Fortunately, the growing rider scene and positive user group in Richmond has pushed out most all riff raff on the trail so you have to go elsewhere for your crack fix. justinkader, there are plenty of big mountain, epic trails within 2 hours from Richmond...extensive trail network in Harrisonburg, Douthat State Park, Charlottesville, etc. There are also some FR oriented trails in Williamsburg and Northern Va. Give us a shout when you get to town and we'll show you around.
  • + 1
 sounds good. I'm coming from Washington state and I'm going to be stationed down at Ft. Lee. I'm trying to pick up residence somewhere in chester I think since everything else around ft. lee kinda seems like a cesspool
  • + 1
 @mtbtacolover -- having grown up and living in Harrisonburg I know of several spots that would make a great feature, I just don't have the filming capabilities to put something together. PM me if anyone has any suggestions!!
  • + 1
 justinkader, The next IMBA Ride Center is being built in Chesterfield. And yes, Petersburg is a cesspool. www.richmond.com/recreation/article_32482592-e8ba-11e2-83fb-0019bb30f31a.html
  • + 2
 well if IMBA is setting up a Ride Center in Chesterfield than that just sealed the deal on where I'm going to be living lol
  • + 1
 Yeah, the RideCenter will be located at Pocahontas State Park and will feature 20+ miles of sustainable singletrack! There is some nice affordable housing options in good neighborhoods in Chesterfield as well. Check out richmond-more.org and www.fopsp.org to get involved!
  • + 1
 Dont confuse Chester with Chesterfield. They both suck, but one sucks more.
  • + 1
 I thought they were the same place? Or at least relatively close to each other
  • + 1
 They are next to each other. Its like this. Chesterfield is your avg crappy suburb (nothing great, but not horrible) Chester is just a step below in quality. Petersburg should be avoided at all cost. But I guess it all depends on what you are into. Smile
  • + 2
 To clarify the IMBA ride center will be the Richmond Region. That is the trails in the city and at Pocahontas. Thank to the Ride Kore guys what a great way to showcase our trail work.
  • + 2
 Thanks stinkyDee, yes the ride center will also include the James River Park Trails and hopefully many more in the future!!!
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  • + 1
 Weve got some awesome but far less groomed trails in sydney as well not more than 10min ride from the CBD-oh and some pretty awesome beaches less than 5!!
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  • + 1
 Great edit! It's nice to see a video grounded in what is probably reality for 90%+ of all riders.
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  • + 2
 That was so good, *adds to favourites*
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  • + 1
 You left work so quick you forgot a knee pad! Excellent vid, enjoyed it a lot, nice to see a Nickel in a movie
  • + 1
 Ha, that was a knee brace Smile
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  • + 1
 I've raced 99% of the trail in the video plus buttermilk and northbank. Most badass xc trails ever
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  • + 2
 Long live the Santa Cruz butcher
  • + 1
 Ohh honest mistake
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  • + 1
 Finally giving the Nickel some justice as a fun trail bike!! This video makes me like my closeout Nickel frame even better!
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  • + 2
 nice job guys great how people can mtg anywhere now
  • + 5
 Mountain Goat..? Smile
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  • + 1
 Stokin! That was a great video. For the common man hey!
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  • + 1
 were both bikes santa cruz?
  • + 2
 Yes, Santa Cruz Nickels.
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  • + 1
 That's fantastic! Nice filming and nice trail.
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  • - 2
 So let me get this STRAIGHT. Two guys with matching white bikes can leave work in the middle of the day to ride to a theme song with no words and lots of yoddleing? Thsi is what you got for me ? Next time, save it hippies.
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  • + 1
 Finally the video capturing something I can go like: Yeah, I can do it.
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  • + 2
 sick vid and good riders
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  • + 2
 I'm having deja vu!
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  • + 2
 Yes...this was awesome
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  • + 1
 True off road riding. I have always considered it hardly possible.
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  • + 1
 What bike was the guy with the really wide elbow stance riding?
  • + 1
 Santa Cruz Nickel.
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  • + 1
 Pretty awesome to see a video from Richmond on PB. Great edit!
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  • + 1
 Now only to showcase Fountainhead or something! Haha yeah right
  • + 3
 Love that trail. So, maybe!
  • + 1
 If you guys decide to film Fountainhead, hit me up on the MORE site and call me! Seriously, they blue loop there BEGS for a flow vid! Cool video btw, well done.
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  • + 1
 cool, Ride Kore.
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  • - 2
 Sick, but the first part, kinda fell asleep
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