Riverside Drive

Ask anyone who regularly rides road bikes in Richmond if they have done the “Riverside loop” and we promise the answer will always be “of course.” This route is an absolute staple of the community. In fact, we cannot think of a single 1-1.5 hour ride that better sums up the Richmond riding experience. On no other route can you quickly take in so many elements of the city.

Start out at Carytown Bikes and head west from the museum district towards University Of Richmond. A pleasant cut through this campus takes you to your first crossing of the James River via the recently rebuilt Huguenot bridge. As you exit the bridge things really start to get nice. Riverside Drive essentially begins here and takes you along the Huguenot Flatwater and Pony Pasture parks. Look out to your left over the calm waters of the upper James and you will often spot several species of bird including bald eagles. As Riverside continues to wind along tracing the profile of the James River it rises, falls, twists, and turns  taking you past scenic overlooks and under old train bridges. Take things slow in the little ring or challenge yourself sprinting up the short climbs along the way as you head towards the Lee Bridge. As you cross the James again you are greeted with a fantastic view of downtown Richmond to your right.

Climb up Main Street to the VCU campus then cruise through the Fan district as you head back to the beginning of the ride.

Few other rides will pack this much scenery into just over 17 miles of pavement. If you are pressed for time and you can only do one road ride while visiting our city, this is the one.

Download Riverside Drive GPX

Directions

  • Exit Carytown Bicycle Co. parking lot turning left onto Belmont Ave.
  • .2m Left on Grove Ave.
  • 3.0m Right onto Three Chopt Rd.
  • 3.4m Make your 3rd Left onto Towana Rd.
  • 3.9m Left onto Gateway Dr. into the U of R campus
  • 4.2m Left onto Westhampton Way
  • 4.5m Left staying on Westhampton Way continue until campus exit
  • 4.9m Left onto River Road head down the hill to light
  • 5.1m Right onto Huguenot Rd.
  • Cross James River via Huguenot Bridge and take off ramp to your right
  • 6.1m Right onto Riverside Dr.
  • 7.8m Stay left continuing on Riverside Dr.
  • 8.2m Road turns right and climbs up becoming Scottview Dr.
  • 8.4m Left at top of hill onto Longview Dr. and continue up to stoplight
  • 8.9m Left onto Forest Hill Ave.
  • 9.7m After crossing the 195 expressway carefully move to left turn lane and make first left onto Fairlee Rd. This is the only remotely hazardous part of the ride so be extra mindful of traffic here.
  • 10.0m Left on Riverside Dr. Follow down under train bridge then climb up the short but steepest grade of the route.
  • 10.7m Left onto New Kent Rd. then immediate left at circle back onto Riverside Dr.
  • 11.0m Right onto Evelyn Byrd Rd.
  • 11.3m Stay straight crossing Westover Hills Blvd. as the road turns down…
  • 11.5m Right onto Riverside Dr.

  • Enjoy the next 2 miles of ups and downs as Riverside winds along towards the Lee Bridge.

  • 13.6m Head up onto the Lee Bridge
  • 14.4m Before the end of the bridge follow the sign for 2nd St. / Downtown
  • 14.5m Right at the bottom of the ramp onto 2nd St.
  • 15.1m Left onto Main St.
  • 15.7m Right onto Laurel St. after crossing Belvidere.
  • 15.8m 2nd Left onto Floyd Ave.
  • 17.4m Left onto Belmont Ave.
  • 17.5m Right into Carytown Bicycle Co. parking lot