At first glance, Richmond, Virginia might seem an odd town to foster a burgeoning bike scene. It is a typical old American city surrounded by sprawling suburbs. Still carrying the psychological, if not physical, scars of the War of Northern Aggression (as it’s locally known), the mills closed about the same time that the white middle class fled to the suburbs after Massive Resistance failed to halt school integration. But, with the presence of the state government, several banks and several more universities, the downtown has been transformed by the young and hip, as well as the old hippies. There are more bikes than bike lanes, and independent bike shops have sprung up around both uptown and downtown Richmond (and in Richmond, uptown really is up a hill, and downtown is in a river bottom).
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