Specialty Programs

Bike Rental // International Rental // Earn-A-Bike // Bike Buddy

VCU RamBikes prides itself with being a multi-functional biking resource for the VCU and Greater Richmond community. We are always trying to come up with new and innovative ways to make biking safer and more accesible to everyone. As a way to make biking a readily available option for all commuters at VCU, we have created various programs that provide bikes to community members who need them and provide educational resources to ensure the safety of all recreational and commuter cyclists.


 Commuter Bike Rental

VCU RamBikes and the VCU Office of Sustainability collaborated to bring VCU students, faculty and staff a bike loan program that launched in Spring of 2012. Although it was originally run out of the libraries, it is now offered to students from the RamBikes building, located at 1106 W Broad St, with a brand new fleet of bikes purchased in summer 2019. Bikes are a fun, inexpensive, healthy, and sustainable way to commute, exercise, or just to explore the vibrant urban environment VCU is a part of, and VCU would like to provide tools to enable cyclists both new and experienced to get pedaling!

The bike loan program at RamBikes consists of loanable commuter TREK hybrids that are free to rent for any student, faculty or staff member with a valid VCU ID. The bikes can be checked out at RamBikes during normal business hours. Patrons will need to sign a liability waiver and will be issued a helmet and lights if desired and u-lock to be returned with the bike. Patrons are responsible for the bicycle while it is in their possession.

The bikes have a 48-hour check-out period to encourage a high turnover rate and allow anyone to get the chance to try them. One renewal is allowed, but after that the bicycle must be returned. Biking, like walking and driving, should be done responsibly. Remember to be safe and to respect the safety of others.

The Outdoor Adventure Program, located at 130 S. Linden Street, offers mountain bike and road bike rentals for a small fee. Information regarding those rentals can be found here.

 


 International Student Bike Rental 

 In 2019 VCU RamBikes created a rental program for international students that come to VCU for 1-2 semesters to study. This program is in partnership with Globe, the international student  residence hall.

The fleet was created from abandoned unclaimed bikes on campus. These bikes are refurbished with new parts and overhauled to be in great condition for commuting around the city. The bikes are outfitted with front and rear lights, and come with a lock to secure the bicycle all semester long. Before they are rented, the students come to RamBikes to get information about local laws and cycling in the Richmond area. We also provide maintenance and riding literature, as well as a multi-tool to make small adjustments. Should any bikes need maintenance, VCU RamBikes provides free repairs for all students and will replace any parts needed. 

Since the international fleet is in partnership with Globe currently, students will be offered the opportunity to rent these through Globe. International students can also reach out to the Global Education Office to learn more by emailing geo@vcu.edu


 Earn-A-Bike Program

At VCU, RamBikes manages and stores all bikes that are left abandoned on campus. These bikes are held for a period of 120 days and are then either scrapped for parts or refurbished to be used in different programs. The earn a bike program allows for RamBikes to make biking more accessible to the VCU and greater Richmond Community while also reducing waste on campus by using the abandoned bikes to support this program. For more information on what happens to the abandoned bikes on campus, visit our community engagement page.

In order to earn a bike at Rambikes, community members must be either a Richmond high School student, a VCU student, or a VCU part-time employee. They must also complete a number of community service hours and attend at least 5 hours of either a workshop, safe riding course, or special event. All opportunities must be an earn a bike approved event. Once Hours are completed and the hours sheet is turned in and approved, community members can then choose their bike! Hours sheets can be printed here or can be picked up from the RamBikes shop (201 N Belvidere).

Due to the wide range in quality and wear of the bikes, we have categorized them into three tiers that require a different amount of volunteer hours:

Tier 1: 15 hours; Entry level bike in good condition.

Tier 2: 20 hours; Almost new OR high quality bike.

Tier 3: 25 hours; Almost new AND high quality bike

~Disclaimer: None of the bikes are fully refurbished, and some will need some replacement parts. Once a bike is earned, RamBikes staff will help with the refurbishment and can provide some small parts, but any major components that need to be replaced must be purchased by the community member~

RamBikes: Volunteer nights are held every Wednesday from 5:30-7pm. See Get Involved with .

Habitat for HumanityThe local branch of this national organization is always looking for volunteers to help with builds and support at the ReStore. (https://www.richmondhabitat.org/)

East End Cemetery Cleanup and Restoration project: Volunteer run organization working to transform the East End Cemetery, a once-abandoned African American burial ground, into a public site of memory, contemplation, and beauty. 

Food Not Bombs Richmond: This local organization serves free meals every Sunday afternoon at Monroe Park. Volunteers are always needed for prep, serving food, and clean-up. Walk-ins are welcome!

Hands on Greater RichmondLocal Organization that focuses their work on connecting individuals and groups to volunteer opportunities around the city. They work with various organizaions around the city to offer fun and unique ways to get involved.

Rag & Bones Bicycle Cooperative: This is a local bike cooperative that provides affordable bikes and repairs to the greater Richmond community.

Richmond BMXLocal race track that is 100% volunteer run. They host many specialty events and races throughout the year.

Friends of the James River Park: Volunteers play an essential role in helping with the upkeep of the James River Park System. This organization hosts a variety of volunteer events and offers other ways to get involved as well.

Campaign 4 Comfort RVA: A collaborative campaign that focuses on providing essential needs needs to, such as helath and menstral products, to the local Richmond Community.

RVA Clean SweepVolunteer run organization that partners with local neighborhoods and organizations to establish monthly trash clean-ups around the city.

*Check out our Workshops and Events page for more volunteer and special events opportunities. All events will be marked with asterisk (*)


 Bike Buddy Program with Ridefinders

If you're interested in biking on the VCU campus but unsure of how to get started, have no fear! VCU uses GRTC's alternative transporation resource, Ridefinders, to help students, staff, and faculty register their commute. Registration for this program is totally FREE! After you register, you can log your commute to gain access to hundreds of rewards in the Richmond area, like food and entertainment discounts. You will also get access to Ridefinders' Emergency Rides Home program. If you come to campus and it's too rainy to get home, you can use this resource! 

We made a quick video of how to create a profile, log your commute, and find a bike buddy: 

Even if you don't need a Bike Buddy, registering with Ridefinders only benefits any alternative transportation user, and we recommend it!