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VCU unveils fleet of tall bikes

“We encourage everyone to explore Richmond from a new perspective,” said Erin Stanforth, director of sustainability.

Man on tall bike riding through Monroe Park while giving the thumbs up.
Students, faculty and staff can now rent RamTallBikes from VCU's RamBikes shop. Each rental is valid for 48 hours and includes a helmet, lights and U-lock. (Photo by Kevin Morley, University Relations)

Those seeking a greener, and loftier, way around campus can now visit Virginia Commonwealth University’s RamBikes shop to rent a RamTallBike.

The RamTallBikes feature comfortable saddles, gearing custom tuned to tackle Richmond’s hills, puncture-resistant tires and a commanding view of motorists and pedestrians.

“With the Pulse now running on Broad Street, it’s more important than ever that we support urban cycling and connectivity for our students, faculty and staff,” said Erin Stanforth, director of sustainability at VCU. “We encourage everyone to explore Richmond from a new perspective.”

RamTallBikes will be available beginning April 1, following extensive renovations to install taller doors and remove drop ceilings at the RamBikes shop at 203 N. Belvidere St. to accommodate the bikes.

VCU introduces new fleet of tall bikes

The fleet is approximately half the size of the prior fleet since two to three “normal” bikes were used to weld together each unique RamTallBike. 

“Our original cruiser bike fleet has served us well since launching in 2012, but it’s time to offer something new and unique to the community,” Stanforth said. 

Following community engagement sessions and extensive surveys of existing RamBikes renters, tall bikes were chosen over recumbent, cargo or tandem bicycles as the core of the new fleet.

Man standing next to tall bike in front of RamBikes shop
Patrons are enjoying the excellent visibility offered by the new RamTallBikes. They can comfortably see over Pulse buses and other road users. (Photo by Kevin Morley, University Relations)

While they might appear intimidating to first-time riders, RamBikes is planning specialized training to create confidence among riders of all skill levels. “Tall Bike Thursdays” will join the shop’s existing “Technique Tuesdays” and “Workshop Wednesdays” courses, which are free to VCU and Richmond community members. 

VCU Police will provide super-size U-locks — each 30 inches long and weighing 11 pounds — to help riders secure the fleet. Helmets and safety lights are also included with each free rental. 

Man lifting tall bike inside bike shop; handlebars are almost touching ceiling.
Technicians at VCU's RamBikes shop are adapting to the height of the new bicycles. Extensive renovations are planned to raise the ceilings at the shop. (Photo by Kevin Morley, University Relations)

Sign up for tall bike safety sessions, and other cycling workshops.

Learn more about VCU RamBikes.

Note: As much as we at VCU love tall bikes, the above story is an April Fool’s prank. Students, faculty and staff can rent regular bikes for free from RamBikes and take advantage of free tuneup services and workshops.