What would you do if an international bike race — scheduled to bring 1,000 top cycling athletes and 450,000 people — was about to descend on your city? If you are an entrepreneur, odds are good you would find a way to put yourself, and your business, in the middle of the action.
That’s exactly what BJ Kocen and Tammy Rostov decided to do when the two Richmond retailers founded West Main Village, a community of 35 restaurants, galleries, retail shops, and small businesses that will close down the block in front of their shops and host an array of events during the UCI 2015 Bicycle Race, Sept. 25-27.
If you are a bike fanatic, you know all about Richmond2015.com. The Road World Championships (or simply, Worlds) is cycling’s pinnacle event, held annually in an international city chosen by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) through a competitive bidding process similar to the Olympic Games.
Covered by more than 500 media outlets from around the world and broadcast live to a global audience of more than 300 million people, this nine-day event features 12 championship races for Elite Men and Women, Under 23 Men, and Junior Men and Women.
“It is a rare opportunity for the athletes to compete for their country, just as they do during the Olympic Games,” officials explain. “Athletes compete in three different disciplines including the traditional Road Race, the Individual Time Trial, and the recently introduced Team Time Trial. World champions are crowned in each discipline. Worlds is truly one of the great global sporting events.” Scroll down to learn more.
In celebration of this exciting event coming to the town where we recently opened our offices, we dedicate this issue to the bikers, businesses, food, fun, and future of Richmond, VA.
Following are some of our favorite people, places, and things to do in town:
- Food is one of the most exciting parts of Richmond, so don’t miss our reviews and interviews with some of our favorite eateries: Brux’l Cafe, Spiral Noodle, and Rostov’s Coffee & Tea shop. Plus, if French food is a favorite of yours, don’t miss our July 2015 review of Chef Paul Heitz’s Amour Wine Bistro in Carytown. It recently was ranked a 2015 Restaurant Award Winner by Wine Spectator.
- Fine Art is also a focus in the River City, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) is perhaps the finest spot in town to view 30,000 works from around the world. “We have featured some spectacular shows,” boasts VMFA Director Alex Nyerges. With good reason. Case in point is one of the popular current shows — Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition, which is up through Sept. 27. Read more about it in our Fine Art column.
- Great Galleries also abound in RVA, including BJ Klocen and Jennifer Glave’s space — glave kocen gallery. Click here to discover how this husband-and-wife team has enchanted Richmond collectors.
- Historic Hotels abound in the capital of Virginia, which is among America’s oldest cities. Patrick Henry, a US Founding Father, famously declared “Give me liberty or give me death” at Richmond’s St. John’s Church, leading to the Revolutionary War. So where do you stay when you come to town? One of our favorites is a charming spot in the center of town, where Edgar Allen Poe played as a child: Linden Row Inn.
- Art history is also something Richmond does spectacularly well! In this month’s History column, Grateful American™ Foundation founder David Bruce Smith shines a light on that fact in his conversation with the VMFA’s Alex Nyerges. Check out their podcast interview.
- Bikes are also the best way to tool around town — even when international bikers aren’t coming to Richmond. Data from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey shows that Richmond leads Virginia cities in bike commuting, with 2.2 percent of workers getting to work by bike. This makes Richmond 42nd out of the 375 cities reporting, notably just behind Santa Monica, CA. Join in on the fun. And learn more about the powerful history of bikes in this month’s Books column.
- Beer — craft beer, especially — is also one of the tastiest treats in Richmond, according to Jane Ferrara, the chief operating officer of the City of Richmond’s Economic Development Authority. Click here to see what the hoopla is all about.
- Networking in Richmond is also easy and fun, especially if you are a woman looking to grow your career. “Perhaps it’s that southern charm at work,” according to Dee Dee Schurman, the incoming president of Richmond’s Network of Enterprising Women.
- Chambers of Commerce are always a great place to join to grow a business. And if you are a woman wanting to build relationships, sign up for the next Real Conversation event at the Richmond Chamber’s Extraordinary Women’s Exchange. Don’t miss our Q&A with membership coordinator Stephanie Phillips.
We raise our glasses of wine, beer, or the biker’s choice — refreshing water — to the past, present, and future of Richmond! And we leave you with this parting thought about the power of riding a bike.
“Throughout human history, in any great endeavor requiring the common effort of many nations and men and women everywhere, we have learned — it is only through seriousness of purpose and persistence that we ultimately carry the day. We might liken it to riding a bicycle. You stay upright and move forward so long as you keep up the momentum.” — 8th (and current) Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon