DMV Trails Tour promotes health, wellness in Black community

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The Jafe Cycling DMV Trails Tour will feature several routes to help riders at all skill levels navigate and have a safe trip. (Courtesy Photo)

By Reginald Allen II
Special to the AFRO

Bright and early on May 1, the second annual DMV Trails Tour will be hosted by Jafe Cycling at several locations in the D.C. Metropolitan area. With May being national bike month, the founder of Jafe Cycling, Matt Onojafe, wants to help people in the area stay active through bike riding. Last year, the tour had 127 participants. This year, Jafe Cycling is hoping more excited individuals are ready to go cycling.

For $45, registered participants have the opportunity to ride up to 108 miles roundtrip through D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. The tour is offering several routes with the help of ScootRoute to help navigate the varying levels of difficulty. Participants will be able to ride the 5.5-mile Hains Point trail, 20-mile Anacostia River trail, 18-mile Mt. Vernon trail, and the 45-mile Washington and Old Dominion trail at their discretion.

According to the tour information, “Three of the trails will be group races and the other trail will simply be a flat loop timed trial in which the riders will be judged based on their group’s overall speed.”

ScootRoute is the first-ever “micromobility navigation app.” Their app provides an audible turn-by-turn navigation system that will help non-car travelers get through the city safely. This partnership with ScootRoute will be providing the DMV Trails Tour high-quality mapping technology to ensure that cyclists safely finish their race.

Megan Braley, founder and CEO of ScootRoute said she was excited about the opportunity to provide safe routes for the tour.

“The bike trails all connect at some point, but the connection points can be confusing and unclear,” said Braley, “This is why we want to provide riders with routes they can safely use on their phones through the app to get them safely from start to finish.”

Not only will the bike tour be public outreach for DMV residents to get out of the house and get active, but a percentage of the proceeds will also be donated to AWANA, a nonprofit organization catering to children ages 2 to 18-years old.

The outlook is “to encourage the next generation of cyclists to start early and cultivate their love for cycling,” said Kassidy McDonald, senior manager of public relations at Evolve PR and Marketing.

The bike tour company, which is in its second year, now has a bike shop called The Trails DMV that handles bicycle repair, maintenance and reselling. As a self-proclaimed cycling enthusiast, Onojafe saw the need to emphasize cycling during the pandemic. Going on his sixth year of cycling, he said that he saw how disproportionate the health and wellness of the Black community was compared to others since the start of the pandemic.

Currently, Onojafe noted that it will cost $2,200 to properly operate the event. Most of those operational costs will be focused on hydration and nutritional snacks for the participants and sanitation stations for all engaged in the tour.

However, that price has been reduced greatly due to the support of the bicycle industry, such as: V-Seat, a bicycle seat manufacturer; Saris, a bike accessory company; Royal Coffee, a local coffee brewery; 3-Star Brewing, a local brewery that Onojafe has noted will have people participating; and Streets Calling Bike Club, a fellow bike club located in the D.C. area with over 600 members. All are credited by Onojafe as great support for the second annual bike tour.

Onojafe said that he looks forward to expanding the Jafe Cycling brand geographically and in activities such as a competitive league. For more information visit www.thetrailsdmv.com or instagram @jafe.cycling.llc.