Civic News

Bikes everywhere: Navigating #BiketoWorkWeek and #WilmGrandPrix weekend

If you like to cycle for sport, commuting or leisure — or if you just want to party — here's where you need to be this week.

The Grand Prix whizzes by Rodney Square. (Photo by Flickr user TCDavis, used under a Creative Commons license)

It’s the year’s biggest week for bicyclists, starting with the national Bike to Work Week that, in Wilmington, culminates into the 12th Annual Wilmington Grand Prix, one of the top cycling races is the U.S.

Yet, despite being ranked fifth in Infrastructure & Funding, sixth in Legislation & Enforcement and seventh overall in the nation by the League of American Bicyclists in 2017, Delaware has just a small number of bicycle commuters, at only 0.3 percent (see Delaware’s Bicycle-Friendly State Report Card).

This year, Bike to Work Week brings back #BankersOnBikes on Wednesday the 16th at 1 p.m., when Mayor Purzycki will join Capital One, Urban Bike Project and Wilmington Green Box for the second annual downtown ride.

Whether you bike to work regularly or want some guidance to get started, Friday’s Bike to Work Day event by Delaware Bike offers five guided rides to downtown Wilmington from the Urban Bike Project at 1500 N. Walnut St., Trolley Square, P.S. duPont Middle School, Lancaster & Bancroft and the Kennett Pike Park & Ride. Riders will meet at H.B. DuPont Plaza at Delaware Avenue and North Washington Street for a reception before work.


Friday evening marks the official start of the Wilmington Grand Prix, with the Monkey Hill Time Trial starting at 5 p.m. at Brandywine Park. There will be cowbells, BBQ and live music as competitors race through the park and brave the steep cobblestone hill.

On Saturday, the races start at 11 a.m., with pro and amateur cyclists taking to the one-mile, figure-8 Downtown Criterium Course that starts and ends on the 800 block of Market Street. This daylong event includes a street festival on Market Street, with a vendors, a roller skating rink, rock wall, obstacle course, giant slide, moon bounce and specials at Market Street businesses, including Stitch House Grand Prix Pale Ale:

If you’re a cyclist, you can register for the Criterium races until 5 p.m. on May 17.

On Sunday, Wilmington Grand Prix’s Annual Delaware Gran Fondo takes on the lush Brandywine Valley just beyond the city, with a challenging 100-kilometer course linked by 13 cultural attractions, including Delaware Art Museum, Hagley and Winterthur. The Delaware Gran Fondo is considered one of the country’s most scenic routes, and a “bucket list” ride that attracts riders from all over the world. A Media Fondo (half-century course) is also offered for the same fee.


If you want to take the scenic route without the more challenging course, you can join Gov. John Carney for the Wilmington Grand Prix Governor’s Ride, a 15-mile cycling tour of Brandywine Valley attractions, including Hagley and Winterthur.

If your bike needs work before you can think about using it for your commute or a scenic ride — or if you just don’t have a bike — did you know the Urban Bike Project has an Open Shop Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons, were you can purchase a used bike and/or get some help getting your bike fixed up for $3 an hour (plus parts)? Proceeds go toward the group’s Free Bike Program, free shop time for those who can’t afford it, their youth programs and operational costs.


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