Try This: Basket and Bike Signature Rides at Upper Shirley Vineyards

Bike with basket sits on stones.
Check out Basket and Bike's shared storefront with RVA on Wheels at 1301 E. Cary St.

Basket and Bike is taking on RVA Bike Month and beyond with its variety of historic, artistic + nature-centric tours.

This past Sunday, we joined founder Anne Poarch for the Signature Ride at Upper Shirley Vineyards

Arrival: 9:30 a.m.

We pulled up to the former plantation (600 Shirley Plantation Rd.) after a ~35 minute drive from Richmond. Anne was already setting up four Priority bikes, decked out with Nantucket baskets and Thousand helmets

Bonus: All of these biking essentials are available for purchase at Basket and Bike’s shared storefront with RVA on Wheels in Shockoe Slip.

Anne says the biggest group she’s toured with was about 30 people, but we were joined by two  other women, who happened to be native Richmonders + UR alums.

She provided us with some roasted pecans, apples + water to add to our baskets over the 14-mile route, and we pedaled off under the steamy spring sunshine.

A woman rides a bike through a forest.
We were thankful for the shady trees this Sunday ride. | Photo by RICtoday

Start: 10 a.m.

The Signature Ride was A Journey Along the James,” so every few miles we would take a break + listen to Anne tell us about native wildlife, Native American tribes, and colonial + modern history. She also explained farming practices, environmental initiatives, and the business of vineyards.

Bonus: Anne had a special addition in her basket. She brought out Virginia’s state fossil, the Chesapecten jeffersonius, a Paleolithic oyster.

The majority of the ride was along the Virginia Capital Trail, which cuts through Charles City County. We breezed through shady forests and wide, open farmland. We passed the former entrance to the Berkeley Plantation, the VCU Rice Rivers Center + got a look inside the historic (and still active) Westover Church

Return: 12-1 p.m.

The ride back from Westover doesn’t have stops, but you’re encouraged to move at whatever pace you need. Anne kept the group together while we rode through a few crosswalks, and after 14 miles, we made it back to the rock-coated driveway of Upper Shirley.

Editor Katie riding her bike through a field.
These Priority bikes have rubber chains, which creates a smoother ride. | Photo by Anne Poarch

Ride rewards: 1 p.m.

The joy of ending at the Upper Shirley Vineyard is the free glass included on the tour. We recommend enjoying it on the back porch, which has a view of the James River. We ate a nice sandwich, sipped some Chardonnay + listened to live music before heading back home. 

Plan your trip

This tour runs Wednesdays-Sundays through December for $145 a person.

Pro tip: If your group isn’t a fan of the double-digit distance, there’s bookings available for the six-mile Petite Signature Ride. Riders can also choose an electric Pedego bike for some extra help along the trail.

Looking for a Richmond-based ride? Click here to book a Quirk Street Art and Secret Garden Tour or a Downtown Tour — or customize your own.