COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. -- A dream realized. For Reginald Thurman, that’s what this weekend will be. He’s the force behind turning this old Sears store into the first-ever VA BIKE EXPO.
The centerpiece for the community outreach event will be his creation -- an electric bicycle that goes up to 50 miles an hour. It took him nearly five years to bring it to life.
"Back in 2014, I made an Instagram post. I was measuring out dynamics, you know, for bikes. But I was like, it can't just be a regular bike. Like it just can't. It has got to be something different. So over the years, I've just been messing around and just doing a lot of research. I'm a technology buff," Thurman explained.
Thurman is a hip-hop artist known by many as DOE THE PAPER BOY. The Petersburg man is thrilled his vision for the weekend’s VA BIKE EXPO is garnering support from local businesses. He says the weekend will be filled with fun. The event will host 115,000 square feet of vendors, food, entertainment and a cool bike track.
"We built a bike camp within Sears. So kids can actually bring their own bikes, power wheels and things like that, as long as they're not gas-powered. They can ride the track. And we actually have bikes that they can ride. For instance, people with the golden ticket can reuse the bikes for free as many times they want to, if you didn't buy a golden ticket, then you have to make a donation," Thurman added.
He’s most excited about the outreach the VA BIKE EXPO will bring to the community.
"You've got people giving out free CPR training, free health screenings. We have a company called Pathways and they give free dental and health care to people. So you actually can leave with a doctor's appointment, right there on the spot. You know, the CPR training is for adults and kids. That company, on Sunday, will be administering free flu shots for anyone that wants them as well. So it's like a big medical, arts, music, fashion festival. It became exactly what I imagined it to be," Thurman said.
Children under 6 are free with a paying adult. Students who bring in straight-A report cards are free as well as student-athletes who show up wearing their jerseys or uniforms.
The three-day event kicks off Friday, January 7 at the old SEARS in South Park Mall in Colonial Heights.
You can purchase weekend passes online for $25.00. That will get you into the event all three days. To purchase tickets online, click here.