by Executive Director, Dr. Kim Perry October 20, 2011
Wow! The year has come and gone so fast. Here at Bike Virginia we’ve just wrapped up the 2011 tour and we are deeply engaged in the planning for the 2012 tour. I’m really excited now about the coming months, it’s so wonderful to be planning for the 25th anniversary Bike Virginia Tour.
I love thinking about all the fun, thousands of miles and thousands of smiles, that the event has made possible in the past 25 years. This year will be my 5th year with the organization, and I enjoy it more every year. We’re ready to do it again, and hope you are planning to join us June 22-27, 2012.
Shane, our Event Director, and I have been working with communities in the Northwest corner of Virginia and neighboring West Virginia to create an event to remember for our 2,000 guests in 2012. We expect a big year at the tour, not only is this a special anniversary tour, we are very close to some of the largest riding populations on the Eastern seaboard, and this year’s venue is so historically important.
We have selected our first host town camp site, located in Berryville, Virginia. You’re just going to love Berryville. It’s quaint and friendly, and easy to get around on foot and bike. We’ll be at that location for 2-3 days. While in the area we’ll explore rides near Winchester and the surrounding communities.
Then the entire party will pack up and move to our second location. Our target location near Shepherdstown and Charles Town, West Virginia. There we’ll enjoy 2-3 days of riding. Details on our Host Towns is now available. Finally, on Wednesday, the last day we will return to Berryville, but not before having our “You Did It!” Celebration Lunch.
Behind the scenes we’re currently working on our marketing program, setting up registration, our website, and securing all the vendors, caterers, and other services that must be in place to hold the event. It’s a busy time. An exciting time.
How We Plan
Planning the event every year is a wonderful experience. The communities all have fascinating qualities and personalities. That makes this job truly great. Shane and I, along with other staff and volunteers explore the towns, drive around researching routes, check the hotels, and eat right there where the tour will take place. And that’s all before we start cycling the roads.
Some years the area is bursting with scenery, like the New River Valley tour in 2011. Vistas like those on the Blue Ridge Parkway last year become top priorities in our route planning. That community however featured fewer historical locations for rest stops and lunches that coincided with safe and beautiful routes.
Some areas, like the 2012 region promise to be rich with early American history. Our goal is to have get you to see and experience as many of the those areas that we can and simultaneously deliver the best bike routes.
As our routes are selected we then start picking our rest stop and lunch locations. Those venues are selected both for size and location along the route. It takes a big place to serve lunch to 2,000 cyclists! Sometimes we get to have historic lunch locations and beautiful parks if they align with our needed mileages. Other times we must rely on more traditional venues like fire stations, churches, and community centers.
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More to Come!