Who are the Bike Virginia cyclists?
The 2,000 Bike Virginia cyclists come in all sizes, shapes and ages. This is a fun ride, not a race. Our tour is designed for recreational touring, not fast pace-line riding.
Most people can do this ride if they enjoy biking, have a bike with multi-gears and train so that prior to Bike Virginia they can ride 50 miles on at least two consecutive days.
Each year families, extended families, teams, couples and singles join us for the 5 day adventure. Last year, 60% were males and 40% were females. Over 50 states and 12 countries were represented. The majority of cyclists were in the 35 – 50 age group, but ranged from 1 to 82.
How do I prepare for the tour?
Both your body and your bike need preparation for the tour.
It is very important to be physically trained for the ride. You’ll need to condition your muscles and your cardiovascular system. This should start several months in advance of the tour. You cannot train for a ride like Bike Virginia in a few weeks. The body needs time to gain strength and endurance. This occurs through periods of muscle stress and recovery.
Some basic tips for new or newer riders:
- If you are new to riding, start by seeing your doctor. Make sure you are cleared by a physician to start a cycling exercise program.
- Once medically cleared, start slowly. Ride a day or two per week, then gradually add more time.
- Attempt short flat rides at first, then gradually add distance and hills.
- Work up to riding 50 miles on two or more consecutive days in moderately hilly terrain.
- Take time to train properly. Sudden demands of riding multiple days for long distances without proper training can result in an unpleasant experience and, in some instances, can result in dangerous medical situations.
- Proper physical training and time on the bike will also help develop important riding skills such as climbing and descending.
Some basic tips for recreational riders:
- If you’re already a recreational rider, you still need to pay attention to preparing your body for the rigors of the tour. Again, this needs to occur over a period of months leading up to the tour.
- Gradually increase mileage and route difficulty until you can comfortably ride 50 miles on two or more consecutive days in moderately hilly terrain.
- Even if you ride regularly, placing the sudden demands of riding multiple days for long distances on your body without proper training can result in an unpleasant experience and, in some instances, result in dangerous medical situations.
Is indoor camping available each night?
Yes. On a limited basis. You can roll out your sleeping bag indoors. Advanced registration may be required. See our accommodations page for more information.
Can I bike just one, two or three days?
Yes. There are a limited number of spaces for daily riders. Some days work well for this kind of ride, days that we have loop routes (start and return to the same spot). Otherwise, you will need to arrange your own transportation logistics. We do not have shuttle service back to the start on days that are not loop days.
Do people that exhaust themselves or have mechanical problems get picked up?
Yes. We have SAG vehicles on the route(s) each day. This service is for medical and mechanical emergencies.
Be sure you are properly conditioned and your bike is in working order before starting the tour so we can save SAG vehicle seats for unexpected emergencies. We have limited space on SAG vehicles and an overload of demand by non-emergency pick-ups can result in long waits for SAG support for those who are truly in need of assistance.
Cyclists that need SAG support are picked up and taken to lunch or back to Tent City. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult in the SAG vehicle.
If there are multiple mileage options each day? Does each route end up at the same place?
Yes. Different mileage options are available on most days of the tour. This gives different ability cyclists a choice of distance. Each mileage option ends up at the same location.