ROUTES

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We are delighted to share with you the beautiful and welcoming Shenandoah Valley.

Historically one of the top cycling destinations in Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley region has truly wonderful riding. When you pair beautiful scenery with the warm hospitality, charming home town feel, and variety of terrain, it makes for an ideal bike event location.

This region allows us to offer both valley and moderate climbing route options. Each day of the tour multiple routes are offered, giving you a chance to select something that suits your ability, pace, and preferences. The beauty of Bike Virginia’s format is that you can choose what you want to ride that day, no prior commitment required. You can even take a day off from riding and explore the region or relax at camp.

Our goal is to take you to beautiful views, interesting sites, and historical locations within the host communities. Rest stops (Comfort Stations) will be offered approximately every 20 miles on each route.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (June 21-23) the loop bike routes will be hosted out of Woodstock Virginia. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (June 24-26) routes begin and end at our Harrisonburg Virginia location.

In the tables and tabs below you’ll find route overviews for each of the days. Please note that routes can vary as the event approaches as final traffic safety evaluations and road condition evaluations are completed.

Please remember to always follow the signs on the day of the tour. Those will be the most accurate as things can change, even on the day of the ride, so GPS files may not be completely accurate. Signs are your best friend.  You will always start and finish your ride at HQ on the Pink Route, no matter which route you choose while riding.

With the exception of the Green Circulator route, all of your routes are signed each morning.  The Green circulator route is a short route that sticks close to HQ and we leave those signs up until we move locations, this way if you want to just cruise around for a mile or two you can do that without getting on the daily routes.

The routes will be open starting at 7:00 am each day (except Friday which will be 12-noon) and will close at 5:00 pm. Getting on the route is up to you as we do not have a mass start; however, we do ask that you depart by 9:00 am to ensure you are back by the time routes close at 5:00 pm.

Every day we will have different route options, varying from 20 miles up to 100 miles! On Friday we offer one route; the remaining five days, multiple routes are available. Choose based on your preferences for distance, the sights, terrain, and points of interest.

Bike Virginia’s Tour events accommodate both recreational and advanced riders. The difficulty rating will be determined closer to the event as routes are finalized. Difficulty will vary daily based on which route option you choose.

Routes are finalized at the Preview Ride in late April. We will assign a difficulty rating to each day of the tour. Route difficulty is rated on a 1-10 scale and is determined by elevation gain (climbing), distance of route, and experience. We will be publishing individual route difficulty for each day in May 2018. Those ratings will be printed in the tour guide that you will receive at registration check-in.

TIPS on How to Set up your Bike for this Year’s Tour

After our “preview ride” where we ride all the routes the same day and same time as when you will be riding in June, we created the list below to help you navigate the routes as trouble-free as possible!

BIKE SELECTION

Any bike is ok for the tour as long as you are comfortable riding it.  Most riders choose a “road bike” but we have a lot of folks riding hybrid or mountain bikes (with road tires) and even recumbent’s.  The main thing is that you are comfortable and the bike is ready to roll.  Below are a few suggestions for this year’s tour with regards to tire selection, gearing and brakes.

TIRES

We recommend using a tire that has a puncture resistant casing such as the Continental Gator Skin or similar tire.   Additionally getting a bigger tire such as a 25-28mm or bigger is also a good idea as many of the country roads have some choppy pavement or even a bit of gravel on them.  Not having to worry about flats will make your ride that much better and a larger volume tire will absorb more bumps and give you better traction and make for a smoother ride.

GEARING

This area has a lot of hills, some steep and some not so steep but in general you will be happier if you choose a gear that is comfortable for you as you ascend in and out of the New River Valley.  If you have a triple chainring crankset you will most likely use the granny gear on some of the climbs.  Or if you have a compact crankset vs standard you will be better off using the compact for this years tour.   Additionally, running a larger gear combination on the rear cassette will also help when climbing.

BRAKES

Make sure to go over your brakes and ensure they are in good working order.  Check the pads, if it has been a while since you last replaced them it may be a good idea to have your local mechanic check them out before getting to the tour.  Our on-site mechanics, Shenandoah Bicycle Company and Cycles Ed will be doing free brake checks as well.  So if you have any questions about your brakes (or any other part of your bike) please swing by their tents and have them checked free of charge.

THINGS TO CARRY WITH YOU

While the tour is fully supported by our awesome SAG crew, having a few items on your bike will also make for a better experience should you have any minor mechanical issues.  Having a spare inner tube or patch kit is great for fixing a flat or to provide one of the SAG folks to assist with changing a flat tire.  Don’t forget a pump or some way to inflate the tire and a tire lever so you can remove the tire.  A good rule of thumb is to practice changing your tire before it happens—that way you know what to expect should it occur during a ride.   A bicycle multi-tool is always good to have for minor adjustments or quick repairs.

LIGHTS

All bikes are required to have front and rear lights.  These can be blinking or solid lights.  Having lights on your bike helps drivers see you.

If bringing your bike is hard, shipping your bike is really easy! You can coordinate directly with the bike shop that will be at the tour and you can ship your bike to them and arrange for it to be delivered to you at the tour.  They also handle rentals… reservations required in advance!
Below is their contact info, just ask for Tim or Thomas and they will get you taken care of.

Shenandoah Bicycle Company
135 South Main Street
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22801
info@shenandoahbicycle.com
(540) 437-9000

Our riders love the 6-day format. We offer 6 DAYS of unique bike routes with only two camp locations. You’ll have more time to relax and enjoy leisurely evenings and mornings without having to pack up your camp. Some bike tours like Ride the Rockies, Cycle Oregon, Bike Florida, and GOBA move up to 5 times in a week! Our riders said they enjoyed more time at each camp and wanted to have their car with them; we listened and built our event around this concept. Two host town locations and 6 DAYS of route choices gives lots of great riding without the hassle of everyday moves. If you’d like to know more, be sure to read about all the exciting changes that come with our unique Double Vision format.

ROUTE OVERVIEW

ROUTE PREVIEWS

FRIDAY

ROUTE DESCRIPTIONS

Any route chosen will be a good route; you will have fun and see so many great things wherever your wheels lead you!

DAY ONE 

Friday will be a wonderful ride out of our HQ location starting at Bisset Park in Radford, VA.  Once you get to the tour on Friday (Camping and Registration starts on Friday) and pick up your registration you will enjoy a 25 mile ride as we meander through the some of the New River Valley.  This ride will offer a taste of the riding you can expect for the remainder of the tour.

The PINK Route is the only route offered on Friday.  The route opens at Noon and close at 5 pm.  Also remember to grab an ice-cream float at HQ! (one per person, wristband required)

PINK
Distance: 25mi
Difficulty: 4
Elevation: +1,600’

DAY TWO  

Get ready for Saturday!  Saturday will be a great way to get out and see the New River Valley and all its splendor.  There are 4 route options to choose from all of which will leave you smiling.

RED Route Shortcut:  You will follow the Pink Route to start out of HQ as you flow along with all the riders to the 1st rest stop.  Upon exiting the rest stop you will want to catch the Red Route Begins Sign and begin riding back towards HQ.

BLUE Route Shortcut:  This is a great ride if you are looking for just a bit more miles than the Red Route but just don’t feel like making the trek all the way out to Floyd VA.  Look for the Blue Route Begins sign.

PINK Route (Main Route): Those wishing to keep rolling will stay on the Pink Route for the entire day.  Staying on the Pink route will lead you out to the cool town of Floyd VA.  Floyd is a great little town well known for its Bluegrass Music Scene and will be the location of our 2nd rest stop.  From here you will have a choice to stay on the route or to roll onto the Orange extension.  Either route offers plenty of challenges and lots of wonderful views! The last portion of all the routes follows a meandering bike path through the woods and back to HQ.

ORANGE Route Extension:  The Orange Route is a great way to see more of the mountains that make up the eastern side of the valley.  From the 2nd rest stop follow the Orange Route Begins sign.  This route will take you up into the mountains crossing the Blue Ridge Parkway above Floyd and return you back to the 2nd rest stop in Floyd where you will grab the Pink Route back to HQ.

RED
Distance: 26mi
Difficulty: 4
Elevation: +1,700’
BLUE
Distance: 36mi
Difficulty: 6
Elevation: +2,600’
PINK
Distance: 66mi
Difficulty: 8
Elevation: +5,800’
ORANGE
Distance: 80mi
Difficulty: 8.5
Elevation: +6,900’

DAY THREE

Sunday is well…like a great Sunday ride.  You will enjoy the beginning of the ride out of camp as you pedal along the New River and make your way towards Blacksburg VA, home of the Virginia Tech Hokies.  There will be four options on Sunday.

RED Route Shortcut: Starting on the Pink from HQ your route option will begin around mile 12, look for the Red Route Option Begins Sign.  From there you will make your way towards our rest stop in Christiansburg, VA.  Once leaving the rest stop you will head back to HQ as you complete your 26.2-mile ride.

PINK Route (Main): Riding the Pink Route will take you along the a beautiful bike path called the Huckelberry trail where you will pedal in and around Blacksburg and the Virginia Tech Campus eventually making your way back to HQ with your last rest stop in Christiansburg.

ORANGE Route Extension:  For those looking to extend the fun and really get into the backcountry of the area you will follow the Pink Route to the 2nd rest stop where you will pick up the Orange Route Begins sign.  You will then ride on quiet roads as you explore the Catawba Mountain area.  You will cross the Appalachian Trail at the McAfee Knob trailhead.  Riding your way back to civilization you will merge back with the Pink Route as you make your way back to the final rest stop and HQ.

BLUE Route Extension: This little extension adds a few miles to the Orange Route and may be one of the most scenic of the entire ride as you ride along the valley looking up at McAfee’s Knob.  To access this route follow the Orange Route signs until you see the Blue Route Begins sign at the Catawba Community Center Rest Stop.  Once completing the Blue extension simply jump back on the Orange route and work your way back to HQ making this ride the longest of the 6 days at 108 miles.

RED
Distance: 26mi
Difficulty: 5
Elevation: +1,800’
PINK
Distance: 52mi
Difficulty: 6.5
Elevation: +3,400’
ORANGE
Distance: 92mi
Difficulty: 8
Elevation: +5,200’
BLUE
Distance: 108mi
Difficulty: 9.5
Elevation: +6,500’
Bike Virginia Tour Riders posing for photo.

DAY FOUR  

Monday – This is move day!  Once you’ve moved your gear and vehicle to Claytor Lake State Park get ready for some more great riding as you head out on one of the three options for today.

RED Route Shortcut: As will all routes you will begin your journey on the Pink Route and follow that all the way to the 1st rest stop at the train depot in Pulaski, VA.  Upon exiting the rest stop make sure to follow the Red Route Begins sign for a relaxing trip back to HQ.

PINK Route (Main):  Those looking for a bit longer ride will stay on the Pink Route and meander through the town of Pulaski (make sure to look for the VW Vans, a lot of them around the 15 mile mark).  You’ll then ride your way to the 2nd rest stop in Dublin, VA.  From there you will have the option to extend your ride on the Orange route or head back to HQ.

ORANGE Route Extension: If you’re looking to maximize your ride make sure to take the Orange Route Extension.  Look for the Orange Route Begins sign upon exiting the 2nd rest stop.  This route will take you into the beautiful countryside of the area and provide a great meander along the New River as you head back to HQ.

RED
Distance: 31mi
Difficulty: 4
Elevation: +1,700’
PINK
Distance: 40mi
Difficulty: 5
Elevation: +2,300’
ORANGE
Distance: 54mi
Difficulty: 6
Elevation: +3,200’

DAY FIVE  

With only two days left of the tour you’ll want to make sure to get the most out of the routes for Tuesday.  As you roll out of camp you will begin your journey on the Pink Route and quickly find your way back down to the New River.  With three options today you will surely find some riding that will leave you saying pedal-smile-repeat!  Additionally, you will find maps of the New River Trail in your welcome packet.  All the routes will cross the New River Trail several times, however, only the Red Route is signed onto the trail.  If you’d like to make your own route please use the map as guidance and keep in mind that if you get on the trail you may not have a rest stop until the Draper Mercantile trailhead and remember that the New River Trail is a hardpacked gravel surface that can be ridden by most bicycles.

RED Route Shortcut: Riding the Red Route for today is going to be awesome!  You’ll roll with the Pink Route Riders all the way to the 1st rest stop at the Hiawassee Volunteer Fire Department; some may remember this stop from our 2011 tour.  Upon exiting the rest stop follow the Red Route Option Begins sign, use caution on the downhill as you will turn onto the New River Trail near the bottom of the hill.  Once on the trail you will enjoy a great ride back to the Draper Mercantile rest stop, this is where you’ll catch back up with the Pink Route and follow it back to HQ.

PINK Route (Main) – What a wonderful way to see the valley and the New River.  Upon leaving the 1st rest stop you will meander along the New River for a while and if you look closely across the water you will see your next rest stop as you make your way around to the other side of the river and roll your way back to camp.  Speaking of camp, make sure to enjoy the final 2-mile downhill ride back to Claytor Lake and HQ.

ORANGE Route Extension – This ride will be awesome and will take you to see the Shot Tower (your 2nd rest stop).  A historic tower built more than 200 years ago to make ammunition for the firearms of the early settlers!  From here you will continue onto Austinville, birthplace of Stephen F. Austin and the location of the lead mine used to make the ammunition at the shot tower.  Your journey will then lead you to a little town called Max Meadows; this will be your 3rd rest stop for the day and is also where the Transamerica Bike Route 76 traverses.  Your route will then lead you to a relaxing rest stop along the River where you will join back up with the Pink Route and roll your way back to HQ.

RED
Distance: 34mi
Difficulty: 5
Elevation: +2,500’
PINK
Distance: 52mi
Difficulty: 7
Elevation: +4,100’
ORANGE
Distance: 94mi
Difficulty: 9
Elevation: +7,500’

DAY SIX

Well the tour has to end someday; luckily for you it is a great day for riding!  You will have your choice of four route options to get you rolling on the last day of Bike VA.

RED Route Shortcut:  The Red option is a mellow 11 miles that will take you out and back to the Ruritan National HQ rest stop.  This is a great route if you’re anxious to get on the road and just want a little ride to cap off a great week of riding.

BLUE Route Shortcut:  This is a great option if you’re looking to get back a little sooner than riding the full Pink Route.  You’ll grab this as you leave the 1st rest stop, look for the Blue Route Option Begins sign.

PINK Route (Main):  The Pink Route will take you a bit further into the valley where you will come to the 1st rest stop at the Little River Bluegrass Barn (very cool rest stop).  From here you can choose to grab the Orange Route Extension, Blue Shortcut or stay on the Pink Route and continue on to the 2nd rest stop at Harry De Haven Park.  Getting to the Park is a bit challenging but it’s worth every mile as this stop puts you on the other side of the lake from HQ…pretty neat to think about riding all the way around Claytor Lake!  From there you’ll ride your way back to the 3rd rest stop at the Ruritan National HQ and then enjoy the gentle ride back to HQ.

ORANGE Route Extension:  This will be a great route to get in a few extra miles before making the trip back.  The extension is a lollipop of sorts that starts and finishes at the 1st rest stop and is a great way to explore more of the valley.  Look for the Orange Route Begins sign.

RED
Distance: 11mi
Difficulty: 3
Elevation: +700’
BLUE
Distance: 40mi
Difficulty: 5
Elevation: +2,800’
PINK
Distance: 48mi
Difficulty: 6
Elevation: +3,600’
ORANGE
Distance: 56mi
Difficulty: 7
Elevation: +4,400’
Bike Virginia Tour Riders

Planning for Bike Virginia’s event includes assessing many factors that affect your riding experience. Several things come together such as our rest stops, permits and various other elements that go into planning roughly 400 miles of riding. We get great local support and advice that help us create a truly memorable riding experience. Location planning takes place over 14 months in advance of the event. During that time we narrow in on the best route options. As spring approaches we work with a large team of volunteers and staff to assess final riding options. Draft routes are published in early 2018 and final routes are published in the month before the event, due to changing road conditions and service agreements with rest stop locations.

ROUTE MAPS

Each button below corresponds to a route option available on the day. Click the button to view the route map, distance and elevation profile. You may also export a GPS-compatible file.

Radford (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)

The following small route will remain open for the duration of our stay and can be used for family or super-short rides.

Claytor Lake (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)

The following small route will remain open for the duration of our stay and can be used for family or super-short rides.

Please note that all routes are subject to change and approval by local and state authorities.

Route maps are hosted offsite by a 3rd party not affiliated with Bike Virginia.