STRASBURG — Organizers for the 2019 Bike Virginia tour visited the Shenandoah Valley on Saturday to plot out the routes for the upcoming tour in June.
The 32nd bike tour will be a six-day event that will give riders multiple routes to choose from based on distance and terrain. This year’s tour will kickoff in Woodstock with a “looped” bike ride — which is a bike ride that starts and stops in the same location.
This year will be the second time since 2016 that Woodstock has hosted Bike Virginia. Shane Cusick, the program and outreach manager for Bike Virginia, said that the organization usually rotates locations, but the area proved to be such a great riding location that they had to come back sooner.
“It’s cool to see the routes again from a bike,” he said. “I forgot how beautiful it is.”
The tour’s routes will cover several areas throughout the Shenandoah Valley, including Strasburg, Fort Valley, and White Post. Cusick said that mileage may vary for each rider depending on the route and day they want to ride, with routes lasting anywhere from five miles to 100 miles. He said that said that the routes will change each day.
“There’s always three routes,” he said. “There’s a short route, a main route, and a longer route. They’ll be signed. We have a signage crew that goes out every morning at 4 a.m. and put up these little signs at every intersection saying which route .”
Each route will feature rest stops every 20 miles for riders to take a break.
“It’s cool because when riders start showing up, it’s like a water trickle,” Cusick said. “There are a few that show up and then, as the day goes, more and more riders show up at the same time and there are people and bikes everywhere.”
Cusick said that Bike Virginia differs itself from other bike riding events by making it like a vacation for the riders.
“Our average age for the event is 59, so we try to make it like a vacation for folks to see the countryside on a bike,” he said.
Cusick said that between 1,500 and 1,600 riders take part in the tour each year.
“There’s not always 1,500 people riding en masse,” he said. “Some take one route, others take another route. It’s kind of spread out throughout the day.”
While there’s still over a month before the tour begins, Cusick said that the routes for the Woodstock leg of the tour seem to be ready.
“The routes look really good,” he said. “I think people are really going to be happy with them.”
Cusick said that the Woodstock leg of the tour will start on Friday, June 21, and run through Sunday, June 23, before heading to Harrisonburg to start the other half of the tour on Monday, June 24 and run through Wednesday, June 26.
Routes will be open to the riders starting at 7 a.m. except on June 21 when the routes will open at noon. Cusick said that riders should depart the starting location by 9 a.m. to make sure that they are done before the routes close at 5 p.m.
Registration is still open for the 2019 Bike Virginia tour. For people who would like to take part in the Woodstock portion of the tour, the cost is $373 for per person, while the entire six day tour will be $645 per person. Cusick said that Bike Virginia will accept walk-up registrations if there is room.
For more information, visit https://bikevirginia.org/.