Event to attract hundreds of cyclists in showcase of area’s best cycling routes and growing outdoor culture
ROANOKE, Va. (Nov. 15, 2012) – The Roanoke Region of Virginia today was selected to host the 2013 Bike Virginia Tour, an annual event in June showcasing the area’s best cycling routes.
The tour, scheduled for June 24-26 in the Roanoke Region, is expected to attract 1,600 cyclists from around the nation, Europe and Japan. The second leg of the tour will be based at Botetourt County’s Greenfield Recreation Park, where cyclists can camp out, swap stories and revel in the region’s growing outdoor culture in between scenic rides.
“Today’s announcement is a clear affirmation of our region’s reputation as an outdoor recreation hub,” said Pete Eshelman, director of outdoor branding for the Roanoke Regional Partnership. “We look forward to building on our vibrant cycling scene by showing off our miles of road-biking routes up hills, through valleys and along forests and waterways.”
“We are honored to welcome cyclists from around Virginia and the nation to the Roanoke Region,” said Stephen P. Clinton, chairman of the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors. “By hosting the Bike Virginia Tour, Botetourt County will be able to demonstrate its hospitality, history and scenery in a unique way. Beyond simply a boon for our tourism, this announcement affirms our region’s focus on outdoor-related activities as a way to enhance our quality of life and even create jobs.”
“It is through the collaborative efforts of our local governments and other organizations that we continue to see cycling grow in popularity among recreational and commuting cyclists,” added Wayne Strickland, Executive Director of the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, which supports a number of bicycle-friendly initiatives, including RIDE Solutions and Bike Roanoke, and whose staff has been instrumental in bringing Bike Virginia to the region. “Now, organizers of this major bike tour have recognized our region’s outdoor culture and bicycling accessibility, further reinforcing the economic benefits associated with our regional efforts.”
The Bike Virginia Tour will host 1,600 cyclists for six days of bicycle touring. Riders range in age from 6 to 88. The tour has operated for 26 years, providing participants with memorable riding experiences on more than 7,000 miles of rural Virginia roads since it began.
The tour will be headquartered in Rockbridge County for the first half of the tour and Botetourt County for the second half. Riders either camp at headquarters sites or stay in local hotels nearby in Lexington and Troutville. In the evening, they’ll enjoy music, exhibitors and other activities.
Participants will enjoy up to 450 miles of bike riding over the six-day tour, exploring historical sites and other points of interest. Multiple riding options are offered based on distance and level of challenge. Each route features snacks and lunch along the way.
Bike Virginia is a non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage active living and tourism by encouraging bicycling.
Registration opens Dec. 1 at www.bikevirginia.org. Registration prices vary. Tent camping is included in registration but for an additional fee riders can take advantage of hotel shuttles. Registrants receive a free riding jersey.
Eshelman says Bike Virginia is just another way to showcase the many outdoor-related businesses in the region. “We intend to continue to build our outdoor brand by introducing Bike Virginia to bike shops, services and other businesses that are helping to make the Roanoke Region an outdoor destination,” he said. “We welcome the riders and look forward to showing them what we have to offer.”