Cycling enthusiasts will have a hard time finding anywhere more beautiful to ride than Virginia. From the scenic overlooks of the Blue Ridge Parkway to the bucolic countryside seen from the Cap2Cap Trail, the gorgeous landscapes keep the ride both interesting and often challenging. Add these 24 cycling events to your calendar and discover the charm of the Commonwealth at your own speed.
High Bridge Trail Family Day Ride—Farmville
March 29, 2017
If you’re looking for a biking event that is less of a competition and more of a family outing, sign up for the High Bridge Trail Family Day Ride. The “out-and-back” trip along the historic rail trail is mostly flat, giving even the most inexperienced cyclers an easy ride. Your payoff for this bicycling event are the vast scenic views from the trail’s namesake High Bridge, spanning 2,400 feet across the Appomattox River, and after you finish your bike ride, explore the quaint town of Farmville for even more fun.
April 9, 2017
The Harris-Roubaix race in Harrisonburg takes place annually on the same day as the Paris race for which the Virginia event is named. Participate in the group ride and travel the 15-mile loop from Harrisonburg to a family farm north of the city. Riders have the option of a single loop or traveling the track twice. An informal three lap race will end with the crowning of the “Champion of the Harris-Roubaix”. The smooth gravel roads of this event allow for a diverse group of cyclers, including mountain bikers, road bike cyclers, and even tandem riders.
Spring Metric Century—Harrisonburg
April 22, 2017
Cycle 62 miles through the Shenandoah Valley, recognized as one of the most beautiful regions in America, during the Spring Metric Century. This spring cycling event prepares avid riders for the more difficult 100 miler organized by Bike Shenandoah in the fall, and the proceeds benefit six service agencies that cater to the local community as well as around the world.
12th Annual VCU Health Cap2Cap—Charles City
May 13, 2017
The VCU Health Cap2Cap is an annual ride that spans from Richmond to historic Williamsburg and supports the Virginia Capital Trail. Cyclers can choose from 15-, 25-, 50-, and 100-mile routes to suit their experience level. Unlike bike race events, this event is all about ride, encouraging cyclers to enjoy the scenery rather than compete to finish first. Your entry cost includes a lunch and access to the post-ride party.
Storming of Thunder Ridge—Lynchburg
May 21, 2017
Lynchburg’s only local road cycling event, Storming of Thunder Ridge brings together cyclers to ride with the Blue Ridge Mountains as the backdrop. There is a ride for everyone in this event, with 27-, 45-, 75, and 100-mile distances. The event starts and ends at the Jamerson Family YMCA, and riders are invited to camp out the night before either in the gymnasium or outside on the soccer field to get an early start. Post ride activities include food, music, swimming, and a relaxing soak in the facilities’ hot tubs.
Tour de Floyd—Floyd
May 20, 2017
Cyclers in the Tour de Floyd ride a challenging 62 miles through Floyd County with a total climbing altitude of 6,700 feet. Almost half the route is on the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway, providing scenic views for your ride, and you’ll also see several notable sites along the journey, like the historic Mabry Mill.
Mountains of Misery—Giles
May 29, 2017
The Mountains of Misery is a bike event only for the most dedicated and skilled cyclists. This tough bike route goes through the heart of Southwest Virginia, and the easier of the two distance options is the Century ride, a 100+ mile journey with 10,000 feet of altitude climb. The most seasoned cyclists may want to test their endurance with the Double Metric Century, a route of 124+ miles with over 13,000 feet altitude climb. Both distances finish in a tough, four-mile climb to the finish. Stay at the Mountain Lake Lodge at the finish line to rest up after this grueling event in luxurious lodgings.
Annual World Hunger Bike Ride—Rocky Mount
June 3, 2017
Ride for a great cause during the 28th Annual World Hunger Bike Ride, the longest continuously running cycling event in Franklin County. Riders can choose from 5-, 10-, 2-5, or 50-mile distances, with all proceeds from the event benefitting the World Hunger Fund. The routes wind through the mountains of Franklin and Floyd counties, with the 50-mile course climbing the picturesque Blue Ridge Parkway.
Bike Virginia Tour—Staunton
June 23-28, 2017
The Bike Virginia Tour is a three day ride through the rural back roads of the Shenandoah Valley. Now in its 30th year, the event has a variety of options and packages for riders interested in participating, including one, three, and six day rides. The tour begins in Buena Vista along the Maury River, with the second half of the event hosted in Staunton, one of Virginia’s most popular travel destinations.
Tour de Scholar Charity Bike Ride—Axton
August 5, 2017
A charity bike ride that benefits local teachers, students, and schools, the Tour de Scholar Charity Bike Ride starts at the Smith River Sports Complex. This charity event is truly for everyone, with 25-, 35-, and 60-mile distance options, allowing riders to choose their skill level. Even those that are complete beginners can participate, with a five-mile bike course set up within the sports complex. Riders are eligible for a variety of door prizes and provided a free meal by the organization after the race.
Culpeper Gran Fondo—Culpeper
August 5, 2017
The Culpeper Gran Fondo invites cyclers of every kind to participate in a non-timed fun ride through low-traffic roads that wind through Virginia’s horse country, farmland, and vineyards, all with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background. The event kicks off the Culpeper Endurance Festival with 32-, 62-, and 100-mile options. After finishing the event, cyclists are invited to join a post-ride party.
Can’t get enough of these adventurous biking competitions? Here are a few more notable cycling events happening in 2017 around Virginia.
- 6th Annual Shamrock Criterium Presented by Bike Beat—Virginia Beach, March 11
- Bike Shenandoah—Harrisonburg, April 22 & September 16
- Virginia Creeper Fest—Abingdon, April 29
- Devils Backbone Mountain Cross & The Blue Ridge Metric—Beech Grove, Apr 29 – 30
- Tour de Madison Bike Tour—Madison, May 20
- The Virginia Trail Festival—Mt. Solon, May 25-29
- Commonwealth Cycling Classic—Location TBD, August 24-27
- Anthem Moonlight Ride—Richmond, August 26
- Shenandoah Valley Century Ride—Harrisonburg, September 10
- Alpine Loop Gran Fondo—Harrisonburg, October 1
- Culpeper Cycling Century—Culpeper, October 7
- Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival—Staunton, October 20-22
- RVA to DC Ride—Richmond, October 7 & 8
© pkeppel for Virginia’s Travel Blog, 2017. |