Riding the Rivers at Bike Virginia

The terrain is the star of Bike Virginia!  It’s not merely hilly, it’s downright mountainous and we spend 6 days climbing and descending in and around Radford and Claytor Lake.  They call it the “Ride the River Tour”, which may be faulty advertising to get more people to do the ride.    Our Garmins regularly read 11-15% grade on the climbs.  A wise tandem tour leader once told us that if you don’t climb, you don’t get the views.

We have a fantastic time on our first Bike Virginia. I’ll tell the rest of the story with photos!

The first three days of Bike VA are in Radford.
We ride beside the New River when we aren’t climbing steep grades.
I’m getting better at this selfie technique!
Our first location features a variety of food trucks.  This is my favorite!
We enjoy ice cream with Bev and Charlie.
Pretty scenery abounds.
Showing off our new jerseys at the New River!

At the conclusion of day three, we meet Chris and Connie at a brewpub for dinner and get so excited by our flight and our pretzel that I forget to take a photo with them.

This flight contains every beer the Bull and Bones brews.
This pretzel is probably as large as my head – gotta carb up!
On day 4 it rains all morning, but after lunch, things clear for a dry ride.
The deserted (because it’s so late) rest stop is at a train station.
We end the day having dinner with Wendy and Mark.
We really fly on the rolling, fast stretch along the river on day 5.

The highlight of the penultimate ride is the hot, salted taters at a rest stop! The perfect ride snack on a misty day. Yum!
Stunning scene for a rest stop.
Last crossing on the Ride the River tour!

On our drive home we stop in the town of Bristol.  It’s half in Virginia and half in Tennessee.  We visit the town, get stuck there when a train comes through and stops for at least 20 minutes, and take a photo with the famous sign.

One town shared by two states

Bike Virginia by the numbers:  

6 days of riding, 211 total miles (35 mile per day average), 13.6 mph average speed and a total of 16,000 feet of climbing.  The mileage is low because we spend several days dodging raindrops with delayed starts and shortened routes to avoid riding in the rain.   In that effort we are successful and the worst weather we encounter is a light mist during one of the rides.

At the end of our two week odyssey, we have ridden for 13 consecutive days.  Coming up: the Katy Trail in September and whatever else happens between now and then!

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3 thoughts on “Riding the Rivers at Bike Virginia

  1. What a life you have! Love that picture of a pretzel. I can almost taste it. You are looking so good in all your photos.

  2. When we did Bike Virginia in 2011 (on the tandem), it was HQ’d in Radford for the back half of the week. Our takes were very much the same as yours –> very lumpy terrain (glad we had a granny), beautiful scenery (and there were loads of wildflowers), and… THOSE potatoes were the best rest-stop food we’d ever had! (With adequate salt for electrolyte management… of course!) P.S. – You guys have this retirement thang nailed!

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