Spring is in the air and the warm weather has everyone planning their own outdoor activities, but one upcoming event will bring over two-thousand people to Clarke County and the surrounding region. Bike Virginia will be celebrating it’s 25th year with five days of rides throughout the Northern Shenandoah Valley starting in Berryville, Va.
The tour started in 1988 with just a dozen riders and has grown to an expected turnout of 2,000 participants this year. The event is designed to have a broad appeal attracting a diverse group of enthusiasts, from hardcore cyclists to casual recreational riders who range in age from 1 to 85. To accommodate this diverse group, event planners will set up tent cities in two host towns and develop short and longer routes branching from the main route to create opportunities for riders of all skill levels.
The 2012 Bike Virginia Tour will start with a rider check-in on Friday June 22, 2012. Riders are expected to stay in Berryville for two or three days where a tent city will be set up at the Clarke County High School to provide overnight camping. Riding officially begins on Saturday morning and will continue until the event moves to its next host town at Shenandoah Junction.
This year marks the 25th anniversary and event planners have been working closely with towns and businesses to make this a special event for everyone involved. A Bike Virginia Tour Planning Meeting was held on February 15th to update the public on the impact and opportunities the event will bring to Clarke County. A second meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 6:00pm in the Main Meeting Room of the Berryville-Clarke County Government Center.
Town of Berryville Planner, Christy Dunkle said, “Bike Virginia has requested assistance in planning their 25th anniversary party in downtown Berryville. The Town is requesting input for the event scheduled for Saturday, June 23, 2012 to make it a great event for the cyclists and the community. The initial concept is for a picnic/block party with local food and entertainment.”
Shepherdstown and Charles Town had representatives at the February meeting and indicated that they had a very positive experience when Bike Virginia visited in 2003 and that they are excited to have the riders return.
Event organizer Dr. Kim Perry said, “There are lots of fun things in store for riders this year. In addition to great routes in historic places we will have tons of fun entertainment. Riders will enjoy an evening of entertainment to celebrate 25 years of Bike Virginia in Berryville on Saturday June 23, an evening in Shepherdstown on Sunday June 24, a casino night on Monday June 25, an evening in Harper’s Ferry on June 26.”
The event has a sign-up cap of 2,000 riders and organizers said registration is filling up quickly.