Bike VA 2020 Tour to Feature 1,600 Cyclists

The Bike Virginia Tour is pleased to partner with the Farmville-Prince Edward County Virginia region for the 2020annual tour, the 33rd year of the event. Farmville last hosted the event in 1997, and previously for the very first year of the tour in 1988.

The 2019 event was held in Woodstock and Harrisonburg Virginia.

The next Bike Virginia Tour will be held June 19-24, 2020  in the Farmville-Prince Edward region and features 1,600 cyclists of all skills and abilities for six days of touring the beautiful Virginia countryside and visiting many places of interest.

The 2020 tour will begin on Friday, June 19 in Farmville with the first three days being hosted at the Wilck’s Lake Park. The second half of the tour, starting on Monday, June 22, is hosted by Twin Lakes State Park and will conclude at 4pm on Wednesday, June 24, 2020. Guests will stay in hotels, inns, homes, and camps at the event headquarters during their visit.  

The Town of Farmville and the two host park locations were selected based on their appeal to a wide range of participants, access to safe cycling roadways, proximity to lodging, and available space to accommodate the size of event operations.

“The region offers exactly what touring cyclists want: friendly hospitality, great scenery, and amenities such as lodging, food, and historic tourism opportunities. That combined with the park layout and space available at the two host parks, makes a great fit for our event” said Dr. Kim Perry. “Bike Virginia moves to different regions each year, we select the location by working with community officials and evaluate the region’s services and appeal for participants that come from all over the US and international destinations.”

While in the area, participants enjoy biking, outdoor recreation, shopping, dining, visits to historic sites, and other regional activities. The event is a tremendous economic opportunity for the Farmville-Prince Edward economy.

Approximately 800 guests will utilize lodging, occupying 350-400 hotel rooms or homes, and the remainder will tent or RV camp.

“In previous years, participants spent more than $1,100,000 during the 6 days for lodging, food, drink, entertainment, transportation and retail purchases; secondary spending is estimated at another $725,363,” said Dr. Kim Perry, executive director of the event. “Additionally, Bike Virginia, spends about $500,000 annually on services and materials to host the event. Our mission is to support a vibrant and healthy Virginia through bicycle programs and bicycle tourism.”

Each day, riders will have the opportunity to choose a route from the event headquarters based on what their interests are, as well as their cycling abilities. Bike routes pass through small communities visiting interesting destinations and seeing beautiful views. Daily routes are varying in difficulty (flat vs. rolling hills) and range from 15-100 miles. 

Routes are selected based on a combination of safety and beauty. Local officials and local cyclists work with a team of professional event planners to create the route offerings. During the 6 days cyclists will have the opportunity to ride up to 400 total miles, depending on which route options they choose. Along the bike routes a “rest stop” or comfort station is provided every 20-25 miles. These rest stops are hosted at facilities such as churches, fire stations, parks, businesses, and private properties. Participants can also choose to ride for a single day, the weekend portion of the event, the weekday, or all 6 days.

To host the event, Bike Virginia, a state-wide non-profit, works with local tourism and economic development organizations, EMS, law enforcement, businesses, and approximately 200 regional volunteers and civic groups to prepare for and operate the event’s services. Community groups that provide support receive donations for their volunteer time.

The organization is currently coordinating rest stop locations and community civic groups such as Scouts, Fire Departments, and other non-profit and volunteer organizations to develop “rest stops” and other services for the event. The event also hosts a vendor area for gifts, regional goods, and food truck court where local businesses can choose to participate. Vendors and volunteer groups are encouraged to reach out to the Prince Edward County Tourism Office (contact Magi Van Eps at 434.392.1482 or mvaneps@co.prince-edward.va.us) or to Bike Virginia soon to get details on the application process.

Who Participates in the Bike Virginia Tour?

Bike Virginia’s participants are a mix of bicycle enthusiasts of all ages and abilities.  Riders range in age from young children in carts to more seasoned cyclists (the oldest rider was 88).  Each year the event includes dozens of riders over the age of 70. The average age of participants in 2019 was 58. 

Participants include an average of 60% male, and 40% female cyclists. 

The tour offers an economical, fun, and relaxing vacation.  “Our participants come to ride, relax, and explore. We take care of the details,” said Perry. Bike Virginia works with localities to develop a robust schedule of recreation and entertainment options during the tour.

How are Participants Registered?

Registration for the event opens December 1, 2019 on the organization’s website www.bikevirginia.org and continues through until the event in June. Event registration is capped at 1,600 riders. Event registration ranges in cost from $150-$699.

The Bike Virginia tour is a program of Bike Virginia, a 501(C)(3) non-profit that provides educational programs and grants and works to improve bicycling in Virginia for better transportation, health and the environment.

Guest that are staying in local lodging book their lodging direct with participating lodging. They can also choose to book direct with Inns and AirBNB or VRBO.  The organization develops room blocks with local hotels to ensure enough lodging is available for the tour. Tent camping is included with registration.

For more information on this year’s Bike Virginia Tour, visit www.BikeVirginia.org or contact  kim@bikevirginia.org

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