News

Burkes Garden 2013

The annual Burkes Garden ride will be Saturday, August 24th. Advance registration ($8) is now open for all riders. Save 20% by registering at the 2013 Burkes Garden Century Registration page.

Century Ride

The 100 mile ride starts at the Narrows Community Center at 8:00am.

Metric Century

The 100 km ride starts at the Rocky Gap elementary school at 9:15am.

For more details and paper sign-up options, see the Official Burkes Garden 2013 flyer.

Brush Up on Bike Maintenance in Blacksburg

Join Blacksburg Parks and Recreation and Bike Barn of Blacksburg as we show you how to do routine maintenance on your bicycle in a series of group-oriented, hands-on classes.

The classes are 7-9pm in the Blacksburg Community Center at 725 Patrick Henry Drive, Blacksburg, VA. Cost is $12 ($7 for Blacksburg residents).

Register by calling 540-961-1135 or Blacksburg Parks & Recreation Online Registration by 5pm on the day of the program. Registration is open to all participants aged eight and older.

Bike Maintenance 101

Flat tire repair, selecting new tires/tubes, chain lubrication, general bike care

  • February 6, 2013
  • March 6, 2013
  • April 3, 2013
  • May 1, 2013

Bike Maintenance 102

Adjustment of brake and derailleur systems

  • February 20, 2013
  • March 20, 2013
  • April 17, 2013
  • May 15, 2013

For more information, visit Blacksburg Parks & Recreation.

Burkes Garden 2012 Registration

Online registration for this year’s Burkes Garden Ride begins July 22, 2012. Fees are $8 per rider during the registration period or $10 on the day of the ride.

The Burkes Garden General Store is closed this year, but the NRVBA is making arrangements to have sandwiches and other refreshments available for purchase at this favorite stop on the area's most accessible and enjoyable century rides. The NRVBA will post additional details as they become available.

For local hotels, motels, cabins and other accommodations, see Lodging in Giles County, Virginia. Further information about ride check-in, directions, etc. is available at the registration site and will be posted on the NRVBA listserv and website as ride day approaches.

About the Burkes Garden Century

The Burkes Garden Century has become a tradition for the New River Valley Bicycle Association since 1997 when a long-time member initiated this ride for a casual outing to avoid campus traffic on move-in day for Virginia Tech. This ride has rapidly gained popularity as a fast, easy century for anyone who loves to ride bicycles. Many novice cyclists enjoy this century (or metric century) as their first, while advanced riders test their hammering ability to plug out 100 miles at a fast pace.

3rd Annual Fix Fest and Bike Swap

Poster for 3rd Annual Fix FestIf the last time you rode a bike was when Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake were a couple, then it might be time to get back in the saddle! What you say? Your bike is hidden behind a stack of boxes and covered in a layer of dust? Well, you’re in luck! The Third Annual Fix Fest is scheduled for Saturday, April 28th in downtown Blacksburg. Bring that dusty bike over to 110 Draper Road (a few steps from the Blacksburg Farmer’s Market) where the Bike Barn and East Coasters will be on hand to tune up your bike for free. Biking is a great way to get around town (any town in the NRV), combining exercise with errands, and eventually supported recreational rides or bike commuting to work. How do you make physical activity a habit that will stick? A start is to set reasonable goals, build gradually, and keep your activity fun. The following are some easy ways you can incorporate physical activity into your daily routine:

  • Bike one daily trip for which you'd normally drive the car.
  • Get a cycling buddy or take a family ride after dinner.
  • Bike with a child to school or participate in a Walk to School Day event.
  • Ride through your neighborhood and rate it's "bikeability."
  • Keep a daily activity log. Estimate the mileage you biked or the minutes you spent doing something active.
  • Join a cycling club or form a cycling group with a regular schedule. There is encouragement in numbers.

So, get your bike out and get down to the Third Annual Fix Fest on Saturday April 28th. The event runs from 9 am until noon.

Bike Swap

On Saturday April 28th , from 9 am to 12 noon, The NRVBA is sponsoring The Bike Swap! to be held in Downtown Blacksburg on Roanoke Street across from the Farmer's Market (in the parking lot behind The National Bank of Blacksburg, between the bank and the 7-11 convenience store).

Poster for NRVBA Bike SwapThis is an event in which anyone may sell, buy, trade , or barter gently used bicycle-related items. (Sort of like a community yard sale for anything bike-related). Items can include bikes, components, accessories, apparel, car racks,etc! Anything to do with roadbikes, mountain bikes, commuter bikes, recreational bikes goes.

If YOU would like to SELL items, refer to the Bike Swap Frequently Asked Questions for details. If you only one or two items to sell, you still can participate!

If YOU want to browse, barter, exchange, or BUY please stop by on the morning of the 28th! The Bike Swap! is a great opportunity to clear your closet of unused cycling gear, and/or find some needed cycling gear.

So come on out for this CYCLING EXTRAVAGANZA!!

Download the NRVBA Bike Swap Poster.

Bike Kitchen Raffle Winner!

The NRVBA Bike Kitchen congratulates Shawn Veltman, the raffle winner of the Jamis Allegro X Comp.  The bicycle was offered by Pulaski Bikes, located in the Pulaski Train Station.  A chance at the prize was offered through the purchase of raffle ticket sales throughout the region.  Shawn’s name was drawn at the Train Station on Friday, February 24th. When we contacted Shawn to notify him of the good news, he surprised us with a most generous response.   Shawn accepted the prize and then turned around and re-donated the bicycle with the request to run a second raffle!  So, that’s what we’re going to do.

Beginning in April and continuing through May, the region will see a number of Bike Month related activities sponsored by the NRVBA, Ride Solutions, Virginia Tech and Sustainable Blacksburg.  We’ll start the new raffle to coincide with these activities.

Finally, we want to thank everyone who participated in the raffle by selling tickets (a big shout out to Dan Maderic and Jerry Ford), by purchasing tickets, and of course by providing the prize (thanks, Mike McMillion!).

All of the proceeds from the raffle ticket sales will go directly to the Bike Kitchen’s capital and operations expenses.  Our progress is moving right along as we continue to partner with various community organizations in different ways.  We’re all excited about the progress and thank everyone for their support.

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Updated: German Cyclist Critically Injured

UPDATE:  Gathering of Sharing for the Sprick Family.

On Friday, Oct 28,2011 between 9:30-10:30am at Roanoke Airport upper lounge, friends and supporters are invited to a Gathering of Sharing and Caring. Alexandra, Michael’s sister, will depart for Germany. Our gathering will be simple. Folks can come to meet Alexandra and to bid her safe journey as she returns home to Germany. If you haven’t met her and want to share your support, please feel free to come. 

If you're coming from the NRV, you may consider using the Smartway Bus to travel up and back as it stops at the Roanoke Airport. See the Smartway Bus schedule here

Original Post:

Michael P. Sprick was riding his bicycle on Highway 100 in Pulaski County, Virginia on Saturday, October 8, 2011, when he was struck by a Merita bread truck and thrown from his bike onto an embankment.

He was airlifted to Carilion Hospital in Roanoke, where he remains on full life support in the brain injury critical care unit.

Michael is from Germany and was touring the United States on bicycle. His sister flew to Roanoke from Germany to help tend to her brother's needs, and has been the guest of Barbara and Gary Duerk in Roanoke during her stay.

The driver of the truck was charged with Reckless Driving. The hearing is set for December 6, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. in Pulaski General District Court, 45 Third Street, Pulaski. We will keep you informed of any changes and recommendations, in case you wish to attend this hearing in support of Michael and/or cyclists' rights to share the rode safely.

The pastor of South Roanoke United Methodist Church has provided a mechanism for contributions to be received for Michael Sprick and his family. If you would like to donate, please make checks payable to South Roanoke United Methodist Church c/o Pastor’s Discretionary Fund for Michael Sprick. Checks should be mailed to:

South Roanoke United Methodist Church c/o Pastor’s Discretionary Fund for Michael Sprick 2330 S. Jefferson Street Roanoke, VA 24014

The pastor of South Roanoke UMC is Stan Wright.  The funds will be used to help cover family expenses related to Michael's accident.

If you are a Facebook user, you can also follow developments on the Friends of Michael P. Sprick page  or the NRVBA page.

 

Draper Mountain Bike Trail - Now Open!

For the last three years, our friends down in Pulaski have put blood, sweat and tears into creating a mountain bike trail system on Draper Mountain.

Draper Mountain, named for John Draper and his family, is situated south of the Town of Pulaski.  The terrain is steep, rising up from the Town to the Draper Mountain Overlook that provides expansive vistas of the nearby mountain ranges and valleys.

The Town of Pulaski owns much of the north side of the Mountain and has opened the area up for mountain bike trail construction.  Since 2009, a group of dedicated cyclists have been out there with fire rakes, chain saws, pry bars and Pulaski axes, chiseling out a trail that winds back and forth in an effort to make the climb up the mountain accessible.  The core group, who has invested several years of sweat equity, includes Don Singleton, Dave Kinder, Gene Holt, Randy Ward, Mike McMillion. Support has come from other groups that deserve an honorable mention, including Josh Witherspoon and his Eagle Scout troops as well as the Department of Forestry.

Work is on-going to improve the initial trail and to create new spurs.  Singleton says, “currently there is only one main trail but the potential for offshoots are unlimited; those optional loops have not been worked out as of yet.” Dave Kinder gives us a preview of the trail in the above video. 

Describing the trail’s difficulty, Don Singleton states “right now the trail is very technical and certainly not for the beginner, but as we learn more about what is needed to make it better, we are dealing with it.”   Kinder adds “much of the work has been done on off-season days not suitable for riding, which offered us a chance to still spend time with cycling friends. It's a nice experience to work on trails that seem so remote but a really just a mile or two from town.”  Efforts should to expand the trail will begin again in earnest as fall arrives.

The trail and the proposed spurs have not officially been named yet, but the trail builders have their own monikers like Cotton Candy, Rock Garden, The Saddle, and Dragon Tooth. Singleton says “those names have meaning to us and when we speak of them, we know where they are."  The NRVBA donated $600 to the Town, and according to John Hawley, Pulaski Town Manager, the Town plans on using part of this money for signing the access points and the trail markers this winter.

If you want to ride the trail, you can access the area via two points.  Parking is available at Pulaski Bikes, owned by McMillion, and located at the Pulaski Train Depot. Ride up Valley Road just past the church where the access trail is on your left.  McMillion has printed instructions on how to get there.  The second access point is from the North Side Overlook where you can park and ride or walk down the trail.

If you would like to volunteer time to trail building, please contact Don Singleton at desingleton@comcast.net.

Interactive Web Survey: Blacksburg

The Town of Blacksburg and the VT Center for Geospatial and Information Technology has opened up an interactive web survey where you can map your preferred routes around town:

Survey address:  http://www.cgit.vt.edu/projectwebs/bikepedsurvey

As we have mentioned previously, a citizen workgroup, under the direction of the Town of Blacksburg’s Corridor Committee and town staff, is working on developing a Bike/Pedestrian Master Plan.  As part of the plan development we’re conducting several surveys to collect information to guide us in the development of the plan.  The first effort is the bike count on September 28th and October 1st, and the second effort is this interactive web survey.

Please take a few moments to add your route information to the survey as this is important to our efforts to develop the Master  Plan.  If you have any issues with inputting information, please contact Priscilla Cygielnik at pcygielnik@blacksburg.gov.

Blacksburg Bike Counts: Volunteer Call

The Town of Blacksburg’s Corridor Committee is conducting another Bike Count, which is designed to generate usage figures to help Blacksburg plan and design appropriate bicycle facilities and to measure the positive benefits of those new facilities.  The Town of Blacksburg is currently developing a Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, and the bike count information will be used along with other data previously collected to help route planning throughout the Town. The proposed counts will take place on Wednesday, September 28th (7 am- 7 pm) and Saturday, October 1st (10 am – 2 pm) at key points along corridors routinely used by bicyclists.   Additional basic information, such as frequency of wrong-way riding and riding on the sidewalk, will be collected.

The Corridor Committee needs over 50 volunteers to help conduct the counts.  Volunteers will be asked to fill a two-hour shift at one of the count locations.  Each volunteer will be required to attend a 45-minute training class - the date and time of which are to be determined, to receive an assignment, to learn how to complete the count forms, and what to do with the information when the shift is completed.

Please volunteer two hours of your time to assist with this project.  To participate, please contact:

Beth Lohman ealohman@gmail.com

A summary report of the 2009 count data can be viewed on the advocacy page.

Burkes Garden Thank Yous

The NRVBA would like to thank all the volunteers and riders who made the 2011 Burkes Garden Century & Metric Century Ride a safe and successful event. The weather even cooperated to keep us dry and provide one of the most beautiful days (following weeks of scorching weather) for the event.

Specifically, we'd like to thank:

  • The train coming back from Burkes Garden (Photo by: Mark Zhu)

    Laurie Hudgins, Registration Coordinator

  • Curt Nuenighoff, Registration & Pre-ride Arrangements
  • Everett Peterson, Registration
  • Lee Matthis, Registration
  • Liz Hokanson, Rocky Gap Registration
  • Emmy Bender, Rocky Gap Registration
  • Beth Kipp, Online Registration
  • Geoff Saunders, Pre-ride Arrangments
  • Jennifer Hendrix, SAG
  • Tom Martin, SAG
  • Ed Hokanson, Signage & Parking
  • Dale Kipp, SAG and Signage Coordinator

When you see these folks out and about in the community, be sure to thank them for their efforts in hosting this long-time favorite ride.

2011 Regional Bikeway-Walkway-Blueway Plan

Planning Efforts Over the last year, the New River Valley Planning District Commission (“PDC”) met with member jurisdictions to update and revise the 2000 Regional Bikeway, Walkway, Blueway Plan. The updated plan includes information on existing recreational opportunities and future planned projects. The electronic version of the plan contains nice interactive features on the associated maps.

Draft Plan Review

The PDC has created a web page for the Draft 2011 Bikeway, Walkway, Blueway Plan. If you have a moment, the NRVBA encourages you to visit the site located here: http://www.nrvpdc.org/Transportation/bwwwbw.html.

Things that you can do to assist the PDC with finalizing the plan include: 1. Review the 2011 Draft Plan by chapter or as a whole 2. Review each Area’s Plan: hotlinks provided across the bottom for the Floyd Area, Giles Area, Montgomery Area, Pulaski Area, and the Radford Area. 3. Visit the Interactive Map: hotlink provided on the lower left edge; explore existing facilities and access points for different facilities in the NRV. 4. Provide comments on the materials or site 5. Revisit the 2000 Plan

Things to come include: local endorsements (including an endorsement by the NRVBA and its members), and helpful resources for planning and design. This is a work-in-progress, so any feedback that you have will be very valuable to help the PDC make improvements to the overall plan.

The important thing to remember is that the plan is still under review by local governments (most are still receiving hard copies). Because of this, the Hierarchical priorities may change based on additional review. Also, the Regional section is not complete. The PDC is asking for input on how to define specific regional projects or criteria that could be used to support regional efforts.

The PDC hopes that you will find the site very useful and looks forward to your feedback.

Where to send the feedback

Please submit your comments on the draft regional plan to Beth Lohman (ealohman@gmail.com) where the comments will be compiled into one document and submitted to the PDC.

Burke’s Garden Ride registration and info

The Ride leaves at 8:00 AM from the Narrows Community Center (Old Narrows High School) in Narrows, Virginia and travels along Wolf Creek up to Rocky Gap. Metric century riders can join the fun at the Rocky Gap Elementary School at 9:15 AM. All participants continue to Tazewell and climb over Rich Mountain into Burke's Garden, where local cuisine is served at the Burke's Garden General Store. Climb back out of the Garden and retrace your route back to Narrows. THE SUPPORT (OR LACK THEREOF)

In keeping with tradition, the New River Valley Bicycle Association likes to run this ride as simply as possible. There are several stores (about every 20 miles apart) where drinks and food are available for sale and porta-potties are provided for riders.

SAG vehicles will be on the course for emergency situations and mechanical problems. Please do not depend on them to supply you with food or fluids for this ride!

DIRECTIONS

Narrows, VA is about 30 minutes west of Blacksburg, VA on Hwy 460. From Hwy 460, turn on to SR 61 towards the business district of Narrows. The Narrows Community Center is one half mile down SR 61 on the left. Those doing the metric century should continue on SR 61 for 20 miles to Rocky Gap. SR 61 will intersect SR 52. Turn right on SR 52 and park at the elementary school on the left just a few hundred yards from SR 61.

REGISTRATION

You can register for either ride at:

http://www.bikereg.com/events/register.asp?eventid=13944

Online registration closes Wed. August 17 at 11pm.

The entry fee is $8 online and $10 on the morning of the ride.

Registration fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

CHECK IN!

All riders must check in prior to their ride to receive a number and sign a ride waiver/release form. Century riders should check in at the Narrows Community Center between 7:00 and 7:45 AM. Metric Century riders should check in at the elementary school in Rocky Gap between 8:45 and 9:15 AM.

2nd Annual Fix Fest - April 30

Get geared up for Bike Month! Come out to the Second Annual Fix Fest

Dust off your bike, pump up the tires, and lube the chain.  Spring is here!  Has your bike been sitting in the garage over the winter – or even for the last few years!  If so, it’s time to get your bike ready to ride!  Everyone can bring their bikes downtown for a *free* safety check and basic tune up.  Our local bike shops – Bike Barn, East Coasters, and Hokie Spokes, will be on hand with mechanics offering basic services.  (Participants that require part replacement or more involved repairs will be referred to the bike shops.)

 You can also download a poster to help spread the word. If you have questions about the event, email cstraight@nrvpdc.org

 This event is made possible with our sponsors’ help: Town of Blacksburg, NRV Bicycling Association, RIDE Solutions, Hokie Spokes, Bike Barn, East Coasters, Sustainable Blacksburg and Modea.

Once you’ve got your bike in working order, join other commuters on Clean Commute Fridays.

Clean Commute participants pledge to use a cleaner commute mode – biking, walking, riding the bus, carpooling – on one or more Fridays in May. Pick one Friday to try a clean commute mode, or challenge yourself to carpool, bike, bus, walk, or telecommute every Friday.

Each day pledged is an entry for the prize drawing which will include a variety of prizes. There is also a Cleanest Team competition open to any group (workplace, clubs, informal groups). For more information go to http://www.ridesolutions.org/cleancommute/index.shtml

We’ll be celebrating Clean Commute on Friday morning, May 20, at the Blacksburg Farmers’ Market. Be sure to stop for coffee and pastry!

Huckleberry Trail Update

Friends of the Huckleberry Trail are hosting a brief informational session at 2 pm on Sunday, August 1st at Mill Mountain.  Bill Ellenbogen and Lance Matheson, two long time trail promoters, will be present to provide the latest information about trail expansions, time frames and funding needs.  The meeting will be informal and is open to the public.  Please share this email with individuals or groups that might have a strong interest in working together on the Huckleberry Trail expansion.

Bike the US for MS – Arrives in Blacksburg

Bike the US for MS, a group based here in Blacksburg, organizes an annual cross-county bike rides to benefit Multiple Sclerosis causes.  This year, the organization is riding the Trans America route and will be coming through Blacksburg on Sunday, June 6th.  The organization would love for local cyclists to join the group on the ride into town.  There are 30 cyclists in the cross-country group, and they would like to have 50+ riders coming into town on Harding Avenue. The cross-country group is camping in Troutville the night of June 5th and will be departing for Blacksburg around 8:00 am.  There is a planned refreshment stop near the Catawba Country Store around 10:00 am.   Riders and supporters are welcome to come out and join us for the whole ride or anywhere else in between Troutville and Blacksburg.  Riders can register online at here, or just email us and let us know they want to participate.  For more information, contact: Mason Cavell by email or by phone (206)498-7954.

Check Out Our New Website!

We've been working on our website, so that we can provide our members and the community great resources to get more people out and biking. We invite you to check it out and let us know what's missing or what you love!

2010 Radford Ride for Silence

Ride of Silence The annual International Ride of Silence was observed locally in Radford on Wednesday, May 19, 2010. Hosted by Pathways for Radford and the NRVBA, eighty-nine (89) riders and several supportive bystanders participated in the local ride. Uniformed and plain-clothed officers came out on bicycles to ride with the participants and show support. Several police vehicles and one ambulance escorted the long procession of riders; lights on, silently announcing our presence. We were a highly visible sign that the cycling community is strong, vibrant and willing to take its rightful spot on public roadways.

To those who spread the word and especially to the 89 cyclists who showed up to honor the lives of Bonnie Tinker, Bruce Rosar, Joe Mirenda, Rueben Williams and Adam Little, THANK YOU!

Thanks also to:

  • Ellen Taylor for printing up the safe riding tips that were distributed to all participants,
  • Pathways and the NRVBA for financing the 25 signs posted along the route, and
  • David and Leslie for helping collect signs after he ride.

Special thanks to fellow members of the members of the Ride of Silence Committee: Laurie Buchwald, Carol Colby, and Frank Taylor.

-Submitted by Katrina Cometa