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

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:

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 ( where the comments will be compiled into one document and submitted to the PDC.