July 31, 2018/ Maria Parker
Crossing the New River on our V20s during Bike Virginia
Jim and I spent 5 days riding Bike Virginia’s 2018 Ride the River Tour just a couple of weeks ago. This year I’ve chosen to do less racing on my Cruzbike and more touring. I absolutely love a vacation on a bike. Earlier in May, we rode the Blue Ridge Parkway to raise money for brain cancer research. We’ve been hearing from more and more of our customers who are touring on their Cruzbikes and I am delighted to share some of their experiences.
Everyone should try a cycling vacation! There is nothing better than seeing the world from the seat of a bicycle, particularly from the comfort of a Cruzbike seat. Nine to 12 miles per hour is just about the perfect speed to enjoy the beauty of nature and the quaint small towns your tour will take you through. There are many tours available. Some, like Bike Virginia, Cycle NC and the many other states sponsored tours are affordable because you can camp, others are very high-end and spoil you with elegant meals and accommodations. We enjoy both. Perhaps the best part is finishing up your day’s ride, and sitting down to a great meal with the glow of exercise and the beautiful memories you’ve created.
Some of our customers create their own tours, either carrying all the gear they need to camp or do “credit card” touring, using their credit card to stop at hotels and motels and restaurants along the way.
Earlier this year Q45 owner David Hickethier and his wife Teri rode some of the Great Allegheny Passage. The description of this epic path on the GAP website sounds wonderful and this ride has been added to my bucket list:
The 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage soars over valleys, snakes around mountains and skirts alongside three rivers (the Casselman, Youghiogheny, and Monongaleha) on its nearly level path. Cyclists pass through the Cumberland Narrows, cross the Mason-Dixon Line, top the Eastern Continental Divide at 2,392’, weave through the breathtaking Laurel Highlands, wind their way through 19,052-acre Ohiopyle State Park, journey through the region’s coke, coal, mining, and steel-making corridor, and end at Pittsburgh’s majestic Point State Park.
The Hicketheir’s mid-April dates ended up coinciding with a cold snap, but they steadfastly continued with much of their plan. Below are a few pictures from their ride.
Dennis and Teri had blowing wind, snow and freezing rain, but they still enjoyed the beauty.
signage along the trail gives the distances to major and minor landmarks
One of the attractions of the GAP trail is the Eastern Continental Divide.
Our Bike Virginia experience was much balmier. We rode in the New River Valley taking in such beautiful small towns as Radford, Pulaski, and Floyd. I had the best tomato sandwich of my life served up by volunteer firefighters in Floyd at a rest stop.
Packing everything in big blue
our home away from home
We had a few days of clouds with a smattering of showers, but Jim and I agreed that it was better to have a few showers and stay cool during some of the challenging climbs in Southwestern Virginia. In the evenings we ate fabulous food provided by food trucks at the two different parks where we camped along with 800 other enthusiastic cyclists from around the country. We also enjoyed terrific food at the local restaurants. There was live music each night and Jim treated me to a blissful massage provided at the camping area on Saturday night and every night for cyclists who wanted or needed a little more pampering.
with our new jerseys
At the top of a climb we got to say hello to this guy.
Thai Shrimp over cabbage noodles from one of the food trucks
Tomato sandwich with cheese, olive oil, vinegar and salt. YUM
Bike Virginia has routes that take you back to the campsite each night. You can choose to ride short or long or even ride in a SAG (Support and Gear) truck back to camp if you bite off more than you can chew.
well stocked rest stops!
each day we got maps with different ride options
We were delighted to meet up with Cruzbike V20 rider Tony Holloway and his wife Joni.
We found some of the days challenging with short but steep climbs. The beauty of recreational touring is that there is no shame in walking your bike up a hill that you just haven’t trained for. On other days, the rides were beautiful rollers through ancient Virginia farm country.
We spotted this Sofrider and waited for its owner to appear
And here he is, David Malmquist, son Ben, along with Tony, Joni Jim and I near the camp pavilion.
Much of the riding was along the beautiful New River
In the evenings we watched the fireflies light up the grass along the New River where we were camped while enjoying laughter and conversation with our fellow cyclists. Our bikes always attract some attention, especially by the third or fourth day of riding. It’s fun to share the joy of recumbent riding with a bunch of cyclists whose backs, necks, wrists, and rear-end are sore.
We love to hear stories of your Cruzbike tours and will highlight them here to inspire the rest of the community. Next up, Hubbs Grimm’s adventures.