Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival in Virginia

by Mitchell Land

The Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival (shenandoahbike.org) attracts bicyclers from around the region to Staunton, Virginia. The festival runs for a weekend and invites bikers to view the area through planned routes by the festival organizers. Bike festival participants are also entitled to discounts at area attractions, such as Blackfriars Theater, which presents plays by Shakespeare.

Lodging

The Staunton area has many hotel and motel options for bikers, such as the Comfort Inn, Best Western Staunton Inn and Anne Hathaway's Cottage Bed and Breakfast. The organizers have arranged for discounts at area hotels and motels and provide rates and contact information on its website. At the time of publication, for bikers who are looking for a more affordable option, Shelburne Middle School offers a campsite for $10 per tent. Festival participants can also pay $5 per person per night to sleep in the Shelburne Middle School school gym.

Routes

Different routes are available depending on the day. The routes range from a 10-mile family loop on Sunday to the Shenandoah Century route at 100 miles. Another family route takes place on Saturday at 12.6 miles. All routes either start at Shelburne Middle School, Mt. Horeb Presbyterian or Middlebrook Community center. It is important to check the route details before departing to make sure you and your bike are prepared for the route.

Schedule

The Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival begins on a Friday afternoon in October, but there are no routes open that day. The schedule mainly consists of registration, orientation and a reception for cyclists. Routes are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday with a lunch at Mt. Horeb Presbyterian. On Sunday, routes are open from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with a brunch at Middlebrook Community Center.

Popularity

The Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival has attracted more than 400 cyclists in one weekend and has been running annually since 1990. The Shenandoah Valley boasts peak colors in the Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountain ranges from Oct. 20 to Nov. 5.

About the Author

Residing in Bristol, Va., Mitchell Land began writing for various websites in 2010. He worked as a writing center tutor at Baylor School for three years, where he also contributed music reviews to "Baylor Notes." He attends Greensboro College in North Carolina and studies theater and French.