Botetourt will be swarming with bicyclists Sunday when several hundred Bike Virginia riders head from Buena Vista to Buchanan and Fincastle as part of the annual six-day summer tour that that is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
As many as 1,500 bicyclists are expected for the tour that starts Friday, June 23 and runs daily through Tuesday, June 27.
Riders will have generally have three routes to choose from each day of the tour, including Sunday when the middle 59-mile route and the longer 95-mile route come to Botetourt. The shorter route for that day goes to Natural Bridge.
Both routes to Botetourt will have stops in Buchanan where the Buchanan Town Improvement Society will provide a refreshment stop for those riders going and coming.
Historic Fincastle Inc. is providing the stop in Fincastle for riders who opt for the longer route.
Motorists traveling between Buchanan and Rockbridge County will want to be on the lookout for bikers most of the day. Bike Virginia allows riders to begin as early as 7 a.m. and asks them to depart no later than 9 a.m. They’ll be using Frontage Road along I-81 and Plank Road en route to and from Buchanan to and from Natural Bridge then to Buena Vista.
The riders will use Main Street and Lowe Street in Buchanan to reach the refreshment stop on the Town Park.
Those riders continuing on to Fincastle will follow the Bike 76 path out of Buchanan to Main Street headed south. They’ll take Lithia Road/Nace Road back to US 11 near Virginian Markette, go south on US 11 to Gravel Hill Road, then take Parsons Road to Trinity Road to US 220 at Trinity.
From there, they’ll take US 220 to Shavers Farm Road, then go to Blacksburg Road and head into Fincastle where HFI will man a stop at the Town Office and HFI lot.
From Fincastle, the riders will head east on Main Street, then take Hancock Street/Springwood Road to James River High School where they’ll get on Rt. 43 back to Buchanan and a chance for another stop at the Town Park before heading back to Rockbridge through Glasgow and back to Buena Vista.
Bike Virginia will make contributions to both HFI and the Buchanan Town Improvement Society for manning the refreshment stations.
Bike Virginia 2017 is riding out of two locations— Buena Vista June 23-25 and then Staunton June 26-28.
The last time Bike Virginia was in this part of the state was in June 2013 when Greenfield Recreation Area served as one of the staging grounds that riders used for three days of the six days of riding. About 1,300 riders took part in that event.
Sunday’s ride to Fincastle is only one of two 100-mile (century routes) rides offered during the tour. This ride has 5,500 feet of elevation change
It’s also one of the rides for Bike Virginia weekend participants.