Tour de Madison planning committee announces this year’s 45 mile route. It is similar to the route two years ago and heads from Syria through Banco to Haywood and the Hebron Valley before ascending to Novum. It features a rest stop at the bike friendly Brightwood General Store at about 20 miles. From Brightwood it follows Lillard’s Ford Road to Oak Park and then heads to Madison where the second rest stop is at Madison Parks and Recreation’s Hoover Ridge facility. From Madison the route heads back through the Hebron Valley for gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge on the way back to Syria. (click the photo below to see the route)
Virginia Bike Event Association is group of cycling events across the state that work together for a “Collaborative exchange of ideas and resources to support safe and enjoyable cycling events across Virginia so that the state may benefit from increased recreation, wellness, and tourism.”
Together we can grow and learn. Together we can share more opportunities for cycling with residents and visitors. Together our voice is stronger when we ask for legislation, funding, and support from tourism agencies.
Appalachian Spring Ride by Best of Virginia Bike Tours – Multiple Route options totaling 100 miles, April 26, 2014. Rockbridge. Details at www.bestofvabiketours.com
Bike Virginia- Six day cycling tour, with single day and weekend options. Routes 20-100 miles, Chesterfield & Williamsburg, VA. Fundraiser for statewide programs. June 20-25, 2015. Details bikevirginia.org
Mountains of Misery- Challenging 100 and 124 mile routes, May 25, 2014, Blacksburg. Details at www.mountainsofmisery.com
DR 100- Metric Century and Half Century Routes, Harrisonburg, Va. Fund-raiser for cycling initiatives in Harrisonburg area. May 3, 2014. Details at dr100.org
Richmond Multisports Triathalons- Events February to October are on the 2014 Calendar. Various Locations. Details at www.richmondmultisports.com/race-calendar.htm
Storming of Thunder Ridge- 27, 45, 75 and 100 mile options, Lynchburg, Va. Fund-raiser for YMCA of Central Virginia’s Community Support Campaign. May 18, 2014. Details at stormingofthunderridge.org
Tour De Chesapeake- Multiple route choices, Mathews, Va. May 16-18, 2014 Details at tourdechesapeake.org
Tour De Madison 20, 45 and 65 miles, Madison Va, May 17, starting and ending at Graves Mountain Lodge. tourdemadison.com
Virginia Off Road Test Series- Mountain bike races across the state. 2014 Dates to be Announced Soon. www.virginiaoffroadseries.com
The Metric Century ride is beautiful and challenging and features three of the county’s outstanding vineyards. Click here to REGISTER.
There is marvelous scenery all along the route. Like all the routes in the 2013 Tour de Madison, the Metric Century starts with a wonderful four-mile run down the Old Blue Ridge Turnpike, a road built in the 1850s to connect the farms in the Shenandoah Valley with the railhead at Gordonsville. You will be riding through the gorgeous valley created by the Robinson River.
A mile or so past Banco, at just over five miles into the ride, you will encounter a challenging climb—short but steep—into Haywood. Immediately you will descend through the Hebron Valley. This is the area settled by the Germans who fled their indentured servitude in Governor Spotswood’s mines at Germanna.
After turning right onto Hebron Church Rd., be sure to look west up the valley to the glorious Blue Ridge Mountains. You will also pass the historic Hebron Lutheran Church on your right. It’s the oldest Lutheran church in continuous operation in the United States!
Soon you will turn left onto Rt. 231, the Blue Ridge Turnpike, for a somewhat longer climb into the town of Madison. Be careful on our crowded Main Street, but don’t forget to notice the historic buildings, especially “Kemper Mansion” on your left—home of James Kemper who was wounded at Pickett’s Charge and later served as Governor of Virginia (1874-78)—and, the newly renovated County Courthouse on your right.
Leaving the town of Madison, the gentle Blue Ridge foothills west of town will thrill you and get your heart pumping. Your efforts will be rewarded by the hospitality of Early Mountain Vineyards at just over 17 miles into the ride.
Not long after leaving the rest stop, Metric Century riders will find themselves heading east on the gently rolling Oak Park Rd. before enjoying a descent to the Robinson River. All along the way are fertile fields still cultivated by family farmers. Be sure to notice the historic churches—Oak Grove Baptist, Mt. Zion Baptist, and Mt. Zion United Methodist—in the Oak Park area. Oak Grove was founded during the Civil War by a slave harness-maker.
There is a mile and half gentle climb up from the Robinson River at 28.7 miles on Fords Shop Rd. and the a rolling five miles on Leon Rd. Watch out for traffic as you cross Rt. 29. If you had been here in October of 1863 you would have had to be on the lookout for cavalry under the command of J. E. B. Stuart (Confederate) or George A. Custer (Union).
Just after you cross Rt. 29, you will turn left onto Kirtley Rd. and approach the Prince Michel Vineyard and another well-stocked rest stop. Be sure to notice the historical marker on Kirtley Road. This is a portion of one of the oldest, if not the oldest colonial road in America!
From the rest stop at Prince Michel, cyclists head west toward the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are too many marvelous views to mention them all! A favorite part of the route will surely be the four or five miles on Slate Mill Road in Rappahannock County. Between 45 and 50 miles you will encounter momentum-generating descents and challenging climbs punctuated with occasional glimpses of Old Rag Mountain to the west.
The last rest stop is at F. T. Baptist Church, founded in 1788 and located here since 1816. Soon after the rest stop and a short stint on Rt. 231, rider will head west to the very foot of Old Rag Mountain. Some of you may be tempted to abandon your bikes to join the hundreds who will be climbing it that day. Resist it, you will need all your strength and stamina for what lies ahead!
After another short passage on Rt.231, the ride from Etlan to Syria offers the most serious challenge of the day. There are a couple of miles of gentle ascent, then a mile plus climb that ends with a very steep grade. Be sure to notice DuCard Vineyard on your right just before the serious climbing starts. From the summit you will enjoy a stunning glimpse of the valley below. Be careful on the steep, curving descent on a narrow road!
Soon you be back at Graves Mountain Lodge where great food will satisfy the ravenous appetite you have generated. Did we mention the cold beer and local wines to slake your thirst? Maybe you will be inspired to visit one of the three vineyards after the ride for a full wine-tasting experience.
Cue Sheet for Metric Century: CUE.2013.Metric
The 26th Tour de Madison
The Vineyards of Madison County
May 18, 2013
The 26th Tour de Madison bicycling event has a theme: The Vineyards of Madison County.
Again this year, the ride begins and ends at Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, Virginia. Riders and their families will have the opportunity to enjoy the complete Graves Mountain Lodge experience.
We will offer 3 ride options:
Metric Century—A 61 mile plus ride featuring all the beauty and challenge that Madison County has to offer plus rest stops at Early Mountain and Prince Michel Vineyards. Those choosing the metric century will leave at 8:30 am.
41 Mile Ride—A beautiful and challenging ride featuring a rest stop at the Prince Michel Vineyard. The 41 mile cyclists will leave at 9:00 am.
Family Rides—Ride as long as you want on the flat or gently rising roads around Syria. These riders leave at 9:30 am.
Plan to end your ride between 11:00 pm and 2:00 pm and enjoy a post-ride meal featuring Pork BBQ, grilled boneless chicken breast, or pita bread and hummus. Also included will be slaw, baked beans, French fries, dessert and a drink.
Bring along some extra cash to enjoy the local Madison County wines that will be available from the Early Mountain, Prince Michel, and Ducard Vineyards. There will also be something for the beer lovers featuring central Virginia breweries.
Pre-registration is strongly encouraged! Click here to pre-register.
· Registration before May 1 for 41 and 61 mile riders is $40. After May 1, the cost is $55.
· Registration before May for Family Riders is $20. After May, the cost is $30.
· The first 350 pre-registrants are eligible to win prizes including an Early Mountain Vineyard Gift basket.
· The first 350 registrants will receive a pair of Tour De Madison cycling socks.
· The post ride meal is included in Registration.
Don’t forget to wear the Tour de Madison Cycling Jersey you bought last year.
The DR100 is a cycling event out of Harrisonburg that is doing great work to promote cycling safety in that area. Last year the ride conflicted with the Tour De Madison, but they have agreed to move it so as not to be in competition with us. We really appreciate that and want to encourage everyone to sign up for it on May 3, 2014. What a great way to prepare for the Tour de Madison on May 17!
Their website: http://dr100.org/
Click on one of the links below to see the route:
If you have a smartphone, you can download the MapMyRide app here, and have the routes sent to your smartphone.
A note about the Family Ride: The Family Ride can be as short or as long as you want and is on flat or gently rising and falling roads around the starting point in Syria. Family Riders can begin by accompanying the 40 mile and metric century riders down to Banco, before turning around and heading back toward Syria. Then riders have the option of going up Quaker Run Rd. as far as they’d like and turning around, or going up Bohannan Rd. to Weakley Hollow Rd and up as far toward the White Oak Canyon parking lot as they want before turning around.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Tour de Madison Bike Ride and we are planning a special celebration of cycling in Madison County.
The ride is on Saturday, May 19, 2012 this year and will begin and end at Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, Virginia. (UPDATE: Special Room Rates are available at Graves Mountain Lodge, contact the Lodge for details: 540.923.4231)
There will be three ride options this year:
(Up to) 20 mile, mostly flat Family Ride
40 Mile Ride
Onsite registration begins at 7:00AM, but we strongly encourage pre-ride registration to ensure the availability of the post ride meal.
All rides start at 8:30AM.
T-Shirts are included with registration. Optional Tour de Madison cycling jerseys are available for advance purchase. Please note that if you do not order your jersey prior to March 19, 2012, we cannot guarantee delivery by the day of the ride.
Lunch will be available for purchase following the ride, provided by the staff at Graves Mountain Lodge. Plan on hanging around for some food, drink, and live music with two of Madison County’s biggest bands! Bring along some extra cash to enjoy something special on tap for the occasion.
Register now to make sure you can fully participate in this celebration of cycling in Madison!
On bike video, that is….