The Central Shenandoah Valley's pastoral landscapes, quaint cities and towns, and historic, natural and cultural resources provide an ideal setting for bicyclists. Bicycling in the region is growing rapidly in popularity, and the Central Shenandoah Valley is nationally recognized as a bicycling touring destination.
This website encourages bicycling in the Central Shenandoah Valley. It details on-and off-road cycling facilities in our neighborhoods, communities, and provides a comprehensive list of scenic loop rides in each of our localities. Browse the maps for scenic routes in the counties of Augusta, Bath, Highland, Rockbridge, and Rockingham; the cities of Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton, and Waynesboro; and the eleven towns that lie between.
Winter Biking Tips
Here's a beginner's guide to biking in winter with tips, tricks and gear suggestions to get you started.
How to Bike in the Winter:
Take a few short trips to get a feel for it and make sure you enjoy it before you commit to a full-on winter commuting / riding schedule.
Many cities are now beginning to plow bike lanes. Find out which bike lanes are plowed, and plan your route accordingly. If there are no bike routes, take traffic-calmed back streets where you're most likely to have the road to yourself.
Falling snow, low-hanging clouds, short days and dim light all seriously obscure vision. Get yourself a good, bright set (or three) of waterproof bike lights, and don't leave the house without them.
Adjust Your Braking
Similar to when driving, you don't want to slam on the brakes while biking on icy roads. Brake slowly to prevent spinouts, and brake more on the rear wheel. Give yourself twice the amount of time to come to a stop as you would in the summer.
Don't Strap In
You really needn't be going to quickly anyway, but in case you fishtail or start to fall, you'll want to have your feet free to get them to the ground.
Even in areas where there are high rates of summertime cycling, most people don't expect bikes on the roads in the winter, so they often aren't looking for you. Give motorists extra space, stay out of blind spots and make eye contact with drivers whenever possible.
Learn to Recognize Ice
Black ice forms where snow melts in the sunlight then re-freezes once the sun goes down. Ride carefully in areas which get direct sunlight all day, or anywhere that appears wet on a below-freezing day.
Take the Lane
Snow and debris accumulate along the curb, basically taking over the line which most people usually bike in. Ride in the middle of the lane. It will also make you more visible and ensure nobody can pass you without changing lanes.
Maintain Your Bike
Wipe your bike down every day to avoid rust. Clean and lubricate the chain and gears once a week if you're riding a bike with a derailleur, and clean and lubricate the brake lines every few weeks.
Expect to Fall
You probably will. Ride slowly and anticipate a slip or two.
Combine winter-biking with pubic transit if you have a long trip or could get cold and tired halfway through. If it's a white-out day and you can't see your neighbor's house, you can be sure no motorist is going to see you pedaling along either - you may want to leave the bike at home.
Too many people believe that winter biking is something other people can do, something younger or fitter people can do, or something only crazy people do. In reality, all it takes is the right attitude and a bit of warm clothing. Riding through the winter is a great accomplishment, but it isn't out of reach for anyone.