Bike Virginia Comes Through Harrisonburg

Brent Finnegan -- June 28th, 2010

The 23rd annual Bike Virginia tour is making its way from Staunton into Harrisonburg today, bringing approximately 2,000 cyclists along with it.

Photo by Thanh Dang

Photo by Thanh Dang.

According to the Harrisonburg Tourism office, the economic impact of Bike Virginia in 2005 calculated at 3.1 million dollars for the five-day tour. The last time Bike Virginia visited Harrisonburg and Rockingham County was in 2004.

The group plans to set up a tent city on the Eastern Mennonite University campus Monday night, and stay in the Harrisonburg-Rockingham area through Wednesday.

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23 Responses to “Bike Virginia Comes Through Harrisonburg”

  1. Emmy says:

    I was down at the EMU track this evening and the tent city is a sight to behold. There are tents stuck everywhere down there and the basketball court is full of bicycles. Very cool! I hope to remember my camera tomorrow when I go for my walk.

    • Linda says:

      I agree with Emmy. Last evening the area around the EMU tennis courts and track was congested with cars parked along the road, bikers and young families walking. This morning around 7 a.m. it was still congested. People driving into the Park View or Harmony Heights area should enter the neighborhood using Harmony Drive (next to the Harmony Square Food Lion). It was interesting to see all the tents on the track along the soccer field and all the bikes. I just wasn’t expecting it when I was driving home.

  2. Alex Sirney says:

    I saw a ton of these folks out yesterday and last night and chatted with a great couple from Philadelphia. Combined with JMU orientation it was a busy night downtown – I think it’s great that we get a chance to show off the city and bring all these people in for a few days.

  3. Paul says:

    Some estimates say they brought $1 million to Staunton. I expect sales in the ‘Burg would be similar.

  4. Barnabas says:

    Thats approx $500 per person. Sounds a little high.

    • Agreed, Barnabas. I wonder how/where they’re getting those numbers from (one million, 3.1 million).

      I have no doubt the tour is a temporary boon to local economies, but these numbers seem a bit too high.

      It would seem a little more believable if they were all staying in hotels, but they’re not.

  5. Barnabas says:

    As they come into cities there could be locals that flock to meet them that also boosts the economy.

    Or there could be one rich guy buying diamonds and gold in each city they visit. This could offset the average.

  6. Emmy says:

    I will warn anyone coming through the Park View area to be very careful. Things are really congested right in front of the EMU Commons, especially in the afternoons. Most of the bikers are VERY courteous and follow the rules of the road…but a few are not. If you’re in a hurry, don’t go through that area.

  7. MB Green says:

    Emmy – it didn’t seem any worse than it does during the school year, and the ones not following the rules of the road – I suspect are actually EMU students still here for summer.

    • Emmy says:

      Well I live in Park View, and it seems WAY more congested to me. Not to mention they don’t typically have three school buses parked on the road for a shuttle service during the school year. I’m not complaining, just warning others.

      I don’t believe the ones I almost ran over were EMU students based on how they were dressed and the group they were in…but I’ve been wrong before.

      • MB Green says:

        I live in Park View too. Maybe it just doesn’t seem so bad to me because I’m on a bike. I thought maybe EMU students because there’s two college age individuals who consistently ride on the wrong side of the road on Park Road. I think they might be international students. I’ve yelled at both of them. I’ve complained to the HPD about them. I’ve had to swerve into traffic to avoid having a head-on with them. I’m thinking about calling EMU’s student life center to complain, but since I don’t know their names… But, they are either going to get hurt themselves, or cause someone else to get hurt doing that.

  8. cycletothebeach says:

    Thanks to everyone in the area for making us feel welcome.
    I am from SC and have never been in the Shanandoah valley before….absolutely beautiful.
    I agree the economic estimates sound a bit high to me. I know I spend about $200 total during the trip, but I know that also does not include the registration and meal plans paid to the coordinators. Not sure if this money is spent locally or not.
    Anyway…..thanks again for a great experience.

  9. Amy says:

    I drove up from Georgia to participate in Bike Virginia. I stayed in Tent City but easily dropped about $500 in Stanton and Harrisonburg combined in dining out, merchandise and much needed massages to get me through the day. Thanks for your hospitality, I enjoyed your wonderful cities. I hope my fellow cyclists behaved themselves, but when you get 2000 hot, tired, sore and hungry/thirsty folks together, someone is going to act like a donkey. Hopefully not many. Looking forward to BVA 2011

  10. Hello Harrisonburg and Bike Virginia Cyclists,
    The economic impact study mentioned above at 3.1 million dollars was completed by a William and Mary professor in 2005 and was based on survey of cyclist at the conclusion of the event regarding spending habits on the tour. At EMU we had 1200 people camping, but we had over 800 people in hotel rooms for a total of 5 or more nights. Many cyclists buy art, wine, clothing and other items in addition to lodging, dining, gas, and even the occasional bicycle. A vast amount financial impact also comes from services the tour purchases in your community like portable toilets, facility rental, rest stop catering, meals catering along the bike routes, and bulk fruit for 2,000 people for 5 days. Thanks to both Harrisonburg and Staunton for the warm welcome. We had a great tour.

  11. Salz says:

    Canadian research indicates that cycling tourists spend more money than driving tourists and are about 40 percent more likely to return a second/third time.

  12. seth says:

    you know what they say about canadian research….

    • kuato says:

      no. what?

      • BANDIT says:

        Here is one thing they say, ey.

        Imagine a world where anyone can instantly access all of the world’s scholarly knowledge – as profound a change as the invention of the printing press. Technically, this is within reach. All that is needed is a little imagination, to reconsider the economics of scholarly communications from a poetic viewpoint.

        Sunday, March 01, 2009
        Canadian Research Knowledge Network looking for interest in support for major OA initiative
        From the Canadian Association of Research Libraries’ E-Lerts: the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CKRN) is proceeding with an “expression of interest” to gauge support for becoming the Canadian focal point for SCOAP3. SCOAP3 is a consortium in high-energy physics aiming to transform HEP publishing as a whole from subscriptions to open access. Canadian librarians, make sure your library expresses interest!!


        Global high-energy physics community tests waters with open access proposal
        RE$EARCH MONEY, Volume 23, Number 3, February 27, 2009

        Canada’s organization in charge of licensing journals for university libraries will consider the global high-energy physics (HEP) community’s bold proposal to establish a new model of open access for journals, even though it is drawing mixed reactions within the library and broader academic communities. The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) agreed at its board meeting in January to proceed with an “expression of interest” to gauge support for becoming the Canadian focal point for SCOAP3.*

        This post is part of the Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement series.

  13. Deb SF says:

    Kind of cool: the Copenhagen Wheel, a small addition on any standard bicycle that uses “a technical solution for overcoming distance and topography (a motor and batteries with regeneration capabilities that can provide riders with a boost when needed) and a real-time data network and series of applications to support infrastructure. This turns “existing bicycles quickly into hybrid electric-bikes with regeneration and real-time sensing capabilities.”

    Nifty video at the link.

  14. Chuckmeister says:

    I had a very good experience in Stuanton and will definately return if and whenever Bike Va. goes through again. The people and food were excellent. I hope to see more Georgians come up for Bike Virginia since it is always two weeks after the Bike Ride Across Georgia (BRAG).

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