Many communities and people around the country promote cycling as healthy recreation and environmentally-friendly transportation. The Harrisonburg area is becoming well-known as a cycling destination, and local cycling is becoming more popular every year.
On September 14, professional cyclist Jeremiah Bishop’s second annual Alpine Loop Gran Fondo hosted 450 cyclists, who started and ended their rides in downtown.
The city promotes safe and convenient cycling by creating additional bike lanes and shared lanes (sharrows), as well as having bicycle racks in downtown. Harrisonburg City Council recently approved $1 million toward the Northend Greenway and Bluestone Trail, with plans being developed to connect these trails through downtown.
The Harrisonburg Department of Parks and Recreation manages Hillandale Park’s Rocktown Trails, a looped system of trails for both novice and expert riders.
Harrisonburg received national recognition recently for its designation as a Ride Center by the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) and was named a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.
During their visit to the area, representatives of the IMBA commented that Harrisonburg ranks in the top 2% in the country in terms of resources for cyclists. We have fantastic mountain trails for advanced cyclists, scenic county roads for recreational riding, and a great downtown with lots of craft beer options (which is apparently very important for cyclists). They stated it is very unusual for a community to rank high in all three categories.
Eddie Bumbaugh is the Executive Director for Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance.