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Ride Rating System

The BAC has a Ride Rating system that can tell you what to expect while on one of our rides. Learn more...

Virginia Horse Country, Mountains and Valleys 2019

  • Arrival
  • 5/9/2019
  • Departure
  • 5/23/2019
  • Ride Director
  • Karen Hass
  • Driver
  • Cathy Cloutier
  • Starting Location
  • Leesburg, VA
  • Finishing Location
  • Leesburg, VA
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $2600
  • Deposit
  • $1300
  • Number of Riders
  • 18 (min. 16 /max. 19)
  • Space Available
  • 1
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 0

Ride Rating

3B  Warning - Read the Description Carefully

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† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.

Ride Description


Experience the rural beauty, history, charm, and tranquility of northwestern Virginia during this loop tour which includes 9 days of required riding and 4 days of optional rides, hiking, or relaxing in beautiful, peaceful settings. Cycle along quiet country roads, passing prosperous horse farms and lush family farms. Enjoy spectacular vistas from high in the Blue Ridge mountains of Shenandoah National Park as you travel the 105-mile length of Skyline Drive, explore the area between Charlottesville and Harrisonburg, then loop back northward through the Shenandoah Valley and a brief excursion into West Virginia and Maryland. We find cycling in this area to be sheer joy and look forward to sharing it with you! This is a repeat of the 2009 ride by the same name.

Additional highlights of this tour include two nights in historic Big Meadows Lodge with opportunities to hike in Shenandoah National Park, three nights in the luxurious and charming Iris Inn, overlooking the Shenandoah Valley, in Waynesboro. During our stay in Waynesboro you can enjoy riding on the Blue Ridge Parkway or through the George Washington National Forest, or a visit by bike or van to Charlottesville, home of Monticello (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the University of Virginia. At the end of our travel back up the Shenandoah Valley we’ll stay in Shepherdstown, one of the oldest towns in West Virginia, for two nights at the lovely Bavarian Inn. On our rest day in Shepherdstown you can take an easy ride to visit Harpers Ferry or Antietam National Battlefield (both are National Historical Parks), enjoy some loop rides in the area, hike the C&O Canal trail along the Potomac River, or just relax. On our final day we cross into Maryland and ride quiet roads through the countryside to historic White's Ferry where we'll cross the Potomac for the final 6 miles back to Leesburg.


Ride rating is “3B!” with daily averages of 50 miles and 3300’ of elevation gain based on required riding days; mileage and elevation gains range from 33-62 and 1500’-7200’. A list of daily mileage and elevation gain is available upon request.

The 2 days of riding on Skyline Drive exceed the max mileage and elevation gain for level 3B. The ride from Front Royal to Big Meadows Lodge (riding day 3) climbs 7200’ in 53 miles. As you climb up into Shenandoah National Park there will be ample opportunities to stop for a rest and enjoy the spectacular views at dozens of scenic overlooks. Following a rest day at Big Meadows, the ride down the remainder of the drive is 62 miles with 4400’ of climbing and 6500’ of a gentle descent. There are an additional 2 required riding days towards the end of the tour that exceed level "B" for mileage: 56 miles / 3200' of elevation gain, followed by a day with 59 miles / 2500' of elevation gain, followed by a rest day. 

All roads will be paved and most will be quiet and lightly trafficked although there will be occasional short stretches of busy roads. There’s one short tunnel on Skyline Drive so be sure to bring a bright tail light. Although we’ve ridden all of the routes multiple times, we’ll scout them again prior to the tour’s start. This ride is for strong, independent cyclists. Be prepared to ride the entire distance each day; transport in the luggage van will be restricted to true emergencies!


The average high and low temperatures in May are mid 70s and low 50s with an average total precipitation of 4” for the month. Expect temperatures in Shenandoah National Park to be 5-10 degrees cooler than the valley. Come prepared for warm, cold, wet, dry, calm and windy conditions.


We’ll stay in both commercial hotels and charming country inns, including 2 nights at historic Big Meadows Lodge on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, 3 nights at the Iris Inn in Waynesboro, and 2 nights at the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown. There will be 8 breakfasts and 4 group dinners included in the tour cost. As several days will have few options available for a lunch stop, PB&J, fruit, and cookies will be available for those who wish to make lunches to take on the road. Vegetarian options will be available for all meals included in the cost of the trip.


The tour starts at the Best Western Leesburg with our first BAC Happy Hour and meeting at 5pm, Thursday, May 9, 2019, and ends after breakfast on Thursday, May 23, 2019. Leesburg is 15 miles from Dulles International Airport (IAD), and about 40 miles northwest of Washington, DC and Reagan National Airport (DCA). Free shuttle service is available from Dulles to the Best Western Leesburg between 8am-9pm with an advance reservation (703-777-9400). If you’re thinking of flying into Reagan National, you can take the Metro Silver line to the final stop in Reston/Herndon, a shuttle bus to Dulles Airport, and then take the free shuttle to the Best Western Leesburg. Cars and bike boxes can be left at the Best Western Leesburg during the tour at no charge. Additional nights at the Best Western Leesburg before or after the tour can be booked at the “BAC rate” by calling the hotel directly (703-777-9400).

Bikes: For anyone who wishes to rent a bike, you can contact Get Out and Go ( or 571-572-BIKE(2453)) to make arrangements directly. Whether you rent a bike or bring your own, it is your responsibility to change your own flats and take care of any mechanical problems. A list of bike shops in the vicinity of our route will be provided. E-bikes are not permitted.

GPS Devices & Routes: GPS tracks will be provided for all routes, but it is up to you to know how to use your GPS device before the trip begins. Links to all routes in Ride with GPS will also be provided.


Estimated cost per rider is $2600, plus the non-refundable BAC ride registration fee of $50, and includes: 14 nights lodging (double occupancy), 8 breakfasts; 4 group dinners; daily route review meeting and BAC Happy Hour with wine, beer, soft drinks and snacks; maps, cue sheets and GPS files; luggage van expense; and expense reimbursement for the Ride Leader and Van Driver. A deposit of $1300.00 is due at sign-up, and the remaining payment of $1300.00 is due January 31, 2019. The solo supplement fee of $950.00 is also due January 31, 2019.


Due to the limited number of rooms at two of the inns, a maximum of 6 singles can be accepted. Of the 6 singles, a maximum of 2 solos can be accommodated. The solo supplement fee is $950. Singles without a roommate who are accepted onto the ride will have until January 31, 2019 to find a roommate. If you're unable to find an acceptable roommate by that date, you'll receive a refund, minus the BAC fee and payment processing fee. The solo supplement payment must be sent via check made out to “BAC” to the BAC office (Bicycle Adventure Club, PO Box 23998, San Diego, CA 92193), and must include a notation of the tour name and dates.


The BAC ride registration fee and payment processing fee are not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled.  Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and on costs that can be recouped.  The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations.  If the cancelling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time.  If the cancelling participant can't be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed.  If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped, the cancelling roommate may also be liable for the solo supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour.  BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance.


Please remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support. Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles.   All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour.  We encourage you to read this ride description carefully and respond to requests from Ride Leader.  While on the ride, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks such as happy hour preparation and clean-up.  Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour.  Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special request you may have, or any problems you encounter, and respect the Ride Leader’s decisions.


To submit a request to join this ride use the "links" displayed above this Ride Description. If you are accepted onto the ride, the Ride Leader will move you from the Waitlist to the Pending List.  At this time, you will receive an email notification to login to the BAC website to sign the release of liability form and pay the non-refundable BAC ride registration fee and the initial tour deposit of $1300.00 by credit card.  As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List.  To contact the Ride Leader, "click" the name at the top of this Ride Description.

Bicycle Adventure Club
PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510

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