“Fully Supported” doesn’t just mean our awesome van is nearby to provide food, chillded drinks, mechanical support, and a ride if you need it. It also means that a guide will ride with you, to help ensure your safety (and keep you on the route).
Your guides are there to help you with the inevitable issues that come up on a ride — large or small.
And Not Just Any Guide
You will almost always ride with The Velo Girl. As the owner and creator of our company, Jen sets the tone of every tour and ensures that each guest receives the support they deserve.
Jen grew up a stone’s throw from the Blue Ridge Parkway, on a family farm, and has literally combined her love of riding, the stunning beauty of this area, and her passion for helping others into her dream job: escorting you on a beautiful cycling experience. This is her passion.
Jen (and all of our guides) ride thousands of miles every year, on routes throughout the Appalachian region, constantly on the lookout for new routes and new opportunities for stunning views, interesting hikes, small farms, and excellent lodging.
And we all love to eat great food, particularly locally-raised and procured, so we are always on the lookout for new restaurants, new suppliers, and undiscovered gems whether shops, galleries, wineries, or breweries.
We’ve thought a lot about what it means to enjoy a great tour, and it means paying attention to the little things: cold drinks on hot days, yummy lunches and snacks, carrying spare parts and even spare bikes.
Our guides are continually learning about this region and its history, tracking the latest developments in bicycling equipment, and even innovations in cycling apparel such as from our friends at Kitsbow. We hone riding techniques with advice from friends who race professionally, and pick up guiding tips from our colleagues in outdoor recreation.
The Velo Girl is also a USA Cycling certified Race Director.
It also means preparing for trouble; all guides are certified in CPR and first aid, and we usually have at least one professional EMT/Firefighter (with the appropriate equipment) riding as a guide or driving the van.
All guides train to drive vehicles to the same standards required for licensed commercial vehicles.
Following the Rules
Velo Girl Rides maintains a valid permit with the National Park Service as an authorized bicycle tour guide on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We’ve met their requirements, and stepped through the process. Don’t be surprised if a U.S. Park Ranger asks to see our permit when we’re on the Parkway (we love that part… the rangers are great folks).
Beautiful Cycling Experiences
We’ve found that riders like information: navigating the route, understanding the challenges in miles and climbs, and what will be encountered during the ride.
So we start each ride and tour with a detailed safety briefing, where we’ll remind you of the legal requirements… and the common sense safety procedures we encourage you to use while you’re riding. We’ll also tell you what to expect along your journey.
And finally: we like to laugh… we hope you do too.