BICYLING IN THE BVI
A mountain biking paradise
No Frames Frames
Racers were heard calling for crampons
(claw devices that mountain climbers attach to their boots), during the BVI Cycling
Federation's course up the near-vertical Trellfall Road
(out of Seacow's Bay before the coastal road rounds the bend to Nanny Cay), one of the
BVI's legendary steep roads.
Due to or despite its torturous hills, such as the Windy Hill route up to Ridge Road, biking is increasingly popular in the BVI. But the BVI also has
some of the flatest biking anywhere. On the coral reef island Anegada, the highest point is 28 feet
above sea level. Between extremes is "The Valley" of Virgin Gorda.
Tortola. Following Tortola's
mountainous spine, Ridge Road consists of an
"everchanging tableau of ridges, valleys and islands appear in
succession as the road follows the ridge or contour line, dipping through
"ghuts," or stream valleys and transversing slopes to navigate the next
peak (see Tortola
The section of Ridge Road going east past Great Mountain Road from Road
Town is perhaps Ridge Road at its finest--"great views, mountain-top pastures,
a jaunty drive. Ah, the exuberant feeling of being on top of the world .
. . (see Tortola
The long mountain glide to the East End past Belle Vue
Road offers spectacular vistas to peaks from Tortola's ocean headlands and outlying
islands of this tropical archipelago
with their emerald reefs.
At the end of Ridge Road is another legendary steep hill is the "East
End Wall," the racers name for the BVI Cycling Federation's course up
Lambert Bay road.
Going west, a great section of Ridge Road starts past the turnoff to Cane
Garden Bay (look for the little
outside bar and the sign to Mt. Sage). This route has less traffic and makes a nice
ride down to the top of Windy Hill. Take an apple to feed the donkey at the actual entry
road climbing up to Mt. Sage.
Flat roads can also be found, one popular one
being the 10 mile trek from Road Town to Soper's Hole on the scenic Sir Francis
Drake Channel coastal road.
To go further on to the North Beach Coast, take the paved Zion Hill Road
at the red gas station.
Back Road to Smuggler's Cove.
Or, for a more adventurous ride, take the dirt Back
Road to Smuggler's Cove, a very popular route.
The first part has a mediterranean feel with giant
cactus on the south-facing sunny side facing Soper's Hole.
Around the bend above scenic Steel Point with grand views to outlying islands leads into
the "tropical jungle" and the rugged descent into the roadwise "badlands"
toward Smuggler's Cove.
Suddenly reaching a beautiful beach is the touring biker's
delight, with a side trip to famous "honor bar" for
the knowledgeable rider, and a swim and perhaps a snorkel besides, thin Lycra
bike pants being the preferred choice of tropical divers as well many bikers.
"The Valley" at Virgin Gorda has a sunny, tropical disposition
and, for bikers, it's mostly level with an smoothly undulating landscape.
Of course, Anegada has the greatest area of flat land in the BVI. The BVI Cycling
Federation race in the West End of Anegada is called the "Duel in the Desert." A
great recreational comraderie can be had at its Anegada Day event as well.
Sports (email 494-0564) at Nanny Cay's Red Shed has
mountain and leisure bike rentals to suit the local conditions.
BVI Cycling Federation. Recently recognized by the
Olympic Committee as the BVI's national federation, the BVI
Cycling Federation (494-0564 email) has won
the 1997, 1998 and 1999 Caribbean Cup title and the
1998 and the 1999 Caribbean Cup Master.
The Federation holds a series
of races, including its annual TRI-BVI triathlon. See the 2000 National and International Race Calendar.
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