Campfire Chat: Blue Ridge Off-Road Cyclist President – Stuart Lamanna

Our Campfire Chat with Stuart Lamanna, president of Blue Ridge Off-Road Cyclists (BROC), highlights the endless opportunities for mountain biking and cycling in the Roanoke Region. Virginia’s Blue Ridge is truly America’s east coast mountain biking capital, earning that title after becoming the first east coast, silver-level International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) designated ride center.

The silver-level IMBA designation signifies that a community not only has bountiful cycling trails of all styles (flow, backcountry, gravel, cyclocross, jump parks, etc.) – it also lets visitors know that there will be plenty of lodging, camping, breweries, dining and other tourism opportunities.

Pete Eshelman, director of the Roanoke Outside Foundation, spoke with Stuart about the volunteer needs and the need for maintenance assistance. BROC is actively building trail at Carvins Cove, Explore Park, and Morningside Park and could use your help. You can support BROC by becoming a member or donating, where your fees will go toward equipment like skid-steers and trail development, or you can volunteer your time (work days are typically shared on social media).

Upcoming bike projects and events:

The Morningside Bike Park project recently received grant funding to complete Phase II of the master plan. This will be managed completely by BROC, and will include several different types of bike trails including beginner jumps, intermediate flow trails, and technical rock trails. The trails will be built so that people can progress in skill level from beginner to advanced. Again if you want to volunteer for this project, follow BROC on social media for work day updates.

BROC is also involved with the many cycling events that happen throughout the region. A few on the horizon are the Virginia’s Blue Ridge (VBR) Enduro Series, the Youth Mountain Biking Race Series, and our region’s only UCI and USA Cycling professional level race – Virginia’s Blue Ridge Go Cross Cyclocross Race.

VBR Enduro Series presented by Cardinal Bicycle. The inaugural event showcases two distinct and diverse trail systems – WooHoo at Waid Sprint Enduro at Waid Park in Franklin County on Saturday, October 2 and Creature from Carvins Cove in Roanoke on Saturday, October 16. These multi-stage races will accumulate for a 10 stage total time.

Roanoke Parks and Recreation is teaming up with Star City Cycling and East Coasters for the return of Roanoke’s FREE youth mountain biking race series. This year the races will be held at three different locations; Morningside Park on September 15, Washington Park on September 29, and Fishburn Park on October 6.  This series is aimed at novice riders from ages 2-14. Riders will compete on a short, spectator-friendly course again youth their own age and skill level.

Virginia’s Blue Ridge Go Cross Cyclocross Race returns as a 2-day UCI and USA Cycling event the weekend of September 18-19, 2021. Professional and amateur cyclists from al over the world will be headed back to the Roanoke Region this fall to race at Fallon Park, Virginia’s only permanent cyclocross course. This year’s even will also feature a “Bluegrass” theme with live music, Deschutes beer, tailgating parties, the infamous beer relay, food trucks and more. Please join us for a weekend of celebrating all things Blue Ridge…beer, bikes, and blue grass!

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