New Route 7 shared-use path featured in upcoming ‘Tour de Hunter Mill’ bicycle ride

Left to right: Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling President Bruce Wright, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn and Reston Bike Club Vice Chairman Joel Kuester team up to promote the upcoming Tour de Hunter Mill community bicycle ride (courtesy Hunter Mill District Office)

The annual Tour de Hunter Mill bicycle ride will kick into full gear early next month with new routes designed to show off sights and amenities throughout the district.

Registration is now open for the fourth iteration of the May 5 community bike ride, which was introduced in 2021 by Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn.

The event will feature two brand-new routes — one spanning 16 miles and the other covering 27 miles — that both begin and end at the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive) in Reston, with a rest stop at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court) in Wolf Trap.

This year’s routes will incorporate portions of the Washington & Old Dominion Trail and, for the first time, a new shared-use path along Route 7 (Leesburg Pike), according to Alcorn’s office.

The 10-foot-wide path is part of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Route 7 widening, which is redesigning key intersections and adding a lane in each direction from Reston Avenue to Jarrett Valley Drive just outside of Tysons.

Though VDOT is targeting July 31 for completing the overall project, the trail is already functional enough for cyclists and pedestrians to use — at least between Reston Avenue and Towlston Road, according to Brian Worthy, a spokesperson for Alcorn’s office. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be scheduled for late May.

“I’m excited that this year’s Tour de Hunter Mill will take advantage of the newest bike trail in the district — the new shared-used path along both sides of Leesburg Pike,” Alcorn said in a statement to FFXnow. “It will allow bikers to get from Reston all the way into Tysons safely, and it expands the transportation options for traveling safely along this busy corridor.”

Co-sponsored by the Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling (FABB), Reston Bike Club and Reston Community Center, the Tour de Hunter Mill costs $30 for adults, but children 15 and under can participate for free, as long as they’re accompanied by an adult.

The fee includes custom Tour de Hunter Mill socks for at least the first 165 registrants and a $5 donation to FABB, a volunteer, nonprofit organization that advocates for bicycling to be “safe, accessible and commonplace in Fairfax County for all ages, abilities and skill levels.”

The event will begin at 8 a.m. with riders checking in at a welcome table. After some opening remarks, the 27-mile ride will start at 8:30 a.m., and the shorter route will follow at 8:45 a.m. Once they finish, cyclists will be able to enjoy “food & fun” at the North County Governmental Center from 10 a.m. to noon, according to the registration page.

In a promotional video for the Tour de Hunter Mill, Reston Bike Club Vice Chairman Joel Kuester expressed hope that next year’s routes will utilize the new W&OD Trail bridge over Wiehle Avenue, which was installed earlier this month and is slated to open for use in June.

“Tour is a great way for folks to get out and experience the local roads, the trails and so on, so they know how to get around by bike,” FABB President Bruce Wright said in the video.

Read more on FFXnow…

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