Williamsburg wheeling into bike week

Williamsburg hopes capitalize on the big bicycling party Richmond plans to host later this month.

Colonial Williamsburg will host a recreational bike ride Sept. 26, the Colonial Fondo. Cannondale-Garmin professional rider Ted King will lead the ride, which begins at 7 a.m. and follows a course of either 50 or 70 miles through America’s oldest counties, finishing on the Colonial Parkway along the James River at about 11 a.m.

Inspired by popular Gran Fondo rides created in Europe in the 1970s, the event is not a race and is not timed. It is part of a bicycle-themed weekend that includes a hotel package with rooms available at the bike-friendly Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel and Suites and a Friday night party “Beer, Bikes and BBQ” on the lawn of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, with live music and open exclusively to ride registrants and their guests.

The Colonial Fondo takes place during the week Richmond hosts the 2015 UCI Road World Championships. The bike races are expected to bring thousands of professional riders and their followers from all around the world to the area Sept. 19-27. Race enthusiasts who participate in the Colonial Fondo can avoid the crowds and take a scenic drive via Route 5 to Richmond to see the competition with women’s elite riders Saturday afternoon and the men’s elite riders Sunday morning.

Friday afternoon at 4:45 and 6:30, the Kimball Theatre presents the classic bicycling film, “Breaking Away,” (1979) starring Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid and Daniel Stern. Saturday at noon and 4 p.m., the Kimball will show “American Flyers” (1985) starring Kevin Costner and at 2:15 and 6:15 p.m. the Italian classic “The Bicycle Thief” (1948).

The cost of the fondo is $110 and includes the bike ride, swag, free parking and admission to “Beer, Bikes and BBQ.” The hotel package starts at $150 per rider per night and includes ride registration, lodging, swag, “Beer, Bikes and BBQ,” free parking, breakfast, admission to the film series and a daily Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket.

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