Gear up for summer at these 4 bike shops

Start that mountain bike adventure with help from local outfitters! Did you know the New River Gorge is a major hub for mountain biking? No wonder— there are miles of breathtaking scenes and challenges on the trails.

These bike companies can help you start your journey:

1. Marathon Bicycle Company

Biking

Whether you have your own bike or need a new one, these friendly folks know everything from gears to switchbacks.

Stop by for local insight, trail maps and, of course, bikes. Staffers will ask you about your goals and preferences. In fact, the owner has a degree in “Fit and Position” from the respected Barnetts Bicycle Institute. He’ll help you find that dream ride— or enhance the one you currently own.

Marathon does servicing, too. If the New River Gorge throws your bike for a loop, don’t go home early. Instead, ask for Adam, the shop owner. He’s a certified bike mechanic and hardcore mountain rider. He wants you to get back to the Gorge, too!

2. New River Bikes

This stylish shop has a stable of sleek steeds: Specialized racers, Salsa mountain bikes and custom Independent Fabrication creations.

They also have qualified mechanics on hand, so depend on them for parts, servicing, wheels and tires.

Just interested in trail riding for the day? New River has rentals for every size, “whether you are 3 feet or 7 feet”! Reserve a bike and you’ll get a helmet, transportation and a complimentary water bottle.

New River also has mountain bike tours. Based on your comfort level, the guides will craft a trip just for you. Pedal idly through the woods and pause by the river, or challenge yourself with corkscrewing paths and slippery obstacles. Full-day jaunts include lunch!

3. Arrowhead Bike Farm

Now this is a horse of a different color. Arrowhead was once a barn, and it hasn’t changed much since pigs and chickens roamed the property.

But once you pull up, it’s clear you’ve arrived at a major mountain bike destination. Arrowhead’s 40 wooded acres include trails, a campsite for cyclists, showers and a biergarten. Best of all, it has access to the famous Arrowhead Trail System— 14 miles of singletrack built to International Mountain Biking Association standards.

Rent a bike, hit the mountains and come back for craft brews n’ bratwurst. Arrowhead’s biergarten hits all the right notes: casual ambience paired with German finger food.

4. Adventures on the Gorge

If you’re in the Gorge for summer vacation, leave plans and logistics to an outfitter. AOTG’s mountain bike tours will get you off on the right pedal.

In fact, the resort runs like a well-oiled machine. Staffers know all about single-track, technical and easy trails, and they’ll eagerly point you in the right direction.

AOTG’s tours will show you the best of the New River Gorge. Choose a 2-hour tour or a half-day excursion!

Once you’ve got your bike taken care of, don’t forget to pick up general outdoor gear at Water Stone Outdoors. Find clothes that are flattering but durable enough for the elements. They also have New River Gorge shirts and swag, designed by West Virginia artists— a perfect souvenir.

Where are you going to ride in the Gorge?

Sam Babcock