Take a ride with these award-winning bike shops

Marathon Bicycle Company and New River Bikes just won an official designation from the League of American Bicyclists. The “Bicycle-Friendly Business” prize goes to shops that promote local trails and riding. Visit the New River Gorge and discover why Fayetteville’s 2 bike havens are the latest to join this national organization.

2 wheels are better than 4

Just ask the League of American Bicyclists, a society focused on making bike riding more accessible. It’s a vast organization that— among other things— hosts the National Bike Summit, “smart cycling” programs and gatherings across the country.

The League also evaluates all 50 states every year. Staff members consider criteria like “strong bike culture,” modern infrastructure (like bicycle lanes) and safe roads. Especially bike-friendly businesses and communities get awards, too.

Such is the case with Marathon Bicycle Company and New River Bikes. Both won “Bicycle-Friendly Business” designations, raising West Virginia’s total to 7. No one who’s ever visited these shops will wonder why; the owners and staff are really gung-ho about mountain riding!

The New River Gorge area is rallying for community recognition, too. Besides natural perks— like the twisty Arrowhead Trails— there’s Bike Walk SWV, a program that champions accessible routes, safe infrastructure and active lifestyles. Who knows, maybe southern West Virginia will eventually win the coveted “Bicycle-Friendly Community” award!

Until then, check out:

New River Bikes

A former feed store now houses rows of shiny bikes and colorful accessories. Its motto— “we stock what we love to ride” — encompasses multiple choices. You’re just as likely to find roadies as you are mountain bikes. New River has quality brands, too: Surly, Salsa, Cogburn, Specialized and more.

You don’t have to be in the market for a new ride, though. This shop has a wide selection of quality accessories from companies like Swift Industries, which makes hand-sewn panniers and camping equipment.

Trail rides are another specialty. With an expert guide and rider, you can go deep into the New River Gorge— a region famous for waterfalls and breathtaking canyon vistas. Everyone is welcome, too. Try a gentle, scenic tour if you’re a beginner, or tackle world-class mountain loop trails if you’re an expert! All rides come with water, helmets, rental bikes and transportation. You can also pick a full-day tour, which comes with lunch.

Prefer going solo? New River is cool with that, too. All rental bikes are new and lovingly washed and serviced after every ride. Staff will help you select the right one. Ask them about the best trails and routes while you’re at it! Bike racks and a shuttle service are also available.

Marathon Bicycle Company

Head here for the latest scoop on mountain bikes, trails and gear. The owner, Adam, knows local terrain like the rugged machines he stocks. Stop by and ask for a free map!

Marathon also has service packages and first-rate bikes. Trek, Scott, Cannondale and Santa Cruz are just some of the brands available. You can even rent one! The “demo” program is a great way to try high-tech mountain bikes without blowing cash on the wrong ride. To sweeten the deal, they can apply your rental fee towards the purchase price of the bike, too.

Where do you like to hit the trail in wild, wonderful West Virginia?