Roanoke Rail Heritage Inspires Bicycle Makers - SNEWS

Roanoke Rail Heritage Inspires Bicycle Makers

What’s does a historic steam locomotive have to do with hand-crafted bicycles? Meet Aaron Dykstra, a new entrepreneur with throw-back thinking – building customized bicycles that match bike riders to carefully selected materials.

What's does a historic steam locomotive have to do with hand-crafted bicycles?

For one Roanoke native, everything.

Meet Aaron Dykstra, a new entrepreneur with throw-back thinking – building customized bicycles that match bike riders to carefully selected materials.

Dykstra founded the Six-Eleven Bicycle Company after moving back to Roanoke from Chicago, where the life-long bicycle enthusiast worked for a cycling advocacy group and raced on a team -

His quest? Combine performance with artful design to create the ultimate custom steel bicycles.

His inspiration? The Great 611 J-Class steam locomotive. The Roanoke-built 611, which pulled passengers in the 1950s, is a sleek and powerful engine, the last of a kind. It's now on display at the Virginia Museum of Transportation.

Dykstra's frames start at $1,500, with a host of available options. Every creation gets stamped with a number signifying a completed bike.

His work is already getting noticed. He received the rookie of the year award at the 2010 Shimano North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

Dykstra is not the region's only decorated frame builder. Stratton Delaney is the maker of Kazane bike frames -

With his online shop and downtown Roanoke store, he supplies some leading cycling teams with an array of choices.

The Roanoke Region's greenways, mountain-bike trails and winding roads are luring bike enthusiasts. And that's spawning a culture of affiliated groups like, which recycles bikes and advocates this alternative transport. Sharebike gained recognition from the League of American Bicyclists as a bicycle-friendly business - Silver Award.

As interest in bicycling grows, so do events and races that attract riders. One can't- miss mountain-bike race is the Wednesday Night Disco Race Series, where racers – some may wear spandex to get their freak on, after all – race up and down Mill Mountain.

Take note - Roanoke is a cycling mecca!


Handmade bicycle craftsman gaining international recognition

ROANOKE, Va. (March 16, 2012) – For the third year in a row, a Roanoke bicycle maker has been recognized for crafting some of the best handmade bikes on the planet. Aaron Dykstra, owner of Six-Eleven Bicycle Co. (, last week won the Best Cyclocross more

Six Eleven Bicycle Company makes first appearance at NAHBS

The world's largest custom bicycle show, the Shimano North American Handmade Bicycle Show will be in Richmond, VA February 26-28. The show is dedicated to showcasing the talents of individuals around the world whose art form is the bicycle (take a quick peek at some of the bikes more

Roanoke VA poised for growth in outdoor-related businesses

New study indicates region is competitive in outdoor amenities The Roanoke Region’s numerous outdoor amenities provide a strong foundation for growth in outdoor-related businesses, according to a new analysis comparing the area to other regions known for their outdoor lifestyle. more

'Radical Reels' tour returns to Roanoke

‘Radical Reels’ tour returns to Roanoke,VA Showing of high-adrenaline outdoor adventure films sold out in last year’s Roanoke appearance ROANOKE, VA. – The 2010 Banff Radical Reels Tour, featuring the wildest high-adrenaline outdoor adventure films, returns to the Roanoke Region more

Roanoke Outfitter Jumps on to Outside's Best Place To Work List

Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing Named to Outside Magazine's List of Best Places to Work.One of 50 companies nationwide lauded for focus on employees, environment...ROANOKE, Va. (April 6, 2010) – Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing near Roanoke has been named to Outside more

Roanoke, VA voted Best Mountain Town

Roanoke Earns Designationas Best Mountain Town More than 85,000 votes were cast in the annual contest by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine. ROANOKE, Va. (November 1, 2012) – Roanoke came out on top of a mountain of votes as a Best Mountain Town in the November edition of Blue Ridge more

Like a Speeding Locomotive...

Roanoke, VA native Aaron Dykstra uses an icon of his hometown for his bicycle company’s namesake and manufacturing paradigm - Six Eleven Bicycle Co. Norfolk and Western Railroad’s “J Class ” locomotive No. 611 was a sleek and streamlined steam locomotive built in the N&W’s more

Roanoke VA Anchors 15-Stop Kayak Fishing Tournament

National bass-fishing tournament coming to Roanoke Region 2011 River Bassin’ finale set for Sept. 10 ROANOKE, Va. – An eco-friendly bass fishing tournament that features human-powered boats and catch-and-release practices is stopping in the Roanoke Region, giving anglers a chance more

QRide Turns Helments into Emergency Contact Information

QRide turns bike helmets into emergency contact informationQR codes on helmets can improve rider safety ROANOKE, Va. – It’s an outdoor adventurer’s worst nightmare: What if you’re in an accident and knocked unconscious or seriously disoriented? How could you give vital medical more