9780897325615

Bicycling the Blue Ridge A Guide to the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9780897325615

  • ISBN10:

    0897325613

  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-05-10
  • Publisher: Menasha Ridge Press

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Summary

There is no ribbon of highway more ideal for cycling than the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway – they both entice the senses and physically challenge the body. The new edition of Bicycling the Blue Ridge continues as the definitive guide to this cyclist’s dream road, offering completely updated information on lodging, bike shops, campgrounds, road crossings, points of interest, bed and breakfasts, panoramic views, groceries, and more. Written with racers, touring cyclists, and recreational cyclists in mind, this milepost-by-milepost guide covers every inch of the 574-mile path between Front Royal, Virginia, and Cherokee, North Carolina.

Author Biography

Elizabeth and Charlie Skinner have spent the last 18 years bicycling, hiking, and exploring the Piedmont, foothills, and mountains of North Carolina. After a few years of awkward adventures with very young children, their two daughters, Caroline and Katie, can now cycle without training wheels. So, if readers are cycling on the Parkway and they see the Skinner caravan, they should say "Hello." The Skinners live in Pfafftown, North Carolina.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface ix
Part 1: An Introduction to Bicycling the Blue Ridge
The Ultimate Bicycling Road
3(12)
Weather in the Blue Ridge Mountains
15(8)
Camping versus Lodging
23(6)
Gearing Up: Special Equipment and Clothing
29(10)
Part 2: Point-by-Point Descriptions
An Explanation of Our Point-by-Point Descriptions
39(2)
The Skyline Drive
41(18)
Front Royal to Thornton Gap
44(4)
Thornton Gap to Swift Run Gap
48(6)
Swift Run Gap to Rockfish Gap
54(5)
The Blue Ridge Parkway
59(96)
Rockfish Gap to James River Visitor Center
64(6)
James River Visitor Center to Roanoke Mountain
70(8)
Roanoke Mountain to Mabry Mill
78(6)
Mabry Mill to Cumberland Knob
84(7)
Cumberland Knob to Northwest Trading Post
91(7)
Northwest Trading Post to Linville Falls
98(10)
Linville Falls to Craggy Gardens
108(8)
Craggy Gardens to Mount Pisgah
116(9)
Mount Pisgah to Cherokee
125(6)
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
131(4)
Part 3: Appendices
Appendix A: Bicycle Shops
135(4)
Appendix B: For More Information
139(8)
Appendix C: Major Elevation Gains
147(8)
Index 155

Excerpts

Craggy Gardens to Asheville
Get ready for some fun! You have a solid ten miles of spectacular downhill into Asheville. You'll gain it back if you are cycling on to Mt. Pisgah, but for now, enjoy. Pisgah National Forest spreads its lush blanket of green as far as the eye can see. The Swannanoa River Valley and the town of Black Mountain are to the east.

Known as "The Land of the Sky," Asheville is the quintessential city of the Blue Ridge. With a population of 160,000, it has become an urban center in its own right. Its burgeoning size warrants some careful directions on how to get around. We suggest you take one of two routes to reach the inner city. Town Mountain Road leads to downtown Asheville and two bike shops. The route through Biltmore Forest situates you best for the Biltmore Estate. A third route is best for reaching the airport. We outline each route below.

Of modern design in wood and stone, the Folk Art Center sits serenely in its mountain setting. If you appreciate fine handicrafts, you will want several hours to spend here. Bring your credit card, because the artsy jewelry, hand-loomed fabrics, and original pottery are expensive. The Folk Art Center also has an extensive selection of books on the southern highlands.

There are numerous tourist attractions in Asheville. The Biltmore Estate, the Thomas Wolfe Memorial and home, and the seasonal festivals held in Asheville are all reasons to spend some time in the city. If you plan on touring Asheville, you may want to write the Asheville Travel and Tourism Office for detailed information.
Milepost
365.5 Craggy Flats Tunnel (400 ft.)
374.4 Tanbark Ridge Tunnel (780 ft.)
377.4 Craven Gap (elev. 3,132 ft.)

Excerpted from Bicycling the Blue Ridge, 4th: A Guide to the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway by Elizabeth Skinner, Charlie Skinner
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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