Blue Ridge Parkway Epic Tour
14 Day Epic Tour
Cycle one of the most beautiful roads in the country. The Blue Ridge Parkway connects Shenandoah National Park to Great Smoky Mountains National Park along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is our longest linear park. With a speed limit of only 45 mph and a ban on commercial vehicles, “America’s Favorite Drive” is also a rite of passage for bicyclists. Come join us on our newest epic tour as we cycle the entire 469-mile length of this gorgeous road!
Long rolling hills, including some longer climbs on paved roads. Average of 41 miles per day.
All hotel lodgings, 13 breakfasts, 12 dinners, 1 picnic lunch, daily snacks, vehicular support, luggage transfers, detailed maps, cue sheets and GPS files, mechanical support and instruction, trained guides, and shuttles at the start and finish of the tour to the airport and back to our starting hotel.
Fly into Charlottesville, VA and out of Asheville, NC or drive and leave your car in Waynesboro, VA. We will provide a shuttle from the Charlottesville airport at 12:00 noon. We will shuttle you to the Asheville airport at the end of the tour by 3:00pm or back to our starting hotel by 9:00pm.
Great tour! No traffic, easy navigation, beautiful scenery - this is the way bicycling is supposed to be!
DAY 1: We start our tour with an afternoon orientation, followed by a bike prep and then dinner together. 0 miles.
DAYS 2 - 13: We'll run this tour as we do our other epic trips. Our days will quickly fall into a comfortable rhythm. We'll start early with a light breakfast provided by our inn or the hotel. Then we'll pack our bike bags with snacks of raisins, nuts, energy bars and peanut butter sandwiches. We'll make sure we have an extra layer of clothing and a rain jacket with us. We leave on our own, usually between 8- 9am and cycle at our own pace.
While the elevations are modest on the Blue Ridge Parkway compared to the west, the changes in elevation are just as extreme. The lowest point on the Parkway is near the start of our tour at Otter Creek in Virginia at 649'. The highest point is near the end of our trip at 6053' in North Carolina. In between, we will cycle up and down as we enjoy the twists and turns of this gorgeous section of the Appalachian mountain range.
We'll cycle through national forest and granite tunnels, and by waterfalls and fields of blooming wildflowers. We'll cross several rivers and see vistas of mountains around every turn. As we'll be cycling in the spring, there should be hedgerows of blossoming rhododendrons, lilies and wild hydrangeas.
The route is lined with historic markers explaining the relics left by people who settled the area long before it became a national park. Watch for deer, wild turkeys and perhaps even a black bear. What you won't see are trucks, billboards and gas stations. The scenery becomes only more dramatic as we head south. It's truly a beautiful ride!
About every twenty miles, we'll meet our SAG vehicle at one of the overviews that line the Parkway. Our support vehicle holds water, snacks, tire repair tools and a first aid kit. Even if you don't need anything, you can stop to chat and talk about the wonderful tailwind or view. If you're too tired to bike anymore, you can take a ride in the SAG vehicle to our hotel for the night. The SAG makes sure everyone is in safely at the end of the day.
Once at our hotel, you'll find your luggage, (delivered earlier by the WomanTours van and trailer), and can check in to your room. We have a variety of accommodations on this tour, from park lodges to historic inns to chain hotels. We rotate roommates every night, unless you've requested a specific roommate or to upgrade to a single room. There will be time to shower before dinner and perhaps take a hike through the forest or a dip in the hotel pool.
If anyone has experienced bike problems during the day, you'll use the time before dinner to work with the guide to fix it. If it's a complicated repair, we'll help get your bike to a professional at a bike shop.
Then we'll all eat dinner together, usually served buffet-style outside. Our traveling chef will create hearty and healthy dishes from our trailer kitchen. While our chef will accommodate guests with specific allergies and provide a non-meat protein source for vegetarians, she cannot adhere to everyone's likes and dislikes. We ask that you be flexible. Some of the dinners on this tour will be in restaurants attached to our inns.
After dinner, our guide will hold a map meeting to discuss the highlights of the day and go over the details of the next day's route. 41 miles on average per day.
DAY 14: Our final ride takes us to the end of the Blue Ridge Parkway and into the town of Cherokee, NC, on the reservation of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation. We'll celebrate our well-earned accomplishment at a riverside picnic lunch.
Then we'll load up our bicycles and shuttle to the Asheville airport arriving by 3:00pm. If anyone has left her car at our starting hotel, we'll shuttle you back to your car in Waynesboro by 9:00pm and say our good-byes. 30 miles.
Blue Ridge Music Center
Parkway Craft Center
Moses H. Cone Manor
Folk Art Center
Museum of NC Minerals
Virginia & North Carolina
CANCELLATION & REFUNDS: To sign up for this tour, we require a nonrefundable deposit of $300. The first payment of $1000 is due by November 1, 2016 and $500 of that payment is nonrefundable and nontransferable. The balance of the tour price is due 75 days prior to the tour, by February 26, 2017.
DISCOUNTS: We offer a 2% discount for paying by check.
TRIP INSURANCE: We will provide you with a source for trip cancellation insurance. We strongly recommend insurance, especially for a trip of this magnitude.
SAG VOLUNTEERS: We use 3 volunteers to drive a support car during this tour. Each driver works once every third day supporting the riders until the last cyclist finishes for the day. She provides food, drinks, flat tire assistance and moral support, and becomes an integral part in the success of the tour. In return, each volunteer receives a discount of 40% off the full tour price. If you’re interested in a position, please email or call us.
Blue Ridge Parkway Epic Tour Itinerary
|May 13, 2017||Waynesboro, VA||0|
|May 14, 2017||Lexington, VA||66|
|May 15, 2017||Peaks of Otter, VA||53|
|May 16, 2017||Roanoke, VA||39|
|May 17, 2017||Meadows of Dan, VA||56|
|May 18, 2017||Fancy Gap, VA||26|
|May 19, 2017||Glendale Springs, NC||57|
|May 20, 2017||Glendale Springs, NC||0|
|May 21, 2017||Blowing Rock, NC||38|
|May 22, 2017||Little Switzerland, NC||47|
|May 23, 2017||Asheville, NC||60|
|May 24, 2017||Brevard, NC||23|
|May 25, 2017||Balsam, NC||37|
|May 26, 2017||Cherokee, NC||30|