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. 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!
The tour still has space. Make your travel arrangements.
Moderate miles per day over hilly terrain, including some longer climbs. The days can be shortened by using our support vehicle.
All hotel lodging, breakfasts, dinners and snacks on cycling days, some picnic lunches, SAG support, detailed maps, cue sheets and GPS files, luggage transportation, mechanical support, and trained guides.
Fly into Charlottesville, VA and out of Asheville, NC or drive and leave your car in Waynesboro, VA.
While the elevations are modest on the Parkway compared to the west, the changes in elevation are 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’ at Richland Balsam. Don't let these numbers deceive you. In between, we will cycle seemingly endless ups and downs as we enjoy the twists and turns of this gorgeous section of the Appalachian mountain range.
Along the way, we’ll cycle through national forest, past sheer granite walls, waterfalls, and wildflowers. As we’ll be cycling in the spring, we’ll watch for blossoming rhododendrons, lilies and wild hydrangeas. We’ll stop to read the historic markers explaining the relics left by people who settled the area long before it became a national park. What we won’t see is trucks, billboards, and souvenir shops. It’s truly a beautiful ride!
DAY 1: We’ll 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 cross-country tours. While the majority of our hotels will be chains such as Best Westerns and Comfort Inns, we will also be staying at a park lodge, a set of cabins, and a few bed and breakfasts. When we are at chain hotels, our traveling chef will cook dinner for the group. Other nights, we will dine in restaurants at our inns. On those days, our chef will do picnic lunches during the day, as there are few services along our route.
We’ll start early with a light breakfast provided by 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 perhaps a rain jacket with us. We leave on our own, usually between 7-8am and cycle at our own pace.
About every twenty miles, we’ll meet our SAG vehicle. It 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 panoramic 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. Most of us will be in double occupancy rooms. We’ll rotate roommates every night, unless you’ve requested a specific roommate or the upgrade to a single room. If anyone has experienced bike problems during the day, we’ll use the time before dinner to work with the guide to fix it. Then we’ll eat dinner together, served buffet-style outside or inside at our inn.
Our traveling chef creates hearty and healthy dishes from our trailer kitchen for the picnic lunches and the buffet dinners. While she will accommodate guests with specific allergies and provide a nonmeat protein source for vegetarians, she cannot always adhere to everyone’s likes and dislikes. We ask that you be flexible.
After dinner, our guide will hold a map meeting to discuss the highlights of the day and to go over the details of the next day’s route.
We’ll have one layover day on this tour to give our bodies a chance to recover. This will also be time to clean our bicycles, do laundry, and relax. There is no cycling, and meals are on your own. The terrain becomes more dramatic toward the end of the Parkway, so we have kept the days shorter later in the tour to give you time to enjoy your surroundings. 41 miles average per day.
DAY 14: We’ll finish the Blue Ridge Parkway with a short ride to Cherokee, NC. We’ll celebrate the end of our accomplishment with a picnic lunch. Then we’ll shuttle to the Asheville airport, arriving by 1:30. If you’ve driven to the tour and left your car in Waynesboro, we’ll shuttle you back to your car arriving at 8:00pm. 26 miles.
DISCOUNTS: We offer a 2% discount for paying by check.
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.
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||56|
|May 15, 2017||Peaks of Otter, VA||53|
|May 16, 2017||Roanoke, VA||55|
|May 17, 2017||Meadows of Dan, VA||53|
|May 18, 2017||Fancy Gap, VA||26|
|May 19, 2017||Glendale Springs, NC||56|
|May 20, 2017||Glendale Springs, NC||0|
|May 21, 2017||Blowing Rock, NC||36|
|May 22, 2017||Little Switzerland, NC||42|
|May 23, 2017||Asheville, NC||55|
|May 24, 2017||Brevard, NC||31|
|May 25, 2017||Balsam, NC||36|
|May 26, 2017||Home||26|