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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Day 1:

We left our place at 7am for a trek towards VA. The drive is only 4 hours. The night before I was busy planning stuff... I started looking at everything and finally decided that things would be better without any plan. We got to the start of Skyland Drive- or "the drive". They said that they don't really recommend bicycling along "the drive", so we kept driving. The Drive is 100 miles long. We decided that it would take us too long to drive the whole thing, and be able to get any kind of ride in on the Parkway, so we skipped The Drive and drove along 81 for the length of it. It took a lot longer than I thought it would.

We finally hit the parkway and started looking for a place to camp. Basically we spent the whole day driving. No ride. :(

It was raining the whole day.
 

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Day 2

Woke up at 6, ate a huge breakfast, and just rode. All we could really do is an out and back. It was kind of nice just being able to zone out. The riding was AMAZING. Not very many cars at all, gorgeous scenery.

The only bad part was near Roanoke, VA, where people seemed to actually be using the parkway for commuting. It isn't very practical to use the parkway otherwise due to the low speed limits. Even still, the traffic wasn't so bad. We could have basically ridden straight for 100 miles without hitting a traffic light or stop sign.

I think our campsite was around mile 60 and we ended up riding all the way until we hit Roanoke Mtn at 112(?). That thing is steep.

One thing that sucked was that there basically isn't any place to buy water/food along the whole thing. You would have to fill up at the campsites. They're spaced pretty regularly, but you have to make sure you fill up at every one. The only real issue was food. Since we were both on our racing bikes, we really couldn't carry much things besides what could fit in our jersey pockets. I kept joking to her that she had a "Whole Foods" in her jersey. Tons of bars, 2 sandwiches, and an extra bottle of water, plus all the bike repair stuff.
 

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Day 3

This was going to be our big driving day since we wanted to see the whole thing and I had to be back for work (read: lame). Today we only got in about 50 miles, since we were going to be spending about 5 hours in the car.

The riding scenery definitely changed. We went from steep cliffs on one side and a peak on the other, to some kind "flattish" area. The view was more of rolling hills than the mountains we saw the day before. It was interesting. TONS of cows. I should have taken more pictures.
 

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Day 4

I hated how I didn't have enough time. We started at the Mt. Pisgah campsite and we rode until we hit the highest point on the parkway. Lots of climbing.

The scenery changed again. It was back to like the beginning, but this time the mountains were much bigger (we were about 2000 feet higher as well).

Honestly, the ride towards the top wasn't as climactic as I though it would be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
MarkS said:
That's news to me. The Skyline Drive is one of my favorite rides. I have done it about once per year since 2002. I havn't been out there yet this year, but I am thinking about riding it sometime in June. I only have ridden on a very small part of the Blue Ridge Parkway and I will grant you that there is less traffic on the Parkway than on the Skyline Drive, but the Skyline Drive has very little traffic compared to almost any other road I have ridden in the Mid-Atlantic, the road surface is very good and you don't have to carry much food if you are on a road bike -- there are stores and/or restaurant facilities about every 25 miles.

I sounds like you had fun in any event. It sure beats working.

It was news to me too. haha. We got to the first information center, and she asks if they have anything to say about it. I can't remember her exact words, or how she said it, but she said something like "We don't really recommend it." So basically, since we didn't really have any sort of plan other than "to ride the parts of the blue ridge parkway", and skyline drive isn't technically part of the blue ridge parkway, we just left.

Another interesting thing was that pretty much every ranger we talked to reminded us to be careful, and to always ride in a single file line. I thought it was interesting. I've probably never been told to be careful so many times in one week. Maybe there is a higher accident rate on the blue ridge parkway???
 
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