The first time i've ever ridden in Virginia along the Blue Ridge Parkway (#BRP) was just the other weekend. A teammate of mine is familiar with the area and has ridden there many times. Since the weather was looking warm, we decided to escape the cold weather and rain and head down.
The first day's route totaled 75 miles and 7800ft of climbing. After a quick 5 mile warm-up, we headed up to the #BRP with a 3 mile climb that averaged 7%. We rode by the Peaks of Otter and got a glimpse of how high the peaks are in this area.
From there it was a gradual rollercoaster ride up to nearly 4000ft along the #BRP.
The scenery and surrounding mountains were amazing to say the least. I was imagining how much more captivating it must be when the trees are full of life or fall colors. I was also surprised at how low vehicular traffic was. There were times that we didn't pass by a car for what seemed like an eternity.
To start the loop back, we enjoyed a 12 mile long decent back down to the valley. The turns were wide and sweeping with ample room to maneuver. The only other descent I've taken as long has been down Mt.Lemmon in Tucson, Arizona, which is over 20 miles long!
After the descent the loop back consisted of 20 miles of rolling hills and plenty of headwind. Then it was back up and over the #BRP to the car.
The next day's route was a little shorter in length and vertical but filled with the same great roads and the warmest temperatures I've ridden in February. The climbs were a bit steeper but when it's 73F, who's complaining?
I know I only scratched the surface of what Virginia and the #BRP have to offer. A bit of research using Strava reveals so many options both east and west of the #BRP. Even though the drive down was over 300 miles, it was all interstate highway, with no secondary roads to travel. Also, there were plenty of Starbucks along the way to keep me caffeinated. Before I hit camp next month in Arizona, I'm hoping to dip back into the #BRP for another taste.