Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Musquodoboit Harbour,N.S., Canada
Last year I rode the Skyline Trail plus a small portion of the Blue Ridge also with four other fellow club riders from Nova Scotia.
I rode it with a loaded (30kg) Challenge Distance using a Bob trailer. We went in September, our fall, but it was still warm there at 25C, not much traffic either as the leaves don't change there until at least late October.
The intial climb is a long exhausting haul that took me the better part of a day 7am to 8:30pm (90km) before reaching first campground site on the trail. The hill is about 7-8% grade, not real steep but long.There is another camp ground sooner but you have to decend the trail to get to it and than look to a long haul back up again the next day.
I had a "mega ring (32 tooth)" especially installed on the rear cluster that enabled me to ascend the hills, couldn't have done it other wise. I did clock a really stupid decent off the trail of 82km/hr, be sure your brakes are in really good condition.Watch out for bears, and especially deer along trail.
After the trail we came back through the Shenadoah valley back to the W&O trail which is a nice easy ride along a dirt wooded trail back to Washinton DC. The whole ride was 1030 km in 13 days.
The only other cyclists we came across were "roadees" doing hill training, I saw one guy who does the first hill 3 times on one day. I understand the US Postal team uses the trail as a training ground.
Good luck on your jouney.