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Old 01-28-08, 07:33 PM   #1
dannwilliams 
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Blue Ridge Parkway question

I read about the BRP in the current ACA magazine and was wondering: how do you do this tour and get to and from it? I live near St. Paul. Would I ship my bike to a bike shop near the beginning, drive my car to the end and take a bus/train/thumb to the start, then tour to the end and my car? Who has done this ride and how did you do it?
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Old 01-28-08, 08:25 PM   #2
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I don't know about a tour of the Parkway, though it would be nice, but here is what I would suggest, assuming this is your style. Fly into Asheville, North Carolina and use this city as your base. If you want to mail your bike, fine. I would pay the $85 to put in on the plane with you. Prior to arriving in Asheville, I would contact several of the local bike shops (Liberty, Bio Wheels, Hearns, etc) and ask for good rides. Out of Asheville, you can head north or south on the Parkway and ride a couple of hundred miles in either directions for day trips. Great climbs and descents. You can also ask for help on the Asheville Bicycle Racing Club's site (http://www.abrc.net/). Or, simply sign up for one of the Charmichael Training Systems camps. There is lots of fun and gorgeous riding in that part of the world!
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Old 01-28-08, 08:37 PM   #3
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I don't know about a tour of the Parkway, though it would be nice, but here is what I would suggest, assuming this is your style. Fly into Asheville, North Carolina and use this city as your base. If you want to mail your bike, fine. I would pay the $85 to put in on the plane with you. Prior to arriving in Asheville, I would contact several of the local bike shops (Liberty, Bio Wheels, Hearns, etc) and ask for good rides. Out of Asheville, you can head north or south on the Parkway and ride a couple of hundred miles in either directions for day trips. Great climbs and descents. You can also ask for help on the Asheville Bicycle Racing Club's site (http://www.abrc.net/). Or, simply sign up for one of the Charmichael Training Systems camps. There is lots of fun and gorgeous riding in that part of the world!
I would vote heading North...if you head south there is one helluva climb to get back to Asheville. Also check the airlines...most of them only run commuters in to AVL. Perhaps FED/UPS the bike? I have ridden quite a few sections of the BRP and can say that it is a ride well worth doing.

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Old 01-29-08, 12:25 AM   #4
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One option not yet mentioned is car rental. Rent a car or van in WI, drive to Waynesboro VA and leave the rental there. Tour on BRP to another location near auto rentals, rent a car/van and drive home. There are rentals available in Asheville, but if you wanted to ride to the end of the BRP that would be Cherokee - no rental there I think, but I think Enterprise may have a location near Cherokee (Franklin), so they may meet you in Cherokee.
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Old 01-29-08, 02:35 AM   #5
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There are several trip guide books on this bike trip that you can find on Amazon, if you haven't already.
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Old 01-29-08, 06:17 AM   #6
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I would look into using Asheville and Charlottesville airports as starting and finishing points. Asheville looks like it is right on the parkway and the ride to Charlottesville is a nice ride. Personally I kind of like to fly with the bike and leave right out of the airport riding, but shipping to and from bike shops does have advantages.

Places to stay are pretty spotty on the parkway and riding off of it involves STEEP climbs to get back up to the parkway so plan carefully. In any case bring your climbing legs. I haven't ridden the whole parkway, but the parts that I have ridden weren't nearly as tough (climbing-wise) as getting on and off of the parkway. In any case bring your climbing legs and low gearing.

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Old 01-29-08, 08:34 AM   #7
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There are supported credit card tours for the Parkway. An unemcumbered road bike with a nice hotel at the end of each day sounds good to me. If you plan to stay in campgounds—it can be iffy during the Summer. IF you can get a spot and IF you can stand your neighbors.
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Old 01-29-08, 09:05 AM   #8
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This page from www.biketouringtips.com has 2 links to information on the Blue Ridge Parkway that might be of interest to you.

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Old 01-29-08, 09:38 AM   #9
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This page from www.biketouringtips.com has 2 links to information on the Blue Ridge Parkway that might be of interest to you.

Ray
This is a bit off topic from the original question, but...
I wish there was a link to leave feed back on the newspaper article link. It gave a very in accurate impression of the TransAmerica as it exists today. The article quoted a 1976 TA rider as saying his adventure was wonderful -- "until I hit the Blue Ridge Parkway." and then went on to say how horrible the climbs were. My impression was that yes the worst climbs were in Virginia, but no they were not on the BRP. The worst were before we got to the BRP. One of the tough ones (not even the toughest) was the climb up to the BRP at Vesuvius, but part of the TA on the parkway itself was quite pleasant.

It made me wonder if the quote was misunderstood, total BS, or if the TA route has changed VERY substantially in the time since 1976. It also made me wonder how bad the climbs are ON the BRP as opposed to the climbs UP TO it. Can any one shed any light on that?
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