Terrain comparison: Ardennes vs. Blue Ridge
This summer I'll be riding from Verdun to Luxembourg to Liege to Brussels as part of a longer tour from Paris to Rotterdam. As a Virginia native, I was wondering if anyone had any experience with how the length and steepness of the grades in the Ardennes stack up against those of the Blue Ridge mountains in the U.S.
p.s. If there are any places that shouldn't be missed along that route, I would be glad to hear about them.
If you don't get any replies, you might try going to mapmyride.com. The site has a feature where you can put in your route and it will make an elevation profile with grade information.
I've biked the French portion as well as all over Appalachia.
The Ardennes are a series of ridges that tend to run north-south.
The geologic formation is such that the eastern slopes are steeper - the western slopes gradual. If I had to compare, the toughest parts are more like West Virginia - more a jumble - than the parallel sharp ridges of the Blue Ridge and Shenandoah mountains.
But it general, I would say the terrain is steeper in West Virginia -
With one exception - some of the remote the "D" routes have zero grading -
So they just go up and over every ridge and can be pretty steep.