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Anyone done the Skyline Drive?

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Anyone done the Skyline Drive?

Old 01-09-13, 10:23 AM
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bailey99
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Anyone done the Skyline Drive?

Planning a trip in the spring and would appreciate any comments about the ride.

Thanks.
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Old 01-09-13, 10:37 AM
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bikejrff
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Me too. Wife and I are going to visit our son over Easter weekend, he recently moved to Charlottesville. Blue Ridge Parkway also?

thanks
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Old 01-10-13, 03:11 AM
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JimF22003
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I've done all of Skyline Drive more times than I can count at this point. I have lots of specific info if you have particular questions.

Here's a few random points off the top of my head

- Northern half is more hilly and slightly more scenic
- Full supplies are available (in season) at 24, 51, 76? miles at Elk Wallow, Big Meadows and Loft Mountain. You can also stop at Skyland which is the high point of the road
- Don't know about camping options.
- There will be bugs. Not just big horsefly types that hover as you're struggling up the hills, but also little annoying tiny bugs that bite.
- the grade rarely gets above 6%, but there are some longish climbs -- right out of Front Royal, and going both ways up Hogback just north of Elk Wallow for example, or up to the Pinnacles overlook
- there's currently no great place to refuel at the south end of the drive (where it meets the BRP) without riding down into Waynesboro. The climb up from Waynesboro is not too bad though, so that's what I usually do when I turn around at the south end
- Mostly it's not too convenient to ride off of the parkway to get services, except where 211 crosses. The ride down into either Sperryville or Luray is fun (but is a pretty substantial climb back up). You can take Rt 33 down into Standardsville.

That's all I can think of right now.

Oh, and also it's a beautiful ride

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Old 01-11-13, 02:02 PM
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bailey99
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Thanks, JimF. Good stuff.
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Old 03-19-13, 06:43 PM
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Old 04-22-13, 04:27 AM
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I've taken a bunch of school kids from Maine down to Skyline drive last year for a training trip and it was fantastic! The first day we rode about 35 miles and had about 3500 feet of climbing.
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Old 04-22-13, 10:10 AM
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RoadHolland
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I so want to do this as well (and since I live in Virginia, I've gotten to do sections of both Sky Line and Blue Ridge Pkwy) --- what's up with your "There Will Be Bugs" warning -- are we talking cicada invasion?
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Old 04-23-13, 04:07 AM
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JimF22003
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Originally Posted by RoadHolland View Post
I so want to do this as well (and since I live in Virginia, I've gotten to do sections of both Sky Line and Blue Ridge Pkwy) --- what's up with your "There Will Be Bugs" warning -- are we talking cicada invasion?
No, teeny tiny little black buggers you can barely see. But they bite. Actually makes it hard to take a rest break outside. It's worse at certain times of the year, but they're pretty bad in the late spring and early summer.
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Old 04-29-13, 04:34 AM
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bailey99
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Originally Posted by JimF22003 View Post
No, teeny tiny little black buggers you can barely see. But they bite. Actually makes it hard to take a rest break outside. It's worse at certain times of the year, but they're pretty bad in the late spring and early summer.
Jim,

Regarding those no-see-'em bugs...since I'm going in three weeks I'm assuming, based from your experience, those black bugers will be bad. I plan to ride all day...should I pack Off or some other bug spray?
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Old 04-29-13, 06:51 AM
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They were out in force on Saturday (didn't ride on Skyline, but I crossed over there at 211 at Thornton Gap.). I personally don't use bug spray, but it wouldn't be a bad idea of you plan to stop and rest outdoors (which is kind of the point of riding in a National Park I guess.)

I once had to stop and adjust my saddle. By the time I got the tools out, the saddle bag off, the seat adjusted etc. I had bites everywhere.

Don't let me scare you off though. It's well worth it.
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