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Cycling the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway

AnnieBikes2012-05-31 06:22:02 +0000 #1
Wow! I did it! I cycled the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway from North to South and finished today! It was a very, very challenging ride and I rode every mile!!!

My DH did it self supported in 2009 while I took care of his father and he always promised that he would support me so that I could do it. So he has! Now that I have done it, I think that it would have been very difficult for me to do it self-supported! Those climbs were steep and long!

We started in Front Royal, VA and he left me at the entrance to the Skyline Drive, went to Big Meadows Campground and set up, then rode his bike back to meet me and then we rode in together. For the beginning of the trip, I had another friend riding with me but he had some health issues and was unable to complete the ride. He rode with my husband in the car and then left the trip when the rain forced us home for a couple of days. There were also two guys riding self supported whom we met the first morning in FR. and my husband usually carried their gear for them as we were basically on the very same itinerary for camping. After he set up camp, and was riding back to meet me, when he crossed them on the road, he gave them the keys to our car, told them where the campsite was, and they could get their gear out and set up their camp!! Very convenient for them and they turned out to be great company!! ...they were a bit faster than me, but we leaped frogged a bit during the day so I did not ride alone all day. We "lost" them when we came home for the weather. They also rode with me one entire day in the pouring rain when our friend and my husband did not ride!

I did the ride in 11 days, taking three days off for terrible, rainy weather, after riding for 7 days in fog, rain, and mist, and never seeing the sun. So we came home for three days to wait for the weather front to exit and then went back for the past four days. It was gorgeous but today was very chilly, especially the last 9 mile downhill into Cherokee! I wore lots of layers!

Over the next few days, I will be writing a journal on crazyguyonabike and as soon as it is ready, I will post the link. As several others have noted on this site, we used Elizabeth and Charlie Skinner's book "Bicycling the Blue Ridge". The information is good for distances, locations of overlooks, climbs, water, visitor's centers, etc, but the restaurants and motel info is sometimes sadly outdated. Road closures can only be found by going onto the BRP website. I will touch on all these things as I write the journal.

It was a personal challenge for me, but I liked it very much and it was a goal of mine to do this ride. To complete it has been a dream and now a reality! One off the bucket list! I am not getting any younger at 62!

Dog2012-05-31 06:23:59 +0000 #2
Wow....congratulations!!! So nice to accomplish a dream/goal. I look forward to hearing (reading) more about it.
indysteel2012-05-31 06:32:02 +0000 #3
What an accomplishment, Annie! Congrats!!! I look forward to reading your detailed report.
tulip2012-05-31 07:34:52 +0000 #4
That's great! I did an overnight trip from Front Royal to Big meadows and back about 5 years ago. Someday I would like to do the whole thing. My family is in Asheville and they would cheer my on, which would be a big incentive. Congratulations!
emily_in_nc2012-05-31 07:08:42 +0000 #5
Wow! I know how hard that must have been just from driving it. Can't wait to read your trip report, and my husband will enjoy it too. Congratulations on your tremendous accomplishment!



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