One of my fondest memories of cycling Bike Virginia in 2000 was struggling up a narrow, winding road to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
There were about 1,100 cyclists on the bicycle tour that year, and I remember hearing a lot of fear and loathing the night before the climb about the steep grade. When we reached the foot of the climb, a fleet of pickup trucks driven by some locals met us. For a fee, they ferried cyclists up to the top.
A lot of us pedaled up, including my friend and his daugther who shared a tandem. I remember standing in my bicycle pedals most of the way, rocking back and forth as I heard rushing water and glanced at the still-blooming mountain laurel along the sides of the road.
The bicycle tour couldn't get permission to use the Blue Ridge Parkway this year, reports the Roanoke Times. Officials now limit group events to 750 people along the 500-mile long parkway, which runs down the spine of the Appalachian Mountains.
Now in its 18th year, the non-profit Bike Virginia 2005 still plans to cover a lot of ground this year from its two base cities, Roanoke and Lexington.
In addition to information about Bike Virginia, Bikin' Bis is offering short synopses — with dates and links — of non-profit multi-day rides in the US this year. So far we have information on rides in Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Virginia, and Washington.
Click on the link for “State Bicycle Tours” at left or click here.