Although I’ve been on several different parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway, several different times over the years with various other riders, I have never ridden from Asheville west to the southern terminus in Cherokee, NC.
I attempted it from Cherokee northward last March, but got frozen out at their high altitude by frost and a closed Parkway. A cool & clear sunrise got the Gerbings out of the thin pannier and with a full tank (gassed about 6 miles before the cabin) I was ready for another nice ride.
Though I was wearing my heated gloves and jacket liner I still needed to deploy the heated grips as it was 46°F when I got on the road at 7:45 and the Sun was just getting over the tree line, but was several hours from warming up the road. I was all alone on the Blue Ridge Parkway except for quite a few family of deer who seem to be undecided as to which side of the road they each preferred best. They were jumping back and forth across the road, oblivious to how their capricious nature revealed their immaturity. I kept riding and clicking away on the GoPro still camera, and finally pulled in for a snack from my bag and a little break around 10:30.
I had a close call with a miscalculation and my gas tank, riding it down until the ‘miles left to empty’ went flat line after hitting 4, and the GPS told me I was about 6 miles from the gas station. Everything turned out fine, except I hope I didn’t get any debris deep into the filter.
The day went on, the miles growing on the milepost markers as I rapidly approached 469. All of a sudden, about 4 p.m., I was finished with the Blue Ridge Parkway. True, on this run I did skip about 90 miles yesterday, however I have been on that 90 mile stretch several times already. Still, perhaps Wendy and I can revisit this to up next year and trying complete all 579 miles over a three to four day period. I’d like to stay at the Pisgah Inn, as well as some of the other lodges I passed on the ride today and yesterday.