Road Cycling the Blue Ridge High Country | home
Area Road Cycling Events
Look for this logo to find events with corresponding rides in Road Cycling the Blue Ridge High Country. Got a ride to share? Click here to e-mail Tim.
This century ride, sponsored by the Freewheelers of Spartanburg bike club, is the granddaddy of the Blue Ridge endurance events. It runs from Spartanburg in the South Carolina foothills to the highest point in Eastern America, the summit of Mount Mitchell. The Assault on Mt. Mitchell is limited to 750 riders. Registration for the general public opens February 1, 2015. All Freewheelers of Spartanburg club members have a new "early bird" registration option.
The Assault's toughest leg, the run from Marion to Mount Mitchell, is described as an out-and-back ride in "The Mount Mitchell Climb". (Enjoy the descent on this one...you've earned it!)
Beech Mountain is the area's signature climb, featured in the Tour DuPont and storied in Lance Armstrong's comeback from cancer training tour. It's also the finale to the Beech Mountain Metric, which enters its second year in 2015. Beech aside, this is a grueling ride with punishing climbs up Stone Mountain and Georges Gap. This ride is organized by Scott Nelson and the other good folks with the Blood, Sweat and Gears ride, so you can expect the same level of attentive support. It joins the BS&G and the Blowing Rock Fall Classic as part of the High Country Cycling Hat Trick, a series of timed rides.
The metric includes the "Beech Mountain Climb" and "Beech Ball Loop" routes.
The High Country's first ultra-distance cycling event enters is in its ninth year in 2015. The Black and Blue starts and finishes along the banks of the New River in Todd, N.C. The course primarily follows scenic secondary roads as it winds its way through the high country of North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee. The course features some of the region’s most spectacular scenery including the South and North Forks of the New River (NC), Whitetop Mountain (VA), Watauga Lake (TN), and Roan Mountain (TN). Registration opens Jan. 5, 2015.
Solo riders and teams of up to eight persons will take on a route with an announced 18,000 feet of elevation change. A 110-mile option is also available. (336) 877-8888.
The 200-mile Black and Blue Relay route includes the "Buffalo Trail Trek" route and most of the "Road to Damascus" route.
"Just enough pain" is the slogan for this 100-mile loop ride through the mountains of Watauga and Ashe Counties. (A 50-mile option is also available.) The route features about 9,000 feet of climbing, including the steep slog up Snake Mountain. This well supported ride benefits various High Country charities and public safety agencies. The ride has won several Best Biking in America awards, including a well-deserved "Most Challenging" accolade in 1999. Registration for the 17th edition of this High Country classic opens Feb. 1, 2015 at 7 a.m. and should sell out that morning. The BS&G is part of the High Country Hat Trick, a series of timed rides.
The BS&G's two toughest climbs, Snake Mountain and Georges Gap are featured in "The Snake Mountain Loop" and "Bulldog's Bite Loop".
Zippy descents, rolling hills, a grinding climb up the Blue Ridge escarpment and the thrill of riding across the famed Linn Cove Viaduct await riders on the second annual Blowing Rock Fall Classic, a 72 mile route through the mountains and foothills of northwest North Carolina. It's another well supported ride from the folks who brought us the Blood, Sweat and Gears. This ride joins the BS&G and the Beech Mountain Metric as part of the High Country Cycling Hat Trick, a series of timed rides.
The classic route includes part of the "Grandfather Mountain Tour" route.
This loop ride through the mountains of Ashe and Alleghany Counties is billed as a century, but it actually clocks in at a little over 102 miles. The route includes 27 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway and a short but brutal climb to a gap separating Bluff Mountain and Three Top Mountain. 76 and 57 mile options are also available. The ride has earned several Best Biking in America awards and a mention in Bicycling magazine. Registration opens Mar. 1, 2015. (336) 846-2787.
Portions of the Brutal course are included in five of the West Jefferson area rides in the book. "The Buffalo Trail Trek" includes the Brutal's toughest climb.
Casual, well supported and fairly flat metric century loops through the scenic Toe River and Cane River valleys near Mount Mitchell. (828) 675-9482.
This benefit ride offers 25, 40 and 62-mile routes through the foothills of Caldwell Co., N.C. Proceeds benefit the Lenoir Rotary Club's community projects fund. Enjoy a pot luck lunch after the ride. (828) 234-1594.
The Brushy Mountain Cyclists Club offers 25, 40 and 65-mile route options through the foothills of Wilkes and Alexander Counties. The top elevation for the ride is only 2,200 feet, but the 65-mile RAW route features nearly 4,000 feet of climbing, making this ride a good warm up for summer's tougher mountain centuries.
Portions of the RAW route are described in "The Moonshine and Wine Tour" and "A Bite of the Brushies:The Apple Country Loop".
Roan Moan, Bakersville, N.C., Sat., July 25, 2015
Moan you will during the steep English century, metric century and 35-mile routes offered in this benefit ride. The 100-mile route loops through the Unaka Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, with a memorable climb to Carver's Gap (elevation 5,512) near Roan Mountain. The metric and English century routes finish with sweet descents back to Bakersville. (828) 688-6102.
"A Climb to Cloudland: The Roan Mountain Tour" follows the basic design of the Roan Moan metric route, but runs the route in the opposite direction for a smooth descent from Carver's Gap into Tennessee.
This metric century takes riders through scenic Johnson County, Tn. and includes some of the legendary, winding route known as “The Snake” along U.S. 421 between Mountain City and Shady Valley. There’s a 4.5-mile mountain climb peaking at nearly 3,000 feet, plus a fast, shady and beautiful ten-mile stretch that passes under Backbone Rock and runs through Damascus, Va., a.k.a. Trail Town USA. The 50K covers the first half of the route, skipping the mountain climb. Proceeds support the Johnson County Community Hospital Foundation. (423) 341-3472
The Surviving the Snake Ride visits scenic Shady Valley, described in the "Shady Valley Soujourn" route.
Riders will trace the tracks of a pioneer, a patriot and a legendary murder mystery on this laid-back bike tour. Daniel Boone and Tom Dula, of "Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley" fame, are remembered at Whippoorwill Academy, a living history site that serves as one of the ride's rest stops.
The Rollin' Round the River ride offers 20, 30 and 50-mile out-and-back routes through rolling terrain. The Rollin' Round the River Ride is the easiest ride listed here and the best choice for new or casual riders. (336) 984-7568.
The Rollin' Round the River Ride follows the "Happy Valley Tour" route.
The Tour de Lure is a scenic and challenging 71 miler over a rolling course. The route winds through farmland in McDowell County, climbs up Stone Mountain, eases along Lake Lure, and heads back through Chimney Rock before re-entering McDowell County via the Assault on Mt. Mitchell route. Organizers claim 5,900 feet of climbing. Replace those carbs you burn with a free spaghetti meal after the ride. The Tour de Lure benefits the YMCA of Western North Carolina. (828) 668-4282.
The Tour de Mountains offers 25, 40, 60, 80 and 100 mile route options through the scenic mountains of the "lost province," Alleghany County, in northwest North Carolina. The century has more than 11,000 feet of climbing. (336) 372-2944.