Blue Ridge Parkway

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Harring10, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. Harring10

    Harring10 Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    42
    Location:
    Marietta, Georgia
    Hey GS(A) owners,

    Probably should have posted this in the rides section, but thought it wouldn't hurt to seek out some GS rider input.

    Taking my father on a North Georgia extended tour of Draon, Cherohala, 28 etc and was wondering what your thoughts on the parkway are?

    I've put together 3 seperate 300 mi day rides (so glorious to have that many options in one place), but need a fourth day and was looking at Blue Ridge/Diamond Back.

    Appreciate the input; and yes I know all paved :-( I'll cover the off-road stuff another trip!
    #1
  2. Ron_Ces

    Ron_Ces Aging Hacker

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,651
    Location:
    Sunny Riverton, NJ
    I love riding the BRP. I try to ride the entire length at least once a year. Being from NJ, I can not get over the sheer riding pleasure of that road, especially the lack of cross streets. YMMV.
    Ron
    #2
  3. spagthorpe

    spagthorpe Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Oddometer:
    14,796
    Location:
    San Diego
    The BRP is fine, scenic, but slow. 35mph the entire length as far as I know. To be honest, a lot of the roads that _cross_ the BRP are more fun. If you like it tight, hop on NC80 for example.
    #3
  4. razcob

    razcob Dromedary

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Oddometer:
    328
    Location:
    Virginia
    I think 45mph is the speed limit, in most locations. Also, avoid the weekends and fall, the traffic can be frustrating.
    #4
  5. '05Train

    '05Train Mind is not for rent

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,086
    Location:
    Maryland
    The BRP, like most named roads, is more hype than anything else. It's a nice ride, but it's a slow ride. Between the speed limit (30-45), the wildlife wandering onto the road, and the traffic, it's just not my flavor.

    There are far, far better roads right around it.
    #5
  6. mb90535im

    mb90535im '05 R1200 GS

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,373
    Location:
    NW GA
    If you're going to be in the area at least do the BRP section between Cherokee and Asheville. To me that is the most scenic section of the entire parkway.
    I believe the speed limit is 45 except for a section or two that is slower and the Skyline Dr. section is slower.

    The times I've ridden it I have kept my speed below 55, have met several LEO's while running over the limit, and have yet to be stopped. (knock on wood)

    As the poster above suggest, almost all side roads off the BRP are fun, fun, fun.
    #6
  7. mwike

    mwike Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    186
    Location:
    Troutman, NC
    Like the others have said the BRP can get congested and very frustrating. I can attest that the Rangers will give speeding tickets, so keep your eyes open if riding during the middle of the day. I've had good luck riding early in the morning or later in the evening - avoid the majority of traffic and Rangers.

    Keep your eyes open for side, dirt roads. There are several between Asheville and Boone. You'll enjoy those.
    #7
  8. Harring10

    Harring10 Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    42
    Location:
    Marietta, Georgia
    Yea, we are planning to criss-cross BRP as we head east, but then will back track BRP to Ashenville if for no other reason than to say we've done it.

    Since my father is from Washington State, all of the roads from Dragon across will be a fun new experience I think.

    Thanks for the input.
    #8
  9. taoman

    taoman Taoman

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    60
    Location:
    Ponte Vedra, Florida
    I just did 400 miles on the BRP this past Labor Day Weekend- had a blast! 45 MPH? I don't wish to start a debate about speeding here but I had NO problems riding a "spirited" ride. I chilled out when it was appropriate and waited for an opening to pass cars that were only doing 45MPH. No problems and really not that much traffic. I saw two Park Rangers waiting to hand out performance awards but both times at a major intersection. I really enjoy the non stop twisties. I say "go for it".
    #9
  10. bobbybob

    bobbybob Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,048
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    As already noted: pick up the BRP starting at either US19 or US74 and continue on it to US276, taking 276 down the mtn. to Brevard but stopping to view Looking Glass Falls falls at the bottom of the mtn. Definitely worth including this part of the BRP. It is the highest in altitude with the most far-reaching, scenic views of the entire pkwy. Not boring at all, if you like eye candy while riding.
    #10
  11. Goldburg

    Goldburg Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    406
    Location:
    Eastern NC
    I'll say that the DiamondBack area, Little Switzerland, Spruce Pine, is my favorite base cap for riding in the area. There are several nice places to stay just off the parkway. Switzerland Inn has an area set up for riders. The Skyline Inn has a good location and a huge selection of beer and wine.

    Skip the diamondback, though. 226a has little traffic, but it is switchback after switchback for 20 miles. HW80 is nearby and a much better ride, IMO. 226 north of spruce pine is fun and that area has pastoral views everywhere and is a good ride.

    Enjoy! I'll be up there sometime soon. I think I'll stay in Linville Falls at the Lodge this time, just to switch things up.
    #11
  12. Harring10

    Harring10 Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    42
    Location:
    Marietta, Georgia
    Thanks again, I'll add the above suggestions into the trip plan. Really looking forward to this ride, going to be a shame to have to come home!
    #12
  13. AviatorTroy

    AviatorTroy Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,660
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH/Stuart FL
    The speed limit is 45 and you cant do much more than that most places anyway. It's a great ride! Avoid the following...

    Weekends.
    Holidays.

    Be careful around the pull offs, cage drivers with camera will try to kill you there.

    Tunnels can be interesting, wet and slippery, and the weather is rarely the same on either end.

    Many gravel roads crossing the brp can be found as well.
    #13
  14. Chat Lunatique

    Chat Lunatique ACK

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,084
    Location:
    Niagara, Canada
    I just finished the trip you're doing last month. A little bit of advice for ya. I started the run north just outside Atlanta like you will.

    Get the cheapest BRP guide from the first info booth you hit. In it is the fueling stop locations based on the mile markers along side the road. Tear out that page and keep it handy. There are no fuel stop signs anywhere . I almost ran out of fuel because I didn't know how the system worked.
    #14
  15. Goldburg

    Goldburg Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    406
    Location:
    Eastern NC
    I'm going up Sunday to the Little Switzerland area and will be staying at the Skyline Inn for 3 nights. I got a good rate (mid week) and they have a big screen TV for any football Sunday or Monday night.

    I'll probably do a mixture of pavement and gravel. I understand the area has been rained on heavily and will get more Saturday. We'll see.
    #15
  16. TuefelHunden

    TuefelHunden Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    600
    Location:
    Spartanburg, SC
    I agree with the above. If a ranger sees you pass a car on double yellow's, in MOST cases stand by for a HEFTY ticket. As far as 226A goes, those switchbacks are spelled F U N.
    #16
  17. manfromthestix

    manfromthestix Lost in Space

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,320
    Location:
    Lexington, Virginia
    I live just 20 miles from the BRP at MM45 and ride it all the time. Even though the posted speed limit is 45, I don't think I've ever actually ridden at that speed unless the tighter curves warranted it. Two weeks ago my wife and I rode from here to Boone, NC almost entirely on the Parkway and I would estimate that it was actually faster than taking the secondary roads all the way because you never have to stop! We ride a lot of secondary roads in Virginia and while the speed limit is higher (typically 55) you can never, ever average that speed because of the vast number of small towns, stoplights, traffic, intersections, etc. I love riding the BRP because there are ZERO stop signs, no tractor-trailer rigs or other commercial vehicles, and limited cross-roads/driveways and such. You can just RIDE and not deal with all that. I have never felt the traffic was heavy enough to be a problem. I lived in Wyoming for years and rode Grand Teton and Yellowstone a lot; now those parks have traffic issues. I often ride the BRP from Roanoke (where my office is located) to Lexington on a weekday afternoon and in all that time/distance I might see ten cars and thirty bikes.

    We had a glorious, peaceful ride to Boone a couple weeks ago, then got off the BRP at Boone and were instantly in traffic HELL. The transition was remarkable, all in the space of an off-ramp. I highly recommend the BRP. I've ridden many many miles at a spirited pace and never come close to exciting the Rangers. You just have to "chill out when it's appropriate" and you'll be fine. :evil

    Doug
    #17
  18. xtphreak

    xtphreak from B4 "adventure bikes"

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,963
    Location:
    Back in WNC
    I'm perplexed as to what the heck you're talking about
    Fuel stops?
    There isn't any gas for sale on the parkway anymore (used to be @ Pisgah and Crabtree Falls, but pumps are gone now)
    You have to get off and run down the hill to gas up

    Sent from my dRoiD3 with the help of 44 cyber-enhanced dwarves
    #18
  19. xtphreak

    xtphreak from B4 "adventure bikes"

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,963
    Location:
    Back in WNC
    Oh yeah
    Tickets from Rangers are FEDERAL
    #19
  20. Chat Lunatique

    Chat Lunatique ACK

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,084
    Location:
    Niagara, Canada
    Ok, an explanation. Yes there are no fuel stops directly on the Parkway. Ya hafta get off. Trouble is, one does not know how far off the parkway it is to the fuel stop. There is no sign on the Parkway that says" Fuel stop is 2 miles off the road.. One turn off I took said 15 miles to the town. On an empty tank???Screw that!!

    With the Guide it tells you where to turn for gas by the mileage marker. Those stations are right by the turnoff. Saves having to turn off and return beacuse the town is too far.

    OK?
    #20