How long does it take to ride Blue Ridge Parkway in the summer? - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-29-2012, 07:07 AM Thread Starter
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How long does it take to ride Blue Ridge Parkway in the summer?

Hey guys, I'm looking for some advice on how long it will take realistically to ride the whole Blue Ridge Parkway. I'm heading from MO => NC this summer on the niner for a family vacation, and am meeting a friend to ride for a couple days in the mountains before continuing to the Outer Banks. I've looked for some info online, but mostly what I find is people getting all incensed that you are asking how long it would take to do the BRP without stopping, hiking, smelling the flowers, and generally turning the ride into a BRP sightseeing trip. I know that the BRP is ~470 miles, so I can do basic math, but what I'm really looking for is realistic times based on summertime traffic, etc. I have ridden it from Cherokee to I-40, but am not familiar with the rest.

Our goal is to ride as much of the BRP as possible in two days, and we're trying to figure out if that means doing the whole thing, or doing Cherokee => I-77 or I-77 to Waynesboro. We plan to do lots of riding, stopping for fuel, probably some scenic overlooks, and sleep. Nothing much else. This trip will be the end of July, and almost definitely on weekend days.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 8 Old 05-29-2012, 07:20 AM
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Check out DPrider's youtube channel. Took his 919 the whole way from Cherokee to Virginia. 469 miles in two days should be no sweat. You can carry a pretty good pace on a bike. I did 96 miles on Friday from Asheville to Linville Falls in a little over two hours.

Also, plan ahead. Gas stations are few and far between on the Parkway. The ones that are "close-by" aren't.

I would fill up in Cherokee, fill up in Boone, and fill up in Roanoke

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post #3 of 8 Old 05-29-2012, 07:22 AM
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I have ridden quite a bit of the parkway, but mostly in smaller sections... what I have found on the sections that I have ridden in the summer, is you can't be in a hurry. With overlook/stretch/fuel stops, I think I usually average about 35 MPH overall... of course, everyone rides differently so you might do better than that. I think the ride is worth it though... especially the westernmost sections, absolutely beautiful scenery.

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post #4 of 8 Old 05-29-2012, 07:51 AM
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Lot depends on what day(s) you are going to ride it. During the weekend traffic is heavier, and much slower paced, than during the week. Speed limit is 45. Also depends on how much of it is closed. I've never been on the BR without some part of it being shut down for some reason. Stop at one of the centers and get a report of where and how far any closings are.

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post #5 of 8 Old 05-29-2012, 07:56 AM
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Give yourself about 3 hours to do the blue ridge parkway and another 3 if you also do skyline drive. I was there last Sunday and rode the entire thing from front royal to roanoke with a lunch stop in Waynesboro at weasie's. add more time on top of that if you want to hike around. the skyline Dr portion is better than the blue ridge parkway side, but you have to pay to get in and speed limits are slower.

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post #6 of 8 Old 06-01-2012, 07:46 AM
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2 days is reasonable for a quick trip down the parkway. It can be done in one long wasted miserable day where you never see much of anything, but there's not much point to that.

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post #7 of 8 Old 06-01-2012, 09:28 AM
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I know you have heard this before, but the BRP should not be rushed. It is best experienced at the speed limit 45 mph.

If you do decide to rush it, please be respectful of those who want to drive slower. They are the ones who are actually doing what the parkway was designed for. It is a park. Not a freeway.

Enjoy! It is one of country's best roads.

Ralph

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post #8 of 8 Old 06-02-2012, 06:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice all. I have ridden part of the BRP before, so I have reasonable expectations of speed and traffic. I am definitely not trying to turn the BRP into my personal racetrack. Just wanted to piggyback an awesome ride with a buddy that I don't get to spend much time with onto a trip that I was taking anyway. I did a bunch of perusing Google maps and other sites, and came up with this plan to: ride the Tail, ride the BRP, see Monticello, make it to Nags Head before Monday.

- Thursday - Ride from St. Louis to Louisville (4 hr) after work
- Friday - Ride from Louisville to Knoxville and meet up with my buddy on his ride from Philly.
- Knoxville to Cherokee via US 129 aka Tail of the Dragon. Stay in Cherokee Friday night, get good sleep, get up early and hit the BRP.
- Try to get to Roanoke on Saturday. Google maps says that is 10 hours of riding on the BRP. I figure it will be at least that, probably more with gas stops and scenic views. But if we hit the road by 7 or so in the morning, it should be doable. Also, without going way out of our way, I'm not sure how many places there will be to stop for the night along the way. Even if ends up being 12 or more hours, that still gets us off the bikes by 7 or 8pm.
- Sunday, get up early again and finish the BRP. There are about 4-5 hours left. I think it would be a good goal to get to Monticello by noon. Spend a couple hours looking around TJ's crib.
- Leave Charlottesville somewhere between 4 and 6pm and go our separate ways. I think it's about 4-5 hours for me to get to Nags Head from there.

Pretty excited about this trip. I did a similar trip a couple years ago, and it was awesome (MO => Cherokee => Nags Head), but didn't get to ride the Tail (because I accidentally spent the time allotted for that by taking an unplanned detour to Chattanooga...oops) and only rode about 70 miles of the BRP. Plus, I was solo that whole trip, so it will be awesome to ride with my buddy on his Shadow for several hundred miles of the trip.

My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.
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