Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bicycling in Asheville & Western North Carolina

Outdoor adventure abounds here in Western North Carolina. Last week's blog focused on some fantastic motorcycle riding routes throughout this part of the state. This week, we'd like to focus on a different kind of ridingbicycling.

Whether you prefer a relaxed, leisurely ride through our scenic towns or you're seeking a more challenging mountain biking route, we offer opportunities for both extremes and everything in between.

Bike Riding Map for Asheville & Buncombe County
The North Carolina Department of Transportation offers cyclists a bicycle transportation map that is a great tool when deciding where to ride based on ability and traffic handling skills. 

Click on the Urban Area Maps link and the Asheville and Buncombe County Bicycle Transportation Map will be the first on the list. This map highlights more demanding climbs through the mountainous areas of the county as well as showing parks, points of interest, and other popular destinations. 

Cyclists will also find Asheville's 10 locally signed neighborhood bike routes highlighted on the map in addition to bicycle safety information and tips. Map enlargements for Asheville, Weaverville, and Black Mountain are also included on the map. The rules and regulations for bicycling the Blue Ridge Parkway are listed as well.

Copies of the map can be viewed online in PDF form (and printed) or by contacting:

Pedestrian & Bicycle Coordinator
City of Asheville
Asheville Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
P.O. Box 7148
Asheville, NC 28802
(828) 259-5943

Bike Riding Cue Sheets for Buncombe County
Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club, cyclists can view and print pocket-sized cue sheets for over 70 different bike riding routes in Buncombe County. There is an overview of each route that gives helpful information which includes information such as the city location, start points, total ride miles, total ascent, and a ride effort index. Just click on the route that fits your interest and ability level, and the cue sheet will load offering the detailed directions of the ride route.

Group Bicycle Rides & Rentals
Many of the local bike shops and outfitters offer loosely organized group rides in addition to bicycle sales and rentals, as well as other cycling supplies. To explore more of what they have to offer and for more information on the local riding trails, check out this list of area bicycle shops and outfitters.

French Broad Cycling Classic Event
If you happen to be in town this weekend, be sure the catch the French Broad Cycling Classic (FBCC) happening in various towns throughout Western North Carolina from July 20 - July 22. The FBCC is a 3-day bicycle stage race (Omnium) that promotes amateur racing throughout the USA drawing over 600 racers from an eight-state radius (NC, SC, VA, TN, KY, GA, AL, FL). It usually occurs on the third weekend of July and offers some of the most competitive bicycle racing in the United States.

This event is free to the public with the best viewing occurring during the Sunday Criterium, which runs from 8a.m. to 6:30p.m. For a full list of event times and details, visit the French Broad Cycling Classic website for more information.

Plan Your Stay
Don't forget that we offer a nice selection of vacation rentals to make your stay in Western North Carolina the best it can be. Whether you prefer to have your accommodations close to downtown Asheville or if you are more interested in a secluded mountain retreat, you'll find a nice selection of choices with the amenities you desire.

We look forward to seeing you in and around Asheville. If you've had some biking adventures during your visit here, be sure to share them with us in our comment section. Happy cycling!

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