Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Blue Ridge Parkway

Built during the 1930s as a Depression-era public works project, the 469 miles stretch from Shenandoah National Park along the Blue Ridge Mountains to the eastern rampart of the Appalachians. The parkway is interesting for biking as it has a set speed limit if 45 mph and NO STOP SIGNS. The parkway has no gas stations, no stores, nothing. Just plenty of pristine forest, some tunnels and amazing scenery.

The ride was gorgeous, but very long. I started at 6:30am and rode for the better part of 10 hours. A few stops along the way allowed me to check the visitor center maps and buy some Appalachian Bluegrass CDs.

Since the majority of the parkway is shaded by a heavy tree canopy, the day was mostly cool. I was able to keep the leather jacket on comfortably all day. What a difference.

The day started in South Carolina. I entered the Parkway in North Carolina and ended the day in Waynesboro, VA. Even thought the speed limit is set at 45 mph, or perhaps because of it, the day was one of my most tiring. Beautiful, but tiring. I am glad I did it though.

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