Biking / Bicycling Tips for the Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway: Biking Tips & Rules

Bicycling on the Blue Ridge Parkway is a wonderful way to experience the beautiful scenery along the way, with no stop lights or stop signs to slow you down. However, the hilly topography and changing weather conditions can be quite a biking challenge.

The section of the Parkway that wraps around Asheville is fairly flat, although it is heavily traveled as a commuter route. No matter if you bike the Parkway north or south out of Asheville, you will be greeted by a long and strenuous climb of 3,000 feet. To ensure safe and enjoyable bicycling on the Blue Ridge Parkway, planning is important. Carry: (1) plenty of water and high energy foods; (2) clothing for safety and protection from adverse weather conditions; and (3) some form of identification.

We encourage you to become familiar with Parkway resources and services before beginning your cycling trip. Parkway maps and additional information are available from Superintendent, Blue Ridge Parkway, 199 Hemphill Knob Rd, Asheville, NC 28803. Telephone: 828-298-0398.

Blue Ridge Parkway Biking Rules & Regulations

  • Bicycle riders must comply with all applicable state and federal motor vehicle regulations.
  • Bicycles may be ridden only on paved road surfaces and parking areas. Bicycles, including mountain bikes, may not be ridden on trails or walkways.
  • The bicycle operator must exhibit a while light or reflector visible at least 500 feet to the front and a red light or reflector visible at least 200 feet to the rear during periods of low visibility, between the hours of sunset and sunrise, or while traveling through a tunnel.
  • Bicycles must be ridden single file except when passing or turning left and well to the right-hand side of the road.
  • Bicycle speed must be reasonable for control with regard to traffic, weather, road and light conditions.

Bicycling Tips

  • Wear a bicycle helmet.
  • Watch out for tourists driving their cars and looking at the scenery instead of the road.
  • Be sure your bicycle is in good operating condition. Carry a spare tube and tools for minor repairs.
  • Take a cell phone. However, you will not have good reception in many remote areas.
  • Wear high visibility clothing. It sets you apart from the scenery and makes you more visible to motorists.
  • Avoid the Parkway during periods of low visibility. Fog and rain may occur unpredictably.
  • Exercise caution when riding through tunnels. Please be sure your bicycle is equipped with the proper lights or reflectors. When you go from bright sunshine to a dark tunnel, your eyes will not adjust fast enough to see the road. So go slow or walk your bike. There are no lights in the tunnels.
  • Temperatures vary greatly along the Parkway due to different elevations. Wear your clothing in layers, if possible.
  • Safe drinking water is available at all picnic areas, campgrounds, concession operations, and visitor centers. But these are far apart. Water from streams and springs is unsafe for drinking unless you purify it.
  • Make an honest evaluation of your abilities before beginning a bicycle trip on the Parkway. In some sections, you will climb as much as 1,100 feet in 3.4 miles.
  • Ride single file. When cycling in a group, adjust your spacing to allow motor vehicles to pass safely.

End-to-End Ride
Thinking of riding the entire 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkay? Read a Biker's Journal of his ride.

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