Road Cycling in Asheville and Western North Carolina

Outdoor Activities

The city of Asheville isn't a great place to ride a bike - too much traffic and too little provision for bike riders - but the areas north, west and east of Asheville offer some of the best bicycling in the USA. Although there are some good rides south of Asheville, I think the best riding is on the Blue Ridge Parkway and in the areas north and west of the Parkway. Arguably, the Blue Ridge Parkway itself is the best riding of all, but I ride a lot of routes that I think are as good, and in a few cases, better than most of the Parkway. This page is an introduction to those routes for riders who have not explored that area.

Visit our Blue Ridge Parkway page for more info on the Parkway.

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Craggy Gardens Panorama
Entrance and Exit to Craggy Gardens Picnic area - Courtesy of Mark Boyd

Things to Consider when Riding Outside of Asheville NC

Mountain Riding Vista
View from Town Mountain

Once you start to ride out of Asheville in any direction except along the river, you need to be ready for some serious climbing and, even along the river, you need to be comfortable riding in traffic. You should also carry water - climbing is thirsty work - and be prepared for some common bike problems like flat tires. Lots of folks ride into the mountains with inadequate supplies and no knowledge of how to repair a flat tire...

Get Western Road Cycling Tips

Road Cycling Rides in Asheville

Asheville Road Cycling
Riverside Drive Bike Lane

There are few flat places to ride, but, in each part of Asheville, east, west, north, and south, of Asheville there are some decent short rides that are relatively easy and, just as important, relatively traffic free. These rides require little in the way of preparation...

Learn about Rides in Asheville

Blue Ridge Parkway Riding

View of Asheville WaterShed - Blue Ridge Parkway North
Asheville Watershed - BRP

One of the most popular places to road cycle in Western NC is the Blue Ridge Parkway. Our riding the Blue Ridge Parkway guide covers rides up Elk Mountain, and various other rides around the Parkway.

Find out About Cycling on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Out of Town Rides

Beautiful Mountain Scenery at Forks of Ivy
Forks of Ivy - Courtesy Mark Boyd

There are several great rides outside of Asheville in Western North Carolina. Some of these rides even cross over the boarder into Eastern Tennessee. Rides covered in this section include Newfound Road, Dogget Gap, Hot Springs, Lake Junaluska, rides around Black Mountain, Forks of Ivy, and five rides that across the TN border.

Explore the Cycling Routes of Western NC

Local Cycling Clubs

Blue Ridge Bicycle Club, BRBC works to promote bicycling (mountain and road)in the Asheville and Western NC area. They hold group rides as well as trail maintenance sessions in Pisgah and the Dupont State Forest.

Pisgah Area SORBA, (Southeastern Off-road Bicycle Association) has recently approved the formation of the Pisgah chapter. Check out this great group for group rides, trail work, and advocacy.

Local Road Cycling Outfitters

Whether you need a new bike, a tune-up, or just some advice on any aspect of cycling, you might want to check out one of Asheville's great local bike shops.

Bio Wheels
Hern's Cycling and Fitness in Asheville NC
Liberty Bicycles
Ski Country Sports
Pro Bikes
Second Gear

Bio Wheels
81 Coxe Avenue. Asheville, NC 28801

Hearn's Cycling and Fitness
34 Broadway St. Asheville, NC 28801

Liberty Bicycles
1378 Hendersonville Rd. Asheville, NC 28803

Ski Country Sports
1000 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804

Pro Bikes
610 Haywood Rd # B. Asheville, NC 28806

Second Gear
415 Haywood Rd # A. Asheville, NC 28806

Carolina Fatz Cycling Center
1240 Brevard Rd. Asheville, NC 28806

Epic Cycles
108 Black Mountain Ave. Black Mountain, NC 28711

Youngblood Bicycles
233 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28801

REI - Asheville
31 Schenck Parkway. Asheville, NC 28803

Web Resources

Be sure to check the weather before you ride, and know what to expect while you're out there. Here are some resources you may find useful while planning your ride.

Asheville Cycling, great local site w/events, maps, discussion boards, and more

MTB WNC, for trail info, directions, maps, and photos of mountain biking in WNC

International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), provides trail advocacy, trail building schools, and various other services to mountain bikers across the US and beyond.

Rays Weather Center, provides local forecasts, graphics, and area web cameras.

High Country Webcams, what's the weather like outside right now?
Check out these handy area webcams to find out!

About the Author

Asheville Road Cyclings Mark Boyd

Mark Boyd is an avid bicycle tourist, commuter, and recreational rider who lives in north Asheville. He takes long tours each summer and creates a web page for each day on the road. - typically 40 to 50 pages each summer. After doing this for more than a decade, he has created a unique collection of hundreds of web pages covering riding in almost all of the US states, Canadian provinces, and European countries. He also has pages on shorter rides in western NC and Colorado. Just use a search engine - google, yahoo, etc. - to search for Mark Boyd and you'll find his bicycling page whch has links to all these pages.


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Road Cycling in Asheville - WNC Outdoor Activities