The Club's annual trip to Asheville, NC is scheduled for Thursday, April 20th through Sunday, April 23rd. Some members will begin their trip on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 19th, when they will drive from the Toledo area to overnight in Lexington, KY. On Thursday morning they will then ride through the horse county of Kentucky before departing for Asheville in the late morning.
Click here to view a real time map of the Blue Ridge Parkway road closures.
The customary Wednesday overnight location in Lexington, KY is:
Days Inn Lexington South
I-75 Exit 104
5575 Athens Boonesboro Rd.
Lexington, KY 40509
Directions to the hotel from I-75 north are simple:
From I- 75 take exit 104. Then make a left and you're at the hotel.
A map can be found by clicking here
Click on the icon below to view info on the accommodations.
Due to complications with trying to reserve a block of room at this location, each member is responsible for his or her own reservations. Simply call the front desk at the number above to book your room reservation. In past years late checkout has always been an option for Thursday morning following the ride. When making your reservation make certain you inquire about the late checkout time. Previously this option has been available for an additional $20.
This year's overnight location in Asheville, NC is:
Days Inn Biltmore East
1743 Tunnel Rd.
Ashville, NC 28805
Directions to the hotel:
The hotel is located at exit 55 at I-40.
If traveling from the east on I-40 take exit 55, exit is on right. At the stop sign at the bottom of the exit ramp make a right, at the traffic light turn right and make a right into the hotel drive.
If traveling from the west on I-40, take exit 55, exit is on right. At the stop sign make a left, at the traffic light turn right and make a right into the hotel drive.
Click on the icon below to view info on the accommodations.
As of March 9th twelve rooms have been reserved for the three nights of Thursday the 20th, Friday the 21st and Saturday the 22nd. Each room has two double beds. The cost is $396.63 (including taxes) for the three nights. The breakfast buffet is included. Each member is responsible for his or her own reservations. Simply call the front desk at the number above and ask for the reservation group code Maumee Valley Wheelmen for the three nights.
Reservations at the Days Inn must be no later than March 20th. The Days Inn is the hotel for this year's trip for two reasons. First, I was VERY late in making the reservation arrangements this year. Second, our long-standing venue of the Holiday Inn is undergoing a six-million dollar update, which includes remodeling all the rooms. Due to construction the hotel only has half the rooms for rent as compared to usual years; those reduced number of room are all booked for the weekend of the Club's excursion. We will return to this favored venue next year. If you have any questions, contact Scott.
The ride in Lexington is approximately 42 miles of undulating terrain on good roads, and it winds through the scenic, rolling countryside of Kentucky's horse country. A map of the course can be found here, which is a link to Map My Ride. You can also download the course to your GPS device here, which is a link to RideWithGPS. Thanks to Mike Peiffer for providing the GPS data!
The rides from Asheville begin at the hotel and proceed to the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is less than one mile. The milepost numbering system begins with 0.0 at the north end of the parkway and terminates at 469.1 at the south end of the parkway. For a very informational book regarding cycling on the Blue Ridge Parkway take a look at Bicycling the Blue Ridge by Elizabeth & Charlie Skinner and published by Menasha Ridge Press [ISBN 0-89732-301-7]. This book provides a milepost-by-milepost description of the entire parkway. The book can be found on here on Amazon.
On one of the days the Club rides the parkway southwest to the summit of Mt. Pisgah. This route enters the parkway off US 70 [aka Tunnel Road] at BRP milepost 382.5 [This is very near the Folk Art Center, which is located at the BRP milepost 382.0]. We then ride southwest to the gas station/camp store located at the entrance of the Mt. Pisgah campground at BRP milepost 408.8. This route climbs 3,705 feet between milepost 384 and 408. It also includes nine tunnels, which range in length from 275 feet to 1434 feet. For safety reasons make sure you bring at least a taillight for your bike, and a small headlight is also strongly advised. The long tunnel is curved, and the end of the tunnel is not visible from the entrance. The tunnel is NOT lighted. The gas station/camp store is open, and drinks and snacks may be purchased. Most folks then return to the hotel from here. It may warrant pointing out that the return trip is not entirely a coast down, as there are couple of ascents on the return trip. As a point of reference on the trip up the route crosses the Broad River at milepost 393.6, and this is at an elevation of 2000 feet. The gas station/camp store is at an elevation of 4850 feet.
On another of the days the Club rides the parkway northeast to the entrance of Mt. Mitchell State Park, and then to the summit of Mt. Mitchell [elevation 6684 feet], which is 4.8 miles inside the state park. This route enters the parkway off US 70 [aka Tunnel Road] at BRP milepost 382.5. We then ride northeast to the entrance of Mt. Mitchell State Park located at BRP milepost 355.4. The summit of Mt Mitchell is found 4.8 miles into the state park, which includes and additional 1390 feet of climbing. This is the toughest part of this route. The first two miles of this climb are steeper than the following three. There is no store at the top, so bringing your own snacks is highly advised. This route also includes at least four tunnels, so a taillight is a prudent option. Like the Mt. Pisgah route, the return trip from Mt. Mitchell is not entirely downhill. A couple of significant ascents must be negotiated.