I decided to wait and post everything in two different post with the pics in Part 2. So last Tuesday I was down on the Blue Ridge Parkway again with Jim, Kathy, Brian, Jill, and Nehemiah. We actually left Monday and the ride went down on Tuesday.
When we got there Monday evening we ran into the same group that told us about this ride last year. They were doing the same ride we were attempting on Tuesday. That group was doing the yo-yo, Front Royal (start of the Skyline Drive) - Cherokee (end of the Parkway) and back to Front Royal (1100 miles in all) in only two weeks.
The ride started at the Pisgah Inn at milepost 408 on the parkway. We left at around 8:30 am. Our first rest stop was milepost 427.5 - the infamous Bear Pen Gap. That is the location where I abonded last years ride. Needless to say I got several pictures of me with that sign (see Part 2 later this week). After that it was all new territory. Going out to the end of the Parkway is mostly downhill (2 of the desecents make up a 1/3 of the outbound ride. 20 miles downhill, OH YEAH), however there is still some climbing. The biggest climb is about 7 miles long up to Water Rock Knob.
The ride out was pretty uneventful, expect for Jim crashing in the tunnel! The tunnels down there are not lit, but usually short enough you can see through them. However, one has a bad curve that you can't see around. Jim's night vision is horrible. So he goes in first and all I hear him say is "I can't see, I can't see" and I see him go crossing the opposite lane. Then I hear a loud crashing noise. The problem is I can't see him because of the darkness so I assume the worst. Fortunately he kept the bike upright and hit only a reflector on the wall. The only injuries sustained were some road rash and a bruised ego (haha). The ride down to the end of Parkway took four hours.
Now I can say I have ridden the entire Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive. Too bad I can't say I didn't in 5 days, but 5 days, plus one year, then 1 more day is still pretty good. Check back later in the week for the final installment of this epic ride and hopefully some pics from Kathy and Jill.