It’s not often I have such a successful day when out exploring for new motorcycle rides to add to my maps but Friday was one of the best. Most of the roads I evaluate don’t measure up against my strict standards – low traffic, engaging scenery, and a challenging and fun motorcycle ride. Nearly every road I explored turned out to be good enough to add to my map of “The Best Motorcycle Rides North and South of Asheville, NC”.
Most of todays rides were through the valleys near rivers. The twisty roads hug the banks.
The weather was ideal – atypically warm, sunny, and clear. The first hints of fall color were starting to emerge in places. Most of that is concentrated in the highest elevations right now, see the post to follow for some photos of the best color. The bulk of todays riding was searching out roads to link and connect to the already outstanding rides previously discovered.
I stopped here for a break along NC 197. It's a great ride as are the roads which connect to it.
I had been avoiding the area around US 19W due to the construction to widen the road to 4 lanes. Part of the mission was to discover the side roads which skirt around it. That construction will be going on for quite some time. I found a bunch of them.
You can see a hint of fall color near this lake along Roaring Creek Road in Tennessee.
I also located a nice loop ride south of Johnson City, Tennessee, a good road to make loops near Roan Mountain, and quite surprising, still more great rides near Little Switzerland and the Diamondback. Much of the riding this trip was down low, through the valleys and along the rivers which are rides you can do pretty much all year round, places to go after the Blue Ridge Parkway has closed for the winter season.
This road turned out to be a great way to make a loop ride when doing the popular ride over Roan Mountain. There is one very short but well maintained unpaved section.
I’ll be adding these new motorcycle rides to the map The Best Motorcycle Rides North and South of Asheville, NC” this week. It’s almost done with the upgrade to the new and improved format slow but sure.
The skies have been unusually clear lately and the long range views are outstanding.
I got some great photos of the start of the fall color in the higher elevations on the Blue Ridge Parkway. You’ll find some nice stuff starting near Boone and Banner Elk, in the area around Mt. Mitchell and the Black Mountains, not so much near Craggy Gardens, and then some north and south of Asheville. It’s still a little early, the peak will come next weekend, though it will continue through the lower elevations for a while. Next post will show you some color.
America Rides Maps – http://americaridesmaps.com
Wayne Busch - Cartographer
– Wayne Busch lives in Waynesville, NC, where he produces the most detailed and comprehensive and up-to-date motorcycle pocket maps of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains to help you get the most of your vacation experience. See them here – AmericaRidesMaps.com