An Inn to Inn bicycle tour is an ideal way to explore Western North Carolina. Traveling at a pace slow enough to really see the country you’re in, you can stop and explore small mountain villages, roll through quiet farmland, spin along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and visit Asheville — one of the most popular destination cities in the country.
At Velo Girl Rides, we specialize in creating customized inn to inn bicycle tours that allow you to travel in a style that is perfect for you. First, we learn about you, then we give you some great decisions to make. The result is a Inn to Inn bicycle tour tailored to your specific preferences.
The first step to creating your tour is to complete our Tour Questionnaire, and then spend some time chatting by phone about your goals, interests and skill level. This process will help you decide which type of tour is best for you:
- Self-Guided & Self-Supported – we will make your lodging reservations, create a custom turn-by-turn cue sheet and map, and provide valuable local knowledge about routes, sights, food and all things local to get your tour started. Then you will begin your adventure carrying your gear along with you as you travel by bicycle. You’re on your own, but you’re prepared.
- Self-Guided & Supported – like the idea of guiding your own adventure, but would prefer to do so “unloaded”? Then choose this option and let Velo Girl Rides do the heavy lifting, literally. In addition to all the benefits of the Self-Guided & Self-Supported tour, your luggage and gear will be transported each day and will be waiting for you in your room when you arrive at each inn. You’re on your own and you ride lightly.
- Fully Supported – This option includes all of the above benefits and so much more. You will ride with a local guide each day and be supported by the Velo Girl Rides van and trailer. Snacks, drinks and layers will always be accessible. Lunch will be served along the route. Mechanical problems will be resolved by your guide. When necessary, you and your bicycle will be transported to the inn – making it possible to easily reach inns that are tucked away in the mountains, beyond a mortal’s reach by bicycle. You ride with us.
Because we live and ride in Western North Carolina, we can create a tour that meets your goals be it a spring climbing tour, your first touring adventure, a group raid to celebrate a major milestone, you name it, we can make it happen. Here is a sample itinerary:
Sample Tour Itinerary
Day 1 – 33 miles
Your inn-to-inn cycling tour begins in the charming town of Black Mountain. After a hearty breakfast at the lodge, begin your journey across the Eastern Continental Divide, through farmland, past the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy Florence Preserve and into the village of Lake Lure. This resort community is famous for providing the backdrop for filming both Dirty Dancing and Last of the Mohicans. Relax by the lake, visit Chimney Rock State Park, and enjoy a nice dinner.
Day 2 – 60 miles
Get ready to experience why we love to ride in Western North Carolina as you tackle over 5,100 feet of elevation gain. As you leave Lake Lure, you will ride rolling hills through farmland following the route of Assault on Mt Mitchell into the Town of Marion.
From here you will begin your ascent to the Blue Ridge Parkway along famed Route 80. Smile if you see Blind Kenny, because he will record your victorious achievement near the top. After admiring the view back down into the valley, you will take the sweeping descent to your inn located in the artist community of Celo.
Day 3 – 50 miles
Want to complete your personal assault on Mt Mitchell? It’s yours for the taking. Today you will follow retrace your path to enter the Blue Ridge Parkway and head south for your first taste of Beer City. Along the way, you will pass the entrance to the Mt Mitchell State Park where five miles of climbing stand between you and reaching the highest summit east of the Mississippi River.
After the tears are shed and photos have been taken, descend back to the Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoy one of the best descents in Western North Carolina. Elk Mountain Scenic Highway will introduce you to the sights of Asheville including rolling past the Grove Park Inn on your way into the city. A short stretch of urban cycling brings you to your destination hotel in the heart of the Paris of the South…Welcome to Asheville.
Day 4 – 26 miles
On the final day of your tour, you will climb away from Asheville and return to Black Mountain. This route will transverse Town Mountain on quiet residential roads before regaining the Blue Ridge Parkway for a screaming descent to the Folk Art Center.
After leaving the Blue Ridge Parkway, rolling hills will take you through the Swannanoa Valley and past the farming campus of Warren Wilson College. Upon reaching Black Mountain, it will be easy to celebrate your tour of Western North Carolina because dining, shopping, local beer and live music are all within walking distance of your lodge.
Only A Sample!
The Tour Itinerary shown here is just one example of what’s possible. Once we know what you’re looking for, we can propose a wide variety of choices. You can emphasize high-speed epic assaults, or a casual stop-and-smell-the-flowers (or espresso) pace. Mountains, or farmland. Many stops, or straight-through. Artists or farmers. Your imagination (and ours) is the only limit.