This is a special opportunity to ride in a very special place: Burkes Garden in a remote corner of southwest Virginia near the border with West Virginia.
Burkes Garden appears to be an ancient volcanic crater, especially from the air or from the ridgeline that completely encircles it – about 8 miles across in the widest place.
In the center of the depression is some of the most fertile land found anywhere, in fact the name originated as a sort of wry joke when potato plants were found thriving in a spot a year after a visitor discarded potato peelings in the 1700’s.
Today this very special place remains isolated with a handful of residents and farms, with the entire valley registered as a national Historic District. It is also the highest valley in Virginia (about 3,000 feet) and absolutely gorgeous.
Our tour is designed to give you the unique experience of riding a mostly-flat 100 mile century event organized by a local bicycle club, which includes climbing up and over the ridgeline into Burkes Garden, circling the high valley on a loop among the farms, and then returning to the start.
Once a year, about 100 cyclists participate in this event, with a stop in the center of Burkes Garden to eat lunch, and we will join them…
Of course you will be supported by the VGR luxury Sprinter van and trailer, with delicious and abundant food, drinks, and shade from the sun. If you decide during the ride you’re not up to the full distance, the van will be available to you.
But wait, there’s more…
We will be based in the single-stoplight town of Floyd, Virginia, staying overnight before the Burkes Garden Century and again afterword. This gives us the opportunity to enjoy Floyd’s world-famous reputation for bluegrass, folk, and country music.
And there’s even more: we’ll take a second day for a recovery ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway, including a visit to the famous Mabry Mill.
This is a 3-day tour with 2 days of riding over approximately 130 miles, with options for more or less mileage.
This tour is limited to 10 guests.
Day 1 – Transport to VA
We will meet you in Black Mountain at The Monte Vista Hotel in the afternoon. After parking your car and loading your bikes, we will hop in the VGR luxury Sprinter van and take the trip to Floyd, VA, the charming town that is one of the most popular stops on the Crooked Road.
Upon arrival, we will check into our comfortable hotel and then take a stroll through the town. Dinner, shopping, music and great beer are all located just steps from the hotel.
Day 2 – 62 or 100 Miles
Let the riding begin! After a hearty breakfast, we will leave Floyd to travel to the start of the Burkes Garden Century.
We’ll be near the West Virginia border, and we’ll fly along flat country roads for about 40 miles before the grade pitches steeply up so that we can gain the ridgeline that circles Burkes Garden. The valley, often referred to as God’s Thumbprint, is beautiful, rural and remote with only one way in and out.
Not only will you be supported by guides and the VGR luxury Sprinter van, you can choose either the full century (100 mile) route or the metric century (62 mile).
This is an excellent “first century” ride, because of the mostly-flat profile of the route.
Day 3 – 34 miles
Today you will enjoy one of our favorite sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway: from about Milepost 165 to Milepost 199. We will begin our day with a great breakfast in Floyd, and coffee from Red Rooster Coffee before taking a short van ride to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
We will spend the day rolling south on The Parkway passing (and stopping at) beautiful sites such as: Rocky Knob, Mabry Mill, the Puckett Cabin, Orchard Gap and Groundhog Mountain. We’ll stop for great photo ops, delicious food, and plenty of hydration.
When we reach Fancy Gap, VA, we will re-board the VGR van, and make our way back to North Carolina and Black Mountain.
Extras for this tour include: Registration fee for the Burkes Garden Century
All VGR tours include support by the VGR luxury Sprinter van and trailer, with delicious and abundant food, iced drinks, and shade from the sun. Your bike never rides on top of a vehicle, but secure within our custom trailer. We carry spares, parts, and tools should there be a problem with your bike.
Unless otherwise stated, the cost of alcoholic beverages is not included in your tour package.