I love living in Western North Carolina (WNC) and exploring the beautiful countryside by bike, and I’d like to share it with you. In fact, I’ll even design a custom experience for you and your friends so that you won’t have to spend time worrying about the details. Why?
Six years ago, I visited Asheville for the first time. My intention was to ride each day and enjoy the city in the evenings. Keep in mind that I was no sissy…I fully intended to climb to the top of Mount Mitchell. I wasn’t afraid of climbing or distance, but I did want help finding a route that would allow me to warm up before the climb.
In addition, a couple members of my travel party were not avid cyclists and wanted to enjoy short, easy routes. So, I visited a local bicycle shop and purchased a road cycling guide. It wasn’t great advice (although well-intentioned) — one route was clogged with heavy traffic. Another route ended when we encountered pavement that turned to gravel, which we couldn’t transit with the road bikes we had that day.
Eventually, we gave up riding from our lodging and drove a car to the Folk Art Center and just started grinding up the mountain on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Even this didn’t work out well – as locals all know, the weather on the Blue Ridge Parkway can change quickly and dramatically and fog and rain put a premature end to our adventure at Craggy Gardens. My first bicycle vacation in this area was pretty darn frustrating.
Despite the challenges, I fell deeply in love with Western North Carolina. A couple of years later, I moved here and I haven’t looked back. I’ve ridden 1,000s of miles throughout the region, found routes and tested those found by others, refined the routes and established partners at farms, galleries, restaurants, B&Bs, and hotels. Now I lead rides that avoid the missteps I experienced my first time.
Yes, this means you’ll have a great time on your first visit. That’s our objective.
And one more thing. I can’t get enough of the countryside and Farms, in fact, cities make me nervous. I grew up on a small farm, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, when organic food was simply called “food”. Farms have always been a part of me, and live in my heart. Good food made with local ingredients is what I know best, and I think that eating healthy and well is an integral part of a cycling experience. I love to introduce (and re-introduce) visitors to Farmers, local food, and to the countryside. So our rides are never just about the bicycle.
No matter which way you choose to ride with us, we look forward to sharing the beauty and resources of Western North Carolina with you.