The Ultimate Guide To Asheville and the Western North Carolina Mountains
The Ultimate Guide to Asheville & the Western North Carolina Mountains

The Online Version of the Best-selling Regional Guidebook
 

 

Cycling &
Mountain Biking

Pen & Ink Drawings of Biltmore Estate, by Lee James Pantas

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     Biking is a very popular recreation in the mountains, with road cycling the main attraction followed closelAsheville Women's Cycling Club 2009 Teamy in second by off-road and mountain biking. Scenic vistas and winding country and mountain roads, a wide variety of terrain, make for some of the best bicycle touring in the world. Because of this fact, Asheville in the past has been one of the stops in the Tour Dupont, which used the Grove Park Inn Resort as race headquarters, and notable biking professionals including Lance Armstrong, Greg LeMond and others regularly visit the mountains to ride. And as far as mountain and off-road biking goes, Western North Carolina is second to none in that category. Some of the world's greatest mountain biking trails can be found in Western North Carolina and thousands of enthusiasts flock here every year for just that reason.

 

     Local bookstores and bicycle shops carry specialty guidebooks to bicycling and mountain biking in Western North Carolina that offer maps and trails advice, beyond the scope of what is presented here.  One of the best for visitors who wish to find some road biking  routes is Road Bike Asheville. This informative guide describes sixteen road-biking routes in and around Asheville that the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club of Asheville sees as tops. The bicycle shops listed below can give you personal advice as to mountain biking trails in the mountains as well as additional road routes.
    Near Asheville, excellent off-road riding can be found in the nearby Pisgah District of the PisgaAsheville area unicyclists -Bill Spears (bike in air) and Anne Worth (left front)h National Forest.  This section of the forest has more than 400 miles of trails. Check in at the Ranger Station Visitor Center 1 miles west of NC 280 on U.S. 276 and pick up a copy of their trail map. The Bent Creek section of the forest near Asheville is an especially popular riding area, as is the nearby North Mills River Recreation Area and the Dupont State Forest near Hendersonville. An excellent online resource for mountain biking, including area maps and trail information can be found on the Mountain Biking in Western North Carolina website.

     In addition to the many opportunities for road and mountain biking, Asheville also has its own racing oval located at 220 Amboy Road in the Asheville Parks and Recreation Carrier Park. Formerly the old Asheville Motor Speedway, this park is open to the public for multiple outdoor activities, including track racing. Cyclo-cross racing also has caught on in Western North Carolina as well. This discipline involves short off-road races in a circuit-race format with a one to two mile course, short, steep hills and a variety of surfaces from pavement to mud and sand.
      A fast growing sport in the mountains is unicycling, especially trail riding in the mountains! There is even an annual festival in Asheville, the  Southeast Muni Fest.   A local club Western North Carolina Unicyclists is an excellent resource for those interested in learning more about the sport. Visit their website or call Bill Spears at 828-508-1329.

Asheville Area Bicycle Clubs, Organizations & Training Centers:
Asheville Bicycle Racing Club: Non-profit Asheville based organization established for the purpose of promoting amateur bicycle racing in Western North Carolina.
Asheville Triathlon Club: Non-profit multisport club based in Asheville.
Asheville Women's Cycling Club: All-female cycling club
. Road racing, mountain biking, cyclo-cross, track racing, triathlons and adventure racing. Also professional all-female racing team. Photo above of  2009 team.
Blue Ridge Bicycle Club of Asheville:  Premier Western North Carolina bicycle club includes both mountain and road cyclists. Blue Ridge Bicycle Club, PO Box 309, Asheville NC 28802.
Pisgah Area SORBA: Pisgah chapter of the Southeastern Off-Road Bike Association. PO Box 61, Skyland NC 28776. 770-654-3291.
Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventures: Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventures is a mountain bike guide service that specializes in professionally guided trips in Pisgah National Forest and Dupont State Recreational Forest. 828-393-0101
Western North Carolina Unicyclists Asheville area unicyclist club. 828-508-1329.

Other Bicycle Clubs, Organizations & Training Centers:
Bushy Mountain Cyclists Club: Club based in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. PO Box 1281, North Wilkesboro NC 28659
IMBA International Mountain Bicycling Association: IMBA works to keep trails open for mountain bikers by encouraging responsible riding and supporting volunteer trailwork. 207 Canyon, Suite 301, Boulder CO 80302. 303-545-9011.
Southern Appalachian Bicycling Association: PO Box 461, Hayesville NC 28804.
USA Cycling: National cycling organization based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 719-434-4200.

Bicycle Shops in the Asheville-Hendersonville Area:
Bike Ways: 607 Greenville Highway, Hendersonville NC 29792; 828-692-0613
Carolina Fatz Cycling Center: 1240 Brevard Road, Suite #3, Asheville NC 28806;
Hearn's Cycling & Fitness: 34 Broadway, Asheville, NC 28801; 828-253-4800.
Liberty Bicycles: 1378 Hendersonville Hwy., Asheville, NC 28803;828-274-2453.
Motion Makers Bicycle Shop: 878 Brevard Road, Asheville, NC 28806; 828-633-2227

The Bicycle Company: 779 N. Church Street, Hendersonville NC 28792; 828-696-1500.
Pro Bikes  610-B Haywood Road, Asheville NC 28806; 828-253-2800.
Youngblood Bicycles: 233 Merrimon Avenue, Asheville NC 28801; 828-251-4686.

Bicycle Shops in Western North Carolina:
Boone: Boone Bike and Touring: 774 E. King Street, Boone NC 28807; 828-262-5750.
Franklin: Smoky Mountain Bicycles: 31 E. Main Street, Franklin NC 28734; 828-369-2881.
Pisgah Forest: Sycamore Cycles: 112 New Hendersonville Highway, Pisgah Forest, NC 28768; 828-877-5790.
Saluda: Keiths Triathlon Shop: 181 East Main Street, Saluda NC 28773, 828-329-8806
Sylva: Motion Makers Bicycle Shop: 552 West Main Street, Sylva NC 28779; 828-586-6925.
Waynesville: RollsRite Bicycles: 1362 Asheville Road, Waynesville NC 28786; 828-276-6080

Bicycle & Bicycle Components Manufacturers:
Cane Creek Cycling: Asheville based bike component manufacturer. 355 Cane Creek Road, Fletcher NC 28732 .828-684-3551.
Industry Nine: Bicycle wheels and component manufacturer. PO Box 16309, Asheville NC 28816, 828-210-5113.

Outdoor Stores & Outfitters in the Asheville-Hendersonville Area:
Black Dome: 140 Tunnel Road, Asheville NC 28805; 828-251-2001.
Diamond Brand Outdoors: 2623 Hendersonville Road, Arden NC 28704; 828-684-6262.
Mast General Store: 15 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville NC 28801; 828-232-1883.
Play It Again Sports (Second-hand): 611 Tunnel Road, Asheville NC 28805; 828-299-1221.
REI: 31 Schenck Parkway, Asheville NC 28803; 828-687-0918.
Second Gear (Second-hand) 444 Haywood Road, Asheville NC 28806; 828-258-0757.

Outdoor Stores & Outfitters in the rest of Western North Carolina:
Banner Elk: High Mountain Expeditions: 3149 Tynecastle Highway, Banner Elk NC 28604. 828-262-9036.
Bryson City:
Nantahala Outdoor Center: 13077 Highway 19W, Bryson City NC; 888-905-7238.
Cashiers: Highland Hiker
: 47 Highway 107 South, Cashiers NC 28717; 828-743-1732.
Hot Springs:
Bluff Mountain Outfitters: 152 Bridge Street, Hot Springs NC 28743;828-622-7162.
Murphy: Appalachian Outfitters: 104A Tennessee Street, Murphy NC 28906; 828-837-4165.
Pisgah Forest: Looking Glass Outfitters: 90 New Hendersonville Highway, Pisgah Forest NC 28768; 866-351-2176.
Valle Crucis: Mast General Store: Other locations in Boone, Waynesville, Hendersonville and Asheville. Highway 194, Valle Crucis NC 28691; 828-963-6511.
West Jefferson: Mountain Outfitters: 102 South Jefferson Avenue, West Jefferson NC 29694; 336-246-9133.

 

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