Biking is a
very popular recreation in the mountains, with road cycling the main
attraction followed closely
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
Pisgah National Forest. This section of the forest has
more than 400 miles of trails. Check in at the Ranger Station
Visitor Center 1½ 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.
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.
Velosports Performance Center: Cycle training and
performance center. Indoor facility. 200 Racquet Club Road,
Asheville NC 28803, 828-274-3361.
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
Western North Carolina Unicyclists Asheville area unicyclist
Clubs, Organizations & Training Centers:
Blue Ridge B.I.T.S.: Local Hendersonville road and mountain
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
Biowheels: 81 Coxe Avenue, Asheville NC 28801; 828-236-2455.
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
Makers Bicycle Shop: 878 Brevard Road, Asheville, NC
The Bicycle Company: 779 N. Church Street, Hendersonville NC
Pro Bikes 610-B Haywood Road, Asheville NC 28806; 828-253-2800.
Youngblood Bicycles: 233 Merrimon Avenue, Asheville NC 28801;
Bicycle Shops in Western
Boone Bike and Touring: 899 Blowing Rock Road, Boone NC 28807;
Smoky Mountain Bicycles: 179 Highlands Road, Franklin NC 28734;
Sycamore Cycles: 112 New Hendersonville Highway, Pisgah Forest,
NC 28768; 828-877-5790.
Motion Makers Bicycle Shop: 552 West Main Street, Sylva NC
RollsRite Bicycles: 1362 Asheville Road, Waynesville NC 28786;
Bicycle & Bicycle
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
Mast General Store: 15 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville NC 28801;
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;
Outdoor Stores &
Outfitters in the rest of Western North Carolina:
High Mountain Expeditions: 3149
Tynecastle Highway, Banner Elk NC 28604. 828-262-9036.
Nantahala Outdoor Center: 13077 Highway 19W, Bryson City NC;
Highland Hiker: 47 Highway 107 South, Cashiers NC 28717;
Bluff Mountain Outfitters: 152 Bridge Street, Hot Springs NC
Appalachian Outfitters: 104A Tennessee Street, Murphy NC 28906;
Looking Glass Outfitters: 90 New Hendersonville Highway, Pisgah
Forest NC 28768; 866-351-2176.
Mast General Store: Other locations in Boone, Waynesville,
Hendersonville and Asheville. Highway 194, Valle Crucis NC 28691;
West Jefferson: Mountain Outfitters:
102 South Jefferson Avenue, West Jefferson NC 29694; 336-246-9133.