Bike Blue Ridge Parkway

Blocked: Blue Ridge Parkway

Often during winter, the Blue Ridge Parkway is blocked to automobiles because of snow, ice, fallen rocks or trees. That’s the time when hikers and bikers head to the hills for some great, traffic-free activities.

I rode for several miles, traffic-free, to reach Mt. Pisgah. © 2020 Ralph Grizzle

I parked the Boldt and headed past the barricade uphill. My goal: Mt. Pisgah and possibly beyond. Temps were in the 60s, unusual for February 2. I wasn’t alone as I pedaled. There were road-bikers, mountain-bikers, hikers, and even one runner with a stroller.

See Cold Mountain? That’s the mountain that inspired Asheville author Charles Frazier to write the eponymous book, which was produced in to a feature film starring Jude Law and Nicole Kidman. Cold Mountain was filmed in Romania. Interestingly, the county that I stood in when I snapped this photo was Transylvania County. Transylvania is the county in Romania where much of Cold Mountain was filmed.

Reaching Mt. Pisgah took me about an hour, a fairly steady grind up through several tunnels and steep grades at the end. The wind was whipping, the views were spectacular. I couldn’t help but stop to snap photos and to use Peakfinder to identify some of the mountains.

A beautiful day at Mt. Pisgah. © 2020 Ralph Grizzle

After a brief stop at Mt. Pisgah, I continued to ride until I found the trail to Frying Pan mountain. The trail was covered in snow, and it was calling my name, so I ventured up the trail for a mile or so until I was within view of the fire tower. I took in the beauty around me and then began the ride back.

On the trail to Frying Pan ridge. © 2020 Ralph Grizzle

As always, the Boldt was my home base. It’s nice to roll back into the parking lot, pop the bike on the 1UP bike rack and step into the warmth of Boldtaire.

Strava tells that that my moving time was 1 hour 55 minutes. I managed to pedal 16.5 miles for a total elevation gain of 1,933 feet.Also, important to know for post-ride consumption was that I expended 1,226 calories. That’s a lot of data, but the bottom line is: I could have ice cream.