The Blue Ridge Plateau – Two Day Mountain Tour
Includes: Lunch, earbud and radio rental
Maximum size: 5
This two-day tour is for experienced motorcyclists who don’t need or want instruction. Instead, they want a “peak” riding experience provided by a knowledgeable guide – that’s me. I’ve been riding the Blue Ridge Plateau for over twenty years. I’d like to share the area with you.
There is no better sport-touring region in the United States than the Blue Ridge Plateau. At roughly 3000 feet, the Blue Ridge Plateau is a 2100 square mile rural region south of Roanoke Virginia part of which runs along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The plateau is a mountainous motorcycling mecca with some of the prettiest scenery found anywhere!
There is a Zen quality to riding these roads. When you’re riding technical roads well, your focus goes deep. The moment becomes continuous as time and distance compress into the ever-present now.
Day 1 begins at 7:30 in Meadows of Dan, Virginia at the Poor Farmers Market. This popular local market is known for “farm-fresh to fork” produce. Breakfast is delicious. Over breakfast, I’ll review the day’s routing and discuss optional radio communication for those who want a rolling description of the land and history. The route will take us ranging across the southwest Appalachians on invisible roads. We’ll cross high mountain vistas and low scenic river valleys into the Mt. Rogers Recreational Area. (Mt. Rogers is the highest mountain in Virginia.) The route is ridden at a relaxed pace so riders can absorb the scenery and still focus since there are very few straight roads! Lunch is around 12:30. Afterward there is more great riding on more twisting invisible roads until we make our way to Floyd, Virginia and conclude the day over dinner at the Pine Tavern Restaurant. The Pine Tavern is funky establishment dating back to the 1920s. The country cooking, served family-style, is excellent. Day 1 is approximately 270 miles long.
Day-2 begins at 8:30 at the Blue Ridge Restaurant in downtown Floyd, VA. Afterward we’re off to ride the “Gap Attack.” These are seven gaps up and down the steep southern slopes of the plateau. These roads are as twisty as ever, totally doable, and fun! Lunch is at 12:30.
The tour will conclude Sunday afternoon at the Poor Farmer’s Market. For riders needing to get started home, I-77 and I-81 are easily accessible. Over all, the 2 day tour is about 190 miles long.
“I recently had the opportunity to join Jim and two other riders on a recent Workshop. I’ve known Jim casually for about fifteen years, first during his time at Bob’s BMW and lately as owner/operator of The Rider’s Workshop. In both of those venues I’ve found Jim to be not only personable, but also someone who is more than willing to share his experience and knowledge of both the “Invisible Roads” and advanced riding techniques.
In regard to “the roads less traveled”, while I’ve spent time riding in the general area of our Workshop, Jim has taken an extraordinary amount of time to uncover those roads that make motorcycling a true pleasure. Most of the two days were spent on single lane, lane-and-a-half, or two lane roads seldom frequented even by the local population. I’ve ridden “The Dragon” and the Cherohala Skyway, and several roads such as RT 555 in SE Ohio. If you can picture two days of continuous roads like these all strung together with minimal time on transition roads, you have some idea of what the tour was like. Jim’s philosophy is that a road is like a piece of music, if you can read it correctly and play it smoothly you’ll be both fast and safe. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Thanks Jim!” Bob Williams Towson, Maryland