Asheville, NC has all the elements that make for superb road biking-a year-round riding climate, varied terrain, scenic backroads that see light automotive use, and a cycling-friendly population. Champion cyclist Greg Lemond has called Asheville's "Land of Sky" one of the best training locations in the world. In this guide, the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club offers 16 of the best routes in the Asheville area, ranging from 8 to 64 miles in length. Choose a 50-mile tour to a great bakery in Saluda, an 8-mile cruise ending at a lovely rose garden, or a metric century that passes by the historic home of poet Carl Sandburg near Flat Rock. Each route description includes everything you need to pick your ride, with complete directions, detailed map, elevation profile, road surface conditions, difficulty rating, points of interest and services available along the way.
Road maps and elevation profiles accompany each entry. Also included are local points of interest, such a gem mines, overlooks, tunnels, estimated riding times, route characteristics and cautions (heavy traffic, surface conditions, steep ascents or descents) and detailed ride directions. Clearly, the writers are familiar with the countryside; all the routes showcase the beauty and history of the mountains. Although armchair travelers might be disappointed by the lack of narrative description, cyclist's won't be.
—Our State Magazine
The slow-paced Rose Garden Loop (8 miles) threads quiet lanes through wooded neighborhoods in northern Asheville. The ambitious Wildflower Bakery trail (50 miles) starts on the southern edge of the city and loops through rural Flat Rock and Saluda, with one thrillingly long descent and a requisite grueling climb back up. Treats at the route's namesake bakery in Saluda reward the effort.