Spring is finally here, the rain has stopped (for the time being), and its time to get out there.
Asheville is situated in one of the finest bicycling and motorcycling areas in the world. Over 100,000 motorcyclists per year ride through here.
This is one of my tried and true favorite routes. Starting in downtown Asheville, leave on I-240 east going south towards Fairview and Lake Lure, where it changes to 74. You’ll pass the Blue Ridge Parkway (an excellent riding road, but can get a bit congested), on your way to the town of Fairview. There are a couple of good restaurants and bars. (Even a craft brewery).
After passing through Fairview, the road changes to 2 lanes and gets more rural. Then the climb into the mountains starts and the road stays wonderfully winding for the rest of the way. After passing through Gerton you’ll come to the intersection of 74 and route 9, where you’ll be turning left. The road is mostly clean and clear, with no major damage from the storms. There is some gravel wash out into the main road (so, keep your eyes peeled). Follow route 9 for the next 10 miles or so, and enjoy many more twists and turns.
You’ll go through some fun straightaways, to change things up a little. The last big straight will take you right by a great, family run, bar and grill. The Straightaway Cafe. (If you go in during the weekends, they have live music and local crafts for sale.)
The next turn after the cafe is a left on Chestnut Hill, turning onto Old Fort Rd., that you will take all the way back to 74. Take a right and head back into Asheville. Or go left and have lunch and a refreshing beverage in Fairview.
The whole ride takes about an hour and a half, depending on your comfort and skill levels.
Ride safely and enjoy. And don’t worry, there will be more rides reported soon. See you on the road!