Need 112 on hills, so I'm headed to Skyline Drive, but haven't ridden there. Can I ride 56 out and 56 back, stopping to buy Gatorade (or equivalent) at some point along the way after my bottles are empty? Or do I need to ride some shorter distance out and then back, so I can restock the bottles out of my car? Thanks.
There are a few places along the way that you can stop to use the restroom and purchase Gatorade. They are stocked with fluids and solid food, even Powerbars at some places.
I would be on the conservative-side with the Gatorade purchasing on the way out. By that, I mean don't wait until you are near out until stopping :) On the way back, you'll know where those places are, so you can gauge better.
I was thinking of a similar type of ride too. What I plan to do is drive to the Thornton Gap Entrance off rtes. 211 and 522 to park. Then, I'll head south for 25+ miles to either Bearfence Mtn. or South River lookout and back to my car. In my car I'll keep a cooler of drinks and snacks to fuel up. Next, I'll head north to the Front Royal Station and return to my car. If I need to, I'll stop at one of the rest places along the way. This should give me 100+ miles. My plan is to do this on July 5th.
Tuan's advice was great. I had stuff in my car but found out that Elkwallow, Skyland, and Big Meadows (and I'd guess Loft Mountain and maybe others but didn't stop anywhere else) had everything I could want, so I just kept going.
If you stop, look for what they call a Waysides (then a sign for the Waysides or sometimes a sign for a gift shop), that means a restroom, drinks, snacks, pain reliever, etc. The lodges/restaurants were a longer ride off Skyline Drive and less bike appropriate. Have fun!
I did a separate post >> HERE << for those interested in making it out to Skyline this weekend.