Anyone familiar with groups that regularly ride out of Luray, VA and out to Skyline Drive and back? I'm thinking of doing that this Sat. morn, Oct 23. I've heard there's a regular, hilly 80 miler out and back. Leaves should be good this time of year.
Ed - Below is a great 80 mile loop that's 32 miles on Skyline Drive and about 48 miles on the rolling hills around Luray and Ft. Valley. It starts/ends in Front Royal at the park entrance.
Skyline/Fort Valley Ride
Started in Front Royal on Skyline Drive. Rode to mile post 32 (Panorama ranger station)(note-you can extend this ride by going further down Skyline and coming back to this mile post). Took exit for Rt. 211 down to Luray. This is about a 5 mile descent. Followed signs for town of Luray, take a left off of 211 and head into downtown Luray.
Rode through town, took right on 340N business. Rode about 1/4 mile and took left at small bridge on to Mechanic St (Rt. 675). Stay on this for about 3 miles. Cross over bridge. At fork in the road just after the bridge, go left, then take first right a few hundred yds down the road. This will take you up "The Climb Of The Day." This climb is steep, at least 12% grade for some stretches, and it's long, 25-30mins. At the top, recover, then take the descent down the other side of the mountain and veer right at the bottom of the hill.
You are now on Ft. Valley Rd. You will see a fork in the road about 5-10 mins after your descent, veer right. Just stay on Ft. Valley Rd. There is mom and pop store on this road after about 10 miles. After the store, keep riding another 10-15 miles, past Elizabeth Furnace campgrounds (fyi-great place to mtn. bike, but not today).
Take a right on to Mountain Rd (pay attention here as this is easy to miss). Pass a fish hatchery. Take left on Rivermont Rd. This puts you back on Rt. 340, about 1/4 mile south of Skyline Drive Park entrance in Front Royal. Take a left on 340N, ride 1/4 mile and turn right into Skyline Drive park entrance.
Ed - that might be a nice and beautiful ride but remember it's fall and the changing of the leaves/colors brings plenty of traffic. If you ride, be extra cautious.
Not to mention last year at about this time and I saw a bear run across the road in front of me. Yes, he was a small bear...but a bear none the less.