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Thread: Blue Ridge in April ?

  1. #1
    mohan0 mohan0's Avatar
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    Blue Ridge in April ?

    Does anyone know if the Blueridge is doable about the third week of April, wife is a school teacher so vacation is pre scheduled. thank for any advise

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    Registered User nobody's Avatar
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    I'm thinking some of the lower elevation sections, i.e. Virginia may be possible. The higher elevations, i.e. North Carolina would be dubious, especially around Mt. Mitchell and Mt. Pisgah. Riding the entire length may not be possible that early. Many of the campgrounds will not be open until sometime in May. See here for opening dates:

    http://www.virtualblueridge.com/park...ning_dates.asp
    Nobody rides a 2009 K1300GT

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    Your most likely to be wet & chilly from Wythville, Va and south. And thinking; why are there no leaves on the trees this far south! May 5th on is magic; before that its pure chance. Many efforts to prove this different have failed, allthough North GA for the Ga Mtn Rally is usually very nice.

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    Registered User bluehole's Avatar
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    I have done the Virginia section on a nice day in March and thoroughly enjoyed it. I believe having the leaves off the trees is a plus...you can actually see into opposing hillsides the crisp clear air provides some wonderful views. In addition, there is almost no traffic. I understand a cold rain would not be fun, but my best rides up there have been in late fall and early spring.

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    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    I live fairly near the Parkway in Southwestern Virginia and have ridden it at most times of the year. The weather can be great at time of the year or it can be horrible. I would not plan a trip a long time in advance due to the uncertainty.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

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    Motorradfahrer
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    This year would not have worked very well with record low temps but then again maybe that global warming will kick in for you. That's right it is now global climate change and it also makes things colder so maybe it will be record cold temps again....I don't know I'm confused.

  7. #7
    tbourque
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    Quote Originally Posted by mohan0 View Post
    Does anyone know if the Blueridge is doable about the third week of April, wife is a school teacher so vacation is pre scheduled. thank for any advise
    On our end in North Carolina, parts of the BRP are often closed around that time of year. Even if the weather has been nice for a while and it appears the snow and ice have melted, there are still the tunnels to contend with. They will keep ice long after the rest of the roads' ice and snow melted. That is enough for the park to keep the roads closed. We usually have our last snow of the year in early April.

    I live minutes from entrances to the southern most part of the parkway. If you PM me I would be glad to provide you with reports of the open sections on my end.

  8. #8
    I Used to Be Someone sheridesabeemer's Avatar
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    pretty decent this year if you went between tornadoes.

    Gail Hatch
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  9. #9
    mohan0 mohan0's Avatar
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    Blue Ridge in April ?

    Thanks to everyone for the info, does not sound like a good time of year, may have to go by myself in may-do not tell the wife

  10. #10
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    I have done it several times the last week of April, and have had great weather, a couple years ago an ice storm had some of it closed near Boone, but the rest was good.

    That said, yes it might be sketchy some years, but there are hundreds of great roads in the area, and if it is dicey up high, just head to lower ground and have a good time there. Traffic is low in the valleys that tie of year.

    The uncertainty of weather is 1/2 the fun. And one thing is certain, there will ALWAYS be weather of some kind, good or bad.

  11. #11
    Registered User rvb1019's Avatar
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    I head to the Ironhorse Ranch to meet up with the BMWLT.com Group every April from NY. Never had any problems with snow in the last 7 years. Fog, rain, cold yes but not snow.

    Last year was the worst- we headed off the BRP to the top of Mount Mitchell. The temperature dropped 20 degrees in 10 minutes and we were trying to ride on ice. NOT FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. #12
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    Everyone said it well. Depends on what part you want to ride, the weather, etc. But I'm 100% confident major portions will be close in April. And as Pffog says, there is no shortage of great riding in the Smokies.

    This pic is from March 12, 2008. Major sections of the BRP were closed with ice and snow, but mostly from fallen trees and limbs from the ice. I went around the barrier (you see the path on the left-I scratched my pannier on the post!) and rode 20 miles of "closed" parkway past the Pisgah hotel to HWY 276 where it opened again. The barrier was much better there and I thought I'd have to turn around and go back, but I made it through after removing the panniers. It was fantastic. The trees were down all over, and there were some sections where the road was clear only in the middle 6 or 8 feet at the centerline of the road. Needless to say, there was no traffic.

    The temps can be cold, but nothing good gear or heated clothing can't handle. And it is beautiful no matter what the weather, unless fogged in and you can't see. Or lightening, that can be scary!
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    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
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  13. #13
    Registered User rvb1019's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoboRider View Post
    The temps can be cold, but nothing good gear or heated clothing can't handle. And it is beautiful no matter what the weather, unless fogged in and you can't see. Or lightening, that can be scary!
    If want the road to yourself, go during the week. From what I understand, the traffic on the weekends can be killer.

    The speed limit is 40 but you can ride all day long at 60. So long as you're not riding stupidly, the rangers leave you alone. If you do get a performance award, it's a $500 fine.

    Skyline drive, the northern 100 mile section, is just a great as the BR but the speed limit is 30 mph and the rangers on that section throw radar constantly. My first trip south, I rode 10 miles of SLD but had to see 3-4 radar traps. I'm not a speed freak but once you get into the rhythm, it is extremely hard to keep the speed down.

  14. #14
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    Rode the BRP in April 2011

    On April 6 and 7, 2011 I rode on the BRP, but had to get off for an 18-mile stretch in NC due to road construction (detour was about 30 miles). Road was closed after about Mile Marker 350, thus I could not go into the higher sections. I had been down the whole length in October 2010, so I didn't miss out on the higher spots.

    The BRP has a website which lists road closures. At the moment, the only closure is a five-mile section around MM232.

    I do recall that the winter of 2009-2010 caused a lot of damage, and some sections were closed until the end of May 2010.
    John Gamel
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  15. #15
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rvb1019 View Post
    If want the road to yourself, go during the week. From what I understand, the traffic on the weekends can be killer.

    The speed limit is 40 but you can ride all day long at 60. So long as you're not riding stupidly, the rangers leave you alone. If you do get a performance award, it's a $500 fine.

    Skyline drive, the northern 100 mile section, is just a great as the BR but the speed limit is 30 mph and the rangers on that section throw radar constantly. My first trip south, I rode 10 miles of SLD but had to see 3-4 radar traps. I'm not a speed freak but once you get into the rhythm, it is extremely hard to keep the speed down.
    60 is about perfect for a BRP cruise. 60 in the corners is fun. And you're right, if you watch your speed in the straights, you can be pretty relaxed. I find that the city cops, like Asheville, patrol and shoot radar around the sections in there cities, and you have to watch out there, or be prepared to take off and run.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

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