Where I Ride: Brent Bookwalter
Ever wondered where our riders like to the train the most? Or what one of their favorite rides might be? Our 'Where I Ride' series, tells you just that!
Find out about more about the route below, including where to stop for that all important coffee, and then download the GPX file to take a close look and perhaps try it out for yourself...
"The Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina are my favorite place in the world to ride a bike, and this route is a prime showcase of why I love this area and the reason why we use this route for our annual fall Gran Fondo, the Bookwalter Binge.
No matter what the time of year, I know I'll have a beautiful day on the bike when riding these roads. The entire rural route goes through lush forests and tranquil farmland that changes a bit with each season and always inspires me. There's not much flat terrain or straight roads out there, so this route, which I would give a 7 out of ten on the difficulty scale, can be a demanding training day that prepares me for the toughest races I'll face. However, at the same time, the climbs are short enough that I can also get through it by simply doing a soul ride at a solid steady pace.
The best place for a coffee stop is Dynamite Coffee Roasting Co.! It's just on the edge of the quaint town of Black Mountain so, it is easy to access at the beginning or the end of this ride. Sometimes I'll hit it twice, especially if I'm riding back into Asheville.
About 3/4 of the way up the final climb of the ride, 'Point Lookout Trail,' there is a nice park bench that overlooks the mountains to the east. Since you are almost up to the continental divide at this point, it's a good spot to grab a picture, especially as this paved trail is closed to all car traffic!
There isn't one monster obstacle or massive climb in this ride, so the challenge lies in the relentless nature of the terrain. The section from Bat Cave to the top of Old Fort Road before descending Stoney Mountain always zaps my legs so be sure to go into this section fueled up and ready for a long grind."
And, don't forget to tell us what you thought on Twitter. Tweet us on @BMCProTeam using #WhereIRide.