What is the route?
Asheville International Randonneurs (AIR) is excited to show off some of the best riding in the Blue Ridge. Our routes are low traffic (except of course getting out of town you should expect to see some cars) and super scenic with spectacular mountain views for the entire ride. We’ve got a lot of elevation – over 65,000 feet of vertical climbing – so riders should bring their climbing legs. Expect a challenging and beautiful route that showcases some of the best riding in Appalachia.
What does registration cover?
Registration covers ride entry, hot food at the first overnight and beverages at each overnight thereafter. The route is cloverleaf so riders are on their own for meals; riders should stock their fridges with food that they will want when they are off the bike. If you have special dietary needs (vegan, veg, gluten-free, etc., please let us know and we can accommodate).
Why aren’t we hitting the Blue Ridge Parkway or climbing Mount Mitchell?
Unfortunately it’s a bit of a bureaucratic nightmare to get permits to ride on the Parkway or ride to the top of Mount Mitchell, so we’ve opted not to go through those hurdles. Rest assured, the route is beautiful and you won’t lack for majestic mountain views. If you are determined to bag Mount Mitchell while you’re here, we encourage you to tack on perm 1872 after you finish.
What’s the weather gonna be like?
Weather in western Carolina in June is usually warm with lower humidity (respective to the southeast), but we have had experiences where we’ve wanted arm warmers and full finger gloves. We recommend that riders pack for all weather possibilities and stock their room with supplies they may and hopefully won’t need. That said, we do recommend carrying arm warmers and full finger gloves on your bike at all times, especially if you are prone to getting cold. We ran a 600k in June 2022 and it got down into the 40s, so there is the possibility of some cold air. June can also be a rainy month so riders are encouraged to bring appropriate rain gear. Finally, this route is in the MOUNTAINS. It is summertime and relatively safe weatherwise, but riders should respect the mountain and the unpredictable weather it may bring. Be prepared. It's also summer in the Southeast so it can get hot!
How much time do I get?
Due to the distance and elevation, riders are allotted 130 hours, or roughly 6 days to complete the event. We’ve front loaded the miles and each day gets shorter. Riders should expect an even spread of climbing across all days.
What services are available on route?
Western Carolina can be remote but we’ve designed a route that has services available to riders and they are noted on the cue sheet. Integral to AIR rides and culture are fun lunch spots, so we’ve done our best to include a decent lunch spot where available. The hotel is situated in a popular part of town with different food options that riders can also access.
What’s the hotel and what’s around it?
The host hotel is Sleep Inn Asheville - Biltmore West, 1918 Old Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806
BREAKFAST: Hardees and Bojangles open at 5am. 24/7Waffle House. Both across the street 0.5 mile from hotel.
Wendy's, Burger King, and Applebee's open till midnight.
24hr BP gas station.
There are multiple other dinner options open till 9/10/11pm including Chik-fila, The Madness, El Chapala II, IHOP.
Can I get a roommate?
We will help you find a roommate if you are in search of one. Please reach out to us and we’ll connect you with other riders.
What kind of support will be offered?
We may have on-route support but riders should be prepared to be fully self-sufficient. If you need to abandon, it is your responsibility to get back to the start. Please do reach out to the volunteer via text message and let them know of your intent. However, we urge everyone contemplating a DNF to reconsider as there is time to work things out and stay on the road.
What are the ride qualifications?
Riders must have completed a 1200k or greater in 2023 and must complete a full SR series in 2024 prior to June 10. If you do not meet these qualifications, please reach out to the committee as exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.
How can I communicate with other riders?
You’ll be added to our google group when you register and sometime closer to the start date we will open up a Slack channel for rider communication.