Bikes And Bridge Day- Secrets On Where To Ride
Okay, this post is going to cover bikes (pedal) and bikes (motor). Let's start with some housekeeping. The bridge is closed to bikes -every and and all kinds of bikes- during the event. So don't ride your bike up to the bridge expecting to cross it, because no. You can't do that. Foot traffic only on the bridge.
BUT that doesn't mean you shouldn't bring a bike. You should. There are tons of places to ride around the gorge, and a few places to ride on Bridge Day itself.
If you're pedaling a bike, you can use the trail system on the Fayetteville side of the bridge to get around on the big day. The best place to go is out to Long Point, which offers a spectacular view of the bridge, the gorge, and the jumpers and rappellers. The first portion of the long point trail is an easy grade, making for some good mountain biking. The last part is steep and technical, so you might consider locking your ride to a tree before the first rhododendron tunnel. Plus there will be a lot of other folks out that way, so be careful of pedestrians.
You can also ride a bike down to the bottom of the gorge, but please, Please, PLEASE remember: You have to ride back up. You can also ride a bike to the bridge, as long as you plan not to cross. Plenty of places to lock up.
Now, for hogs and road racers, there are some don't-miss motorcycle rides around the New River Gorge. The first is The Midland Trail, aka Scenic RT 60. There are great winding stretches on both sides of RT 19, which leads you to the bridge. Getting to Bridge Day a day early opens up the possibility of riding on the Fayette Station Road, which goes down to the New River right underneath the big bridge. You'll also get to cross the little bridge and get an up-close look at one of the biggest rapids in the gorge.
On the South (Fayetteville) side of the gorge, any of the roads that go down to the river will deliver some fine riding, especially the road along Duloup Creek that goes down into Thurmond, which is county road 25, aka the Thurmond McKendree Rd. Make sure you stop at the train station on the other side of the river and check out the museum.
Other rides and maps are available, y'all. If you're a mountain biker, check out New River Bikes and Marathon Bike Shop, both in Fayetteville. If you ride Harleys, friend up New River Gorge Harley Davidson on Midland Trail.
See you out there!