Take your pick of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 469 narrow, scenic, and winding miles through North Carolina and Virginia for road biking. Relatively light on traffic, almost all of them constitute some of the best road riding in the world, not to mention vistas for turning autumn leaves. The Devil’s Backbone Brewery in Roseland, Virginia is as good a place to ride from as any, and a better place to refuel than most. The 50-mile Nelson Scenic Loop leaves from the brewery’s parking lot and climbs through agricultural valleys, runs beside the tumbling Tye River, and moves along the Parkway for 14 miles, before setting you up to scream downhill past the Wintergreen Mountain ski area.
WHEN TO GO: The maples hang in there through most of October.
ROUTE: Take VA Route 151 south from Devil’s Backbone about 11 miles to Roseland. Take a right onto 56 and ride approximately 22 miles to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Take a right and ride 14 miles of the Parkway to Reid’s Gap road (Route 664), which descends steeply back to the brewery.
HIT THE DECK: Grab a seat in the sun on Devil’s Backbone Brewery patio for an eyeful of the foliage turning on Three Ridges Mountain. The Vienna Lager is the most-consumed craft beer in the state, and perfect for washing down Rob’s Bonedipper sandwich of shaved prime rib, which is made from meat smoked in house.