Riders - Please Take Note:
ALL National Parks now
requires that a white light or reflector be mounted on the front of the bicycle
and that a RED blinker light be on the rear
of your bike when riding in ANY of the National Parks
Nation Wide. This
includes the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Smoky Mountain National Parks.
Remember that there are 3 tunnels on the route to the top of Mt. Mitchell.
One is quite dark. On the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway there are about 25
tunnels, some that are curved and go totally black. Without the lights NO
ONE CAN SEE YOU. Don't become road kill in these tunnels.
Remember that Lightning Kills
Storms can appear out of no where very fast up here. One minute it is clear and warm and the next thing you know it is dark and raining with lightning everywhere. Also the weather can get very windy on the parkway. During one of these storms there is a lot of lightning on the parkway and on top of Mt. Mitchell as well. If you are caught in a lightning storm then seek shelter away from tall trees etc. Follow good common sense if you do not want to get struck by lightning.
It can get very cold fast on top
Make sure that you have plenty of warm clothes waiting on you on top. If you do not then you could be very cold. Rain gear is a must. Not every year you will need this clothing but I have seen it go from a nice 80 degree to 25 degrees by the time the first of the riders get to the top. Not only is there a drastic temperature shift but do not be surprised to see rain or snow / sleet / ice on top and nothing falling in Marion. The weather can change in a matter of a couple of hours due to the elevation of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Mt. Mitchell State Park.
Notice to the SAGs.
NC-80 has proven to be a very dangerous highway for bicycle riders and cars / trucks / campers. Over the last several year a number of riders were almost killed by SAGs trying to pass riders and ended up meeting cars - buses and truck towing big camper trailer coming down which are unable to stop. How would you like your guy or gal to end up dead? Please do not SAG on NC-80. Remember that the parkway will not allow SAGs in the Mitchell State Park. You cannot go beyond the exit from the Blue RIdge Parkway or you will risk getting a ticket. The fine is also very steep which is currently up to $5000.00. This is a warning and the fine is correct.
It is now a know factor that if you are caught as a SAG on the Blue Ridge Parkway by the Rangers, you will receive a Federal traffic citation or ticket that must be paid in Federal Court. I have learned that this ticket is about $5000.00 from people whom have been cited. If you give the Rangers any lip then they can write a second or more citations and each will carry a fine of $5000.00 in Federal Court as well. The choice is yours, SAG and risk the citations or ride the bus to the top and meet your partner.
The Mt. Mtichell Park Rangers have said that SAGs are not welcome on top of the mountain or for that matter inside the Mt. Mitchell State Park. This is grounds for tickets, not being able to participate again in this event by having the Rangers notify the Assaults Director to bar you from future rides, and could cause the loss of the ride since we have to get a permit from both the Blue RIdge Parkway and the Mt. Mitchell State Parks. No permit and no ride ~ the choice is yours.
No permits ~ no ride - get it?
THE NATIONAL PARKS NOW REQUIRE THE USE