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Discussion Starter #1
Once the weather warms up a bit more I'm planning on taking the "back way" from NOVA to Charlottesville along Skyline Drive.

Last time I was there it was rainy and I was in my truck, so I wanted to post the question for anyone who's ridden it: much traffic in mid to late April? many cops? is there a gas station around the midpoint (Big Meadows or thereabouts)? any other useful info?

Thanks!
 

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Once the weather warms up a bit more I'm planning on taking the "back way" from NOVA to Charlottesville along Skyline Drive.

Last time I was there it was rainy and I was in my truck, so I wanted to post the question for anyone who's ridden it: much traffic in mid to late April? many cops? is there a gas station around the midpoint (Big Meadows or thereabouts)? any other useful info?

Thanks!
The easy one is yes, there is a gas station at Big Meadows. Big Meadows is a very nice area of the park.

Skyline Drive is no fun on a bike, unless it's a cruiser and even then it's a tough call. The speed limit is 35 mph and heavily enforced. I was stopped for doing 52 in a 35 and was let off with a warning when I explained that my GPS says I was doing 37. I took him a while to make the decision to not write me a ticket though.

When we were there last August they had patched the road and there was gravel all over the road. There wasn't a safe line through any of the corners. Two people from my group went down despite knowing about the gravel. If the repairs are still ongoing I wouldn't ride at night. Of course that was August but I would call the Ranger Station and inquire about the road conditions.

Deer and bear can be an issue. My wife and I were returning from a trip off the mountain and came up on a traffic jam. People will just stop whenever they see any wildlife. We've been to Shenandoah quite a bit over the last ten or so years and are used to this. But this time we come around to the source of the stoppage and find ourselves literally 10 feet from a bear. Of course, all of the cars are stopped and we are hanging out in the open on the bike. I split lanes using the cars as a shield.

April will be pretty cool in the mountains. Dress accordingly.

-Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ehhh, no fun. Thanks for the heads up.

The cold I don't mind, but the gravel would make things unenjoyable. I'll definitely give the rangers station a call before I plan on anything.

The last two times I've gone hiking anywhere on skyline I've run into a bear. The first was an adolecent halfway up Old Rag, and the other was a big-un in the parking lot after stony man. Both times they were decivingly cute.... in that "come hug me so I can maul you" kind of way.
 
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